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Inside 05 business matters 12 the expert 13 fine print 14 business support 18 training, development and training 21 business matters 24 cover feature 26 inspirational leaders 40 events and training 48 new members 50 five minutes with 50 movers & shakers the magazine for sussex chamber of commerce members


The new Ricardo Centenary Innovation Centre Page 24

Sussex Chamber of Commerce


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april/may 2017 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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ADVERTISING John Neilson, Business Development Manager, Distinctive Publishing Unit 6b, Floor B, Millburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1LE Tel: 07813 874 970 Email:





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five minutes with ...

FEATURE EDITORS John Dean & Francis Griss


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.




february/march april/may 2017 business edge

Welcome to the April/May Issue! Many young people are denied meaningful interactions with the world of work, and many employers are frustrated by the lack of skills and experience they are looking for. The Sussex Chamber works closely with schools, colleges and universities and is currently reviewing its Young Chamber Membership. Other interactions lie in careers fairs which allow students an opportunity to be inspired, interact with business and to help them understand the world of work. Keep an eye on our website for further details on how you can get involved.

Five key payroll issues you need to be aware of from 1st April 2017 Alexandra Durrant Payroll Expert and Director Aspiring Training Limited

Payroll errors not only damage staff morale, they could land employers in serious trouble with HM Revenue & Customs. So organisations need to be familiar with the legislative changes to affect payroll in the new tax year.

National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) From 1 April 2017, employers will be required to pay staff, aged 25 and over, the NLW of £7.50 per hour up from the current rate of £7.20. The hourly NMW also increases to: £7.05 – 21 -24 years old

The accelerating pace of technological change means there is a growing challenge with lifelong learning: supporting people to up-skill and re-skill across their working lives. People are living and working longer, but training across working life is going down. Business skills training and development is important. Almost all businesses recognise the need to overcome skills shortages and up skill employees that threaten productivity and reduce competiveness. Training courses can improve the effectiveness of your current workforce and can provide attractive benefits for ambitious people. Training isn’t just important to a company, it is vital. We offer many opportunities to help develop staff and encourage growth. From scheduled courses to bespoke in-house training, Sussex Chamber is here to offer assistance and advice on all training matters. We now also offer a British Chambers of Commerce Foundation Award on our International Trade training courses. Contact us to find out more or have a look at our website:

£5.60 – 18-20 years old £4.05 – 16-17 years old £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or over 19 and in the 1st year of their apprenticeship. The Government has launched a £1.7million awareness campaign to ensure workers know how much they are legally entitled to be paid. Fines can run up to £20,000 for each employee who is underpaid.

Auto enrolment Organisations that employ at least one employee are legally required to set up and contribute to a pension plan. Any employee aged 22 or above who earns £10,000 a year must be automatically enrolled into the scheme. You can find your ‘staging date’ (the date by which the scheme needs to be ready) from The Pensions Regulator (www. Failure to comply can result in fixed fines of up to £50,000 or daily fines of up to £10,000.

Payrolling benefits in kind Since 6 April 2016 employers have the option to process most benefits in kind through their payroll. If you want to do this for 2017/18 tax year you must register with HMRC before 6 April 2017. Should you miss the deadline you can still register but will not be able to payroll benefits until 6 April 2018. So form P11Ds will still be required for tax year 2017/18.

Salary sacrifice arrangements The government announced in the Autumn Statement that the range of benefits that attract tax and national insurance advantages will be reduced. The following benefits will remain exempt – pensions, childcare, cycle to work and ultra-low emission cars. There will be a transitional period for other benefits in place before April 2017.

Ana Christie Chief Executive

Sussex Chamber of Commerce


Scottish Tax Threshold From April 2017 Scotland will see the introduction of a lower threshold for paying higher rate tax. In the UK £45,000 will be the threshold but for Scottish taxpayers the threshold will be £43,430.

tel: 01444 259 259

february/march april/may 2017 business 2017 business edge edge

training learning & development

Who needs health and safety training? Shaun Jackaman Managing Director Alpha Training Safety Solutions

The answer is - everybody! Whether you are an employer, employee or self-employed, can you be sure that you have identified the hazards and can control all the risks at your place of work?

financially to your business due to damaged products, lost production and staff absence.

First Aid Training Emergency First Aid is more than just a legal workplace requirement - it is a valuable life skill you can offer employees.

Managers and supervisors need to know what you expect from them in terms of health and safety and how you expect them to deliver. The four day IOSH Managing Safely course is an excellent option for senior staff.

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These regulations apply to all workplaces including those with less than five employees and the self-employed.

Employees may need specialist training such as Manual Handling, Working at Height or Confined Space Entry... and all staff members can benefit from Fire Safety Awareness or Emergency First Aid at Work Training. This also applies to contractors and self-employed team members.

No matter what level of training you opt for, ensure you choose a training team who have worked within the emergency services arena or in roles that have demanded that they make critical on-the-spot decisions, for all types of medical emergencies. You can’t beat trainers that have real life experience.

Young employees are particularly vulnerable to accidents and you need to pay particular attention to their needs, so their training should be a priority.

Our first aid moto is ‘Do the Basics well’. All first aid and emergency medical training starts with the basics, whether you are a first aider in the workplace or a trauma doctor. Basics are lifesaving skills.

Why provide health and safety training? This might seem an obvious question, but unfortunately too many employers fall the wrong side of the law by failing to provide adequate training for their employees. You should strive to develop a positive health and safety culture, where safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone and where you can be sure you are meeting your legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees. Effective training will contribute towards making your employees competent in health and safety and can help your business avoid the distress that accidents and ill health cause, which can be hugely detrimental

Fire Safety Training The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety in England and Wales. Employers, building owners or occupiers must carry out a fire safety risk assessment and keep it up to date. Based on the findings of the assessment, employers need to ensure that adequate and appropriate fire safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire, including the provision of suitably trained Fire Marshals and Emergency Evacuation Co-ordinators.

Confined Space Training Serious injuries and emergencies in confined spaces occur across a wide range of industries. Professional training will equip your staff to work safely or respond to critical situations, whether in sewers, underground tunnels, complex manufacturing plants or simple storage vessels. Confined space training can be tailored to your company or industry requirements and can cover all levels of competence, from basic awareness training through to City & Guilds Level 5 Award in Manage Work in Confined Spaces. Courses should always be delivered by experienced front line emergency service professionals or industry specialists, who are able to offer a knowledgeable approach to confined space working and management. Their expertise, backed up with real life experience means that you will benefit from the most dynamic and realistic training.

The Law The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires you to provide whatever information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of your employees. This is expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly important, eg when people start work, on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become tired or need updating. You can get help and advice on safety training from your trade association or your local Chamber of Commerce. Alpha Training Safety Solutions are happy to advise any company who may be unsure about their responsibilities, or who need help with planning staff safety training.

Fire safety awareness courses are not only practical and great fun - but the skills taught can be utilised in the workplace and at home.

Does your training suffer the Implementation Dip? Wondered why training programmes do not deliver the impact in the workplace you were hoping for? It may be due to the implementation dip. John Edmonds Managing Director Cameo Education

Research into the training of US teachers in new classroom techniques found each teacher required an average of twenty attempts at practicing a new approach before fully mastering it.

The research identified a problem. The initial attempts at implementing the new technique may not be fully proficient. Not at first achieving the desired outcomes behind the training (improved student learning outcomes in the case of a teacher) can deter the trainee from persevering and leads to them abandoning the new approach. It is not hard to project from this research that staff introduced to new sales or customer service techniques, for example, might also experience the same

implementation dip when they seek to put their training into practice. The remedy? Effective professional development means confronting this reality and building a significant amount of coaching support for trainees into the critical implementation phase. New video-based online coaching tools can make this process both time and money efficient. Greater attention to implementation therefore can secure that elusive training ROI.



business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Apprenticeship reforms How will the apprenticeship reforms affect your company? Stephen Burkes, Director of Sussex Skills Solutions, talks to Business Edge about the new joint venture in Sussex and changes coming in April Sussex Skills Solutions is a collaboration between Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College, Hastings. Using their combined expertise and experience, the two Colleges have found an effective way to design and develop training programmes, and provide high quality apprentices, to better serve local businesses. “The collaboration does not mean huge changes to a company’s current partnership with either College,” explains Stephen Burkes, Director of Sussex Skills Solutions. “What it does mean is that we are better placed at serving the entire local business community, with a skilled team of business professionals, covering all industries. Our aim is to become the provider of choice across East Sussex, and the wider region, for apprenticeships and a range of other skills training.” Sussex Skills Solutions may already be a familiar name to some, including the number of employers they currently work with locally. Since its inception, the business has been a lounge sponsor at the Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion football club. Sussex Skills Solutions comes to the fore as the new apprenticeship levy comes into effect. From 6th April 2017, companies in all sectors with a payroll of more than £3m a year will have to pay an apprenticeship levy. “The new reforms allow employers to directly plan training around the needs of their business,” continues Stephen. “Businesses will have more qualifications to choose from, more staff will be eligible for funding and employers can have a greater say in how the training is delivered.” Sussex Skills Solutions will help you to maximise these new opportunities by creating a free, bespoke Business Needs Analysis which will identify where existing staff can be offered opportunities to train. This will reduce existing training costs and facilitate the recruitment and development of new staff.

“Utilising the offers from both colleges, Sussex Skills Solutions has access to a range of different funding streams,” says Stephen. “We will work with you to ensure the training solutions we design in response to your needs access these funds to help your business grow and improve the local economy.” Apprenticeships are an increasingly attractive prospect to both learner and employer. People choose an apprenticeship as a way to ‘earn as they learn’, making it an enticing option over university. They gain on the job experience and the course can lead to full time employment with their employer or boost their chances of securing a job elsewhere. Employers can shape the apprentice to fit within the company’s dynamic, creating home-grown talent who understands how the business runs as a result.

Sussex Skills Solutions works with various industry sectors, including Hastings Borough Council. “We are now into our fourth year of hiring an apprentice, with the previous three all gaining full-time employment with us,” says Sarah Stapley, Senior HR Manager at Hastings Borough Council. “It is really beneficial for us to have young people with drive and knowledge about new technology.” Sussex Skills Solutions has business relationships with all sectors from catering and hospitality, business administration and accounting to hairdressing, beauty therapy and motor vehicle and trade industries. “We are here to help your business to grow,” says Stephen. “Sussex Skills Solutions can support you in recruiting an apprentice or provide skills training to your current employees.”

Sussex Skills Solutions can help your business Case study: Gardners Books In 2016, Sussex Skills Solutions held a recruitment day to find an Apprentice IT Systems Engineer for book supply chain, Gardners Books, one of the largest independent employers in Eastbourne. The process started with the job description being uploaded to the National Apprenticeship Website by Sussex Skills Solutions. There was an overwhelming response and shortlisted candidates were sent on to the employer.


To further drill down the best candidates, applicants were asked to complete initial assessments in Maths, English and ICT before the recruitment day. In July 2016, the eight shortlisted candidates arrived at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne. Throughout the morning, candidates completed tasks to identify skills including teamwork, leadership, communication and time management. The final task, and perhaps the most daunting to the candidates, was to present to Gardners. Four candidates

made it to the one-to-one interview stage with Gardners Books. The successful applicant was Joseph Wright, 24. Kevin Allaway, Head of IT at Gardners Books, says: “We were looking for someone who would remain at the company for a minimum of five years. We have been lucky in the past to have a high retention rate of staff in the IT department, and we are pleased to have Joseph join the team via Sussex Skills Solutions.”

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business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Education, training and development of skills Our focus in the this issue of Business Edge is education, training and development of skills and I’ll try not to bore you with repeating just how important it is to keep your prime assets (your staff) up to date and their skills aligned with the strategic direction of your business.

So…why do businesses sometimes fail? Nass

Business Pulse

customers too long to pay & paying suppliers too promptly (careful credit control). 5. Failing to identify your market because of inadequate market research.

Businesses fail for a number of reasons, the 3 common ones below, stand out; 1. As a sole trader or small business, you must assess your strengths and weaknesses. You must listen not only to yourself, but to others to overcome any shortcomings. The quality of leadership and management is the most important criteria of your business. You define the perception of your business.

7. Lacking sufficient skill in selling; marketing; financial; production and technical development of your products and solutions. 8. Failing to build a team that is compatible and complementary, if your business is on a larger scale. 9. Taking unnecessary risks.

2. Does the commercial market have the capacity to accept your idea, and do you have the experience and knowledge in that market?

10. Under-pricing, resulting in an erosion of net margins, resulting in erosion of net profit.

3. Do you have enough financing to cover the shortfall in working capital, especially in the early days of your business?

Recognise & Address the issues quickly…

Set out below are 10 common problems; 1. Overestimating sales & underestimating how long it will take to achieve them (huge impact on cash flow) 2. Underestimating the running costs of your business. 3. Not ruthlessly controlling your costs. 4. Losing control over your cash flow...i.e. carrying too much stock, allowing


6. Failing to adapt your product to meet customer needs and wants, and failing to retain customers.

Running your own business does not mean you have to be an expert at everything, but you must appreciate and be aware of the importance of all aspects, so that you can control your business properly.

When uncertainty abounds, as it most certainly does at the moment, then it is often investment in training that gets hit first. Yes, this is understandable when cash flow is under pressure and training is generally treated as somewhat discretionary, but managers must have an intent to re-establish those programmes once a clear path to recovery is in sight. Our own Chamber training courses on offer to our members are visible evidence of how quickly local companies cut back when their confidence in the future takes a dip. I have been guilty of this in the various management roles I have had in the past and perhaps because I wasn’t forceful enough with top management, allowed them to see skills, training and development as an easy target. Now I am convinced training cuts are a false economy, one which will cost more in the long run to put back into place and recover the de-motivational effect they will have had on staff. So if you don’t want to fall behind your competitors who are up-skilling and improving the productivity of their staff as part of normal business management, then take another look at those training needs in staff appraisals, check for skills shortages in your strategic plan and re-establish that training programme, even as uncertainty looms large.

It is important to try and acquire an appreciation of the crucial factors to watch out for, by seeking training or advice from others in those areas in which you are weak. The use of seasoned business mentors/ advisers is a great way of securing quality advice, and acting as a sanity sounding board.

tel: 01444 259 259

David Sheppard Chairman Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Tailor-made solutions We offer a high quality service to both corporate and individual customers, coupled with a flexible and innovative approach. We start from a blank canvas and build a bespoke solution, with all key decisions made locally by the branch. Hove branch | Simon Nicholson - Branch Manager Tel: 01273 721814, email: Brighton branch | Simon Howe - Branch Manager Tel: 01273 779937, email: Crawley branch | Simon Briggs - Branch Manager Tel: 01293 525895, email: Haywards Heath branch | Dave Barden - Branch Manager Tel: 01444 450189, email: Eastbourne branch | Neil Hooper - Branch Manager Tel: 01323 736061, email: Handelsbanken is the trading name of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Registered Office: Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY. Registered in England and Wales No, BR 000589. Incorporated in Sweden with limited liability. Registered in Sweden No, 5020077862. Head Office in Stockholm. Authorised by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Making water work for business When Business Stream acquired the non household customer base of Southern Water last summer, it became the UK’s third largest water retailer. As part of Scottish Water, Business Stream has been operating since the launch of the non-household market in Scotland in 2008, so it has more experience of a competitive water market than any other retailer. Commercial Director, James Cardwell-Moore explains the benefits that competition can deliver in England following the launch of the market this month (April). For too long, water supply has been largely overlooked in the utility sector. But that has just changed with the recent introduction of competition in the non-household water market in England - and the creation of the world’s largest competitive water market. A large number of retailers have been lining up to compete to supply more than 1.2 million customers including businesses, charities and public sector organisations. But it seems that many businesses have been slow to recognise the benefits to be gained from these exciting changes. In January, Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority, published a report which concluded that just a third of organisations surveyed were aware of the opportunities available in England. The water industry has been working hard to make sure everyone fully understands the benefits they can enjoy from the changes, but I suspect many reading this haven’t yet given much thought to this vital utility. Whilst household and non-eligible businesses continue to be served by their regional water company, thousands of others – from the smallest corner shop to the largest corporate business - have the potential to gain a number of benefits from competition. These ‘non-household’ customers are likely to be eligible if their premises are: n used mainly for business n supplied from a wholly or mainly English-based water company Licensed regional water companies, or wholesalers, can sell wholesale water services – the physical supply of water and


the removal of wastewater – to licensed retailers. The retailers can then package these water services with other services and compete for customers. By simply speaking to their chosen retailer and reviewing their current water usage, organisations can check the best options for their needs. Regional water companies continue to supply your water, treat your wastewater and maintain the water and wastewater pipe networks. Competition can deliver a range of benefits, including: n better value for your money n improved customer service n tailored services for your company – such as consolidated billing n lower bills and charges n innovations in new products and services n valuable water efficiencies so the environment benefits too Looking back on the Scottish experience, it is clear customers have enjoyed a wide range of benefits. In the eight years since Scotland became the world’s first competitive nondomestic water market, businesses, charities and organisations of all types and sizes have gained in a variety of ways. These benefits go much deeper than cost savings, with competition driving a new complementary market of watersaving products and services, as well an unprecedented focus on customer service. It’s been an incredible progression in Scotland for what has generally been a traditional and fairly conventional utility sector.

The market used to be all about unit cost but competition has changed that completely. I don’t deny that the bottom line still matters, but customers are also placing a lot more emphasis on service and support to reduce consumption and be more efficient. Increasingly customers are looking for bespoke solutions to tackle particular issues or support growth ambition. Consequently, water retailers have had to expand their services to meet customer needs whether this involves undertaking estate-wide usage audits to borehole drilling. They are learning to better educate customers so that water management is considered as seriously as energy efficiency. Competition has driven down cost in Scotland, and the margins in England this year have been set quite low by Ofwat, so there’s not a great deal of scope for discounts. To maximise the benefits, business organisations need to find a supplier that can help them reduce and manage their water and wastewater more efficiently. They should be looking for a trusted partner rather than just another utility provider. What we say to organisations and businesses is that they need to look at what else their supplier can do for them. It is heartening to see that competition is now underway in England and it will be fascinating to see how customers react and the market develops in the coming months and years. This is a really exciting time for the water industry as a whole. I’m delighted that water is now moving to the top of the business agenda, and I’m confident that this will continue as more organisations enjoy the opportunities that competition can deliver.

tel: 01444 259 259


april/may 2017 business edge

3D Scanning, Modelling, Measurement and Reverse Engineering Services for Sussex Manufacturers Benchmarq Ltd, based in Billingshurst, West Sussex, specialises in computer-aideddesign (CAD) software, hardware, training and professional services. The company is increasing its profile with local manufacturers and represents the Evixscan™ range of precision, 3D industrial scanners. Offering product sales of the equipment, Benchmarq also provides a comprehensive range of after sales support, training and related services. These include: n 3D scanning to capture whole object surfaces to an accuracy of up to 13 microns. n Optical measurement of the scanned objects over the whole body or any selected parts of it. n 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.

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

n Jewellery and similarly finely-detailed objects. n Architectural masonry and plasterwork. n Reproduction of museum pieces or other historical objects and artefacts.

n Manufactured components in a variety of materials (metal, plastic, rubber, wood etc.).

n Damaged or broken items in need of repair.

n Medical products, equipment, prostheses etc.

For further information contact Benchmarq on 01403 787 930 or visit

Cowan Architects is an established practice offering innovative design solutions coupled with a high level of personal service from an experienced and enthusiastic team. We work closely with our clients to ensure their design requirements are met and take pride in our professional, practical and personal approach. As a chartered practice we pride ourselves on having a professional and friendly team with experience across a number of sectors including developer residential, residential care, accessible design and private residential with project values ranging from £250k to £10m. We offer a full service from feasibility through to completion including project management services. 80% of our work is repeat business. Cowan Architects Ltd . 9-10 Old Stone Link . Ship Street . East Grinstead . West Sussex . RH19 4EF t: 01342 410 242 . .



ask the expert

april/may 2017 business edge

The importance of protecting your business Jenna Duffett Managing Director KMG Independent Limited

As a financial planner, I know all too well the importance of protection for our clients and have spent many years promoting the benefits of insurance. However in 2012 the importance of business protection became all too clear to me and our business. In 2012 our Director Patrick McIntosh received the shocking news that he had Bowel Cancer. It was a shock because at the time he was a walking example of good health and lifestyle, cycling and running regularly. He was one of the fittest persons I knew. Patrick was one of the lucky ones and with quick diagnosis and treatment he was given the all clear, but more was to follow. Within the year, a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer was given combined with skin growths. Once more he was operated on successfully and today continues to remain in good health with a clear result. He will continue to be treated from time to time for the skin growths that appear, but as a triple cancer survivor he is a walking example of how good health care and insurance can be. For us in the business it was a worrying time. Our thoughts were with Patrick as many of us have worked together for years. As a small team, we spend a great deal of our time


together, so it was extremely difficult to keep our worries to ourselves and to try and remain positive. Our worries had to be put to one side as we had a business to run and clients to look after. We realised that life continued and the day to day matters in the business did not suddenly stop. Our biggest challenge was to maintain the status quo despite these catastrophic events. Two things came to our aid. The first was that we had taken our own advice years before and arranged substantial Key Man life cover for Patrick for death and critical illness. As is always true when you make these arrangements, you never expect to need them! It is often believed that the costs can be a waste of money, but how grateful we were to have them. Very quickly we could make a claim on the critical illness cover and this lifted the main pressure of our finances from me. I could continue to run the business in the knowledge that all our staff would be paid during this uncertain time and for a decent period should recovery take some time. Because the sad part about cancer is you do not know when you begin the treatment, how long the journey to recovery will be or even if recovery will occur. Secondly, we also have group medical cover for all our team and again this was invaluable. Patrick was seen, diagnosed and operated on within weeks of each event and we have no doubt that the speed of the doctors through the private cover allowed him to avoid long post-operative treatments. He was even operated on by a robot!

For our clients, they saw no change as our diversified and highly skilled team continued to operate the business during this time. Our business continued to be maintained and Patrick after each operation returned to the office after six weeks of recuperation. For Patrick, this was life changing and he decided in January 2015 to walk to the South Pole to raise awareness of the cancers, better lifestyle and taking better care of yourself. He continues today to speak at events regarding the South Pole journey and on health. More information on his charity work if you are interested can be found at our charity website –

Five years on So, this year will be five years on from that original life changing event. These were hugely challenging times both mentally, emotionally and physically for me and my team, but I am very pleased to look back and smile and say not only did Patrick survive, but so did our business and team. We continued to flourish as a much stronger and wiser business. We do not take health and life for granted. Today I am more of an advocate for protecting your business than I have ever been. Whether you decide to take insurances or not, you should always start by considering the what ifs, because you really can never know if and when these events will occur. Don’t put off today those challenging questions of the robustness of your business and leave planning too late! It is not a waste of time or money to protect a substantial asset – your business!

tel: 01444 259 259

fine print

april/may 2017 business edge

Withdrawal of a job offer: breach of contract? A recent case ruled that the withdrawal of a job offer was a breach of contract. Tessa Robinson from the Employment Team at RB considers this case further and explains how employers should deal with the issue of withdrawing job offers.

Building the Internet of Things: Implement New Business Models, Disrupt Competitors, Transform Your Industry by Maciej Kranz, published by Wiley This is a truly fascinating book that brings to life the Internet of Things (IoT). This is not just another of those buzz phrases, this truly does promise to change the world in which we live. Put simply, the IoT is the process of devices speaking to each other but for many business managers, the biggest question is what to do with it? In this book, author Maciej Kranz focuses on the business implications of IoT, describing the impact it can have and the challenges it will bring as industry moves towards creating ‘smart factories’ in which systems communicate seamlessly with each other, saving time and money. Including case studies to illustrate the beneficial effect that this latest technology brings, the book examines the way IoT is being used today—and will be used in the future— to enable readers to create their own plans. Maciej Kranz is vice-president of the Corporate Strategic Innovation Group at Cisco Systems. He leads the team focused on incubating new businesses, accelerating internal innovation and driving innovation with customers, partners and start-ups. Prior to this role, he was general manager of Cisco’s Connected Industries Group, where he drove IoT business for key industrial markets. You can find out more about the book at WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1119285666.html

In the case of McCann v Snozone Limited, a recruitment agency had been appointed to identify suitable candidates for two maintenance engineer roles. Following two interviews and subsequent telephone conversations with the recruitment agency, Mr McCann asserted that he was verbally offered, and he verbally accepted, a post. The salary and start date were not agreed and notice periods had not been discussed. Subsequently, Snozone denied that an offer of employment had been made and Mr McCann did not start work. He brought a claim for breach of contract. The Employment Tribunal held that Snozone, acting through the agency, had made a verbal offer of employment to Mr McCann, which he had verbally accepted. The relationship could therefore only be terminated by serving notice and Snozone had not done so by simply “withdrawing” the offer of employment. As such Mr McCann was entitled to damages for breach of contract. The salary and notice period had not been agreed. The tribunal determined that a minimum reasonable contractual notice period was one month. Damages amounting to one month of the intended monthly salary for the role.

What this means for employers Employers should remember that a verbal offer of employment may form a binding contract if it is accepted by an applicant. Employers should be careful when communicating job offers verbally (and should instruct any agencies accordingly). Any verbal offer should expressly state that full details of the offer will follow in writing and that the offer is subject to contract terms being agreed. Employers should also clarify any conditions attached to offers of employment (for example, satisfactory references). If these are not satisfied, the offer can be withdrawn without breaching the contract. An offer can normally be withdrawn by giving notice. Contract terms with the prospective employee with regard to length of notice can be agreed at the time the offer of employment is made. The default is that statutory minimum notice will apply, however statutory minimum notice is always subject to what is reasonable, and a longer notice period can be inferred into an employment contract. 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.

Tessa Robinson • 01293 558553



feature: business support

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).

april/may 2017 business edge

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april/may 2017 business edge

Automatic Enrolment for Small Businesses 5 tips to save you time and money with your AE duties… In 2016 over 550,000 employers complied with their auto enrolment duties. The number of employers reaching their staging date increases to 650,000 in 2017. At its peak, it is estimated that over 98,000 employers will have a single Staging Date of 1st April 2017. Most of these will be businesses with fewer than 10 employees. But how can small businesses, with a limited budget, manage their AE duties in a cost effective way, whilst still ensuring that the pension solution they put in place is fit for purpose and will provide a good outcome for their valued employees when they retire? We’ve put together some tips for small business employers looking to save time and money:1. Carry out an “Auto Enrolment Cost Forecast” – we cannot emphasise enough the importance of this initial fundamental exercise. Employers need to understand the full financial implications of AE on their business - and not just in terms of contribution costs. There are other expenses that may be incurred, such as additional administration and accounting, replacing or upgrading IT and payroll software or changes to Employee Contracts of Employment. The first task we carry out for our clients is a full “Employer AE Cost Forecast” outlining expected costs for the first 3 years of their AE duties. Our clients’ feedback has been that this was for them the most valuable part of the AE planning process, as it enabled them to fully understand the true costs involved and ensure that these were incorporated into their business cash flow thereby avoiding any unplanned and unexpected expenses later down the line!! 2. Shop around for your Pension Scheme – there are a number of options available to you – not just NEST. Most Workplace Pension Scheme Providers will charge employers a fee for arranging/administering the Pension Scheme. This can be either in the form of a "Set-up Fee" at outset, or an "Ongoing Fee" to cover future servicing costs (or both!). These costs and fees vary considerably between scheme providers and depend on each employer’s business. Our “Micro Employer Service”


provides a full “Workplace Pension Scheme Recommendation Report”, outlining ALL scheme terms provided, their features and options plus any associated employer fees and costs, thereby ensuring our clients adopt the most suitable scheme for their business. 3. Take advantage of tax savings - our “Micro Employer Service” incorporates a “Salary Exchange Arrangement”, thereby enabling valuable NIC savings to be made by both employers and employees. This will contribute significantly towards the costs for facilitating AE. 4. Avoid Regulator Fines – don’t leave it too late!! The key to successful staging is to start planning early. The Pensions Regulator will write to you 12 months in advance of your Staging Date reminding you of your employer duties. The new automatic enrolment requirements are not optional, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is responsible for ensuring that employers fulfill these new duties and will impose heavy fines on all businesses (big or small) who fail to comply with their new AE duties. 5. Seek advice from “Qualified Pensions Experts such as ourselves” - we have a robust selection process and will design your scheme to ensure it is the most suitable for both your business and your workforce (especially relevant for smaller employers where Scheme Providers may impose pre-acceptance terms and conditions). We have the tools and expertise to do this for you … it will save you hours of wasted time surfing the internet searching for information!! Our Initial Fee is just £499 for a whole of market recommendation and includes assistance with payroll configuration, scheme implementation and a Presentation to your staff to introduce the scheme and assist with questions and queries. We will manage the entire process for you ….leaving you free to run your business.


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tel: 01444 259 259

april/may 2017 business edge

feature: business support

Caveat Emptor… Buyer Beware Alina Walsh

Assistant Solicitor QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke

Starting a new business is always exciting. After months of research, planning and preparation you are all ready to go and have just eyed up that empty shop which is a perfect spot on a busy high street. But before you commit to a commercial lease, there are several serious matters to consider. More and more often small commercial tenants choose to not use solicitors to save some legal costs. But, given the complexity of a commercial lease, instructing a lawyer is an investment very worth making. These are some questions worth thinking about: 1 Is the property really fit for your business? By “fit” I mean more than just its size or location. If your business is different in nature to that carried out at the premises before, you may need to obtain planning permission - if the landlord does not object to it, of course. You may also need to apply for certain licences or there may be specific restrictions on use. What if the shop needs to be re-fitted? There may be need for a planning permission too, as well as the landlord’s consent. You may also have to bring the property to its initial layout at the end of your lease. 2 Length of term? A shorter lease with renewal options is always recommended – this allows you more flexibility in following your business needs, whether you wish to expand or cease trading. If the proposed term is longer, say 10 or 15 years, you may wish to negotiate a break clause. 3 Affordability? Rent and insurance payments are not the only expenses. Have you considered whether VAT is payable on rent? Check your rent review provisions carefully – it may be fine now, but would this still be the case when the rent increases? Pencil in possible business rates, taxes and other costs – what these may be should be indicated in the lease. 4 Extent of the demise? Have it checked by description of the property and also by reference to the lease plan. Do not

assume you are entitled to use that car parking space next to your back door – if it is not in the lease, it’s not yours. 5 Repairs and maintenance? It is often the case that a commercial lease requires the tenant to keep the property in good repair and condition. It may be a surprise to learn that if the property is not at its best when you take it on, it is your responsibility to bring it up to a “good condition” and maintain it. What exactly does “repair” mean? You may have to negotiate your repair obligations carefully, as there may be a risk of large costs, and negotiations will not be possible once you commit. 6 Selling or underletting – are you allowed to sell or underlet the property? It appears an easy way out of the lease if your plans change. Be aware that certain shorter term leases may prohibit it. If it is allowed, it will most likely be subject to your landlord’s consent. Apart from your own legal costs, you may be liable to pay your landlord’s legal costs to formalise consent. And once you sell and no longer are involved with the property itself, you may still be liable for your buyer’s possible defaults on payments under the lease or failure to perform their obligations as a tenant.

As you can see, there are plenty of issues to carefully consider with regards to the lease itself. At QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke we offer a one-off Business Advice Meeting, which gives you an opportunity to obtain expert overview of your proposed lease terms and an outline of the main concerns. But this is not exhaustive. Should you instruct a solicitor to act for you, do commission a full search pack. Issues like potential environmental contamination, subsidence, risk of flooding or possible impact of proposed nearby developments may significantly affect the property and your financial position. A solicitor will be able to highlight these issues to you, would advise upon a course of action and may help negotiations of any related concessions. In any event, it is best to be well informed from the outset, before any commitment is made on your part – the more prepared you are, the higher is your chance to be successful. If you are looking to acquire a commercial lease, and would like to talk to one of our experts or book a Business Advice Meeting, then please feel free to call us on 01273 838594.



training, learning and development

april/may 2017 business edge

Leader funding available to help rural businesses grow LEADER grants are available for small businesses, farmers and foresters in rural West Sussex and Lewes District to purchase capital items for projects that will create jobs and grow the rural economy. So far, £380,000 has been awarded to 13 projects in the region, creating 25 fulltime jobs over the next three years. One of these successful projects is The South Downs Bunkhouse at Houghton Farm, an arable and dairy farm run by the Lock family in the Arun Valley.

Tim said: “We identified a gap in the market to provide reasonably priced and comfortable accommodation at the midpoint of The South Downs Way. We hope to in attracting walkers, cyclists, horse riders and general visitors to the picturesque South Downs National Park.

Farmer Tim Lock and his family were awarded a LEADER grant to use towards the conversion of a traditional farm building into a 20 bed bunkhouse.

“The conversion costs were high due to the location and nature of the old building and our thanks go to The Angmering Park Estate and Sussex Downs & Coastal Plain

LEADER Local Action Group for making the whole project possible.” For more information about the LEADER programme, visit leadergrants or call the team on 0330 222 8001.

Seeking out the talent of tomorrow Rebecca Tonks Senior Enterprise Co-ordinator Coast to Capital LEP

Coast to Capital is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the region and is working with The Careers and Enterprise Company to deliver the Enterprise Adviser Network. Coast to Capital LEP covers East Surrey and Croydon down to Brighton & Hove and across West Sussex to Chichester and provides the insight into the relevant priority growth areas for our region, connecting the economic skills gaps to the programme for our young people. Launched in 2015 our pilot year saw us working with over 20 schools and colleges


across Coastal West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Nationally, The Careers and Enterprise Company have a target to be working within 4000 schools and colleges across England and our target is to have the EA Network within 100 schools and colleges in this area by the end of the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

Over the past three months, Coast to Capital has recruited four Enterprise Coordinators, each of who will look after around 20 schools and colleges and support the business community to engage with education, ensuring that our future workforce has the skills and competencies to work effectively in a changing world.

The Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) directly links local senior business people with the senior leadership team in a school / college. Together they look at a strategic plan to embed careers and enterprise across the curriculum and to increase the number of employer encounters for every student.

Locally, each of our Enterprise Coordinators work very closely with stakeholders and partners, including Gatwick Diamond Business, West Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council, Horsham District Council, local business chambers & partnerships and the Universities.

This can include a variety of activities from work experience, work place visits, inspirational talks and real-life projects to help students understand more about what opportunities are available to them.

Beki Tonks supports coastal West Sussex, Ali Golds supports mid and north Sussex, Faye Russell supports Brighton & Hove and Pru Rowntree supports Croydon.

tel: 01444 259 259

april/may 2017 business edge

training, learning & development

East Sussex EAN boosts youth career prospects Debbie Martin Enterprise Coordinator Employability and Skills

Young people in East Sussex have benefited from site visits and work experience with employers, competed in technical challenges in robotics and coding, and been given exclusive access to skilled staff from companies passionate about bringing careers to life. Nearly 30 schools and colleges in the county have been able to improve the job prospects of their students thanks to a network of advisers from the business community - who provide a vital link between schools and employers.

Sarah Freeman Enterprise Coordinator Employability and Skills

Launched by Skills East Sussex in 2015, the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) helps schools create long-term careers education, information, advice and guidance strategies. Working to fulfil East Sussex County Council’s Employability and Skills strategy, businesses from priority growth areas including construction, health & social care, creative & digital, engineering, land based industries and tourism, have been matched with secondary, further education and sixth form colleges to reignite business and education links. The EAN initiative takes a national approach that can be tailored locally to address the

skills and knowledge gaps of young people by using the expertise of employers struggling to recruit for a multitude of jobs. The advisers work with schools to embed employability skills across the curriculum. They ensure that teachers and students have relevant, up-todate information on career routes and roles. Local networks are formed by the advisers that meet and communicate regularly to share best practice, discuss ideas for joint working and support. Impact and success is being jointly evaluated by schools, advisers and the County Council. “We’ve already seen really positive results from the EAN programme,” said Sarah Freeman, one of the Enterprise Coordinators from the County Council. “Students have demonstrated increased knowledge of specific jobs and skills that have helped them with their options in years eight and nine. “Their confidence has been boosted through practical experiences leading to regular weekend work and the young people now have more understanding of apprenticeship opportunities,” added Sarah. The East Sussex EAN is funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company and East Sussex County Council and is part of a growing national network. Across the UK, employers now support over 1,300 schools and colleges and plans are in place to increase that number during 2017. Organisers are confident that as these partnerships grow and develop, business and school link activities will increase and long-term goals will be achieved. For more information about the East Sussex EAN please visit




february/march april/may 2017 business edge

Ambitious firms need Advanced Threat Protection Many growing companies are choosing Microsoft 10 Enterprise because of the enhanced security it offers. There’s a monthly licence fee to pay but expanding businesses should weigh the cost against the threats it can protect against. In most cases, it’s a very wise extra expenditure because Windows 10 Enterprise comes with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) offering a number of threat-mitigation techniques and only available for Enterprise customers. The ATP research team has blogged about these techniques explaining that the techniques can handle both known threats and unidentified vulnerabilities two of which were neutralised last November. According to press reports, the first attack exploited a flaw in the Windows font library. This would have enabled hackers to elevate their account privileges on targeted computers so they could install code that would provide “backdoor” access to systems. It’s a bit like a burglar secretly changing the locks to your kitchen door while posing as a locksmith and then having a key to get inside your house whenever he pleases. Windows Defender ATP can defend against such threats by carrying out additional

checks to ensure that unauthorised code cannot be added. However, it’s only available to those who sign up for Windows 10 Enterprise E5. Essentially, it’s the E3 version with advanced threat protection bolted on.

Volume licensing First ask an independent IT consultant to assess how much the licensing fees would be for your organisation – and how much potential protection your business will gain from it. One cautionary note: Just because your organisation opts for E5, it’s not time to ditch your old anti-virus programmes. There will be legacy storage and systems that may still need to be protected and you will be interacting with other businesses that don’t have E5. Gary Jowett, from Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton, says: “Many businesses think that Windows 10 Professional provides for all their needs when, in fact, as time goes by, it will really only be appropriate for small businesses. Larger organisations – or businesses that

have expansion plans – need to seriously consider Enterprise due to the additional security features it now offers.

Post-breach layer Lots of businesses across Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire have switched to Windows 10 already and will probably be aware that Windows Defender is built in as a free service and automatically protects against the latest threats. However, it doesn’t protect against threats yet to be identified namely those bits of malware and devious botnets lurking in the shadows. Hence why Advanced Threat Protection provides a “post-breach” layer of protection. The stark fact is that, as your business grows, the threat of attack increases meaning it’s time to extend the perimeter fencing, improve the locks and alarms on your buildings and employ more security guards. The same applies for your IT systems the difference is, however, that criminals won’t need to wear a stocking on their heads or carry a crowbar to steal from you.

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.

— 01273 386 333 — —


tel: 01444 259 259

business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

DMH Stallard waltz away with top corporate law firm of the year at industry gala The corporate team at DMH Stallard is celebrating after scooping the Corporate Law Firm of the Year Award at a top industry awards event. The Insider South East Dealmakers Awards were recently held at the Copthorne Effingham Park and hosted by Strictly Come Dancing winner, Chris Hollins. The awards are widely regarded as the most prestigious recognition for professionals involved in buying and selling businesses in the South East. This is the fourth time the firm has achieved this honour since 2012. Jonathan Grant, head of DMH Stallards’ corporate department, commented: “We are delighted to have been named Corporate Law Firm of the Year for the second year in a row. The award is voted for by those working on deals in the South East and it is great to have Kate Norgett with us as we launch M&A in Guildford.” The team had also been shortlisted for a number of other awards. Jonathan and Abigail Owen, Partner in the corporate team, were shortlisted for Corporate Lawyer of the Year, which both had previously won. DMH Stallard had also been nominated for deals under £10m and deals over £10m.

year. The pace of deals in 2017 shows no signs of slowing, with clients committing to buy and some higher value deals emerging.”

Abigail said: “It’s been a busy year despite the uncertainties of Brexit; we completed 19 deals in 2016 which is the most we have ever done in a

Jonathan added: “These are exciting times for DMH Stallard with a new Brighton office having just opened. The firm continues to

grow and deliver great results, which in turn is helping us attract high quality lawyers.” The DMH Stallard corporate team advises clients on a wide variety of transactions in the M&A space, including management buyouts, management buy-ins and sales.

West Sussex Business Expo Mike Monk Director Monk Marketing

Following on from the success of the Brighton Business Expo, which took place last October, B2B Expos have introduced the West Sussex Business Expo, set to take over Fontwell Park Racecourse on 25th May this year and promising to provide companies a place to do business. The event includes an exhibition hall, a seminar theatre, networking café, a connections wall and many other features that will provide businesses with support, inspiration or advice for starting or growing a business. Whether you’re an existing business looking to flourish, a business in the early stages, or want to explore the possibilities of starting your own business – you will find something of interest at the show. At this free-to-attend business show, businesses will find a hive of creativity and activity from both the seminar programme, featuring high paced speed networking and inspirational speakers, as well as from a variety of exhibitors showcasing the very best of local and regional businesses.

With a successful event comes many willing supporters, and those who have formed a partnership with West Sussex include the Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce, the Sussex Chamber of Commerce and the Chichester Chamber of Commerce. The West Sussex Expo has also bagged itself charity partners in Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice. “Getting involved in the West Sussex Business Expo provides us with another fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and talk about our very special 50th anniversary this year to a wider Sussex audience,” commented Simon Gregg, Regional Corporate Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse. He continued: “We are delighted to have been chosen as a charity partner for the event, providing us with a unique opportunity to showcase our work and the fundraising events we are involved with this year.” Chestnut Tree House also stated their excitement. Corporate Fundraising Manager, Terrina Barnes said: “We are so grateful to Mike Monk from West Sussex Business Expo for choosing Chestnut Tree House as one of their charity partners for the second year. It costs over £3.5 million each year to provide

all our specialist care services – both at the hospice and out in the community across Sussex – for children with life-shortening illnesses and their families. With less than 7% of this coming from central government, we are almost entirely dependent on the generosity and support of local businesses and individuals. Being the charity partner at West Sussex Business Expo helps us to increase awareness of Chestnut Tree House, reach out to more families who could use our services, and raise the vital funds we need. We are looking forward to meeting the exhibitors and visitors at the event.” The day will start at 8:30am with the Network Fontwell Breakfast meeting, run by Network My Club, followed by a Speed Networking Session as well as a Network Café and a Network Wall, there businessmen and women can exchange information with likeminded people. Four keynote speakers will also be in attendance, and we’ll be announcing more information on these speakers on our website. To book your free ticket to the West Sussex Business Expo, head to or contact Mike Monk directly at



training learning & development

april/may 2017 business edge

The quest for ultimate value We all understand that people are an organisation’s true competitive advantage so it makes complete sense to invest in developing their knowledge, skills and abilities. Right? Claire Dolph Managing Director Unleashing Dragons

Well, only if learning and development is aligned to the current business goals of an organisation. Training for the right person/people at the right time can bring about many benefits including improved productivity and profitability, morale, motivation and job satisfaction levels. Training the wrong people at the wrong time is a costly drain on financial and non-financial resources. According to research the UK spend on training and development has increased by circa 6% between 2013 to date with an average spend per employee of £1,640 over the same period. However, if you factor in notional costs too for example the time the individual being trained spends not doing their job then this average spend per employee needs to be multiplied by 5! No matter how large or small your business, time spent on development activities must meet your business needs. Your approach must be thought through and planned in the same way as any other aspect of your business. Failure to do so will mean that your business does not realize the full benefit of the time and money spent on its people development. All too often people talk about training, not development, and courses, not learning. 90% of all learning in the UK takes place in the workplace. If it is planned and managed it can be highly effective. Unplanned it can be incomplete, ineffective, de-motivational and fraught. The 10% off-site development, properly planned and managed, should bring new skills, new knowledge and new competitive advantage into your business.

business goals then follow this annual approach to focus and align learning and development. For every step you should think 3D (organisation, team/dept and individual). Step 1: Determine what kind of organisation you are trying to create. Break your organisational priorities down into organisational goals and targets and then go onto break these down at the departmental/team and individual level. Always work top down. Step 2: Consider what processes and tasks need to be undertaken and to what standard in order to achieve your goals and targets and ultimately your vision. Make a list. Step 3: Review your tasks and processes list and consider what knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes need to be acquired in order to undertake the processes and tasks to the standards you have set that will enable you to deliver to your goals and targets and achieve your vision. Step 4: The outcome of the previous step will enable you to now plan a programme to meet the identified needs; one that is tightly aligned to your current business goals and targets. But it doesn’t stop there. Following any learning and development activity you should undertake an immediate review, you need to assess if the learning has taken place, if the identified needs have been met and if indeed people have learnt what they needed to learn. Checks should be made to ensure that the learning is being applied to the job and that it is improving performance in the way you needed it to so that it is bringing your organisation closer to its vision. If it is not, then repeat steps 2, 3 and 4. If it is then your organisation will be heading towards the ultimate value of achieving your vision.

Planning learning and development avoids costly mistakes, legitimises learning and makes sure that your people are getting the support they need at a time, place and pace that is appropriate for them and in a way that benefits your business.

Are your Goods safe for transport? Dangerous goods training specialists, Training Team explain Are you aware that strict regulations exist about items that are considered to be a danger for transport by air, road, or sea, unless they are packed, labeled, and handled correctly? Only recently a major mail order company in the UK was fined £65,000, plus £60,000 costs, for a serious infringement of the Dangerous Goods by Air regulations. If an experienced and well respected company can get it wrong, are you sure your goods are ‘safe’? Forgive the dramatic statements but they illustrate the consequences of not complying with accepted and mandatory procedures designed to prevent accidents. Regular shippers usually understand the requirements, but most problems arise because businesses and staff are unaware that clear instructions are available enforced by legislation. Are your goods ‘dangerous’? Some items are more obvious than others! Explosives, and radioactive materials, for example, are fairly obvious, but many everyday items are included in the ‘Dangerous Goods List’. How do you know, for example, whether a particular liquid, perhaps a popular household item, could be classed as flammable or corrosive? All items classified as ‘Dangerous Goods’ are listed in the regulations. Of course, listed items, except for those absolutely forbidden, are safe for carriage when classification, documentation, specific packing, labeling, stowage, and staff training requirements are met.

Charles Manetta Proprietor Training Team

So, if you want improved performance that will enable you to reach your


tel: 01444 259 259


april/may 2017 business edge

Transform your leadership skills and help your organisation to grow Our dynamic Transformative Leadership executive education courses, launching in 2017, will impact your growth as a leader and support you in making a difference to the ongoing development of your organisation.

Courses Aimed at senior leaders with responsibility for driving change, innovation and business growth, our two day courses will be held at the Sussex Innovation Centre, Croydon, on the following dates: n Corporate Entrepreneurship: 10-11 May 2017 n Future-Focussed Leadership: Managing Innovation, Change and Uncertainty: 1718 May 2017 n Engaging Leaders: Beyond the Hype to Strategies and Interventions that Work: 24-25 May 2017 All courses are taught by Sussex management experts with a wealth of academic and industrial experience whose own research has shaped course content.

Booking now open To find out more about Transformative Leadership and book now for courses in May 2017, see transformative-leadership



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cover feature

april/may 2017 business edge

The new Ricardo Centenary Innovation Centre The latest addition to the Ricardo Shoreham Technical Centre is an impressive facility that provides unique insights into the company’s first century of innovation – and offers one of the most impressive new conference and exhibition venues in the Sussex coastal area. Gary Haddon

European Marketing Manager Ricardo

There can be few, if any, companies globally that come close to matching Ricardo’s impressive track record of achievement in the development of innovations for energy efficiency, cleaner fuels, reduced noxious emissions and noise, and leadership in new technologies such as electric vehicles. Founded in 1915 as Engine Patents Ltd, the company that is today known as Ricardo plc was the original creation of Harry (later Sir Harry) Ricardo. The company’s centenary in 2015 was marked by a series events, culminating in the launch of the Vehicle Emissions Research Centre, an advanced facility at Shoreham that will enable the development of next-generation, clean, low carbon vehicles including advanced technology hybrid electric vehicles and their associated energy regeneration systems. While Ricardo’s focus is upon the use of technology to solve the environmental and societal challenges of tomorrow, it also made the decision to invest in a new event and exhibition facility – available for use by external customers – to celebrate Ricardo’s long and proud history. The First World War was raging when Sir Harry Ricardo founded his new company – and its first major success was the design of an engine that transformed the performance of the world’s first battle tank, making a major contribution to the war effort. The design incorporated a range of new technologies to reduce smoke and improve performance and efficiency in the arduous environment of the Western Front. Used in a range of applications from railway shunting locomotives to gen sets as well as in tanks, the Ricardo engine was the most powerful and reliable automotive power unit available to the Allies, and became the UK’s first mass manufactured engine. The proceeds of this early success endowed Harry Ricardo with the resources to create what is now the Shoreham Technical Centre, which remains the UK and world headquarters of the company that he founded. Unlike many firms of that period, Ricardo was – and remains to this day – focused on the creation and refinement of new technologies and innovations. Performance and sustainability have been the key watchwords over the hundred years since then. The technologies that the company has developed and the engineering


assistance it has provided has led to the creation of improved fuels and more fuel efficient, better performing and higher quality engines and powertrains for its customers – driving products that range from two wheelers and passenger cars to the largest and most powerful of railway locomotive engines, marine propulsion systems, and off-highway and construction equipment. While the company has expanded considerably from its early roots, and operates today across multiple continents and industries, it remains true to this core ethos of excellence in engineering and clean technological innovation.

Celebrating the past – focusing on the future The new 400 square metre Centenary Innovation Centre was opened in late 2016 to fulfil the company’s own requirements for an events, exhibitions and training facility, as well as providing a resource that can be used by others. Representing an investment by Ricardo of circa £1.2M, the purposedesigned facility provides an attractive and highly flexible open-plan space and adjacent private meeting rooms that are light, airy and beautifully appointed. The venue is also the new home for Ricardo’s own technology exhibition, providing a unique view of the innovations that have helped to shape our world and continue to make a major contribution

to the future of transportation, security, energy and environment, and scarce resources and waste. Exhibits include state-of-the-art technologies as well as examples of projects and achievements of the company and of its founder. One of the most historic items on display is Harry Ricardo’s first engine, a vertical single cylinder four-stroke stratified charge machine that he designed and constructed in 1903 at the age of 17. The engine, which has been recognized with an Engineering Heritage award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers – was installed in a small engine house at the well-head of the Ricardo family home in Graffham, West Sussex, where it provided for all of the domestic water needs for many years. By contrast, amongst the state-of-the-art exhibits is a display of Ricardo’s Hydra and Proteus single cylinder research engine technology. These advanced research engines are used by automakers, research institutes and universities the world over, to investigate and refine new combustion systems for maximum fuel efficiency and minimum emissions. Configurable to represent an extremely wide range of engine types, some Hydra systems provide optical access to the combustion chamber – both through the walls of the cylinder and vertically upwards through the piston – enabling high speed video capture and laser diagnostics of the combustion process.

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cover feature

april/may 2017 business edge

A highly flexible event and exhibition space Equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, events can be hosted at the Centenary Innovation Centre for up to 130 delegates with the facility configured with theatre-style seating. As many of the events held in this new space will have an industrial, scientific or academic context, some customers may elect to retain some of the Ricardo exhibits for general interest or as talking points during break-out or refreshment periods for their delegates. The main auditorium is a highly flexible space that can be configured to the precise requirements of any event. In addition to ‘open’ and ‘closed’ stage theatre-style configurations, the facility can also be arranged in herringbone or conventional classroom style, or in a boardroom format for up to 50 people. As would be expected of a high-quality event space of this nature, the onsite catering team can provide for all types of corporate event, offering a selection of fresh and tasty menus or creating a

bespoke menu to meet specific customer requirements and budgets. Although only very recently opened, Ricardo’s Centenary Innovation Centre has already hosted a wide range of events, both internal to the company and for external customers. These have ranged from international industry seminars and conferences, and a meeting of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, through to some of Ricardo’s own local STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) outreach events for local schools and colleges. Ricardo is committed to making this new centre – one of the most interesting and attractive conference facilities the area has to offer – available to others. From simple venue provision to a comprehensive, full-service venue event management, catering and technical support service, the Ricardo marketing team aims to provide the very highest level of customer satisfaction at this exciting new venue. For more information on Ricardo’s Centenary Innovation Centre, e-mail

Apprenticeships for the future While Ricardo recruits many specialist scientists and engineers from some of the world’s leading universities, Advanced Apprenticeships are an increasing focus for the company. Oonagh McPhillips Head of Organisational Development Ricardo

Apprenticeships provide an ideal framework for companies such as Ricardo to recruit and develop a workforce that meets the technological and commercial requirements of business. For the apprentice trainees too, they offer a more vocational approach to career development that many young people find extremely attractive – enabling them to enter the world of work much earlier than might otherwise be the case, to experience for themselves in a very immediate sense the practical application of their academic studies. Our main focus is upon the BTEC Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships, in both mechanical and manufacturing engineering in addition to the more traditional craft apprenticeships. Within our automotive business, we have three Ricardo sites in the UK – at Leamington Spa and Cambridge as well as our headquarters at Shoreham-by-Sea, each of which offers opportunities to apprentices each year. Numbers can vary, however, with the intake as low as three or as high as twenty in any given year. Each apprentice on the Ricardo scheme is allocated a departmental coach/manager

who provides support and guidance during their initial career development period with the company. They will formally set and review objectives, goals and milestones and feedback on a regular basis. A schedule of work placement rotations is provided, enabling apprentices to build a wider perspective of business activity and application. This on-thejob training and development is balanced by formal college-based learning. The foundation subject areas are chosen to meet our requirements in key areas such as design, computer aided engineering analysis, noise vibration and harshness (NVH) refinement, facilities maintenance,

performance product manufacturing and test operations. Once our apprentice trainees have achieved level 3, we aim to work with them to progress to the HNC equivalent qualification, which ensures strong career progression. Looking forward – and following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy – we at Ricardo will be excited to explore other opportunities for apprenticeships in digital marketing as well as progressing degree apprenticeships as these become more available. For more information on the availability of apprenticeships with Ricardo, visit:



Inspirational Leaders

april/may 2017 business edge

Constant improvement the theme for water company boss The days when water companies just dealt in water are long gone. Today, they take a much more holistic approach to the impact that they have on the areas in which they operate. That is why much of Southern Water’s focus is on investigating ways to not only promote more effective water usage but also to save and generate energy through technologies including solar power and the innovative use of bio-solids in sludge. Overseeing the move from purely being a water provider to a company that has a much more wide-ranging role is Chief Executive Ian McAulay, who took on the job at the start of the year in the latest stage of a career that has seen him occupy senior roles with the likes of Viridor, Pennon Group, MWH and United Utilities. One of his key tasks is overseeing the preparation of the latest of the company’s regular review of operations required to be submitted to industry regulator Ofwat in early 2018. The review is a huge piece of work that will involve widespread consultation and delve into every aspect of the company’s operations. When completed, it will emphasise the high priority that the company places on protecting the environment. Ian said: “We believe that the company has to be part of the community and it is important to us that we obtain people’s views on our performance “As a company, we have to be constantly vigilant about issues such as clean beaches and water usage. We know that we do not always get it right but we work hard to identify ways in which we can improve. “In the run-up to our submission to the regulator of the latest review of our 25-year strategic plan, people in the South East will be asked to give their views through everything from surveys to forums. Indeed, whenever I am in a café or a taxi or taking a walk I keep an ear out to see what people think about what we do! “One of the big considerations for us is constantly seeking to improve the way that we protect the environment. “We have invested heavily, for instance, in detecting and repairing leaks. That can be a challenge because they are not always easy to detect and if we dig up a high street it can disrupt businesses but we are constantly working on ways of reducing wastage. “That is of particular concern in the South East and we need make our use of water as efficient as possible. Water resilience is important to us. “I am encouraged by the way that all the water companies in the South East meet regularly to discuss such issues. My view


is that just because you are in competition with someone does not mean you cannot work with them. “As part of our work at Southern Water, we have also adopted a new approach that examines the issue of diffuse pollution, which is more subtle than what people would ordinarily identify as pollution. “As part of the work we will examine our impact on whole river catchments, focusing on the wider area, not just rivers and streams. “The company is also working hard to bring about improvements in our beaches. There have been problems in the past, we acknowledge that, but we are making advances and we know it is important that we do so because clean beaches are good for tourism and the local economy.”

Ian said: “We are becoming more interested in renewable energy. For example, we have introduced solar energy on some of our sites, which works well in the South East because of the amount of sunshine we enjoy. “We are also looking at improving the generation of energy from bio-solids contained in the sludge which is produced as part of the wastewater process. “The Dutch refer to their wastewater plants as energy factories and we are looking at a similar approach. We already produce sludge as part of what we do so it makes sense to explore ways in which we can make use of it to generate and store energy. “All these projects are small scale but taken together they offer great potential. They are part of our more holistic approach to what we do.”

As part of its environmental work, the company has been exploring the potential presented by renewable energy.

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april/may 2017 business edge

Inspirational Leaders

Ian McAuley

CEO of Southern Water

“In the run-up to our submission to the regulator of the latest review of our 25-year strategic plan, people in the South East will be asked to give their views through everything from surveys to forums. Indeed, whenever I am in a café or a taxi or taking a walk I keep an ear out to see what people think about what we do!” Ian McAulay | Southern Water




april/may 2017 business edge

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

software, engineered


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business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

‘Staycationing’, a win-win trend for all? Sarah Stacey, General Manager at the independent, privately-owned Park House, hotel and spa, explains why the growing trend in staycationing offers a win-win scenario for hoteliers and guests alike. Sarah Stacey General Manager Park House

In an era of ever increasing international travel security concerns, currency devaluations and peak period strike action, threatened or otherwise, the growing trend to ‘staycation’ at home provides the perfect win-win scenario for UK hoteliers and guests alike. The choice and quality of hotels now available to UK holiday makers has increased considerably in recent years and particularly in the independent sector, where many new boutique-style hotels have opened their doors, and with great success, up and down the country. Their success, in part, can be attributed to the clever combination of luxury accommodation with a more relaxed style and ambience, and one where service continues to paramount but in a cleverly unobtrusive way. Guests are made to feel very much ‘at home’ but with all the luxuries that a modern-day independent hotel can offer and where nothing is too much trouble. Many of these new independent hotels also have luxury spas, as the trend in ‘wellness’ tourism is growing all the time as the stresses and pace of our modern-day 24/7 lifestyle gets ever more demanding. The need to

switch off, de-digitalise and relax has never been more talked about or needed and these luxury spas offer the perfect antidote with a wide range of therapeutic treatments and facilities. Many will also have additional sporting and leisure facilities, either on site or nearby for those who wanting to combine exercise with a relaxing holiday. This trend in staycationing also benefits many local businesses, as independent hotels increasingly purchase from awardwinning local producers and suppliers and feature them in their menus, wine lists, bars, bedrooms and spa. Whilst staying at these hotels, guests are often encouraged to visit local food and drink artisans, many of whom will offer tours and tastings so that you can experience and taste more of their products. Many independent hotels are located in stunning countryside, seaside and national park locations and for holidaymakers, this provides the chance to get out and about and see more of the Britain’s beautiful countryside.

There will undoubtedly be numerous attractions to see, local events to attend, market towns to browse and experiences to enjoy. Your hotel will be able to advise you so do ask for their recommendations or research before booking. Also benefiting from this staycationing trend are holidaymakers’ pets. An increasing number of pet-friendly hotels allow wellbehaved dogs to stay too for a minimal fee and in bedrooms with ground floor access to gardens, thereby avoiding the costly expenditure of kennels whilst abroad. To summarise, staycationing is a wonderful way to avoid all the stresses and additional costs of travelling overseas for a holiday, is easy to organise, lets you explore and discover different parts of our wonderful countryside while staying in fabulous independent luxury hotels and at the same time supports local communities and businesses so that everyone prospers. A great reason to holiday at home next year!



apprenticeship focus

april/may 2017 business edge

Changes to the way Apprenticeships are funded In April, the way the Government funds apprenticeships in England is changing and many businesses will find themselves facing new obligations. However, many business people still find themselves confused as to what effect the new Apprenticeship Levy will have on them.

Apprenticeships Skilled people Better business

The Apprenticeship Levy will come into force on April 6. Its introduction means that employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3m will need to pay 0.5% of their NIC pay bill for the tax year on the Apprenticeship Levy. Employers will then be able to access funding for apprenticeships through a new digital apprenticeship service account. The Government will apply a 10% top up to the funds that an employer has to spend on apprenticeship training in England. Funds will expire 24 months after they enter the employer’s digital account unless they are spent on apprenticeship training. The introduction of the levy means that employers will need to consider their strategy for employing apprentices and how best to utilise the funding. There is the possibility that we will see more apprenticeships because companies who pay the levy will want to obtain value for money.

Apprenticeships are designed to deliver a highly qualified and competent workforce that delivers operational excellence. With 89% of employers reporting that apprenticeships helped their business improve,* should you be considering apprenticeship training for your business?

We offer apprenticeships in: • Active Leisure • Health & Social Care • Business Administration • Hospitality • Customer • Management Services • Retail • Early Years Care We can also help with recruitment and with a £1,000 incentive to take on a 16-18 year old apprentice, taking on an apprentice can be cost effective. Source: *

Get in touch.

It could change the way people think about learning and skills so we could see some more creative thinking.

Want to know more, recruit an apprentice or to find out if the new apprenticeship levy affects you?

You don’t have to pay the levy to benefit from it so we could well see more smaller businesses taking on apprentices to take advantage of the levy available.

Contact us on:

The problem is that the Government has taken a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and that does not suit every business. For example, one of the stipulations is that 20% of the training has to be off the job and that does not suit every business.

0800 731 8199

There is also an issue with certain companies and sectors where there may be a greater number of lower skilled workers, such as the leisure and food and drink sectors, who are struggling to work out how they could make this work. There is a limit to the number of times you can teach someone to pull a pint.


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april/may 2017 business edge


From 6 April 2017, the new apprenticeship levy comes into being. Our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) provides you with an innovative way to use the new apprenticeship funding to develop your managers whilst they are working. • Develop the expertise that you need, inhouse, through work-based training • Accredited by the Chartered Management Institute • Successful apprentices receive a degree and Chartered Manager status

apprenticeship focus


The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at Brighton is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), and apprentices are members of the CMI throughout their course. Apprentices graduate as Chartered Managers with a University of Brighton degree in Professional Development in Business BSc(Hons).


Degree apprenticeships combine paid work with part-time university study. The course runs over 4 years, and apprentices will study using online learning materials including practical employerbased tasks.


To find out more, visit If you have any questions about the CMDA or how to apply, the course team will be happy to help. Email them at



business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Feeling lost with Data Protection Reform? Don’t worry, it’s not just you This time next year, most UK and EU businesses will have implemented or be in the process of implementing new processes and tools to help them meet the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force in Spring 2018. There are a number of great ideas behind this reform, seeking to protect the data and data rights of individual people. Many of the elements that make up these new rules require software providers to create new tools and parameters in their product. We (along with most other SaaS providers) started spec’ing the bits of development we would need to do towards the tail end of last year to make sure we’d have them completed in time. This work will mean you’ll have the tools you need to implement these new regulations, but there are many unanswered questions around how they will work in practice. Let me give you an example: HMRC says that as a company you need to keep your accounting records for 6 years. GDPR states that you can only keep financial records of former clients for “a reasonable amount of time.” Will these two time frames marry up nicely? No one seems to know. Another example is the new rules around removing certain pieces of data after a given period of time, let’s use the National Insurance number of your former employees. After they leave your company, you’ll need to hang on to it in your records for a while, but then remove it after that “reasonable amount of time.” Easy enough to remove from your system, but what about from your archived and backed up data? You don’t want to get rid of your archives in case you need them, but will it still be considered reasonable to have this information in your system’s back-ups after another 12-18 months?


You can see how the questions can start to mount up, can’t you? Now I’m not saying for one second that I think the GDPR is a bad idea. I think seeking to provide people with greater protection for their data is something we should have done years ago. But. But, but, but. How can you practically implement these reforms? Sadly, it’s a question that just hasn’t been properly answered yet. It’s not to say there isn’t time, legal experts have a good year or more to start getting the guidance sorted for how these reforms are going to work in practice and what companies need to do to meet them. And we are starting to see information trickling out. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are regularly adding new guidance and advice to their website in order to help businesses prepare for the reforms. If you aren’t sure about how these changes will affect your business, I would always suggest you head over to for-organisations/ where you can find their most up-to-date advice about GDPR under the “Data protection reform” section.

year/early next year, for example. We want to give our customers a good few months to get to grips with them and get them configured in time to meet that Spring 2018 deadline. But this uncertainty around how the regulation will work, what tools will be needed, and how businesses need to implement them really isn’t helping. It is my sincere hope that, by March this year, businesses and service providers have clear and most important, official guidelines that they can use to make sure they are doing everything they can to protect our data. But I suspect that we won’t see this kind of clarity for another several years, once the lawsuits and court cases have been resolved, leaving all of us with even more uncertainty than we had before. To talk to a member of the OpenCRM team about how CRM software can benefit your brand, just call 01748 473000 or visit the website:

I would also suggest that you get in touch with your service providers to find out what they are doing to prepare for these reforms and when you should expect to start seeing these new tools coming into your system. We’re expecting to provide the necessary system updates towards the tail end of this

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

business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Sussex law firm supports local charity Make Chailey your chosen Charity. One Sussex company has done just that. Leading solicitors Griffith Smith Farrington Webb, based at the Old Steine, has agreed to support Chailey Heritage Foundation with the D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal to raise £2.6m for a new centre for arts and physical activities as well as a space where all the young people can gather together in one place.

School and boarding houses for children together with three bungalows for young adults to transition into independent living as well as a Life Skills Centre with drop in sessions at its gym, multi-sensory area and multi-media suites as well as hosting living skills and arts and crafts classes.

As part of their commitment, the team of partners, lawyers, paralegals and admin staff will undertake a variety of events to fundraise for the D.R.E.A.M. Centre.

Although a lot has changed at Chailey Heritage over the years, some of the facilities, like the existing hall, are still set in the past, which is why we have launched our D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal.

Chailey Heritage Foundation provides education and care for children and young adults with physical disabilities and complex needs, aged between 3-25 years old. They come to learn, play, interact with their peers, improve their physical and mental agility and become a little bit more independent. Obviously to be able to do this often means building purpose-built spaces with our children and young people’s needs in mind, and this, of course costs money. Last December, the annual Christmas festivities for the children and young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation were held, including two nativities, a panto and a carol concert. All of the celebrations were filled with laughter and smiles, yet there was one thing missing - the ability to bring all the children and young adults and their families and friends together in one place to celebrate Christmas. Founded in 1903 by Grace Kimmins, Chailey Heritage Foundation now supports about 220 children and young people, houses a

The D.R.E.A.M. Centre appeal The D.R.E.A.M (dynamic, real, experiential, amazing, magical) Centre will be a modern, purpose built space, large enough for children and young people with complex disabilities to participate in a mixture of arts and physical activities.

For example, four-year old Lennon will be able to use the D.R.E.A.M. Centre to do power chair driving in his wheelchair. Likewise, Henry, aged 18 and Fenton aged nine will be able to play wheelchair football in the new centre or maybe take part in a trampolining session? Or even a sensory four dimensional experience if the participants needed a bit of down time? For Holly, aged 14 and Keelie, aged 16, who love to act, the D.R.E.A.M. Centre will become their stage for plays, dances and other performances. We launched our appeal to raise the £2.6 million to fund the project in November last year at an event at Brighton’s Sea Life Centre with the support of local business partners, Skyfall, E3, Folkington Juices and O&G. Statutory agencies only provide basic funding for each child and young adult, so without fundraising we wouldn’t be able to provide the special facilities that help nurture and grow those who pass through our care at Chailey Heritage. We would be delighted if other Sussex companies could help us realise this ambition - and build this amazing space for the children and young adults - by selecting Chailey Heritage Foundation as their chosen charity. If you feel the appeal is something you or your company can help us with, please get in touch by either contacting me, Sally-Anne Murray on 01825 724752 , or by visiting



finance focus

april/may 2017 business edge

Talking about My Generation Tim Maakestad Director Kreston Reeves

I am reminded by a certain 60’s music group’s lyrics regarding dying before they get old, that, on average, most people live to a reasonable age. The life expectancy tables tell us that in England, a man aged 65 can expect to live a further 18.8 years and a woman, a further 21.2 years (source: Office for National Statistics 2012-14, released November 2015). Indeed, another 60’s group, who can’t get any satisfaction, are continuing to perform and have no intention of giving up whatever the age. However we see the future going, this increased life expectancy will require you to have made provision for your retirement and your expenditure requirements at that time. The Government is keen for

individuals to start making savings towards this retirement date with the introduction of Auto-Enrolment and it is safe to say that the State will want us to share the burden of responsibility more evenly than we have in the past. With the end of this tax year rapidly approaching, it is now important to consider whether there are monies available for this purpose. The maximum amount that can be contributed to an authorised pension arrangement is £40,000 and it is possible to go back to the three previous tax years and “mop-up” any unused pension allowance in those years, too. But beware! Individuals with total gross earnings in excess of £150,000 will see this year’s annual pension allowance reduced by £1 for every £2 over this threshold, to the point where the allowance is £10,000 (there can be exceptions if personal pension contributions have been made). You will still be able to look back three years and use up these allowances but these amounts will gradually disappear as each new tax year takes effect. Income by way of a pension funded through an authorised pension provider is one of the best opportunities for an individual to accrue sufficient value in retirement.

Tax relief is given at the highest marginal rate paid by that individual on personal contributions and in effect places monies, that would normally have gone in tax, in to a fund for your retirement. Tax free cash of 25% of the fund value and an income produced from the remainder of the fund is on offer from 55 years of age and this together with state benefits, personal savings and the expectation that your mortgage has been repaid by retirement age, should lead to a financially secure retirement. With proper planning, perhaps we can get satisfaction! As always, before making any financial decisions, please discuss your personal situation with an authorised financial adviser. For advice and further information about pension planning, please contact Tim Maakestad, Partner at Kreston Reeves and Director of Kreston Reeves Financial Planning, by phoning +44 (0)1293 776152 or emailing

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.

Supporting you and your business every step of the way To find out more about our broad range of accountancy, business advisory and financial services that help dynamic organisations, private individuals and families make confident decisions about the future, please contact: Shirley Smith, Partner, Gatwick office T: +44 (0)1293 776 152 E: Sarah Ediss, Partner, Horsham office T: +44 (0)1403 253 282 E:


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finance focus

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transport and logistics

april/may 2017 business edge

A happy customer is a loyal customer – making the smart choices…….. Whenever you can, take a step back and assess if your business is moving in the right direction. It is important, if not vital, to see where your business may be falling short. One of those areas to look at is improving the way you market your business to new and existing customers. What gives you the edge over your competitors?

you. Wherever possible, get to know and understand the person you are dealing with.

In a highly competitive field, price is always an aspect to be considered. Being the cheapest option, though, is not always going to give you the type of work to move your business forward. All customers want a competitive price but, if you cannot then fulfil your obligations, those customers will soon disappear and look for a more reliable option to move their goods.

Constantly check the whereabouts of your vehicles. Never assume the driver is making good time. Keep in constant contact with them and update the customer when necessary.

We have found that pricing realistically and making sure our communication is second to none has helped us grow a solid customer base, based on honest and proven communication:

Key points to remember……… Build a rapport: The person at the end of the telephone may be a customer but they are a human being, too. They have work pressures, the same as

Response Time:

Clear Communication: Seeing as such a large part of your business is phone-based, the tone of your voice, with clear and concise information, will help to put your customer at ease.

Every Customer is Number One:

Listen: You may have extensive logistics knowledge but your customer knows their product just as well as you know your transport routes. Listen to what they have to say about the best way of safely moving their goods By all means, suggest ways you could improve things but always listen to what they have to say.

Everybody likes to feel special. If a customer is paying for a service, provide over and above that service. Show that you are more than happy to help them. Show your customer they have made the smart choice in trusting you to move their goods and they will be more likely to return to use you again.

Professional business specialising in fragile & time critical freight across the UK & Europe with over 50 years of experience. Contract Distribution | E-Commerce | Pick & Pack | Exhibition & Event Logistics | Warehousing and Storage | Furniture Logistics | Express | Same Day | UK & European

T: 01403 257857 E: W: Unit C Redkiln Way | Horsham | W.Sussex | RH13 5QH


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april/may 2017 business edge

transport and logistics



business matters

april/may 2017 business edge

Brighton Greeks becomes the fifth winner of Young Start-up Talent Brighton and Hove After months of hard work, business workshops and presentations, Young Startup Talent (YST), an entrepreneurial initiative aimed at 16 to 25 years old, was proud to host their fifth Showcase for Brighton’s finest young entrepreneurs at The Platform on Wednesday 15th February. It was announced that Andreas Georgiades of Brighton Greeks and current student from Sussex University is the lucky winner of the ultimate business prize fund of products and services worth £50,000. Following the announcement, Andreas said: “I am absolutely ecstatic, in a state of euphoria! This award is going to do so much for myself and my team!” Andreas now plans to continue moving forward with his business, solidifying his relationships and getting to know the community, allowing him to strengthen the company’s message: “To create a home away from home” for the Greek and Cypriot communities.

were then invited to a business workshop before they faced a selection of local business professionals in a 1-2-1 styled speednetworking, where they gained invaluable advice on how to develop both themselves and their business. From there, the candidates were whittled down to just five finalists.

Gary Chown, Regional Director of Brighton and Hove for Natwest and headline sponsor for the initiative said: “It was good to see a diverse range of businesses – ranging from technology to clothing to community support. The finalists all commented on the positive learning experience that they will take from their individual journeys together with the network of contacts they have made during the competition. I am looking forward to seeing all the finalists progress their businesses over the coming months and years.”

The finalists pitched their refined business plans to a panel of six judges. On top of this, the finalists had to hold their nerve in front of a film crew, as their pitches were recorded and shown at the Showcase. After a tense wait, Andreas Georgiades was announced as the fifth Brighton winner with his business Brighton Greeks, which aims to create a home away from home for the Greek and Cypriot community of all generations and backgrounds in the wider Brighton area, by connecting them through a variety of services and consumer products.

A fellow judge, Dan Simpson, Partner at Hartley Fowler, said: “Andreas is a very worth winner, but all of the finalists were of very high standard. It was tough to pick a winner this year!” Ana Christie, CEO of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, said: “This has been my first year as a judge for Young Start-up Talent and it has been a fantastic experience. It has been brilliant to see how the candidates have developed over the last few months and how they have taken on board all our advice moving forward”. After launching this year’s initiative in June of 2016, YST have worked hard to find the very best young entrepreneurs living across Brighton and Hove. The successful applicants

Young Start-up Talent was also honoured to welcome guest speakers, Nick Musto, Founder of Radar UK and Winner of YST Brighton in 2016, Tim Hawkes from Unlimited Potential, a business development company that uses a coaching approach in all their programmes, “being around the youngsters has given me new energy!”; and Ben Jeffries, winner of YST Kent in 2016 and Founder of Influencer, a marketing agency that specialises in social media campaigns. As well as the winner, the finalists, who also impressed the judges with their professional pitches, included:

Georgia Crawford, with her business ‘Daubs and Dashes’ - an independent scarf studio with a difference. Working from their Brighton workshop, each organic, fairtrade silk scarf is hand painted with original artwork, creating a beautifully unique accessory. Georgia said: “I am very excited to continue forward after learning so much from the judges and other candidates!” George Lengyel, with ‘Hubbub’ - a revolutionary social network and app that connects people at events, venues and other locations, known as hubs. “Having recently receiving funding, I am looking forward to proving my model in Brighton before expanding across the country.” Jack Maddalena, with his business ‘VR Drop and Share’ - a free virtual reality platform, where you can upload your 360˚ photos allowing you to create your own VR experience. Jack stated; “Although I’m disappointed I didn’t win, I am very excited for the future!” And finally, a group of young entrepreneurs including Ardie Yilinkou, Junior Kassim and Gabriel Meidt, with their business ‘Talentbookr’ - the first digital booking agent in the UK market. The boys commented; “We feel so good as we have learnt so much - there is no giving up over here!” Finally, Young Start-up Talent would like to thank all the sponsors who have helped make the YST Brighton initiative to be a brilliant success. We would also like to thank the YST team behind the scenes, who ensured the whole process ran smoothly.

Sponsors of the initiative and who all contribute to the prize fund are as follows: NatWest

Face Media Group

Sussex Innovation Centre

Best of Brighton and Hove Latest TV

Hartley Fowler

Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce

Beta Futures Juice FM

Pivotal Movement

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Jurys Inn

Fast Signs

Media Word Waves

Bennett Christmas

Brighton and Hove Jobs Let’s Do Business Group

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Creative Pod

Structured Communications The Platform

Young Enterprise

Platinum Business Magazine

Gatwick Airport


Future Capital L.P.

tel: 01444 259 259

april/may 2017 business edge

training, learning & development

Better empathy for better customer service Desna Tatler

Communications Manager Brighton & Hove Buses

Developing skills to understand and relate to other people is at the heart of good customer service, and especially so for customers who require that little bit of extra assistance. Part of Brighton & Hove Buses core business is to provide accessible travel for all. It’s strived to develop a programme that helps people to live active lives by giving them the confidence and freedom to travel independently. A programme which has won industry recognition on more than one occasion. Underpinning its success is empathy. Both in how the company has learnt best practice as well how the company trains and develops staff in best practice. Best practice as defined by the customers themselves.

The company’s Accessibility and Communities Officer Victoria Garcia – a naturally empathic person – has been the driving force behind the programme. She’s worked closely with user groups to form genuine partnerships, listened to individual feedback, and learnt from it so the company can develop a deeper understanding of what it means for bus travel to be truly accessible. Brighton & Hove Guide Dogs said: “Victoria has done so much to improve accessibility. She’s approachable, willing to listen and most of all, always trying to find a solution. She’s goes that extra mile to seek a deeper understanding about visual impairment and how it effects our everyday life.” And so, this empathic understanding is being shared across the company. Victoria is helping colleagues to develop those soft skills needed so everyone in the company is sensitive and responsive to customer’s needs, and on the look-out for ways to improve accessibility in all areas of the business.

A cornerstone to progressing this personal development is working with organisations such as Friends of the Elderly, Guide Dogs and Royal National Institute of Blind People to deliver awareness training to help colleagues relate to how it feels to be impaired – wearing blindfolds, weighted gloves and cataract goggles for example can offer a sense of this. This training is having a huge impact across the company. Bus driver awareness and understanding has improved, customer service complaints have halved and engineers have implemented new features into bus design to help disabled passengers. Embedding better empathy for better customer service is becoming a bedrock for the bus company.

Helping to ignite Sussex’s entrepreneurial spark Fiona Anderson

Entrepreneurial Development Manager NatWest

In August 2015, NatWest opened the doors of its Preston Park office to 80 burgeoning entrepreneurs and the South East’s first Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator hub. In the subsequent 18 months, more than 260 businesses have benefitted from the free office space, mentoring and coaching, and access to our networks that NatWest and our other partners – KPMG, Dell EMC and Pinsent Masons – provide with Entrepreneurial Spark. To say that it’s been a success so far feels like an understatement. Over the past 18 months, we have been able to achieve some fantastic results including: More than 200 jobs have been created through our partnership with Brighton and Sussex University apprenticeship and intern programmes Over £5m investment has been raised by our businesses and through our relationship with valued mentors and investors Total turnover of the businesses involved has increased to around £10m From the beginning, we were sure that we were in the right location. Describing Brighton as a town with an entrepreneurial mindset barely touches upon how much of a magnet it has become for people wanting to start their own business. Despite barely making it on the top 20 list of the UK’s most populated cities, Brighton is the country’s fourth biggest home to start ups.

However, 84% of all businesses started in Brighton fail within the first year of trading. It was against this backdrop that NatWest decided to use its property, people and networks to support small businesses and start ups and establish the Entrepreneurial Spark hub. Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s biggest free business accelerator and when the next hub opens in London in 2017, there will be 13 hubs - or Hatcheries, as we call them – based in our premises up and down the country. The Entrepreneurial Spark programme is designed to assist not only early stage and start up businesses but those who have been in business for a few years and need help with getting to that next stage of growth and investment. For the first time ever, there are more than 5.2 million businesses in the UK and 99% are SMEs. As the UK’s biggest bank for supporting SMEs and start-ups, NatWest knows that there’s a huge desire by people to run their own business and become self-employed. According to a recent NatWest Regional Economic Tracker, the number of selfemployed people has increased by 800,000 since the financial crisis began in 2008. Getting back to that 84% failure rate, we knew that the demand and need is there for the Entrepreneurial Spark programme and the free facilities, free business advice, mentoring and access to our support networks that NatWest provides. Most entrepreneurs clearly have the desire to run their own business but didn’t know where to go to get the support and advice they need to make it a success. As the bank’s Entrepreneurial Development Manager one of my main roles is to create relationships between the entrepreneurs – or “Chiclets” – with the wider business

ecosystem. This has given me the opportunity to work very closely with a lot of key people from around Sussex who have really engaged with what we are doing. At NatWest, we continue to be very proud supporters of not only start up businesses but also those who are growing and scaling and are looking for investment and support in different ways. To date we have given away over £100,000 worth of prize money to those who have shown real engagement and growth in their businesses. The entrepreneurs have really captured the imagination of the ecosystem and established themselves as part of the local business community. This is evident through the numerous enquiries we get from local entrepreneurs and business people wanting to know how they can get involved by offering to mentor and lend their expertise, knowledge and advice, and most importantly access to their networks for these fledgling start-ups. Watching the Chiclets develop as business men and women and as entrepreneurial leaders has been awe-inspiring. But what’s been particularly exciting to watch is the collaboration that goes on amongst the chiclets. It can be daunting and lonely starting your own business so providing the office space has eliminated some of that isolation while also providing an environment that’s created a community encouraging them to bounce ideas off each other and work together to overcome their challenges, many of which are common to any business regardless of the sector. Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest is based at 149 Preston Road in Brighton. Applications are now being accepted, to find out more, please visit locations/#Brighton




april/may 2017 business edge

Events April 5th

Business Networking Lunch - Wills, tax, and the budget. What’s it all about!

Shoreham Airport

12.00 - 14.30


Business Networking Breakfast - April

Crowne Plaza Felbridge

08.00 - 10.30


Grow Your Connections - April

Worthing Rugby Football


Business Networking Lunch - May

Cooden Beach Hotel

12.00 - 14.30


Business Networking Breakfast - Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner

Tottington Manor

08.00 - 10.30


Grow Your Connections - May


15.00 - 17.00


Business Networking Lunch - June


12.00 - 14.30


Grow Your Connections - June


08.00 - 10.00


Business Networking Breakfast - June


08.00 - 10.30


Business Leaders Conference - June

Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront Hotel

12.00 - 18.00


09.30 - 11 30



Please check the website for the full 2017 Calendar -


tel: 01444 259 259


april/may 2017 business edge

Training April 4th

How to Have Great Sales Conversations - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Introduction to Supervision & Team Leadership - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Time Management & Personal Effectiveness - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


A Foundation Course in Importing - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Effective Negotiation Skills - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Coaching for Performance Improvement - April

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Inward Processing Relief (IPR) - May

The Kings Church

09.30 - 12.30


Essentials of Supervision & Team Leadership - 2 Day Course - May

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Classification of Goods Using Commodity & Tariff Codes - May

The Kings Church

09.30 - 12.30


Impact of Brexit on International Trade Practice and Procedures - May

The Kings Church

13.30 - 17.00


An Introduction to Export Procedures - May

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Modern Consultative Selling - May

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


June 12th

Using Documentary Letters of Credit, Drafts & Bills - June

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Step Back & Plan Ahead - Direction & Leadership for Senior Managers - June

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


How to Have Great Sales Conversations - June

The Kings Church

09.30 - 16.30


Revised Incoterms Rules 2010 for Import Export - June

The Kings Church


09.30 - 12.30


construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

How could Brexit affect the movement of labour in the UK’s construction industry? The health of a countries construction industry is arguably the clearest barometer to the buoyancy of its economy. Despite a year of economic uncertainty, political change and fears of a recession, the Office for National Statistics full-year data for 2016 shows the industry output grew last year, reaching £136.38bn. It’s fair to say that activity in the industry is extremely high going into 2017 with the Governments investment in major UK infrastructure projects such as the HS2 & the Hinkley Point C, the announcement of major commercial projects such as Googles £400m headquarters in London as well as the ambitious targets for new build housing – over 200,000 per year until 2020. Investment in large infrastructure can only be positive for the country but uncertainty with the lack of labour and increasing material costs is affecting confidence in the industry. The construction industry accounts for over 3 million jobs in the UK, this is 10% of total UK employment, these figures suggest how greatly dependent


the country is on the strength of our sector. The average pay that blue collar construction personnel has increased by 6- 8% over the last 12 months this will set to rise to 20% if post Brexit. The impending issue that the UK face’s post- Brexit is the deficit in the workforce to complete major projects. For the last 30 years + the construction industry has relied on foreign workers, putting boundaries in place to stop the free movement of labour between the UK and the EU member states could mean that we are losing these workers, causing a shortfall in supply of skilled and nonskilled construction operatives, this would have a major effect on the delivery and the cost of these projects & ultimately on the countries economic growth.

In order to combat the shortfall in construction labour and the clear neglect towards training & development, it is vital that the government takes a proactive approach and insists that larger contractors are investing in their own apprenticeship programmes and training whilst SME’s are incentivised to employ young local people. At a time where EU sourced labour could rapidly diminish, intensified by an ageing and under-skilled workforce, something needs to change. In my opinion, the skills gap can be closed by investment into vocational courses and a campaign to raise awareness to invite ‘home-grown’ young people into an industry that has fantastic opportunity.

tel: 01444 259 259

construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

Building on success – Beard celebrates 125 years of construction Family-owned construction company Beard is celebrating its 125th business anniversary this year.

BEARD GROUP FACT FILE n Established: 1892 n Turnover: £149.5 million n Offices: Guildford, Oxford, Swindon and Bristol n Construction services: design and build, new build, restoration and refurbishment working on schemes, including complex projects, up to £15 million. n Success strategy: a companywide commitment to prompt and faultless project delivery; investing in training and developing talented people; careful attention to cost control and working with like-minded clients. n Sector expertise: education, healthcare, ecclesiastical, sports, leisure, defence and commercial sectors with around 20% of the firm’s projects involving highquality specialist restoration and conservation work on historic buildings.

The Beard Charitable Foundation is held and managed by the Oxford Community Foundation. Beard deputy chairman Alan Beard presents a £250,000 donation to Jayne Woodley, chief executive of Oxfordshire Community Foundation The firm which operates across the South of England, is marking its milestone birthday with a host of regional events aimed at bringing staff, clients, suppliers and local communities together. Key to the celebrations is a programme of fundraising activities organised through Beard’s local offices, helped by The Beard Charitable Foundation which supports company staff in their charitable and community pursuits, matching the funds they raise up to a maximum of £5,000.

The Beard Charitable Foundation – funding opportunities for local charities The Foundation, which makes grants of around £20,000 annually, also hopes to make strategic donations to charities in its trading areas in Sussex for projects which promote construction industry careers. “Supporting local people and organisations where we work, and encouraging our staff to give back to the community, is an essential part of our commitment to being a 'good neighbour' and helping create flourishing, successful communities,” says Tony Taylor, Beard special projects manager. “As we work towards our 2020 Business Vision ‘Being better tomorrow than we are today’, The Beard Charitable Foundation

aims to build on this and the work we are already doing to tackle a growing construction skills shortage in the region and promote industry careers through our own training programmes. We also want to provide projects and special initiatives in the community which encourage more people, particularly school-leavers and graduates, into construction careers.” To find out more about The Beard Charitable Foundation, please visit: beard-charitable-foundation

n Recent projects: Beard is currently working on an £11 million state-of-the-art spa facility at South Lodge Spa, a luxury country house hotel in Horsham, West Sussex. The firm has also provided much-needed classroom space at Southover School in Lewes, West Sussex, which was procured through Orbis, a partnership between East Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council. n Guinness Book of Records: E W Beard who founded the company in 1892, worked for the firm for an incredible 85 years earning a Guinness World Record for the longest working career and being the world’s oldest builder.

Beard Guildford Office Stonemasons Court, Cemetery Pales, Brookwood, Surrey, GU24 0BL Tel: 01483 485180 Website: Twitter: @Beard_Construct

An artist’s impression of the luxury spa Beard is building at South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel in Horsham (image: courtesy Felce & Guy Architects)



construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

British businesses need infrastructure for the digital economy – regardless of Brexit

repayments over a 5 year period from the savings, in some cases giving a net saving!

Phil Cottrell, Managing Director of building systems specialists GCL, discusses how improving your infrastructure can position your business for growth Everyone in business knows that the economic future of Britain after Brexit is unclear. Since the referendum last June, the political and economic climate has been constantly changing, and there is a lot of uncertainty for UK businesses. A lot of it is out of our hands, and only time will tell what the outcome will be. What you can do for your business, however, is to make sure that your core business infrastructure is performing to a high standard, to put your business in the best position to progress, whatever the Brexit deal turns out to be. Although our future relations with Europe are uncertain, one thing we can all be sure of is that the pace of technological change is not going to slow down any time soon. In fact there are some new requirements for businesses to reduce energy usage, which are going to require all UK businesses to ‘work smarter’ in the future. The good news is, that you can start acting on this today, and that the cost of improving your workplace’s systems can be surprisingly low.

Building a reliable digital core for your business A reliable structured cabling system should underpin all your business processes. With increased digitisation of records and systems, in both commercial businesses and public sector organisations, your buildings are becoming more dependent on high-quality Internet access, outstanding telecoms and integrated building management systems. The cabling, energy and electrical systems need to meet your specific needs - for


now and for the future. A system that meets your functional requirements with built-in scalability will improve your business processes in the short term, and also save you disruptive works in the future. Great Wi-Fi provision is now integral to many business processes, especially for customer-facing organisations. Installing a seamless, high-bandwidth Wi-Fi system will guarantee that your network can accommodate all your current demands, and be ready for future changes. Consumers in the UK are well ahead of other Europeans in their take-up of digital services, so making sure that your systems are totally up to date is essential for any business intending to grow in the UK – whatever happens with Brexit.

New Energy Tax from 2018 – are you ready for it? From 2018, the current energy taxes (CRC, CCL etc) will be combined into a new energy tax – and it’s likely this will be higher than the current levels of CCL that many organisations pay. Previously, the introduction of ESOS for larger organisations had a very positive effect in increasing awareness of energy usage, and promoting energy-saving schemes. The hope is that the new energy tax will galvanise many smaller organisations to introduce energy saving schemes, which will reduce their energy tax. Most organisations will find this very helpful during a period of economic uncertainty, and government austerity. Funding for energy saving schemes will be available for public and private sectors, making energy saving modifications easier for you to introduce. The Government is providing interest-free funding for local authorities, education and healthcare trusts, on energy saving projects. Businesses can take advantage of finance solutions from manufacturers, offering manageable

Lighting can be up to 40% of a typical commercial building electrical energy load. Switching to an LED alternative can provide you with significant savings, and improve your office aesthetics. Newer technologies now allow contractors to replace HID lighting systems with LEDs, while still maintaining existing lamp fittings. This non-invasive procedure provides you with a faster, easier installation with remarkably low costs. These improvements can be made retrospectively to most buildings, offices and factories, and can be an intrinsic part of all new buildings (especially when incorporated at the design stage). Working with an expert structured cabling & specialist electrical contractor right from project conception will ensure that the buildings will work as efficiently as possible. This will maximise the productivity of your staff and minimise your tax liabilities. Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, every commercial building needs to have high quality network connections, telecommunications and energy-reducing solutions. By adopting a structured cabling system that can be easily adapted to meet your current and future needs, your business will minimise unnecessary operational setbacks in the future. Put yourself in a stronger position and call GCL to see how you can improve your business efficiency today. T: 0845 6000 919 E:

tel: 01444 259 259

construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

Is your office a residential gold mine? By Phillip Mumford, Managing Director, Cowan Architects If you own commercial property and perhaps run a business from there, do you know the real value of the building – particularly if it could be changed to residential use? You could be sitting on an asset and under the General Permitted Development Order 2013, you don’t need to struggle through the rigmaroles of planning permission to make the change. There are many offices built in locations where the demand for office space has moved on or the need is for buildings with higher specifications that are better able to deliver for modern businesses. Similarly, there are industrial buildings which are no longer suitable for manufacturing which have struggled to find new uses but which offer good opportunities for conversion. How do you know if your property is suitable for Permitted Development (PD)? Cowan Architects has extensive experience in assessing what’s possible, feasible and financially viable. Indeed, we secured a first with the ‘Prior Approval’ for the conversion of a 2,025 square metre office building in East Grinstead, West Sussex, into 24 self-contained flats which was one of the first instances of a project of this size in Sussex. `Carving up’ an existing building that was not designed for its intended use needs careful thought and experience. Addressing the best mix of apartment type, making best use of existing window openings and the most economic layouts to minimise service runs and construction costs can be complex, but add significant value. Often a strategic mix of Permitted Development and planning approval can result in schemes that were previously simply not thought feasible

Our understanding of space planning ensures that any increase in asset value is maximised. Recently a new client passed us plans for a commercial-residential conversion to 9 flats under PD. But we really understand the value of residential returns and could apply this knowledge with careful space planning to add an addition 3 units – a 30% increase on the asset value. In commercial terms, this opportunity might allow you to fund a move of your business to more suitable, purpose-built premises that are often cheaper to run and increase the productivity of the business and the morale of the staff. Whatever your future business plans, consider the added value that the right local architect can provide for you.

Achieving success through effective leadership By being an effective and confident leader you will bring success and immense dividends to your business. That is the message from Innervate, a consultancy based in Crowborough, East Sussex and run by leadership expert Phil Sims. Innervate help leaders realise their potential and achieve their aspirations. By bringing in Innervate you will start to develop the leadership skills and strategies needed to take you and your business to the next level. Phil said: “I talk to a lot of people who run companies who, unknowingly, are neglecting their role as leader as they are immersed in day-to-day business issues. They are frustrated as they are not achieving the results they desire. Instead, they should focus on and become a leader of the company to gain real benefits. Leadership can be a lonely place however Innervate can help leaders become more effective, gain confidence and have greater influence.” Innervate identifies those areas that are holding individuals or companies back and helps unlock their potential to succeed by focusing on the following 4 key elements of leadership: n Self-Leadership – to have the values, behaviors and personal skills to be an influential leader who inspires and motivates others.

Phil Sims

Phil said “Over 25 years, I have built up a depth of experience from leading successful businesses, developing empowered teams and honing my own leadership skills. I use this first-hand experience and knowledge to coach leaders to be the best they can be and achieve successful outcomes. “I believe that leadership begins from within by having the right values, behaviors and skills to be an inspiring leader for others . You can then create a compelling vision for your business, communicate it with passion, so your staff are engaged and motivated to perform to the best of their abilities.”

n Business Leadership – to have a clear vision, strategy and structure in place to facilitate the success of your business. n Team Leadership – to have engaged, collaborative, high performing teams aligned to the objectives of the business.

Innervate will design and deliver a service tailored to support your needs and achieve lasting results. For further information visit and to arrange a free consultation meeting contact Phil at or 07983 678770.

n Change Leadership – to drive continuous improvement and effectively instigate organizational change to achieve your desired results.



construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

What do we do when a structure is no longer suitable for our requirements? Buildings are an essential part of our lives – as homes, homes for businesses, and often as businesses themselves. They are also an extremely good investment. But what do we do when a structure is no longer suitable for our requirements? The obvious answer is to move to a new location, or alter and extend your existing property. Unless you are fortunate enough to find somewhere that is exactly right for your needs, you are probably going to need building work done.

Manufacturers and Service Suppliers

We can make a difference to you We provide architectural and project management services. We excel at producing efficient, lasting designs… whilst remaining extremely cost effective. If you have a new build, extension, or refurbishment project in mind please give us a call on 01403 785383


This can seem daunting – how do you set about this process, and how do you define what you want? What are the correct legal processes and how do you obtain the necessary permissions? And what will it cost, who can advise you on this, and how do you avoid being ripped off by unscrupulous contractors? Again, there is an obvious answer – use reputable building companies with proven credentials, and do not avoid relatively small sums for professional advice. You are making a major investment, so do not assume that doing this in the cheapest possible way will work out best. The building industry is currently expanding rapidly, after a number of years in recession. All sectors are busy, and prices are increasing. New start-up companies are appearing - some of these will employ people with many years’ experience, and should be applauded – others not so. How do you choose? The answer is to use firms with relevant trade or professional recognition, and seek proper independent advice at all stages.

tel: 01444 259 259

construction focus

april/may 2017 business edge

All systems go as Mackley celebrates its 90th anniversary

After a record breaking 2015 and a successful 2016, Sussex-based civil engineering and construction company is heading for a special anniversary in good heart. Mackley, established in Shoreham-by-Sea in 1927 and now headquartered in the West Sussex community of Small Dole, has no plans to rest on its laurels as it heads towards its 90th anniversary.

In June 2016, the scheme received global acclaim, picking up first prize in the ‘Dredging for Coastal Reinforcement’ category at the 2016 WODA Environmental Excellence Awards in Miami. In total, Medmerry has received more than 20 industry accolades.

With a wealth of experience in tackling complex and challenging civil engineering schemes, Mackley is not afraid to take on projects that others, with less experience and expertise, may shy away from. The company’s capabilities encompass coastal protection including sea defence, managed realignment and coastal maintenance, ports and harbour engineering, groundworks, bridges, highways and drainage, and renewable energy projects including solar farms and micro hydro electric turbines. The vast majority of Mackley’s work comes from the Environment Agency and other stakeholders involved with coastal protection and flood prevention.

Bright future under new ownership For a number of years Mackley had been part of Team Van Oord (TVO) - a Joint Venture partnership between Van Oord, Kier Group, Mackley and Royal HaskoningDHV. As a result of this association, in June 2014 Mackley was acquired by Van Oord, the world-renowned Netherlands-based contractor specialising in international dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects. The acquisition by Van Oord is a key reason why Mackley has flourished, because it has enabled the company to bid for larger contracts and invest in plant and staff.

Success through collaboration

Brighton’s iconic new shoreline structure The British Airways i360, for which Mackley has been principal contractor, is perhaps the company’s most high-profile current project, certainly in the eyes of the general public. At 162 metres high and with an observation pod rising to 138 metres, the British Airways i360 is the tallest observation tower outside London.

Gongs galore From the most visible project to the most decorated, the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme, which includes the largest realignment of open coast in the UK. ‘Managed realignment’ involves building new defences inland from the coast and allowing a new intertidal area to form.

Medmerry was delivered by Mackley working as part of TVO and on behalf of the Environment Agency - the same combination that delivered the Broomhill Sands Flood Coastal Defence Scheme. The £30m Broomhill Sands scheme took two years to complete and was officially opened in May 2016. The scheme provides improved protection from flooding for 1,400 homes and 100 businesses along a 2.5km stretch of the East Sussex coastline from The Suttons to Lydd Ranges. The scheme has received a plethora of regional and national awards.

Developing the next generation of civil engineers Mackley is keen to help develop the next generation of civil engineers through an on-going association with the University of Brighton and other educational establishments.

Medmerry, located between Selsey and Bracklesham in West Sussex, is one of the stretches of coastline most at risk of flooding in southern England.

In addition to organising site visits, the Mackley team has delivered a series of presentations at the University relating to sustainability and environmental awareness on civil engineering sites.

The scheme, carried out on behalf of the Environment Agency, is a key element in a 15-year project to provide 7km of new sea defences to protect local communities, while at the same time creating a large nature reserve.

In June 2016, two University of Brighton students commenced a one-year work placement with Mackley. Sabitha Kamaleswaran and Jerome Bret will experience a wide range of skills and disciplines.



new members

april/may 2017 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. Applicado Ltd

Concept Equipment Ltd


94 Longhill Road, Perrin Lodge, BN2 7BD

Unit D1, Dominion Way Rustington, BN16 3HQ

Highview, Old Lane Crowborough, TN6 1RX

01273 917484

01903 784 336

07983 678770

Associate Planet Ltd

DJLB Wealth Management Ltd

Jarvis Manufacturing Ltd

Greenbank Cottage, Black Hill Haywards Heath, RH16 2BU

77 Reigate Road, Worthing BN11 5ND

Unit 22b, Hawthorn Road Eastbourne, BN23 6QA

078311 96534

07900 832051

01323 411993

BBA Courier Systems Ltd

Energy & Carbon Management Ltd

Juice 107.2

Unit 6 Bolney Grange Business Park, Stairbridge Lane, Burgess Hill, RH17 5PB

4th Floor, Springfield House Horsham, RH12 2RG

170 North Street, Brighton BN1 1EA

01444 871260

01293 651218

01273 386107


Fizz Creations Ltd

Kameleon Marketing

22 Woolven Close, Burgess Hill RH15 9RR

Unit 6, Parkland Business Centre Lancing, BN15 8UE

11 Sandringham Drive, Hove BN3 6XD

08452 179926

01903 327006

07920 443263

Brighton Video Production

Freight Forwarding Solutions Limited

Kelsey Plant Hire & Engineering Ltd

2 Ambleside Ave, Telscombe Cliffs Peacehaven, BN10 7LS

Unit C Redkin Way, Horsham RH13 5QH

5 James Searle Industrial Estate, Parsonage Way Horsham, RH12 4AQ

+44(0)01273 586963

01403 257857


Burger Brothers

GMS Ball Ltd T/A Precision Ball & Gauge Co

Lismore Instruments Ltd

Unit 10-11, Decoy Road Worthing, BN14 8ND

Unit 2 Tristar Centre, Star Road Horsham, RH13 8RA

01273 706980

01903 264601


Canusa Systems, a division of ShawCor UK Limted

Green Lemon Company

Loesche Energy Systems Limted

97 North Rd, Brighton BN1


Elskensakker 8, Bergeijk, Need to confirm, 5571 SK

The Fuse Box, Level 4 Brighton, BN1 4GH

01293 653924

07525 925131

+44(0)01403 223101

Carter & Faraday Associates

Hampshire Signs & Plastics Ltd

Unit 3-5 Pelham Farm, East Mascalls Lane Haywards Heath, RH16 2QJ

Unit C, The Butterick Centre Havant, PO9 2ND

Mankind Uk Ltd

01444 482666

02392 486633

Ashurst, Broadlands Business Park Horsham, RH12 4QP

1 Brunswick Road, Brighton BN3 1DG 01273 911680

tel: 01444 259 259

new members

april/may 2017 business edge

Marco Limited

Rally Strategic Limited

Power Solutions UK Ltd

Enterprise way, Edenbridge TN8 6HF

10 Inholmes Close, Burgess Hill RH15 0JF

10 Adelaide Crescent, Hove BN3 2JE

01732 782380



MDA Consulting Ltd

RPM Marketing (Sussex)

The Artisan Food Trader T/A Fitbites

Verulam House, 142 Old Shoreham Road Hove, BN3 7BD

PO Box 1, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 3ZQ

Langham Stables, Lodsworth Petworth, GU28 9BU


+44(0)1424 224620

07792 283 270

Mint Design Studio

Ryan Asset Management Ltd

UHV Design Ltd

14 The Plantation, Worthing BN13 2AJ

Ryan House Ryan Vehicle Centre Star Road, Horsham, RH13 8RA

Judges House, Lewes Road Lewes, BN8 6BN

01903 695400


01323 811188

Motorline Nissan Gatwick

Serve Legal

Wildtrax Electronics

1 Gatwick Road, Crawley RH10 9DE

4 Regent Terrace, Rita Road London, SW8 1AW

11a Southcourt Road, Southcourt Road Worthing, BN14 7DF

01293 655556

020 7091 1080


NSP Development & Manufacturing Engineers Ltd

St Peter & St James Hospice & Continuing Care Centre

YMCA Training

Unit 6, Diplocks Way Hailsham, BN27 3JF

North Common Road, North Chailey Lewes, BN8 4ED



131a Stapley Road, Portslade Hove, BN3 7FG


Optix Events Wayside, Whatlington Road Battle TN33 0JN 01424 772125

Big Bridge Media Business Animations Hove Brighton 07880716089

Positive Comedy Training 57 Connaught Avenue, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5WL +44(0)01273463611

Power Solutions UK Ltd 10 Adelaide Crescent, Hove BN3 2JE 07776207689

R T Williams Ltd The Old Coach House, 110 Old London Road Brighton, BN1 8BB 01273328181



movers and shakers

april/may 2017 business edge

5 minutes with

Ana Mardell Managing Director at Thesis Technology Laurence Elphick, MD Juice 107.2

The real taste of Brighton? Just add Juice! When I first joined Juice 107.2 back in 2001 as a Sales Executive, I remember many of my colleagues harboured a secret desire to be a DJ. Honestly, I wasn’t any different in wanting my own show. However, realistically if you’ve seen the way I dance and how much my taste in music varies, this was never going to happen, especially as most DJs I know are a lot cooler than I am! So instead, I stood up and said I wanted to run the radio station and well…here I am! As the Managing Director of Brighton’s commercial radio station, I oversee the whole business and this means no two days are ever the same. I could be having a strategy meeting with the presenters one minute or meeting with influential business leaders the next. This could be to discuss promoting an event in Brighton like the Marathon, Pride, or Paddle Round the Pier. What matters to us is what our listeners care about and what the business community needs. Without both partnerships, Juice won’t be able to provide the service that live and local radio can deliver. Therefore, one of my (many) plans for this year is to formulate a listener panel from a cross section of the community to ensure we are delivering what the city wants to hear. Radio’s landscape has changed so dramatically over the last few years that it’s no longer enough simply being an audio medium. Local radio should be more engaging with the community and this means Juice needs to be visual through ‘Outside Broadcasts’ on line and across social media. It remains important to remember though that advertising and sponsorship plays a huge part for any commercial radio station because without generating revenue, Juice and many other stations wouldn’t be here! Thousands of people over 25 across Brighton and Hove and beyond rely on Juice for entertainment as well as a source of information for what’s happening on the roads and trains, what events are on in the City, as well as the latest trusted local news. In addition to loving life at Juice, I am delighted to be a Non-executive Director at the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, a role which enables me to engage with businesses throughout the whole county and have a positive impact by helping to deliver what the community deserves.


Products Ltd

Thesis Technology Products is a small manufacturing business based in Bosham, West Sussex. Our main product is the LimbO - a waterproof protector for casts, dressings and PICC lines that enables the user to bathe and shower with ease and comfort. I have been with the company for 12 years, initially in a financial role, and became Managing Director in 2013. Despite obtaining a Batchelor of Music degree I have never actually worked in that field; my career has always been in administration and finance before joining the family business in 2005.

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

What can you see from your office window?

My first job was a Sunday morning paper round when I was thirteen years old. It took me an hour and a half and I earned £1.50 for the pleasure! The Christmas tips made up for it though.

My car – a red Audi A1 Sportback – my pride and joy. I also look directly across to our factory where our products are made and that always makes me happy.

What do you always carry with you to work?

If you could do another job what would it be?

My lunch and my phone

I would quite like to be a Paramedic – I have a fascination with all things medical.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

As a business person, what are your three main qualities?

Being a small business capacity and space can be a big challenge for us, as well as getting enough good people to support our growth. We manufacture our main product at our factory in Bosham and intend to keep doing so - British manufacturing is very dear to our hearts. Potential demand from customers in China and the USA will really push us, but it is a good problem to have.

I would say that my three main qualities are enthusiasm, an ability to empathise and a desire to learn.

If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? Given that this is purely conjecture, I will risk being controversial and say that if I were Prime Minister I would seriously consider whether to proceed with Brexit. It’s not a question of not respecting democracy but in the light of all the misinformation and scaremongering that went on, the lack of a really compelling argument to remain and the fact that the Leave campaign completely disbanded following their (surprising) victory I feel that a referendum now would have a very different result.

What was your biggest mistake in business? I think my biggest mistake was to believe that my lack of any formal business education or background would hold me back in the position I now hold.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? I would say try and focus on one idea and keep the outcome in mind, do all your homework, consider all options, don’t be afraid to take a risk and be confident – you will get there.

Who do you admire most in business? Karren Brady – she is awesome and a fantastic role model.

tel: 01444 259 259

february/march 2017 business edge

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Business Edge 36  

The magazine for the Sussex Chamber of Commerce

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