{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

Inside 4 business matters 10 women in technology 12 ask the expert 13 fine print 19 growth 20 inspirational leaders 26 Gatwick growth 29 business matters 38 construction 48 training and events 50 new members 54 5 minutes with the magazine for sussex chamber of commerce members

february/march 2020

Gatwick and Growth across Sussex Page 26-28

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED


199 0

- 2020

Make your vehicle stand out... Eye catching vehicle graphics professionally printed applied quickly and at a competitive price. All our graphics and wraps are long lasting and hard wearing. Double Dot is part of the Sussex based Bluelite Group - vehicle graphics suppliers to Police, Fire and other emergency services. We also supply and fit high visibility chevron vehicle markings.

OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN HIGH QUALITY PRINTING | FAST EFFICIENT TURNROUND DESIGN SERVICE AVAILABLE | BASED IN WEST SUSSEX CONTAC T US NOW FOR FAST FRIENDLY SERVICE AT COMPETITIVE PRICES

Tel: 01444 239534 info@doubledot.co.uk


contents

february/march 2019 2020business businessedge edge

Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Welcome to our Business Edge magazine! Ana Christie

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@

sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

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

PRODUCTION & DESIGN Distinctive Publishing 3rd Floor Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

ADVERTISING Angie Smith, Business Development Manager, Distinctive Publishing 3rd Floor Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990 angie@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

FEATURE EDITOR Ellen Rossiter ellen.rossiter@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

E-BOOK www.issuu.com/distinctivepublishing

Chief Executive Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Productivity and growth are the key focus areas for this issue of the magazine. Sussex is a key economic area and all businesses in the area play a key role in its growth. We all wish to grow our businesses further and ensure our teams are being as productive as possible. But do we have the right environment and conditions to do so? More needs to be done to improve our connectivity, infrastructure, skills gaps and investment in Sussex. Towards the end of 2019, both LEP’s (local enterprise partnerships) in Sussex carried out workshops with business to develop a local industrial strategy. The strategy will define key priorities for the area to help maximise its contribution to UK productivity. It will highlight the importance of place and the need to bring together the five foundations of productivity (ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places). As well as identifying four grand challenges to catapult the UK to be a leader in the global technological revolution (artificial intelligence and data economy, clean growth, future of mobility and ageing society). Engagement with stakeholders was also undertaken to develop the Transport for the South East strategy to deliver a quality integrated transport system to make the area more productive and competitive as well as improving quality of life for all whilst protecting the environment. A major transformation is required in order to transform the economy, boost jobs and hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We shall wait to see the results of these strategies and the investment being made by government to drive productivity and growth.

welcome

By tackling key issues facing businesses, these efforts have been translated into significant Chamber wins (these can be found on our website). All of these wins are a testament to the power of the Chamber network to support business growth and productivity. A vibrant Sussex economy provides increased and better job opportunities, investment prospects and increased tourism. The provision of quality goods and excellent services helps drive economic growth. Being productive gives you purpose, it motivates the people around you and it’s the key to success. Working together allows business to achieve more as our relationships with others lead us to achieve goals beyond those we could achieve alone. Working with you inspires me to achieve more for business and the Chamber. Enjoy reading our magazine which is packed full of amazing member stories. For further information please contact the Sussex Chamber on 01444 259 259.

3

business matters

29

growth

33

10-11

business matters

34

ask the expert

12

business matters

37

fine print

13

construction

38-43

finance focus

44-45

women in technology

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.

I get to see first-hand the key issues facing business. By providing key insights and feedback ensures your concerns are being raised directly to the British Chambers, who have a high-profile policy and lobbying team to represent the interests of over 75,000 national Chamber members. The Chamber network continues to make a tangible difference to business and lobby on issues such as trade, business investment, people and infrastructure.

CONTENTS business matters

DISCLAIMER

Why is all this important? With the right investment the economy will more than double over the next 30 years, create additional jobs, boost quality of life, provide access to opportunities and cut carbon emissions to net-zero. There is a requirement and need to influence policy changes and for everyone to contribute to addressing the urgent global and local environment challenges. We need to constantly adapt to the changing environment and challenges that lie ahead.

4-8

business support

14-17

business matters

18

growth

growth

19

training and events

48-49

new members

50-52

inspirational leaders

20

47

good health is good business

22-24

growth

53

Gatwick growth

26-28

five minutes with...

54

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

3


business matters

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Community Transport Sussex win national award The national Community Transport Association has awarded Community Transport Sussex as the winner of their national CT Provider of the Year Award 2019. CT Sussex has gone from being a newly merged charity made up of three established providers, to the go-to provider of community transport services across the county of West Sussex in just three years. The judges chose Community Transport Sussex as the award winner because of their work in supporting the development of other community transport providers in the area. CT Sussex was formed in 2016, when Crawley Community Transport, Bluebird Community Partnership and Horsham District Community Transport merged into one organisation. As well as providing over 120,000 passenger journeys every year, CT Sussex has also been proactive in supporting and developing other community transport providers in the area, and welcoming them as members of their partnership. CT Sussex have recently supported the formation of Arun Community Transport, a new organisation created from a recently closed community transport provider. They have become associate members of CT Sussex, whilst maintaining their independence. CT Sussex has also welcomed Dial A Ride Southern Services Worthing as a new member of the organisation and are facilitating new community transport networks in the districts of Horsham, Adur and Worthing as well as having been asked to support more partnerships further afield. The judges were impressed with the breadth of services offered by CT Sussex, having developed a health and social care project enabling as many residents as possible to access medical appointments, as well as projects enabling greater access to the theatre, excursion days out, museums, and cultural activities for disadvantaged children and their families.

The excursions for the mainly elderly members of CT Sussex have been a great success – getting them out and about visiting leisure venues and meeting their friends. The charity supports the alleviation of social isolation for older people and provides a range of day trips to garden centres for a cream tea, visits to local attractions, for people who if they have mobility issues, are otherwise denied these opportunities. The judges were also impressed with their use of a local solar farm to charge their two fully electric vehicles, as well as a current project identifying rural gaps in the county requiring additional community transport services.

Part of their nomination shared a story about a young disabled man who looked like being unable to attend his school’s summer ball because of lack of evening transport. Two of the CT Sussex staff immediately stepped in and travelled 25 miles in their own time to get him there . They told judges they were proud to be able to offer this additional support – all worth it to see the big smile on his face when he arrived to enjoy the Summer Ball with all his friends. One example of why Community Transport Sussex has achieved this recognition for the prestigious National Community Transport Provider of the Year Award 2019.

CT Sussex staff are both employed and volunteers. Some have been supporting the charity for many years. The charity is always seeking new drivers and passengers assistants for our school contracts, to meet the expansion of our services across Sussex.

4

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business matters

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Set your business up for digital success in 2020 For a lot of businesses, the world of online marketing can be daunting. Increasingly technical and costly – how do you make sure your time and effort are well spent? Here are some observations based on our experiences of working with and training SMEs which will help you in the year ahead.

Begin at the beginning – Your Website Your website is your shop front and the most important first impression a customer may have of your business. It should be: Secure Easy to navigate Accessible Up to date with your business information and news Optimised for SEO so you can be found on Google A poorly built or unmaintained website can greatly affect your business being found online.

Mina O’Brien Founder Ditzy Media

Your Social Media 2019 was an interesting year for Social Media. There is an understandable mistrust of some platforms born out through issues of data and privacy. There is also increased scrutiny and an impending need to regulate aspects which have been in the headlines. Despite this, Social Media continues to be a powerful way for businesses to engage with prospective customers – and for customers to research goods and services before they buy. So which platforms should you be using?

Facebook Facebook owns the top 4 social media / messaging applications and is therefore an important Social Media platform for most businesses. Facebook includes Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp, and for the past two years has been busy integrating aspects of these applications. Facebook is important for Ecommerce, Business to Consumer (B2C) and some Business to Business (B2B) businesses. A lot of SMEs are on Facebook marketing to their customers and networking – so if this is your customer – this is a great place to reach them. Famously, organic reach is in decline for Pages – so creating engaging content and utilising Facebook Ads is a must for Page owners.

Increasingly the combination of Facebook and Instagram offer Ecommerce businesses greater online sales tools with their Shops. These can be technical to set up initially but once in place are a great place to drive sales.

Twitter Whilst smaller than Facebook & Instagram Twitter remains one of the most organic and conversational networks. It is great for B2Bs, anything community focused and also if you are in the events or entertainment industry. Twitter is the place to get real time information and the hashtag brings it all together. Used well it can be an excellent marketing tool for most business types.

LinkedIn 2019 saw a surge in popularity for LinkedIn which has been steadily improving since being acquired by Microsoft in 2016. A must for B2Bs, LinkedIn allows for both professional relationship building, and B2B marketing through Company Pages. LinkedIn recently introduced a number of new features which makes it a great organic tool for businesses. Even if you are a B2C, there is a value in having a profile and a page as it will help your overall search results.

Instagram A popular app with younger audiences but it’s a mistake to disregard this for your 30+ customers! Instagram is all about photo and video content, and is powered by Hashtags.

Last but not least, Google My Business Google offers businesses a free listing which is created under Google My Business. You

can optimise your listing and embellish with information, photos, reviews and now – social media content! Being Google – this is an absolute must to help your online presence.

Mina O Founder

Summary Knowing where your customers spend their time on Social is key and may take a bit of research and testing before you have the data you need to market your business on Social effectively. Other things which can help channel your resources for 2020 are: Plan your business and marketing objectives for the year Consider your budget for all marketing elements including social media Research and benchmark your current online presence including your website Plan and schedule your content in advance Consider how to resource your marketing - do you have the time you need to do this within your business?

About Ditzy Media Ltd Ditzy Media Ltd is an Award-Winning Social Media Marketing and Training Consultancy established in 2014. Based in Eastbourne, we look after a growing portfolio of regular managed account customers, and provide Social Media training and consultancy for businesses, corporates and charities.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

5


business matters

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Is your Team Safe? Don’t forget your procedures for those times when your staff are in ‘Lone-Working’ mode – some expert advice from MyTeamSafe Rob Little Operations Director MyTeamSafe

It’s well documented that a happy team have greater and more consistent productivity. It’s not quite so often we think the H&S regulations help with productivity. But don’t underestimate the deep and lasting benefits when a workforce know that they’re safety and wellbeing is a core part of company policies and actions. Most of us, if we’re given the opportunity to work from home or off site once in a while, have enjoyed that little bit of extra freedom or peace and quiet to get a task finished, often being much more effective. But differences in productivity and wellbeing can be more pronounced for staff that frequently work on their own. “Out of sight, Out of mind” (or Off Site, Out of mind) is all too common and often an unacknowledged problem. Companies

often don’t recognise the risks and the lone worker doesn’t want to cause a fuss. All companies have a legal duty of care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff that work on their own. It’s not about making things more complicated, just managing risks and having suitable policies and procedures to match. The first part is to acknowledge what “lone working” you do have. People working but not with a colleague; out making visits, covering at lunch times, working late, working in remote parts of a building, opening up or simply working from home. Even if it’s only occasionally, it is considered Lone Working so you need to have assessed the risks. The vast majority of roles are low risk, so it’s about proving you have recognised, and mitigated risks were possible. Any simple check-in or buddy system is all that’s needed. BUT for it to provide any protection for both staff and the organisation it has to be embedded in culture and not a one off tick box exercise. MyTeamSafe was born out of Rob Little’s frustrations as a Supply Chain consultant with Directors and staff working on their own in large Warehouses with no one

knowing if they are OK. MyTeamSafe is the award-winning app now used by businesses and charities in all sectors. The simple, robust and cost effective automated lone working system ideal for lower risk lone workers. Set and forget but be reassured that staff and the business is protected.

Data Protection Fees are not optional Derek Mann RISC MSyI (Dip), Director of Compliance and Privacy Solutions Ltd, talks about the Information Commissioners Office’s purge on non-fee payers and why not embracing the data protection legislation can seriously damage your growth opportunities. Derek Mann RISC MSyl (Dip) Director of Compliance and Privacy Solutions Ltd

At the end of 2019, the ICO began the process of writing to all registered businesses in the UK, which had not paid the Data Protection Fee, reminding them of their obligation to pay or face a fine, whether they need to or not. The Data Protection Fee is levied at three tiers. The lowest tier is Tier 1 and if you have less than 10 staff, it will cost just £40 a year although the fees are based on a combination of staff numbers and turnover. Anecdotally it appears that some companies are just

6

rolling over and paying the demand, but there are some exemptions from the fee, you just need to know where to find them! Importantly, any exemption from the fee does not relieve you of responsibility as a Data Controller. A survey conducted by Egress in September 2019, found over half of businesses are still not complying with the regulation and leaving themselves exposed to risk and scrutiny from the Regulator which could result in financial sanctions and reputational damage. This lack of compliance is demonstrated by an Increasing number of SMEs failing vendor risk assessments or due diligence checks, leaving them out in the cold when it comes to competing for new contracts or even existing ones with obvious consequences

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Compliance is not an option, even in a post Brexit era and ‘data savvy’ customers will be much more discerning about where to spend their money, basing their buying decisions on how they perceive companies will protect their data and privacy. The GDPR, Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation place a complex requirement on organisations, so if you are not sure, seek advice. Compliance and Privacy Solutions is a data protection consultancy. Working collaboratively, we help SMEs identify gaps in compliance and provide pragmatic and proportionate advice, guidance, support and training in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR).

tel: 01444 259 259


Thinkers Challengers Innovators Leaders DISCOVER THE SUS SE X MBA

FIND OUT MORE

www.sussexmba.com


business matters

august/september february/march 2020 2019 business edge

Be the Change Take the Leap Dare to Dream 2019 has been an incredibly exciting year for the LoveLocalJobs Foundation C.I.C.

Why is productivity, the amount of output you get from each worker, so important? Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says on this: “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.” A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker”. While the UK economy has recovered from the downturn since the financial crisis, productivity has not. It has in fact flat-lined over the last decade.

Two brand-new Be the Change programmes were launched in Chichester and Brighton, taking the total to five programmes across the academic year, reaching 1015 secondary school students and 600 primary school students. Be the Change is a ground-breaking, inspirational programme, created by LoveLocalJobs Foundation C.I.C, which was founded by Gary Peters of LoveLocalJobs and Graham Moore of humanutopia. Aimed at Year 9 students who may face challenges and difficulties within the school environment. During the programme, these young people have six interactions with their business guides from sponsors such as American Express, Sussex Police, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, The Body Shop and Hastings Direct. Take the Leap was launched in April with sponsorship from The Straumann Group. This outdoor employability adventure programme is centred around teamwork, leadership, confidence, trust and grit. Activities delivered by E3 Adventures such as gorge walking and weaselling allowed the young people to get out of their comfort zones and develop key employability skills. 49 young people

8

This period of weak productivity growth has though been during a period of mostly positive economic growth. Modest growth but positive. So, the other element in the productivity calculation, employment, has actually seen continued improvement. In fact, Britain now has the highest percentage of the population in employment than has been seen for more than 50 years.

have taken part in the Take the Leap trips to Snowdonia with many more trips planned in 2020. Dare to Dream was officially launched in September 2019 which sees Jack the Lad, previously Heart Sussex Radio Host, visiting local schools sharing stories from his childhood and his career. The programme, whose headline sponsor is the KSD Group, aims to challenge young people to change the way they think and discusses themes such as resilience, confidence, belief and determination. Approximately 4005 young people have attended a Dare to Dream talk in the last 4 months, with more talks planned for early 2020. If you would like to learn more about the LoveLocalJobs Foundation C.I.C. or want to get involved, go to www.lovelocaljobsfoundation.com or email foundation@lovelocaljobs.com.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

More jobs yes, but less productive than they would have been, had productivity grown at the rates we have seen in previous decades. So lower paid overall. Some estimates suggest that, had productivity growth been ‘on trend’ over the last decade, average wages would be £5,000 a year higher today than they are. Another key reason it matters is that it risks UK businesses falling behind global competition in the long-run, becoming less competitive, ultimately putting downward pressure on employment costs with lower employment levels and lower wage inflation. Why is it important? Productivity is the main driver of long-term economic growth, job security and higher living standards.

Rob Clare Chairman Sussex Chamber of Commerce

tel: 01444 259 259


Has your marketing reached a crossroads?

Will you change direction and find a new route in 2020?

We can redefine your brand Improve your online presence Design your marketing resources

www.finemarketing.co.uk 01403 292 120 info@finemarketing.co.uk

Web Design SEO, Search and Social Design and Print


women in technology

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

International Women’s Day – March 8th 2020 – An equal world is an enabled world - #IWD2020 - #EachforEqual

A wealth of opportunity for women in the IT and Technology sectors There is no doubt that women are a minority in the UK’s IT sector with a recent whitepaper survey conducted by Robertson Sumner in Q3 2019 showing that only 16.8% of the total workforce is female. Martin Bannister MD, Kogo

That means an alarming one million women must be hired into the sector to reach gender parity. It is a very disappointing statistic, particularly as 70% of the tech industry is experiencing skills shortages meaning that there is a wealth of opportunity in IT for the right people. Kogo certainly bucks this trend and has a fine track record of successfully hiring women as IT engineers, account managers, procurement specialists and in finance, demonstrating that Kogo has no problem with women in high tech roles and values their contributions. With that said, only a small percentage of curriculum vitae (CVs) received are from women, something that we would like to see change in this new decade.

10

Considering it is a booming industry filled with endless possibilities, it is a shame that there is a lack of qualified engineers in the IT sector, both male and female. What an opportunity for any tech-savvy girls and women looking for a fulfilling and rewarding career! Come on ladies, don’t be disheartened that you would be in a minority and don’t let your minority status make you feel self-conscious or prevent you from being yourself! Think positively, why not pursue a career in something you feel passionate about? It’s much better to focus on the fact that you are unique and have something tremendous to contribute, than feeling out of place because you’re a female in a male-dominated environment. Take advantage of your individuality and help other people do the same.

Kogo and she describes how when she first went to North America to work, she was totally unknown, but it didn’t take her long to make her mark, purely because she was a woman in a 99% male-dominated industry. Kim was in an application engineering role specialising in CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) software overseeing both pre-sales and post-sales, which involved a lot of travelling to meet prospects and clients. Part of the role involved attending industry trade shows and exhibitions, where she found herself continually being approached by attendees who recognised her from previous business interactions. She noticed that some of her male peers were standing around being ignored and unappreciated ... could it be that they were a little envious!

Stand out from the crowd because you are in a minority

Stereotypical IT Engineers

It’s worth remembering that being in the minority can be an advantage! You can definitely stand out, that is, if you really want too! Kim Singer is currently employed at

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

You may be aware of the negative stereotype around IT engineers. It goes along the lines of, ‘IT engineers are geeky weirdos with no social skills who sit behind a computer or a game console all day. Oh, and

tel: 01444 259 259


women business in technology matters

february/march december/january 2019 2020 2018 business business business edge edge edge

their odour suggests they haven’t showered in days.’ You couldn’t be more wrong! Most IT engineers don’t fit the stereotype. Your co-workers will take showers, look good, dress well (OK mostly different coloured hoodies, but at least clean) and they won’t always be on gaming consoles (not until lunchtime that is). Also you don’t necessarily have to be fluent in ‘geek talk’ to work within the IT industry either. However, it’s no wonder that women choose different careers over IT with the above examples of stereotypes in a male-dominated industry. Women need to realise that it’s OK to break the stereotype; you don’t have to fit a mould to be an IT engineer or technician.

It’s not physically demanding There’s nothing inherently “male” in any IT position. The physical requirements aren’t demanding at all, and let’s put it into context, ‘anything too heavy for a woman to carry alone would be considered, under worker’s compensation, too heavy for a man to carry as well.’ The mechanical, technical, and analytic requirements aren’t obstacles either. Say what you will. Believe what you want. The plain truth is that there is simply no reason that women can’t perform every bit as well as men in technology.

Broadcom MASTERS National STEM In 2019 something truly amazing happened in the Broadcom MASTERS National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Competition. Both the participants and organisers were excited to witness an historic moment. For the first time, since the competition was launched in 2010, all top 5 prizes were awarded to girls. OK, this maybe just a national science competition for US middle school students, but could it be the beginning of an exciting trend? STEM education helps to shape creative and critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. But it isn’t all about knowledge; there’s genuine passion too. Let’s take the example of Brittany Wenger; she bought herself a coding book and proceeded to teach herself how to do it. A family member was then diagnosed with breast cancer and she was able to use her coding skills to develop an app for artificial intelligence breast cancer detection, called Cloud4Cancer. These examples of women excelling in the tech area are happening all the time and are very encouraging and heartening

You don’t need coding or programming skills

Eastbourne and Lewes are heavily involved in encouraging girls into STEM careers.

If the thought of learning coding and programming is putting you off, think again as there are plenty of opportunities in the technology sector that require no coding skills at all. There are also other ways to be involved in the IT services industry: every tech company requires field engineers, project engineers, cybersecurity specialists, helpdesk technicians, first and second line support, infrastructure technicians, network support, pre-sales consultants, sales engineers, technical account managers, digital marketeers and ultimately leadership positions. So, if you’re more comfortable with the personable aspects of a successful business, there is always going to be that customer satisfaction advocate role that’s at the heart of any service industry component. Don’t count yourself out of IT, if you prefer to drink Java rather than think it.

Another organisation that celebrates Women’s History Month in March is the Brighton based Spring Forward group. This aims at motivating women to take more significant roles in digital areas by creating a platform that promotes digital community events organised by women for women. You’ll find their website packed full of activities for March 2020.

Soroptimist International and Spring Forward Groups When considering the wealth of opportunities in the IT sector, it is worth seeking advice by speaking to like-minded women. A great place to meet inspirational women is The Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) charity organisation. This is dedicated to helping improve the lives of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally; many of the women you’ll meet have successful careers and businesses and, more importantly, they are local to you. Members from the local groups based in East Grinstead,

“In order to attract more woman into the IT world, there needs to be more opportunities for successful women to pass on their experiences. Providing platforms for women to become role models for the future generation is absolutely crucial.” Mentorships, Learning By Doing

When it comes to formal education, it is also worth considering an alternative to college or university by applying for an apprenticeship. There are plenty of IT-based apprenticeships and they are an excellent way to gain work experience and gain industry-recognised qualifications. You don’t necessarily have to go to university to carve out a career in tech, nor accrue any debt as a result. So, as we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, take some time to think about the female role models in your life and the world around you. Share their stories on social media platforms associated with the organisations listed below. Remember, an equal world is an enabled world. #EachforEqual. And if you’ve always wanted a career in IT, just go for it! What have you got to lose? Take a moment to visit these websites and be inspired: www.comptia.org/communities/ advancing-women-in-it www.womenintech.co.uk womeninitawards.com www.internationalwomensday.com www.wespringforward.com girlsintechuk.com sigbi.org Resource: Gender Diversity Dilemma Whitepaper by Robertson Sumner (Nov 2019) https://www.robertsonsumner.com/insights/downloads/download-id/5289/

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

11


ask the expert

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

The new alternative to coworking Recent years has witnessed a new phenomenon in office accommodation, that of the coworking space. Stephen Hobbs MD, Warnes Projects

The gig economy has given rise to an increase in the self-employed population and the Millennials who make up much of this group don’t particularly like the traditional office set-up; they want something a bit more inspiring and coworking providers have been quite successful at supplying it. Coworking’s advantage is its flexibility. However, there are disadvantages. It can feel cramped as operators try to fit as many desks as possible into a space. There is a lack of privacy and it can be noisy. Ultimately, there is a tipping point at which coworking space becomes more expensive than leasing office space. This rapid rise in coworking space means commercial landlords need to react and the office fit-out industry needs to be nimble enough to give landlords what they need. Traditionally, the typical office fit-out has fallen into two categories: Category A and Category B. In a Category A fit-out, a landlord instructs contractors to prepare a space that amounts to an empty shell with connections to essential services such as electrical and plumbing. This is at the landlord’s cost. The landlord leases this to a tenant as nothing more than an empty space.

12

A Category B fit-out occurs when a tenant leases a Category A space and instructs contractors to fit out the space and turn it into a fully functioning office. This can mean fitting carpets, installing Internet connectivity, fitting a kitchen space, creating meeting rooms and adding furniture. This is at the tenant’s cost and can amount to a significant capital outlay. However, a new category of office fit-out has appeared, one that helps landlords compete with coworking spaces: Category A+. This takes what would have been a Category A space and refurbishes it to a fully functioning state where a new tenant can move in and be operational immediately. The landlord recovers the cost by charging a higher rent than for the equivalent Category A space.

The benefits of Category A+ Category A+ is attractive to both landlords and tenants.

Landlords It has been difficult for landlords to compete with coworking and the flexibility this offers to businesses, particularly those not needing large office spaces. However, landlords can still offer what coworking can’t – the privacy and exclusivity of an ‘own’ space and an ‘own’ front door. Category A+ now offers landlords the opportunity to compete with coworking on an equal footing, by allowing a tenant to occupy its own premises without large capital outlay. Category A+ also helps landlords avoid periods where spaces sit unoccupied. Often,

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

when a tenant leaves, the landlord will turn the space back into a Category A space ready for reletting, which means cost and lost rental income. By its nature, a Category A+ space can be turned around ready for reletting far quicker.

Tenants Many start-ups and smaller businesses have used coworking spaces because of the instant access and flexibility it offers. Yet, what many businesses really want is their own premises, their own front door and their own address. However, the cost of a Category B development means a significant capital outlay, money that many small businesses just don’t have. Category A+ gives them the exclusivity and privacy they desire, paid for by a small increase in monthly rent.

Businesses now have a choice Category A+ is now the alternative to coworking, especially for businesses that have grown to a size where they need more than one or two desks. Further, it is available without the large capital outlay that can hurt less-established businesses as the cost of, what would otherwise be an expensive fit-out, forms part of the monthly rent. Is a Category A+ style workspace the right move for you in 2020? Whether you are a landlord or tenant, Warnes Projects have a great portfolio of successfully completed developments to show you and we would be delighted to find out how we can help. Our reliable, professional and creative team are on hand to discuss your particular requirements.

tel: 01444 259 259


fine print

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Supertrends: 50 Things You Need to Know About the Future

Are you facing an Employment Tribunal or need advice? QUEST COVER can help! A valuable benefit for all members silver and above. There has been a sharp increase in the number of employment tribunal claims submitted over the past few years. After tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 the financial year of 2017/2018 saw a total of 27,916 claims and the year of 2018/2019 received a total of 35,429. This shows a 27% increase in the number of single claims. Here at Quest Cover, we have noticed that the number of calls we have received regarding Employment Tribunals have risen significantly over the past few years. Costs associated with an employment tribunal for employers can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, sometimes even more. There is no limit!

Our Employment Tribunal Service We understand that dealing with employment disputes can be difficult, so our experts can help you each step of the way. We can offer the following services to put your mind at ease: Unlimited advice from our experienced employment advisors Full access to our comprehensive HR & Legal document library Settlement agreements to prevent any progress to tribunals ACAS early conciliation service to help negotiate a solution In-house legal support to prepare for an employment tribunal, including drafting responses Legal expenses insurance to cover the cost of preparation, defence and award call our employers advice line on 0333 240 7208

By Lars Tvede Published by Wiley Will the biotech revolution transform life into a computer technology? How will innovation lead to greater prosperity and a better environment? What new networks and decentralised technologies will change society? And what are the political implications of the technologies of tomorrow? Supertrends: 50 Things You Need to Know About the Future addresses what we can expect in the coming decades, and both the Government and our companies should adapt to accelerating change. Readers will discover how we can expect the world to evolve in terms of demographics, economics, technology, lifestyles, management techniques, environment and beyond. In the process, it will also improve their ability to predict the next big thing – a valuable skill in any walk of life. Predicting what the world will be like in the future does not involve supernatural abilities or magical potions. Rather, efficient forecasting is grounded in technology, science and logic. Futurists combine many ideas, models and observations to identify and analyse significant trends in demographics, economics, resources, technologies, business models, lifestyles and more. Supertrends gives readers a peep into their world, explaining the core principles of efficient forecasting and exploring the applications and future impact of new technologies. To understand how the world is evolving is valuable insight for investors, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and finance professionals, among others. The book teaches them to recognise the underlying drivers of society and recurring social patterns, which in turn help predict and explain developments. Most importantly of all, it highlights the fact organisations can indeed adapt to accelerating change by adopting new and innovative management principles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: LARS TVEDE is a serial entrepreneur, financial investor and bestselling author. He has founded and co-founded a string of companies, including most recently the venture capital fund Nordic Eye and the think tank and crowdsourcing company Supertrends.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

13


business support

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Your Position in the Marketplace: What makes you different? Everyone who has ever read a book or blog about sales and marketing, tried to break into a new industry, or really heard anything about the best way to run a business will have heard about the importance of USPs. USP stands for Unique Selling Point and essentially means that every business needs SOMETHING to make them stand out against the crowd. If I asked you, right now, “What makes your business different?”, what would be your answer? It can be a difficult question and something that is often hard to put into words. But most people will be able to list a few USPs and also the areas where they’ve had the most success.

But are these actual differences— are you really THAT different from your competitors? The most illuminating way to find out, to me anyway, is to ask your customers why they decided to go with you rather than your nearest competitor. Find out what they think makes you different. Trust me, it can be eye opening. For example, if Burger King asked you what made them different to McDonalds, what would you say? You might prefer one to the other, but at the end of the day, both serve fast food… specialising in burgers. Speaking of McDonalds, one of the things that really stayed with me from the Ray Kroc’s account of his involvement with McDonald's growth is when he was asked what his business did. As you might expect, he said that they server burgers. But his investment coach corrected him and said that he was actually a property developer! At the time McDonald’s were (and remain) one of the largest real estate owners in the US.

And this just introduces another element in the USP question. What do you think makes you different? What do your customers think are your differences? And now we can add: what differences matter in business? These are questions that the big brands ask themselves all the time. Going back to Burger King, they might say that their main USP revolves around the way they make and prepare their burgers. Their customers will say that it comes down to the ability to customise their order. But in business terms, their main USP could be a lower threshold for franchise investment.

14

(I just made that up for this article…please don’t sue me.)

means to the asker…what they’re really asking me.

You can see that there is no “single” USP that makes my fictious Burger King example special. The things that make them unique are all about who is asking the question.

So how do you know what ALL of your USPs are?

And this goes for everyone Here at OpenCRM, we are, at a high level, “just “another hosted CRM product…you have no idea how difficult it is to say that, but at one level it is true. For some businesses, our most attractive feature is that we have a solution that can help mid-market businesses better manage the whole customer journey. So, the difference is the breadth of application and therefore its functionality in helping business achieve efficiency. For others, it all comes down to location and personality. We are a modest sized UK business and therefore we understand the pressures of UK businesses. We’re also a nice bunch of guys and gals that you as a customer can get to know, establishing a closer relationship. And that’s a big USP for us when we come up against our larger overseas based competitors. So, when someone asks me "tell me what makes you different" I always pause for thought.

For starters, you’ll already know a lot of them. You will know WHY you wanted to start a business (or join a particular company). You’ll have a good idea where you sit within the market and how you compare to your competitors. When it comes to discovering those “other” selling points, the best place to go (in my opinion) is direct to your customers. Through conversations, surveys, and online reviews, you will start to narrow down why they’ve decided to build a relationship with you. And stay with you. Use this information to build on your existing marketing strategies and your business will grow…and then you’ll have even more opportunity to find out why your customers chose you. It’s a never ending cycle.

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

Not because I don't know but because I need to understand what the question

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business support

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

New updated online training: Introduction to Dangerous Goods by Air, Road, and Sea; Overview for Management and Staff Some of the world’s worst transport accidents have been caused by goods not properly packed becoming dangerous in transit. Many goods, including everyday items are dangerous if not packed or stowed according to international standards. EU and international legislation states that all staff directly or indirectly involved in the transport of goods classed as dangerous must receive training appropriate to their job. Introduction to Dangerous Goods by Air, Road, and Sea; Overview for Management and Staff training course will introduce you to the regulations governing the safe transport of dangerous goods by air, road and sea, and is designed for anyone whether they are management or staff who should be aware of this subject and have an understanding of their responsibilities. The programme of this training course was updated recently and now includes a revised script and new footage filmed in working warehouses and container ports, plus a general overview of the dangerous goods regulations for air, road and sea.

Key topics: • Responsibilities in law for dangerous goods • The hidden dangers in everyday items • Why and how goods are classified, packed and labelled It targets staff at all levels - director, manager, packer, production director, personnel manager, delivery driver, laboratory technician, supervisor, and warehouse staff. In fact, anyone who in any way is involved in dangerous goods. To see all FTA’s Online Dangerous Goods training, please visit www.onlinedangerousgoodstraining.com For any queries, please contact us on 01293 539119 or sales@onlinedangerousgoodstraining.com

onlinedangerousgoodstraining.com CDMT – a corporate part of FTA

Business Edge: SPB Business Support PLANNING THE ROUTE TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS The director of SPB Business Support, Mike Foster, has very clear ideas about the financial planning necessary to put small to medium-sized enterprises on the right track. But he begins with a sobering thought. “Many SME’s are owner-managed and have the concept or skill set to make their business a success,” he said. “However, in many cases they do not have all the financial exper�se or experience they need. “The key is being able to link the concept and business model to a financial plan that maximises the possibility of success.” And that’s where SPB Business Support, with its tried and tested financial acumen, comes in. The firm’s forte is providing the analysis and advice that enable the right decisions to be made with regards to cash flow and profitability to enable SME’s to reach their goals. It also works in partnership with other consultancies to provide the breadth of services - including human resources, legal advice, communica�ons and marke�ng – needed by most SMEs.

www.spb-bs.com

But let’s begin at the beginning, said Mike. “The prepara�on of a business plan is very important! “It not only focuses minds on business goals, it deters managers from making decisions in a reac�ve manner, based on external factors. “A business plan supports proac�ve management, whereby decisions are made for the long-term, greater good of the company rather than short-term gain.” Provided it is referred to regularly, a business plan also reduces the risk of a business changing direc�on as a result of impromptu decision-making. And having drawn one up in the first place, complete as it should be with the clear visions of market posi�on and client base, short and long-term financial goals and the base line requirements of profit and loss account, cash flow forecast and balance sheet, managers and owners will have no doubt about the direc�on of travel. Through they are an experienced team who all have expert financial experience in business SPB Business Support can assist SME’s in making the correct business decisions to maximise profitability and success.

+44 (0)7974 20202730

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

15


business support

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Fight back against fake news The problem of fake news is now so serious it’s the target of a new initiative by leading media channels and technology providers. The BBC, Google, Twitter, Facebook and others have helped devise the scheme following criticism of big technology firms for failing to do enough to prevent the spread of false news. Fake news encompasses a wide range of issues – from scares about vaccines to stories intended to influence elections. It’s a global problem which included falsehoods spread during this year’s Indian elections one of which described the wealth of the leader of an opposition party which had been debunked six years ago. The new initiative was born from the BBC’s Trusted News Summit this Summer and the new plans include an early warning system where organisations can alert each other quickly when they discover disinformation that threatens human life or disrupts democracy during elections.

Media education Another proposed step is a joint online media education campaign to support and promote media education messages. There will also be co-operation on civic information around elections, so that there’s a common way to explain how and where to vote.

The BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall, says disinformation and so-called fake news is a threat to us all. At its worst, it can present a serious threat to democracy and even to people’s lives. The BBC’s summit showed a determination “to take collective action” to fight the problem. But it’s not only technology providers and media channels who should be more responsible about sharing news. Everyone who uses social media should treat suspicious information with caution. Gary Jowett, from Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton, said: “The plans are good news for UK businesses that have

IMAGINE HAVING ACCESS TO ALL THE BEST IT SERVICES.

been misled by fabricated information which is often deliberately used to increase visitor numbers to certain websites. “We’re still coming to terms with a world which has so rapidly become dominated by social media and other forms of online interaction. Your employees are exposed to much more information which could turn out to be untrue and that’s so much easier to circulate than it was a decade ago. It’s, therefore, important to encourage staff to seek an objective source for information otherwise being duped by unfounded stories could affect decision-making and your business strategy.”

ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 27001:2013 Certified

24

CNC provide the most comprehensive range of IT services in the South East including: – IT Support & Outsourcing

– Hosted Phones & Mobiles

– Internet Connectivity

– Security Services

– Installation & Infrastructure

– Cloud & Hosting

– IT Hardware & Software

– Disaster Recovery

– Cloud e-Mail Archiving

– Apple Support

– Mobile & Remote Access

– Virtualisation

– Off-Site Data Backup

– Office 365 & Azure

We would love to talk to you and offer a Complimentary systems & security check-up with no obligations to use our services.

— 01273 386 333 — sales@cnc-ltd.co.uk — www.cnc-ltd.co.uk

16

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business support

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Practical Compliance - Whistleblowing Whistleblowing (according to Collins English Dictionary) is the act of telling the authorities or the public that the organization you are working for is doing something immoral or illegal. Sometimes whistleblowing is called speaking up or raising a concern. It is all about ensuring that if someone sees something wrong in the workplace, they are able to raise this within their organisation, to a regulator, or wider. Whistleblowing ultimately protects customers, staff, beneficiaries, and the organisation itself by identifying harm before it’s too late. It could also be said to protect society as a whole if there is a climate of zero tolerance.

Legislation The main piece of UK legislation is the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 which protects workers from detrimental treatment or victimisation from their employer if, in the public interest, they blow the whistle on wrongdoing.

Protected disclosures For a disclosure to be protected by the Act’s provisions it must relate to matters that ‘qualify’ for protection under the Act. Qualifying disclosures are disclosures which the individual reasonably believes tends to show that one or more of the following matters is either happening now, took place

makes the disclosure in good faith reasonably believes that the information disclosed and any allegation contained in it are substantially true

Reporting

in the past, or is likely to happen in the future: a criminal offence the breach of a legal obligation a miscarriage of justice a danger to the health and safety of any individual

Larger firms may well have a confidential whistleblowing process linked to HR, smaller firms may use an external service such as https://protect-advice.org.uk/.

How can we help Compliance Matters UK Limited offers cost effective and practical guidance. Contact us on 07768 422 213 or email ian@compliancematters.co.uk to discuss any needs you may have.

damage to the environment deliberate concealment of information tending to show any of the above five matters A qualifying disclosure will be a ‘protected’ disclosure provided the individual:

Directors’ duties in distressed scenarios: When do you cross ‘that’ line? The Companies Act 2006 imposes various duties on directors. In good times those duties are owed to the company for the benefit of shareholders as a whole, as a general rule. However, this clear cut position quickly changes in a distressed scenario. When a company faces financial difficulties, creditors become the key stakeholders with the most to lose and the right to be repaid. In that scenario, a director’s duty switches and a director must consider how their decisions will impact creditors, the value of the company and its assets if the company cannot trade its way out. In short, the duty becomes to act in the best interest of creditors as a whole with reasonable care, skill and diligence based on their level of experience, skills and the company’s state. One of the key questions is when does a director’s duty change from being shareholder to creditor focussed. This is particularly important given the long list of potential pitfalls that may land the directors with personal liability. The recent Court of Appeal decision in BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana clarified this, stating the test is when the directors knew (or ought to have known) that the company had no reasonable prospect of avoiding insolvent liquidation,

which can be a point in time before actual insolvency. This leaves directors asking: “Are we there yet?” The concern is not for those with reckless mal intent, but for those who attempt to save the farm, and genuinely believe they can, but may breach their duties doing so. Sadly there is no one size fits all guide, and the role of a director is sometimes an onerous one. The decision in Sequana is not ground breaking, but serves as a reminder that when a director’s duty switches from shareholders to creditors must be assessed on a case to case basis. The key for directors is to ensure they take their company’s pulse regularly, are mindful of their duties (i.e. exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence), document the reasons for their decisions and be wary of taking on any form of additional credit. For more information please call 0345 070 6000 or visit our website at www.emwllp.com

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

Frank Bouette

17


business matters

august/september february/march 2020 2019 business edge

Go Electric, Go Harwoods Group Low bik rates, low road tax and ultra-low fuel costs through Harwoods

Mike Harris Head of Fleet Sales Harwoods Group

(WLTP), five seats and zero emissions, making it both a practical and financially savvy choice for fleet and business buyers.

Land Rover

Changes To VED and BiK in 2020 Changes to VED and Benefit in Kind (BiK) rates from April 6th 2020 will see Co2 values rise increasing values for both the calculation of Vehicle Excise Duty and levels of company car tax paid by drivers. However, BiK rates on fully electric Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) will reduce from today’s 16%, or an average of £373.00 a month, to zero in the first year 2020/2021, while BiK rates for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) will reduce by 1% in 2020/2021. This will make the use of electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles even more attractive to businesses and company car drivers.

New Tax-Beating Models Audi and Jaguar Land Rover are rolling out exciting new electric and PHEV hybrid models across their respective ranges.

Jaguar Recently announced as the ‘2019 ‘World Green Car,’ 2019 ‘World Car of the Year’ and ‘European Car of the Year’, Jaguar’s multi-award winning all-electric I-PACE performance SUV offers a 292-mile range

18

Sister brand, Land Rover, offers several hybrid models with more on the way. The prestigious Range Rover P400e PHEV delivers an output of 404hp, and CO2 emissions as low as 69g/km. Its sibling, the Range Rover Sport PHEV P400e, gives you an additional boost in performance when you need it most, and is fully capable of managing most short commutes in full Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, with a range of up to 48km (31 miles). In 2020, the latest Range Rover Evoque also gains a plug-in hybrid option, mixing a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver an electric-only range of around 40 miles.

Audi Audi too, has an ever-widening range of PHEV and electric models to select from, including the A3 Sportback 55 e-tron PlugIn Hybrid, the new A6 55 TFSI saloon which adds to Audi’s Plug-In portfolio and the brand’s first ever, all-electric car: the new Audi e-tron.

Audi e-tron Available from Harwoods Audi now, the stylish and versatile new five-seat Audi e-tron eschews conventional fossil fuel combustion in favour of two powerful, zero

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

emission electric motors delivering sub-sixsecond 0-62mph acceleration and a driving range of at least 248 miles*.

Harwoods Group With Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover franchises, Harwoods is well placed to weather the changes in company car tax and BiK rates next year. With zero BiK in 2020/2021, the fully electric Jaguar iPace and Audi e-tron models are certain winners, with the HMRC confirming that an electric vehicle purchased prior to April 6th will revert to 0% BIK post April. Harwoods’ Fleet Sales team have a vast amount of product knowledge and company car tax expertise, which enables them to guide business fleet managers through the many attractive tax and finance options available. * In the WLTP driving cycle

tel: 01444 259 259


growth

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

RT Page & Sons – Expansion During a Period of Economic Uncertainty For many companies, periods of economic uncertainty are met with a conservative business strategy where activities are consolidated rather than expanded. Stuart Barker Operations Manager RT Page & Sons

Despite recent uncertainties regarding the direction that Brexit would take, RT Page have made a conscious effort to expand and develop their range of logistical services. Nick Tree, RT Page’s Managing Director, recognises that in uncertain times many customers seek the security that comes from working with trusted suppliers. “Our recent experience is that customers are looking to invest in relationships they trust - where there is a proven ability to offer stellar service delivery at competitive rates. Here at RT Page we have listened to our customers and responded by expanding our existing services and offering some new ones.”

Since September 2019 RT Page, already a well-respected Sussex based logistical services provider, have undergone a dramatic development at their base in Ford. The launch of an overnight pallet delivery service in partnership with The Pallet Network (TPN) has pushed RT Page into the vanguard of logistical services provision in the Arun region. In addition, a radical expansion of the general haulage capability of the company has provided customers with the opportunity to fulfil all their logistical needs with a single supplier. According to Nick Tree this expansion has required significant investment beyond the new capabilities themselves. “In order to accommodate our new services, we have developed our infrastructure in the form of additional yard space and warehouses. This investment is customer led - there is a clear demand for a provider that can offer a full range of logistical services with excellent levels.”

Keep your business growth on course, why not outsource? John Young, from payroll solutions provider Boost Pay, highlights keys tasks you should consider outsourcing and why John Young Author Boost Pay

In November 2019 the SBA reported 50% of businesses fail within the first five years. Research shows a lack of cash flow/ funding or not having the required skills are key reasons in many businesses failing. To ensure the continuing growth and maximised productivity of your business it is worth considering outsourcing. Outsourcing can free up more time for the workforce, allowing them to focus on their key areas. Maximising growth and productivity. Here are three key tasks/functions you should consider outsourcing:

Creative Projects. It’s important that your creative not only fits with your brand but is sharp and professional. Many businesses try to do these tasks in house and the results often disappoint. By outsourcing this you are allowing for the professional’s entire attention to be devoted to developing an idea. This will bring their knowledge and professional skill set to your business without the potential financial commitments.

IT Support. IT is one of the most integral aspects of growing businesses. It’s important to have IT expertise on hand. Having an in-house IT support team can be a huge business expense. With advances in the technology of cloud-based systems, networks can be monitored and issues can be rectified from a remote location; without compromising security. Outsourced IT will mean you have

the experts on hand when you really need them.

Payroll. There’s more to payroll than entering hours into an accounting system. Compliance of payroll can vary hugely dependant on how you engage your workers. Many are unaware of the complexities concerned with running a compliant workforce. By outsourcing, the payroll provider can devote their time to ensuring all workers are paid compliantly; mitigating the risk of HMRC investigations and fines for errors in payroll. With all outsourcing, it is important to find partners that work for you and your business. Always carry out due diligence and ensure that you are as confident in their work as they are. This will always support the growth and sustainability of your business and ensure a brighter future.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

19


inspirational leaders

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Rock solid leadership a tour de force Bold and larger than life, Gina Citroni shoots from the hip as she talks to Helen Compson about the electronic engineering company she’s gradually turned into a business with a £10.5m annual turnover. Her rise through the ranks of Amplicon, based in Brighton, hasn’t been so much meteoric as volcanic – an irrepressible life-force ascending through layers of challenges until she finally came into her own. Gina Citroni joined 19 years ago, commercial manager for the company which designs, manufactures and assembles a range of advanced computer-based measurement and automation systems that can be customised, networked and bundled for easy integration. By 2009, she owned the whole caboodle. There was a management buy-out in between, in 2005, when she was just one-third of the equation. But she says today: “In business you can’t afford to be a shilly-shallying person worrying about what people’s emotions are. “I wanted this role and I would have stopped at nothing to get it. If you want to get to the top, you have to have an edge. But no-one’s ever found the bodies, so I’m laughing!” And she does laugh, but with a warmth that takes the edge off ‘the edge’. She cares about the people around her, not least the 35 she employs, and takes her responsibility for their financial health and wellbeing seriously. The shake-up and dust down she gave the company once it was hers, creating a new structure and burnishing the brand in the process, gave Amplicon the shots in the arm it sorely needed. What is hidden from view, though, is the strength of its foundations. Amplicon has evolved thoughtfully and slowly and only with the aid of Gina’s own money – there is no bank loan dependency here. “I never expand on someone else’s money only my own,” she said. “I’m very aware of this team of mine. People working for you get married, they have children, they take out mortgages and if you start dicing with their futures, what sort of employer are you?

“By my early thirties I’d been made redundant three times. I had a big mortgage … it makes people desperate. “So now, I owe nothing and I own every building. I could go to the bank and borrow lots of money, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, not if I was risking the future of 35 people.” She walks the walk too when it comes to ensuring her staff can give of their best. Dogs are welcome, for one thing. On the day I spoke to her, there were six on the office floor, including her own beloved Jack Russell, eight-year-old Pippa. “If someone’s dog-walker is on holiday and they are going to sit there all day, worrying, what’s the point,” she said. “Don’t sweat the small stuff, really.” Her staff work hard, she says. She has neither the room nor the patience for navelgazers. As a result, Amplicon enjoys an outstanding ‘profitability per head’.

“They are tied by an engineering science that allows us to pull all our skill set together to offer customers a much more competent solution than might otherwise be expected,”

20

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

The four separate business units she created – engineering, data communications, industrial computing and international sales (which amalgamates all of the above) – come together as and when needed. “They are tied by an engineering science that allows us to pull all our skill set together to offer customers a much more competent solution than might otherwise be expected,” she said. “It’s not a complete solution, because we’re not that grand, but we position ourselves quite high up the food chain, thanks to the skillset and competency we offer in industrial computing, data communication, and measurement and control. “Amplicon is a very high-end engineering company, which both designs and manufactures, and, you know, in the UK, we are still first class engineers and manufacturers in general. I’m very proud of holding that ‘made in the UK’ label.”

tel: 01444 259 259


advertorial

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Guide to Car Hire Packages Historically, car hire around the world has been complicated with acronyms, insurance options available, and worries about astronomic excesses or hidden charges upon collection. The situation is not helped by horror stories in the press around holiday time about charges for damage the customer did not cause or was already on the vehicle!

Local costs paid on collection may include; additional drivers, child seat hire, GPS hire, one-way fees, cross-border charge or ‘Winterisation fee’ - increasingly this is already included in the package price.

However, things are changing for the better. A recent campaign by the Competitions and Markets Authority has meant that the full cost of your hire, including any mandatory local charges (such as a one-way fee) or security deposits, must be clearly displayed before you book. Informed consent is key. Possibly as a result of this action, many suppliers around the world now offer packages with a zero or reduced excess. These cost more than basic packages, but focus on paying one cost up front, rather than a cheap rate followed by add-on charges on arrival.

“Easy site to navigate with inclusions and fees clearly defined. Prompt email follow up once the booking was made and will definitely hire from again.” Feefo Review

The hire ‘package’ you book anywhere in the world should contain the following as standard: Collision (or Loss) Damage Waiver (CDW or LDW) - waives your financial

responsibility for damage or total loss (including fire or theft) of the car. There may be an excess. Liability Insurance – covers your liability for claims against you of damage to other people or property. There may be an excess.

Car hire in the USA typically has a zero excess, and most of our rest of the world rates at www.tripwheels.com provide a zero excess option or excess refund package to protect you. For help with car hire anywhere, please email elle@tripwheels.com or call 01428 741438.

All local taxes, such as road tax, car licences, VAT, airport taxes – in full Basic mechanical roadside assistance. Key loss or running out of fuel won’t be covered!

Why hire an apprentice? Improve Productivity

Free Recruitment

Flexible Training

Cost Effective

Apprentices bring enthusiasm, new ideas and a fresh perspective to your business

We advertise, shortlist and interview all potential candidates

Tailor an apprentice’s training to fit your business needs

Receive government funding to cover some or all training costs

Find out more about hiring an apprentice by visiting crawley.ac.uk for Crawley College or chichester.ac.uk for Chichester College

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

21


good health is good business

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Reducing stress at work takes more than a ‘fruity friday’ Mental health and wellbeing at work continues to be one of the most challenging issues that employers face, with statistics showing that one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives. The financial cost to organisations of poor mental health is estimated to be £42bn a year; rising to nearer £100bn if you include the cost to the NHS. Many organisations know that a healthy workplace culture is going to help productivity and performance, but just relying on symbolic gestures, such as providing a bowl of fruit on a Friday isn’t going to cut it. Employers need to ensure they promote healthy workplaces where people feel comfortable speaking to someone if they are struggling. One of the ways this can be done is through Wellness Action Plans which provide a useful framework for discussing stress and anxiety at work, management skills training and having qualified Mental Health First Aiders. Other factors to consider are: Mental Health Policy - is this accessible to staff and managers? Does it clearly signpost people to internal and external resources available?

22

Culture of Openness - how often are people asked how they are feeling, not just an update on what they are doing? Regular breaks - are employees encouraged and allowed to take regular breaks during the day to restore their mental energies? Email policy - are people expected to be on call 24/7? Footballers value their rest days as much as training days, we need to recharge our minds too. Banter - is this effective and appropriate in building enjoyable workplaces or exclude/ offend people (and become a source of stress)? Clear objectives & guidance - when people know what’s expected of them, they can better perform to their full potential and use constructive feedback for future success. Coaching/mentoring - reflecting on progress and sharing insights pays huge dividends.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Anna Golawski Founder of Stratus Coaching Ltd: leading provider for mental health and resilience training and coaching.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website has lots of information and guides for employees and managers, or contact Anna Golawski for further advice and information or training.

tel: 01444 259 259


good health is good business

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

New Year, Same Stresses? What needs to happen this year to ensure you have an outstanding 2021? What’s constraining and limiting your business? Have you ever stopped to think it might be you? Why are you not getting the results you need to grow your business? You imagined that running your own business would give you flexibility and more time with your family, but in fact you’re working more hours than ever before? At Moksha we will help you achieve the business goals you have for the year so that you can be even more successful in 2021. We provide advice, support and the practical tools to create a successful and flourishing business. We offer a variety of bespoke packages which give you the skills you need to make your consultancy or business a success. Every fortnight we hold the Moksha Virtuous Circle – it’s a chance for you to spend 1 hour on a video call with 11 like-minded business owners like yourself. When you join the Moksha Virtuous Circle for the 1st time it’s completely FREE! Get in touch today and we’ll tell you more about how we can help you exceed your business goals this year and for the future. www.mokshacoaching.com

UP SIGN ! NOW

HELPING YOU KEEP YOUR TEAM HEALTHY

Inspire your company to lead an active lifestyle with Wave’s Corporate Membership. More active out of work = more productive at work.

MAX

MAX ANNUAL

MEMBERSHIP

Discounted rates for a 12 month commitment to fitness.

Our BEST value package. Prepay for the year and get two months free.

Our rolling month-to-month contract for full flexibility.

MEMBERSHIP

NO JOINING FEE!

That’s 14 months of fitness for the price of 12!

Subject to a joining fee of £39.95.

NO JOINING FEE!

£36.75 PER MONTH

£441 PER ANNUM

by direct debit

£42.95 PER MONTH by direct debit

All including unlimited gym, swim and classes. Bespoke prices and packages available. Downs Leisure Centre • Lewes Leisure Centre • Peacehaven Leisure Centre • Ringmer Swimming Pool Seaford Head Swimming Pool • Seahaven Swim & Fitness Centre • Shakespeare Hall in Newhaven

For more information go to: waveleisure.co.uk/memberships

@WaveLeisure

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

@TheWaveLeisure

23


business good health matters is good business

december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Inspiring an active lifestyle in 2020 A new year always gives us time to reflect on the twelve months that have passed and the twelve months that lay ahead. so we adapted our approach to provide a platform that ensures staff know and feel that they can talk about mental and emotional matters without fear of stigma or repercussions.

By Duncan Kerr CEO

In our personal lives we often use this time to set goals and form plans on how we will do things differently over the coming months to achieve better outcomes. The same could be said for businesses large and small. At Wave Leisure Trust, we believe that our purpose; “Inspiring Active Lifestyles” is more than just about being physically active, and we recognise the benefits of a holistic approach when encouraging people to lead more active lifestyles. Within business, it’s long been known that leading a healthy lifestyle can boost productivity, increase concentration and reduce stress, so it’s key that we set it as part of the management agenda. Over the last year we’ve reviewed our own approach to delivering meaningful health and wellbeing initiatives to our team, and whilst our external services deliver a positive impact to our local communities, it became clear that our internal strategy needed attention.

We learnt a lot about our internal approach last year and have made significant improvements. My three key takeaways would be: 1. Ensure every employee knows about the physical, mental and emotional support on offer through efficient and effective communication. 2. “Inspire Active Lifestyles” amongst your team. It could be that you run lunch-time meditation sessions, exercise classes, or a running club after work. The customer facing approach focuses on three core areas of health and wellbeing; Physical, mental and emotional. What was clear when reviewing our internal strategy was that it’s not only about what we offer but how we offer it. For example, we were offering services to support mental and emotional needs but only at the point of crisis. This needed to change,

3. Ask your team what they want/need and track/share, if permitted, the improvements that employees experience through feedback and the positive personal stories your team provide. Though these may seem like small changes, they can make a big impact for your team and your business.

Corporate Membership at EAST GRINSTEAD SPORTS CLUB

HELPING YOU KEEP YOUR TEAM HEALTHY

Inspire your company to lead an active lifestyle with Corporate Membership at East Grinstead Sports Club.

East

Sign up today and your team could get unlimited gym, classes and racket sports for just £28.95 a month and no joining fee! Get in touch with our friendly team on 01342 321210 or visit www.egsc.org.uk

24

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


february/march december/january 2019 2020 2018 business business business edge edge edge

inspirational business matters leaders

CHANGE YOUR DRINKING TODAY WITH OUR ONLINE COACHING DrinkCoach is professional, convenient and confidential. You can access the service anywhere and at any time to suit you: weekdays, evenings and weekends. All you need is a Skype connection. DrinkCoach online coaching is for anyone wanting to reduce • Not sure if your their drinking. If you are tired drinking is risky? of hangovers, costs and the Take the twoimpact on your health, our minute alcohol coaches can help you identify test to find out. and achieve your drinking goals.

Live or w West Su ork in ssex? Use co

de to acces EDGE100 s sessions coaching for free.

• Download the free DrinkCoach app for tools to help you track and change your drinking.

rg.uk h.o ac co ink dr it vis nt me int po ap ur yo ok bo To WS32666 12.2019

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

25


Gatwick growth

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

What business tells us they want from Gatwick growth As Gatwick prepares to launch a public consultation on its growth plans, the airport has been speaking to businesses and business groups from across Sussex and the wider region to identify the opportunities and challenges that come with the airport’s innovative proposals. Gary Cobb Head of Airfield Planning, Gatwick Airport

We are keen to involve key local stakeholders in the process as early as possible and our discussions are a way of keeping important local stakeholders fully informed and engaged during the planning process. The discussions also help us to identify areas that our growth plans can then contribute to. During these discussions some clear areas of interest emerged, including local transport infrastructure, employment and skills, and the need to ensure that any economic benefits generated from the airport’s growth are shared widely across region.

Transport infrastructure Good local transport infrastructure is obviously vital for businesses across the region and it is one of the topics most frequently raised when we speak about our growth plans. We are currently studying feedback raised in our discussions and we will report back on how our plans might contribute toward any improvements during the public consultation on our Master Plan later this year. In the meantime, some significant upgrades to the local transport network are due to start, and complete, in the first half of this year. Currently over 40% of passengers arrive at Gatwick by rail and the airport aims to increase this proportion by taking advantage of a recent doubling of rail capacity through the airport. The increase in capacity has come largely from new, longer Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains, which now take passengers from the airport and wider region right into the heart of London. These trains not only serve Victoria and London Bridge directly, but thanks to the £6 billion Thameslink upgrade, they now connect our region directly with other major rail hubs, including Crossrail at Farringdon and Eurostar at St Pancras. Work is also due to start on a new Gatwick train station in May, which will improve our rail infrastructure further. A fully redeveloped station should be in place by 2022 to cope

26

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

with any extra demand that might come from Gatwick bringing its Northern Runway into routine use. The £150m upgrade would see the station’s concourse double in size, with five new lifts and eight new escalators also helping to reduce delays to services across the region caused by overcrowding on Gatwick’s platforms. Similarly, the ongoing M23 Smart Motorway scheme will add an extra 25% of new motorway capacity and is scheduled to complete before the summer.

Employment and skills On employment and skills, there is recognition during our dicussions with local businesses that Gatwick contributes significantly to the region’s employment

tel: 01444 259 259


Gatwick growth

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

opportunities, with 24,000 jobs situated on our campus and one in twelve jobs across the region relying on the airport. The need to ensure that a suitably skilled workforce is also available to fulfil both airport and non-airport local business needs has also been a frequent topic of discussion. This issue may be addressed through joint working with local businesses partners and

through programmes that seek to boost the skills of local people, including the long term unemployed and local school and college students. Gatwick has several existing programmes in place which also aim to boost the employment chances of local people. While these are primarily designed to provide employees to work at the airport, this is not

The need to ensure that a suitably skilled workforce is also available to fulfil both airport and non-airport local business needs has also been a frequent topic of discussion.

a requirement and many who take part end up putting their skills to good use working for a range of other local businesses. One such programme, the One Destination Employability Programme, works with the long term unemployed and builds up their skill sets at the airport until they ultimately receive a nationally recognised qualification. The airport also runs numerous programmes designed to inspire and give local school children a more practical and clear understanding of what careers they might develop from studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. Over 30,000 local students attended the Gatwick-sponsored Big Bang Fair South East festival – the UK’s largest STEM-related event – and over 20 Learn Live broadcasts

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

27


Gatwick growth

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

It is important to us that as the airport continues to grow and thrive that our local community grows and thrives also. have been beamed from the airport into local schools to inspire local children to consider STEM-related careers. The airport is also partnering with 15 local schools, mostly in Sussex, to train teachers so that they are better able to bring STEM subjects to life and inspire local children in the classroom, no matter where they subsequently go on to work. While only part of the answer, the airport’s education and employment programmes will help to give the next generation the skills they need to do the job – be that on the airport, across the South East or anywhere in the world.

Sharing the economic benefits of growth across the region By delivering £2.7 billion of economic activity and 43,000 jobs, Gatwick is the region’s single biggest driver of economic growth and is recognised as the driving force behind much of the region’s tourism, trade and a range of other aviation-related industries. While these sectors are likely to benefit directly from Gatwick’s future growth,

our discussions with local business also indicate that there is a need to show that the economic impact of the airport’s growth can also be shared more widely across the region. This is an issue we recognise as an airport. To tackle this, a range of airport programmes are in place that are designed to help share the benefits we generate more widely. Many of them purposely target help toward local young people, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The Gatwick Foundation Fund for example was set up in 2016 to distribute funding to local projects, community groups and charities. Total grants passed the £1 million mark in the latest round of funding with more than 200 organisations and close to 100,000 local people across Sussex, Surrey and Kent have benefitted so far. Last year the Gatwick Airport Community Trust also awarded 97 grants to local projects across the region and the airport’s three official charity partners include Air Ambulance Kent Surrey and Sussex, St Catherine’s Hospice and Gatwick Travel Care, a volunteer programme that makes a real difference to thousands of passengers in need every year. It is important to us that as the airport continues to grow and thrive that our local community grows and thrives also. We remain committed to meeting the needs of the community where it makes most difference and will continue to invest in community and voluntary projects that have a lasting, positive impact as many local people as possible.

28

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Gatwick’s innovative growth plans In July 2019, Gatwick published its final Master Plan outlining the airport’s plans to increase capacity over the next decade and beyond. The plan showcases the airport’s innovative thinking on how to grow sustainably over coming years, to deliver even better global connectivity and new business and employment opportunities across the region and UK.

Using the Northern Runway As well as maximising the capacity on its main runway, Gatwick is planning to use its Northern Runway for routine departures. In its current form, it is only used when the main runway is out of service. Using its standby runway in this way is also in line with current government aviation policy, which encourages airports to make best use of their existing runways. To take this proposal forward, the airport is preparing a planning application. This will be through a Development Consent Order (DCO) – a rigorous statutory planning process that will include public consultation later this year to allow local authorities, communities, businesses and partners the opportunity to provide more feedback as the scheme evolves. Crucially, the final master plan sets out how Gatwick could develop to meet demand in the most sustainable way over the next 15 years. Growth will be incremental and environmental impacts will be carefully managed and mitigated. For example, the extra capacity will be balanced by the airport’s noise footprint remaining broadly similar to today’s levels as new modern aircraft emit substantially less noise than their predecessors.

Next steps The public consultation will begin later this year and Gatwick would encourage as many people to participate and respond to the consultation as possible. For more information on Gatwick’s growth plans see www.gatwickairport.com/futureplans

tel: 01444 259 259


business busiess matters

december/january 2018 business edge february/march 2019 2020 business business edge edge

Succession of the family business Shares in a family or ‘owner managed’ business may be your most valuable asset, often representing a lifetime of hard work. Effective planning is essential to ensure a successful transfer of the business, or the wealth that it has created, to the next generation. Helen Relf Partner Private Client Services, RSM

Fundamental for any succession plan will be timing of a transfer (whether this should be in lifetime or under a Will) and availability of tax reliefs. Current legislation (which could change if recommendations from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) are approved) allows a business that qualifies for Business Property Relief to be transferred free of Inheritance Tax (IHT) on death, at market value. This means that any accrued capital gain is wiped out, and the shares can be sold shortly after death without any capital gains tax (CGT) becoming due. Whilst this paves the way for efficient tax planning for the next generation, the beneficial tax treatment relies on the business meeting certain conditions.

Lifetime transfers There may be good reasons to transfer some or all of your business during lifetime, such as the need to share responsibility of the business with the next generation, and to show commitment to their future leadership.

Lifetime transfers are complex due to the interaction with other taxes such as CGT, which can be prohibitively costly without tax relief. It is crucial to consider the best method of transferring value, and the availability of tax relief. Ordinarily, for CGT purposes a gift of a business will be treated as a disposal at market value. This may result in significant tax charges at a time when there are no proceeds to pay the liability. There are two key CGT reliefs which can assist: Gift relief enables the tax charge to be deferred, with the gain to date of disposal being passed on to the gift recipient. Although the gain will be taxed when the recipient sells the asset, at that point there would generally be proceeds with which to pay a tax charge. Entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) reduces the tax rate from 20% to 10% on qualifying gains. ER has been a far more costly relief for the Treasury than originally anticipated and the government has stated its intention to review the relief. With the Budget on 11 March 2020, the future of this relatively generous relief is now uncertain. For IHT purposes, a lifetime gift is a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) and provided the donor survives for seven years from the date of the gift, the value will not be included in the IHT calculation. It can therefore be more efficient to gift assets which do not qualify for any IHT reliefs

during lifetime rather than pass them on death and be subject to IHT at 40%. Additional provisions designed to protect family wealth can also be included in the shareholders agreement and articles of association. This provides certainty over what will happen if certain events occur, such as divorce.

Sale of the business It is not always possible or desirable to transfer the business within the family, particularly when a sale can realise significant wealth to fund retirement. However, without planning, a sale is likely to result in an increased IHT exposure particularly if the business qualifies for 100% relief for IHT and is sold for cash proceeds which will be subject to IHT. Before a sale, shareholders may consider gifting shares to a trust to protect value and mitigate future IHT liabilities. In this scenario trusts can be a highly effective vehicle for controlling the destination of assets, protecting younger family members, mitigating tax liabilities and maintaining control. Succession of the family business is a complex area, and as the government has stated its intention to review these valuable tax reliefs, planning should not only start early, but also be reviewed regularly to ensure maximum success.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

29


business matters

december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Only at Goodwood – give your clients a day to remember

Over the past three hundred years, Goodwood has played a prominent role in the English summer season. Famous for its thrilling horseracing and motorsport events, there is no finer place in the country to enjoy exceptional hospitality experiences.

The Qatar Goodwood Festival: ‘Glorious Goodwood’

Events at Goodwood are renowned for their attention to detail, award-winning food and sense of fun. Whether you want to enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the Qatar Goodwood Festival featuring some of the world’s best equine talent, witness the greatest celebration of motorsport at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, or experience the glamour of motor racing as it used to be, at the historic Goodwood Revival; the range of unparalleled entertaining choices allows you and your guests to experience Goodwood in many special ways and create memories to last a lifetime. The Goodwood 2020 event season is now open for booking - book before 29 February 2020 to receive a special rate on horseracing and motorsport hospitality experiences, exclusive for Business Edge and Sussex Chamber of Commerce members. T&Cs apply.

Festival of Speed 9 – 12 July

Held in the beautiful parkland surrounding Goodwood House, the Festival of Speed is motorsport’s ultimate summer garden party. An intoxicating celebration across four summer days bringing together the world’s greatest cars, bikes and motorsport legends past and present in a full-throttle assault on the senses. Entertaining at the Festival of Speed has never been more exciting. Blending an extraordinary environment with the opportunity to witness sensational racing

30

28 July – 1 August

With its spectacular setting in the heart of the South Downs, Goodwood Racecourse is considered to be the world’s most beautiful racecourse. The flagship event of the racing year is the prestigious Qatar Goodwood Festival, affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, where it welcomes the best in equine sporting talent to do battle over its hallowed downland turf.

and get up close to the stars of drift in The Arena, guests can also explore the future of speed and technology in the awe-inspiring FOS Future Lab. The Library Lawn Garden Party is the quintessential Festival of Speed experience – combining a peaceful English summer’s day with the noise and drama of the highspeed action, all from the Duke and Duchess’ private garden. Guests will enjoy traditional British fare in-between taking a seat in any of the public Grandstands to watch all the cars and drivers tackle the famous Goodwood hill. For those who are looking for the ultimate location, the Clark Pavilion offers unrivalled views with its own trackside balcony and garden situated at the most challenging point on the hill. Exceptional food and drink – and unlimited Champagne – makes this a remarkable space to impress and host guests.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Synonymous with a relaxed, yet sophisticated style, the festival is a firm favourite in the British sporting and social summer calendar; where fashion and worldclass horseracing come together for five enthralling days. Whether you are looking to dine with work colleagues or host clients, there are a number of ways to entertaining your guests, all of which can be tailored to individual requirements. These include Private Box experiences, where you can enjoy the thrills of your chosen race day in your own intimate space, to the award-winning Secret Garden restaurant – an enchanting wonderland of wild flowers and quintessential English charm, located just beyond the winning post. With its intoxicating mix of style, glamour and esteemed horseracing and situated in the heart of the West Sussex countryside, dust off your panama for the most ‘Glorious’ day out this summer.

tel: 01444 259 259


february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

member to business member matters offers bikes battle it out on the track. Legendary drivers and riders from the golden era of motorsport are cheered on by visitors, all immaculately dressed in 40s, 50s and 60s clothing and accessories. In addition to beautiful cars and vintage dressing, guests can also enjoy aerial displays featuring rare historic aircraft, a vintage high street, music and dancing, and even an old-fashioned funfair, which all adds up to an unforgettable occasion.

Goodwood Revival 11 – 13 September

The completely immersive experience at Goodwood Revival is unrivalled, and not to be missed. Set entirely in period, Goodwood Revival is a time machine where guests are transported back to a magical age, between 1948 – 1966, when the joys of motorsport allowed the post-war world to kick off its heels and have a jolly good time. Over the course of an action-packed weekend each September, the world’s rarest and most valuable racing cars and

The most exceptional way to experience the Revival is through one of the hospitality offerings, including the vibrant and atmospheric Goodwood Mess, a uniquely themed venue, where singers and actors add to the drama, fun and frolics. Or, the Officers’ Club, named in homage to the styling of war time officer’s clubs, a smart yet relaxed pavilion, where guests can be ‘at ease’ and enjoy the comradery of the racing. Situated next to the paddocks and assembly area, both enclosures allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of all the iconic racing cars being prepped for their races, interact with the drivers and mechanics and witness the noisy revs of the glorious vintage engines as they hustle for space on the track. Clear views of the start/finish line make this the perfect place to catch all the drama of the track. Visit goodwood.com/hospitality to view our full range of hospitality packages or call 01243 755054 for more information and to take advantage of our special rate until 29 February 2020. T&CS apply

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

31


advertorial

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Escalator Programme re-launched Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced that the groundbreaking Escalator Programme will return following the success of the first round. The initiative is the first in the country to focus on providing bespoke support for businesses with a high potential for growth. There will be six new cohorts comprised of Female business owners, Scale-up businesses, pre Scale-up businesses, Innovation & Knowledge and International Trade. Alumni groups will also be available for previous members. In October, Coast to Capital and MDHUB celebrated the completion of the pilot Programme which helped members with

32

clarity of mind and confidence in scaling up. Participants found that focusing on topics such as investing in workforce development and recruitment led to positive results including up to a 30% increase in profits. Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:

some of the most prominent organisations in the country, we look forward to working with exciting and innovative scale-up businesses in the near future.� More details of the Programme will be announced shortly, more information can be found at coast2capital.org.uk

“We are delighted to have re-launched Escalator Programme which will provide crucial business support to leaders and ensure that our area continues to boast

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business matters growth

february/march december/january 2019 2020 2018 business business business edge edge edge

Purpose creates value The world of business is changing. The pursuit of profit alone is not enough to satisfy business owners, employers, investors and wider society, with the key question facing businesses in the 21st century being ‘what is our purpose’? Tim Levey and Lynsey Light Kreston Reeves

Purpose is not a marketing or brand exercise. It has a real impact on profitability and will increase business valuations, as Tim Levey and Lynsey Light explain. In the Autumn of 2019 Kreston Reeves launched a new dedicated Growth Advisory Service and Growth Business School. The firm is running a series of masterclasses in Sussex, Kent and London that will give businesses an insight into how they can identify, adopt and live a strong corporate purpose and how that can reinvigorate and elevate sales and profitability. Some businesses have for many years identified and championed a clear and strong purpose – it has stood them apart from their peers and created a strong market position. Apple, driven by simplicity and design, successfully charges a premium for its products. Patagonia too charges a premium for their outdoor clothing whilst investing to protect the environment and wild landscapes. And on the high street, retailer Lush is changing the way we buy cosmetics by ditching environmentally damaging plastic packaging. Society demands that businesses of all types look after their employees, take care of the environment, and contribute to the communities in which they operate. And as millennials and Generation Z enter the workplace in increasing numbers, matched with their spending power, businesses with a strong purpose will emerge as clear leaders. To be successful, however, purpose has to be authentic, resonating with staff and customers, and lived day-in, day-out. It needs to be the golden thread that runs through the DNA of a business. And those businesses with a strong purpose are seeing valuations increase. Valuations are increasingly moving away from traditional EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) multiples towards more intangible asset values. Put simply, successful businesses underpinned by a strong purpose are worth more to investors and would-be buyers.

A journey towards purpose There will be many drivers for a business to explore its purpose but we regularly see two common scenarios: businesses wanting to

address falling sales or, particularly in older business, forgetting the reasons why they set up in the first instance. We call this refresh or renovate. Kreston Reeves Growth advisory team will lead businesses through a structured programme that will help them identify their purpose, how that then translates into the products or services offered, and any changes that need to be implemented. The first step in this process will be to clarify core products and services and their benefits. The process gets to the very heart of what drives a business and the buying behaviours of its customers or clients.

as well. That does not mean that it should change with every fad and whim but it should be tied to the underlying values of the business owners and its customers.

How Kreston Reeves can help Businesses are invited to join Kreston Reeves at either of the Going for Growth masterclass events which are being held on 11 February in Sussex and on 25 February in London. The masterclass events will introduce the themes covered in the full, two day Going for Growth Brand DNA workshop which is designed to help those businesses wishing to develop their purpose.

It is a top-down approach that starts with purpose which then drives products and services, asking if growth is coming from the right places. For many businesses, it may mean the introduction of new products or services and side-lining others.

The firm’s dedicated Growth advisory team can also work with businesses on valuations and forecasts, business compliance, and through ongoing advisory services helping businesses identify opportunities and barriers to growth.

And it isn’t a process that businesses should do alone: it is important to recognise what staff think and believe, and what customers and clients say about the business.

Tim Levey is a Partner and Lynsey Light is a Manager in the Growth Advisory team. They can be reached via our website.

Purpose is not a quick fix – it takes time to develop a purpose that is credible and long lasting. It is not, however, static. Just as the demands of society change, businesses must look to constantly refresh their purpose

For more information or to register to attend, please contact Rachael Merritt in the Kreston Reeves marketing team by emailing events@krestonreeves.com or by visiting www.krestonreeves.com/events.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

33


business matters

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Network for Success at the West Sussex Business Expo Businesses across West Sussex are invited to attend this year’s annual business exhibition to network for success.

Matthew Larcome Founder and Director of B2B Expos

The business show, which is set to return to Fontwell Park Racecourse in May, has been running over 8 years and has attracted hundreds of attendees and exhibitors. This year’s event is set to be bigger and better. The event will feature a packed exhibition hall with over 60 stands, keynote speakers, 1-1 business clinics, interactive workshops and endless networking opportunities. One of the organisers behind the event, Matthew Larcome, told us, “I hope local businesses seize the opportunity to attend the West Sussex Business Expo as it’ll be a great day to network and forge relationships with local companies. If you’re serious about your business and networking – make sure

the date is firmly in your diary, because if you miss it, you’ll miss out!” Organisers are now inviting local companies to exhibit at the event to help increase brand awareness, generate leads and network with potential customers among the 450 visitors who are expected to attend throughout the day. The free-to-attend business expo is taking place on Thursday 21 May and runs from 10am – 3pm. Businesses interested in getting involved are advised to pre-register online www.b2bexpos.co.uk/westsussex

7 Steps to Networking Success Growing a business through networking can be very rewarding and successful. To help you prepare for your visit at this year’s business expo in West Sussex, we’ve put together these handy top-tips: 1. Prepare for success – Make sure you’re prepared before you get to your networking event. Remember to take plenty of business cards but keep them out of sight until they’re required. 2. Promote your attendance – Use social media including LinkedIn and Twitter to let your network and connections know that you’re attending. Connect with other attendees in advance and don’t be afraid to ask for a 1-1 when you’re at the networking meeting.

Fontwell Park Racecourse

34

3. Dress to impress – Make sure you dress appropriately and smartly. Wear a name badge clearly so people know who you are and which company you’re representing.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

4. Start with hello – The easiest way to start conversations with strangers is to start with hello. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met before. You never know who you’ll end up talking to when you attend a networking event. 5. Attend regular networking events – If you want your networking efforts to return the results you’re hoping to get, you must ensure you attend regular networking events as often as possible. Getting to know, like and trust other people in the room is the best and easiest way to build your network and circle of connections and potential customers. 6. Give referrals – In order to start receiving referrals from your networking connections, you should start by giving referrals yourself. Signpost people in your network to others within your group or event and watch as they pay you back with leads and referrals themselves. Referrals works best when each person refers the other equally. 7. Follow Up – The biggest step to networking success is the amount of time and focus you put into your follow up. 95% of networking attendees fail to follow up within a timely manner, so make sure you’re in the top 5% by following up as soon as possible. Use email, phone calls, text messages and social media to keep the conversations flowing. Arrange faceto-face appointments to get to know your connections more and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals if they aren’t quite your ideal client.

tel: 01444 259 259


Be Inspired, Be Original, Be You

Degree apprenticeships The University of Chichester has partnered with organisations across Sussex to deliver degree apprenticeships – developing a new workforce capable of hitting the ground running when they graduate. Programmes are available to existing employees or new apprentice recruits, and allow students to combine study for an under-or postgraduate degree with a full-time or part-time job. Routes include: • • • • • • • • •

Chartered Manager Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Business Analyst) Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Software Engineer) Digital Marketer Electrical/Electronic Technical Support Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship Senior Leader Masters (MBA) Social Worker

“”

What employers say Henry Powell, CEO of Inpress Plastics, said: “If we can take local students, children who have grown up in the area, and educate them in science, business, and engineering, before having them back in the community, then it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Find out more about how your business could benefit at chi.ac.uk/apprenticeships Alternatively email apprenticeships@chi.ac.uk


advertorial

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Occupational and Organizational Psychology MSc If you’re interested in how people think and behave at work – and in helping them optimise their wellbeing and performance – this is the course for you. Learn how you can play a key role in influencing best practice and policy in the workplace. Taught by the School of Psychology and the University of Sussex Business School, you’ll gain valuable skills and knowledge in: • • • • •

psychological assessment at work learning, training and development leadership, engagement and motivation wellbeing and work organisational design, change and development.

The course covers issues relevant to the future of work, bringing you the latest thinking on a range of topics such as digital connectivity, relational attachment at work, class and masculinity, attitudes to diversity, consumer psychology and modern leadership.

Choose to study full time or part time. As a part-time student, you’ll be taught mainly on one weekday across the year, with approximately two weeks of intensive taught modules across the summer term of Year 1 to fit around your work commitments. During the course, you’re invited to meet psychologists from different industries and to attend real-world assessment days. There may also be opportunities to secure internships. On graduation, you’ll be well prepared for professional practice as an occupational or organisational/business psychologist.

ACCR ED ITAT I O N AND PAR T NER SHIPS This course is seeking accreditation against the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Taking a BPSaccredited course is necessary if you wish to pursue a career as an Occupational Psychologist, and work towards chartered status. Our professional networks include Roffey Park Institute and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) who provide specialist sessions, professional mentoring and other ad-hoc opportunities.

F IND O UT MO R E For more information or to apply, visit www.sussex.ac.uk/business-school/op-msc

Do you ship parcels? This is a big overhead and prices are going up and not down. A new approach is needed to reduce this cost, you need to speak to Parcel Club. info@parcel-club.co.uk | www.parcel-club.co.uk

36

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business matters

february/march december/january 2019 2020 2018 business business business edge edge edge

Sussex to host South East Construction Expo 2020 Sussex will host its third annual South East Construction Expo in 2020 on the earlier date of 28th April 2020 at the South of England Event Centre in Ardingly.

Over 2,500 delegates attended the Expo in September 2019, where 120 companies in the construction industry exhibited the latest technology, ideas and expertise and dozens of workshops and presentations were held on key topics for the industry.

visit’ for anyone whose business deals in development, property and construction.

Said Ana Christie, Chief Executive of Sussex Chamber of Commerce,

Delegates attending can sign up to one of the largest FREE ‘Meet the Buyer’ one-onone sessions with business leaders and attend a range of useful workshops and networking opportunities.

‘Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty this past year, according to the Builder’s Conference, the performance of the UK construction sector in the month of November 2019 was nothing short of miraculous.’ ‘Now that the future looks more stable following the election, we can expect to see even more positive sales for the industry looking ahead, so there is no better time to get along to events like this, make new contacts and win new business!’ The trade show, founded 12 years ago and previously held in Kent, showcases the region’s largest range of construction products and services and is a ‘must

An exciting programme of speakers is being put together for 2020 and will be announced over the coming months.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce is supporting the event this year as well as the Institute of Directors. Big name businesses as always will be involved.

Gill Monk from All Health Matters who are one of the main sponsors of the Awards said, ‘These awards celebrate our heroes in this industry with an exciting panel of judges seeking entries for categories, ranging from best construction project to best architectural design, best contractor to best supplier. We are also looking to celebrate women in the industry and want to reward the best apprentice on a construction project in the South East.’ One of the main attractions will be The Expo Networking Breakfast sponsored by

South East Construction Awards 2020 South East Construction Awards 2020 now launched, with six categories, covering the sector, to be celebrated at a second South East Construction Expo to be held on 23rd September at Sandown Park Exhibition Centre in Esher, Surrey. Closing date end of June.

‘Despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty this past year, according to the Builder’s Conference, the performance of the UK construction sector in the month of November 2019 was nothing short of miraculous.’

This will offer a superb networking opportunity as one of the largest in Sussex. A great way to kick off the day. Tickets £25 and tables of ten £225 and includes two speakers and full English Breakfast. South East Construction Expo 2020 will take place at South of England Event Centre, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Tuesday 28th April 2020, 8.30 am - 4 pm. Find out more, register your free place, how to book a trade stand, or become a sponsor www.constructionexpouk.co.uk Twitter @ConstructExpo or Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/groups/4530020/

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

37


construction

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Building maintenance and construction firm Mountjoy expands into Sussex When Mountjoy started in 1992 it was a small company based solely on the Isle of Wight – but steady growth over the last 27 years means today the business now has 330 staff and is headquartered in Portsmouth, with four further offices across the South of England.

Most recently the company has won a new long-term facilities maintenance contract with Horsham District Council which has led to the opening of a new office at Oakhurst Business Park in Southwater, West Sussex.

Growth plans for new office Mountjoy’s Director of Business Development, Simon Winkworth said “We have been working across Surrey and Sussex for many years – delivering a wide range of projects for public and private sectors. However, our new five-year contract with Horsham District Council has enabled us to establish a permanent office in the area. We opened in October 2019 and our aim for 2020 is to connect with even more potential clients in Sussex which is why we have joined the Chamber of Commerce.”

He noted “We see opportunities along the coast in Chichester, Worthing and Brighton as well as the north of the County around Crawley and Gatwick. I believe there is a growing demand from clients who want the confidence that comes from dealing with an established company with the all necessary accreditations but still want a regional business where they can pick up the phone and deal directly with the senior managers”.

The complete construction and maintenance service Mountjoy works in partnership with their clients to help them construct, refurbish and maintain their buildings. Their customers are typically public sector, education, healthcare and commercial organisations who have a portfolio of buildings and are looking for a contractor who can take on a wide range of services and projects. The company provides its services through two divisions: The maintenance division provides building maintenance, minor works and facilities management services to clients under term contracts. This includes maintenance of housing, student accommodation, schools, universities, care homes, offices and commercial premises. The vast majority of the services are delivered by Mountjoy’s own 250-strong team of directly employed

38

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

trade staff from experienced carpenters, plumbers, roofers and decorators through to fully certified electricians and gas engineers. The projects division provides a complete main contractor service for the delivery of larger construction and refurbishment projects ranging from in value from £100,000 up to £6m. Projects in recent years have included included construction of new dining hall for a school, creation of a new art gallery in a historic building, refurbishment of local churches and extension to a care home.

Enhancing communities in the South of England The company’s purpose is to ‘Enhance people’s lives in the community’ and this is the passion of Mountjoy’s Managing Director, Simon Ingram who commented, “I personally speak to every new member of staff who joins Mountjoy to explain the importance of not just what we do but why we do it. Improving people’s lives in local areas through our maintenance and projects services is a real privilege and every month I receive dozens of compliments and commendations recognising the great work our staff do day in day out.”

tel: 01444 259 259


february/march 2019 december/january 2020 business business edge edge

Construction

Good Health Is Good Business

Refurbishment Building Maintenance Facilities Management

Mountjoy provides professional and high-quality construction, refurbishment, building maintenance and facilities management services across southern England, delivered through and supported by our team of 300+ employees with assistance from local, approved supply chain members. Our clients include local authorities, housing associations, schools, colleges, universities, healthcare providers and commercial organisations.

New local office in Southwater, Horsham Contact us today to discuss how we can help your organisation: t: 01403 627 597 AS e: A enquiries@mountjoy.co.uk w: www.mountjoy.co.uk CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

39


construction

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

All builders build buildings - it’s about building a legacy The shortage of skilled labour available to the construction industry is well documented, especially since uncertainty regarding Brexit settled over the country. However, this really isn’t a recent thing. The industry has been struggling for labour for some years and Beard sees it as the industry’s responsibility to tackle the problem in any way it can. When you look at the problem holistically it makes sense. If we as an industry can’t work to make things better how can we expect help from outside the industry?

Train to retain That is why training and development are key to our business. Ten per cent of our people, working from our Guildford office, are trainees. However, we not only encourage new trainees to join the company, we also have a rigorous ongoing training programme to ensure our staff continue to upskill and achieve their full potential.

As part of our commitment to attract new blood into the industry we also work with Farnborough College to run an apprenticeship programme.

audience the diversity of opportunities available is important if we want to encourage girls and boys to choose construction as a career.

Start them early

Working together

It’s never too early to spark an interest in the construction industry and Beard has been working with SATRO, a charity inspiring and engaging young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths for a few years. We have not only raised money through activities on site and in our offices, but have provided mobile technical training facilities so that more school children get access to a variety of construction training. The thing about construction is that it’s more than the technical or physical trades, there are many facets. Showing a young

There are two gaps in our industry, skills and the number of women in construction. Beard is a construction firm that sees these gaps as something that it can help to fill. So, if you’re looking for a construction company perhaps price and delivery aren’t the only things to consider. Is your contractor actively working to prolong the industry? Are they investing in young people and will they be leaving a legacy for future generations in the construction industry?

Closing the gender gap in construction

40

Beard encourages, actively interviews and, ultimately, employs women into the industry.

encouragement needs to start earlier than employment to change the mindset of people defining roles by gender.”

Here’s what our office manager had to say “Having worked for Guildford office right from day one, just over 9 year ago, I can honestly say that I have received support and encouragement throughout my career. Knowing the company trusts me with responsibility in my role, I have never felt a gender divide. Opportunities are there for those who want to pursue them.

Tel: 01483 485180 Email: Guildford.enquiries@ beardconstruction.co.uk www.beardconstruction.co.uk Twitter: @Beard_Construct

Beard Guildford Office Stonemasons Court, Cemetery Pales, Brookwood, Surrey, GU24 0BL

“There are now more women working for the Guildford office than when I started and, through training and encouragement, other women have progressed in a diverse range of roles from admin to quantity surveyors.” “The opportunities are there for women, especially with Beard. I think the

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


business support

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Specialist Civil Engineering Contractors We provide a comprehensive range of services from conception through construction to project delivery. Throughout the entire process we add value through our industry experience and expertise. Flood Defence

Marine Construction

Coasts Rivers & Ports

Harbours, Marinas & Airports

Environmental & Geotechnical Services

Water Treatment Works

Water Management

Civil Engineering Construction

Mackley have the resources and expertise backed by over 90 years civil engineering experience.  01273 492212

 construct@mackley.co.uk

www.mackley.co.uk  @jtmackley

ELECTRICAL & HEATING INSTALLATIONS AND REPAIR SERVICES IN SUSSEX

Robinson Low Francis Independent Construction & Property Consultants COST MANAGEMENT PROJECT MANAGEMENT

www.southernheatinggroup.com 01273 588 123 A COST EFFECTIVE & PROMPT SERVICE EVERY TIME!

HEALTH & SAFETY CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT BUILDING SURVEYING BANK & FUND MONITORING T: +44 (0) 1273 325781 E: brighton@rlf.co.uk www.rlf.co.uk

Offices : Birmingham / Brighton / Glasgow / London / Stevenage

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

41


construction

february/march 2020 business edge

Spreadsheets are hell Let’s be honest for a second. No one enjoys spreadsheets. They are dull, boring and easy to mess up. They can also become incredibly slow and clunky when your business is fast growing. It is very easy to make a mistake and often involve multiple manual entry points. Working with spreadsheets is like a really bad relationship. It is one sided and take, take, take. Spreadsheets take your time and attention. It’s time to cut the cord. Say goodbye. Courtesy of Switchplane.

How? As a company, we have helped remove the need for spreadsheets by building custom software for our clients. This saves them so much time and money.

But what is custom software? It can be anything “digital” or “IT” related, from a job management platform to a stock control solution. We have worked heavily in the construction sector and helped clients focus on automation. We can remove the manual, repetitive tasks that you have, and

build you something automated to suit your business needs. We have recently been working with a large scale construction client to remove spreadsheets from their business. They were using spreadsheets to create purchase orders and invoices. This was a very manual task and the spreadsheets contained a lot of unpoliced data. Not only did it take around 10 minutes to create a PO, when POs and invoices were received, these had to be physically printed, checked, and processed, resulting in a slow turnaround time and a large queue which could span days to weeks. These problems would have only got worse as the company grows. We built them a system that can “read” both the PO and invoice numbers using OCR technology and automatically match them to the person who created them, so they can be approved with a click of a button. This removes the use of spreadsheets. Goodbye and good riddance. Our system has processed over over 10,000 invoices correctly with corresponding purchase order numbers since the launch earlier in

2019 and is achieving accuracy rates of up to 97%. This example is only a small part of what Switchplane could build you. We are continuing to work with this client to automate timesheets, health and safety checks, and their finance system. So, how much time would you save by building custom software?

We help construction companies save time and money with custom software. This could include a job management portal, a custom CRM or dealing with the stress of staff time sheets. Want to learn more? Check out our website.

info@switchplane.com

01323 505 980

42

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


construction

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Building a positive future for the construction industry Tungsten Training Centre was established in 2016 to create a modern centre with up to date facilities.

ELECTRICAL PLUMBING & GAS, HEALTH & SAFETY

All teaching staff are from the construction industry, they have the required knowledge and experience to work with you and provide the highest standard of training. Our goal is to deliver the most comprehensive training possible and provide our students with a positive experience. We know the challenges your businesses face, and we are passionate about working alongside trades to build a positive future for the construction industry. Our facilities are designed for specific training needs; we have separate electrical, plumbing and gas workshops that are all fitted out with the necessary tools and equipment you would find on-site, they are designed to be “real-life” training environments. The classroom facilities are located on the first floor above each workshop to enable an easy flow from practical to theory lessons. The comfortable break areas ensure our students feel relaxed and are welcome to help themselves to free refreshments throughout the day. We are firmly establishing ourselves as the leading construction training centre in the South Coast. If you have any questions about courses at Tungsten Training Centre please do not hesitate to email us admin@ttcsussex.co.uk or call us on 01273 934278 and our friendly team would be happy to speak to you.

www.ttcsussex.co.uk 01273 934 278 TUNGSTEN TRAINING CENTRE Taking Pride in Your Success

Base Quantum - Quantity Surveyors Base Quantum are a firm of Chartered Quantity Surveyors providing informed support and guidance on construction projects using a wealth of knowledge and expertise. With over 50 Quantity Surveyors available for projects in Sussex and Kent, Base are able to meet the needs of clients throughout the South East. Our experience includes working in residential, highways, marine, civil engineering, education and commercial sectors as well as single dwellings and bespoke schemes. Our services include;

When Projects have Problems In addition to assisting in preventing disputes, we are also renowned for our experience in providing help when a dispute arises and use our QS expertise to deliver the following services: Valuation of works complete Assessment of claims Commercial advice.

Cost Planning Procurement Advice Tendering Valuation Loss & Expense/Extension of Time Final Account Contract and Commercial Training. Our extensive knowledge of JCT, NEC and ICC contracts enables us to ensure your project runs smoothly.

Our Services If you require a QS to support your project, we can provide the professional commercial assistance and advice you need during the journey. Should you have a project that is having difficulties or would benefit from advice or support from a QS, we offer informed guidance.

Our People If you are a QS looking to work for a dynamic, focused firm with exceptional expertise and drive, please contact us. We invest in our employees through training and provide a structured programme to obtain professional membership of the RICS. Send your CV to careers@base-quantum.co.uk

Contact us at info@base-quantum.co.uk or Emma Honeysett 01892 337800.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

43


finance focus

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Will 2020 be the year you make the most of Innovation Tax Reliefs It’s the start of a new decade and with that comes the chance to have a fresh look at everything that is happening in your business. It is likely to be the most active decade for innovation that the world has ever known, with continuing advances in artificial intelligence and green technology and solutions to save the world, given even more focus by the competition announced over the New Year by the Duke of Cambridge with Sir David Attenborough. Innovation is surely going to be omnipresent! You must also ask yourself the question, “Am I paying the right amount of tax?” When it comes to your corporate tax bill, which ultimately affects your profitability as much, if not more than most costs in your business, the question you should be asking is “Am I making the most of my available Tax Reliefs?” Generally, Tax Reliefs are a legitimate way of reducing a company’s tax liability. Government have legislated tax reliefs for innovation, open to companies across all industries.

Research and Development Tax Relief The definition of Research and Development for Tax Relief is “a company must be undertaking a project to seek an advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainties. The advance being sought must constitute an advance in the overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology, not a company’s own state of knowledge or capability alone.” Finally, a competent professional operating in the field mustn’t be able to readily deduce a solution.

44

There are two R&D Tax Relief schemes, the SME Scheme and RDEC Scheme.

have to have an exclusive licence to sell that product within a “National” market.

The SME Scheme is for small and mediumsized entities who employ less than 500 people and have a turnover of less than ¤100m or a gross asset value on their Balance Sheet of less ¤86m, who are performing research and development at their own financial risk.

The tax relief for a Patent Box claim is an additional deduction from the company’s profits that equates to a reduction in the tax charge on the profits derived from selling that product from 19% to 10%. The profits derived is a complex calculation and isn’t just a case of tallying up the sales and deducting the cost of sales.

If you don’t meet these criteria or you are performing paid R&D for another company or you’ve received a grant or subsidy for your R&D then you can claim under RDEC. The SME Scheme will deliver tax relief for a profitable company worth up to 24.7% of the eligible spend, a loss making company can surrender their loss up to a value of 230% of the R&D spend for a repayable R&D Tax Credit, which can be worth up to 33.35% of the eligible spend. The RDEC Scheme is significantly less rewarding at around 9.72% of the eligible spend, but still quite a significant amount of cash.

Patent Box If your company has actively participated in the development of a product that has been granted a UK or EU patent and you will be actively selling the patented item or a product with that patented item embedded within it, then you will be able to claim Patent Box. The patented item doesn’t have to be your own product, it could be someone else’s but you have to have been involved in the research and development of that product and more importantly you

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

The one thing to be wary of with a Patent box claim is that products with a low volume and or a low margin might well create a loss for Patent Box (which you really don’t want), it’s always best to calculate the value of a potential claim first. You can’t pick and choose your patents, it’s all or nothing!

Designed for Innovation Both Patent Box and R&D Tax Relief have been designed to encourage businesses to seek Innovative ways to improve their existing products or processes or to develop completely new ones. R&D Tax Relief will soon be celebrating its 20th birthday and yet it remains widely underclaimed by businesses across all industries. Both are also fairly complex and ideally you should seek expert advice that might be outside of your current accountant and tax adviser, if you’ve always been doing it, they are unlikely to tell you that you might qualify after 20 years!

tel: 01444 259 259


finance focus

february/march 2020 business edge

Tax savings for planet savers Whether it’s plastic straws, carrier bags or coffee cups, in recent years there has been a revolution in the way that people engage with products, with a focus on environmental sustainability. Many consumers are seeking out environmentally sustainable and energy efficient products. At the same time, many businesses are recognising their responsibility to help the planet. Companies that work to solve the problems of pollution and waste, through the development of sustainable products, may find themselves eligible for valuable tax relief. The examples of businesses who are successfully focusing on the environment are numerous, with many industries successfully responding to this shift in demand. For example, buyers now request offices and homes to be designed and built with a focus on harnessing renewable solar energy to support heating the building. The focus on the environment has also been driven by businesses themselves, with many manufacturers analysing their own production processes to ensure waste is minimised. Companies have focused on solutions which use precious resources such as energy and water in the most efficient way, often using

technology to improve processes, whilst continuing to meet quality and regulatory standards. For example, reducing the amount of water used in production helps to manage costs whilst also putting the business on a sensible sustainable footing. To implement such a solution takes time to test and improve the new technology, and this time and expense can form the basis of a claim for Research and Development (‘R&D’) tax relief.

How can i access R&D tax relief? R&D tax relief is available for businesses who endeavour to solve environmental and sustainability problems. In many examples HMRC have accepted that making a process more environmentally friendly is a ‘scientific or technological improvement’, and therefore the development costs are ‘qualifying expenditure’ for the purposes of R&D. Menzies have a wide variety of clients who have been successful in adapting their products and processes to be more sustainable and efficient, and supported them with a corresponding claim for R&D tax relief.

Caroline Milton Partner and Manufacturing Specialist.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT TAX RELIEF SPECIALISTS

GET YOUR CASH FROM HMRC

Call COODEN TAX CONSULTING NOW!

Validate your claim,

No Win No Fee

Call us on: 01424 225 345

@CoodenConsults

Office 8

Charter House

email us on: info@coodentaxconsulting.co.uk

www.coodentaxconsulting.co.uk

43 St Leonards Road

Bexhill on Sea

East Sussex TN40 1JA

Cooden half page February22 2016.indd 1

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

22/02/2016 17:41

45


advertorial

february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

For over 60 great days out use

DOWNLOAD THE 2020 BROCHURE NOW FROM

sussextopattractions.co.uk

Give your audience a reason to follow you - share relevant, engaging content. e: info@be-everywhere.co.uk t: 0191 5805 990 www.be-everywhere.co.uk

46

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


growth

february/march 2020 2019 business businessedge edge

Growth & Productivity in the Pet Food Industry Keeping Traditional Legacy Alive While Addressing the Needs of the 21st Century Customer Chieko Chester CEO, Judge’s Choice (with Kiki)

Since 1991 Judge’s Choice Petfood Ltd has made it’s name providing premium food to working and household dogs in the UK and internationally, under it’s brands Country Pursuit, Nature’s Harvest, Berties, Top Number and Halo. The company was awarded the Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II in 1996 for supply of pet food to the royal household and has continued to retain this Royal accolade until the present day. Initially, a solely family run business with simple order management processes, in latter years with the growth of the digital

age, online shopping, the propensity to buy now and receive immediately, the company has faced this challenge head on and introduced skills into areas that many retail companies can ill afford to ignore; namely developing digital customer experience strategies and cloud-based order management systems. The requirement to provide the very best customer service and deliver a product within the optimum amount of time is the single most challenging area of any retail business today. With the implementation of a complete Warehouse Management System (WMS) which takes orders from customers placed through various Judge’s Choice websites and integrated sales portals, the company now has the ability to receive an order and prepare it ready for dispatch within 5- minutes of receiving the initial order. The system removes the chance of errors in a number of places and eliminates issues with order taking, order inputting,

Every business should be proud of their heritage. Managing the balance between automation and the interaction with one’s customer is paramount to running a successful business in today’s digital world.

misunderstandings between picking lists and packing slips. These were some of the challenges before the implementation of the WMS. The internal workings of Judge’s Choice is more akin to the software systems of an automated, digital chain reaction, however, the 30 year heritage of Judge’s Choice has been fiercely maintained. Our customers can now place an order at 1am from the comfort of their sofa but they are also able to speak to real people in real time who understand their business, and care about the nature of their call. Ignoring the legacy of one’s business is quite simply perilous. Every business should be proud of their heritage. Managing the balance between automation and the interaction with one’s customer is paramount to running a successful business in today’s digital world. Legacy, knowledge, the evolution of one’s business and how this is demonstrated to the customer is key. Storytelling. The more the customer understands the way a business works, the more likely the customer is to engage with you. How do you propose to present your story? Is this the most important question that a business must ask of themselves in today’s digital world?

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

47


business matters events

december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 business edge

Events & Training Diary

A lot of business people simply want to meet new clients directly and a cost-effective way of generating new business is networking. Networking is a great way of building your connections quickly at a very low-cost. Our networking events will bring you face to face with some of the brightest business minds this county has to offer. They will give you the chance to grow your contacts through our 100+ annual events and get you shaking hands with the right people. Please see below a selection of events which are now available for bookings.

Training isn’t just important to your company, it’s vital. Training across your workforce can improve competitiveness, morale, profitability, market share, customer satisfaction and company reputation. In these uncertain times training increases your ability to respond effectively to change. We are proud to announce the expansion of our training programme, please see the next page for a selection of current and new courses which are now available for bookings.

Breakfasts 26th February

Improving your Credit Control Legally

Bannatyne Hotel & Spa, Hastings

11th March

Networking with Newhaven Chamber

Peacehaven Golf Club

22nd April

The Road to Financial Success

The White Swan, Arundel

12th May

Networking Breakfast

Crawley Town Football Club

2nd June

Networking Breakfast

Barnsgate Manor, Herons Gyhll

Lunches 12th February

A New Approach to Procurement

Chichester Park Hotel, Chichester

24th March

Networking Lunch

Roffey Park, Horsham

16th April

Networking Lunch

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne

23rd June

Networking Lunch

Cowdray Park Golf Club

Other Networking 7th February

New Members Welcome Breakfast

Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Burgess Hill

3rd April

Maximise Your Membership

Kings Church, Burgess Hill

21st April

Speed Networking with the Neighbours

Crowne Plaza London-Gatwick Airport Hotel

5th May

Future Fit - Improving Efficiencies Workshop

Buxted Park, Uckfield

Forums - Construction 31st March

Construction Forum - The Importance of a Talented and Diverse Workforce

Devonshire Park Tennis Club, Eastbourne

Non-Members’ Events 25th February

4th March

7th April

48

These informal meetings include a short presentation, a Q&A session and some networking time too. Sussex Chamber is proud to be at the heart of Sussex, providing businesses with the opportunities they need to help grow the local economy, develop their employees and the future workforce, to discover new global markets and influence key decision makers within government.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce Burgess Hill

Sussex Chamber of Commerce Burgess Hill

To book your FREE place, please book online or call the office on 01444 259259

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Sussex Chamber of Commerce Burgess Hill

tel: 01444 259 259


business matters training

february/march december/january 2019 2020 2018 business business business edge edge edge

Business Courses

Tailored Group Training

Sussex Chamber of Commerce will unleash your business potential by developing employers’ staff to perform effectively, efficiently and with pride to deliver excellent customer service.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce can provide on-site bespoke training courses, this is a fantastic way of designing one of our training courses to suit your business needs. This is a cost-effective way of training a group of your employees at the same time, on a date that suits you and at the premises of your choice.

A variety of short courses are available to all throughout the year. Typically, 1/2 day, one day and 2 days in duration, sessions are interactive and lively to ensure real benefits that contribute to the success of you and your business.

Scheduled Training Courses All scheduled courses are held at the King’s Church, 33-35 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill RH15 9LR 27th March

Becoming an Authorised Economic Operator AEO

21st April

A Foundation Course in Importing

Management & Leadership Skills 19th February

Getting the Best from your Staff

25th February

Conducting Investigations Effectively

25th February

How to Conduct Formal Meetings (PM)

9th March

Introduction to Supervision and Team Leadership

18th March

Essentials of Leadership & Team Management - 2 Day Course

30th March

Stepping Up to Senior Management

28th April

Getting the Best from your Staff

30th April

Essentials of Leadership & Team Management - 2 Day Course

Business Skills

Personal Development & Communication Skills

11th February

Presentation Skills

18th February

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness

2nd March

Train the Trainer

21st February

Confident & Effective Communication Skills

18th March

Negotiation Skills

24th February

Introduction to Emotional Intelligence

26th February

Building Resilience for Wellbeing and Performance

28th February

Top Tips for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work

4th March

Introduction to Emotional Intelligence

20th April

Confident & Effective Communication Skills

International Trade 7th February

Classification of Goods Using Commodity & Tariff Codes (AM)

7th February

Inward Processing Relief (IPR) (PM)

18th February

Incoterms 2020 Training (PM)

20th February

Customs Declaration Training

10th March

Appointment & Management of International Agents & Distributors

Sales & Customer Service 18th February

Advanced Selling Skills – 2 day course

16th March

Using Documentary Letters of Credit, Drafts & Bills

5th March

Building Client Relationships

23rd March

Exporting - Understanding the Paperwork

2nd April

Selling Skills for Results

25th March

Customs Declaration Training

6th April

Great Customer Service

For more information or to see our 2019 Calendar visit our website www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk to book please call us on 01444 259 259.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

49


business new members matters

august/september december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 2018 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.

50

4Sight Vision Support

ABGI UK Ltd

Blended Training Solutions Ltd

46 Victoria Drive, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 2TE

46 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1JH

31 Meadow Drive, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9FG

www.4sight.org.uk

www.abgi-uk.com

www.blendedtrainingsolutions.com

01243 828555

0203 984 0321

0333 224 4868

Ensuring that a diagnosis of sight loss is not a one-way road to loss of independence and isolation. For nearly 100 years, 4Sight Vision Support have been the leading sight loss charity supporting the visually impaired community of West Sussex. Making a positive difference for people living with sight loss.

ABGI is one of the world’s leading tax incentive and innovation management advisers. With a 30+ year heritage and 200 experts & advisers we manage over £1 billion of global tax incentives annually for our clients. In the UK our services include R&D Tax credits, Patent Box and Grant Funding.

Blended Training Solutions offer quality business training and consultancy at prices that suit SMEs. We use breakthrough and LEAN methodology to help develop you personally and/or your business.

Compliance and Privacy Solutions Ltd

HESIS

Janet Webb Consulting

The Beehive, City Place, Gatwick West Sussex, RH6 0PA

Ground Floor, Unit 1 Magellan Terrace, Gatwick Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9PJ

48 Davits Drive, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 6RU

www.caps-ltd.co.uk

www.hesis.co.uk

www.janetwebbconsulting.co.uk

0330 2020601

0845 2002542

07941 921889

Compliance and Privacy Solutions is a data protection consultancy. Working collaboratively, we help SMEs identify gaps in compliance and provide pragmatic and proportionate advice, guidance, support and training in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR).

HESIS is a well-known and independent provider of Fire & Security and Mechanical & Electrical solutions nationwide, designing, installing, commissioning and maintaining business-critical systems, keeping clients throughout the UK safe, secure and compliant. HESIS is a trusted partner of businesses across all sectors including public and private sector contracts.

Janet Webb is a Learning & Development Consultant and Mentor. Working 1-2-1 or in groups, she helps staff and businesses to understand the filters hindering high performance, whether they’re managing staff, talking to customers, giving difficult messages or delivering a presentation. Don’t expect formal. Do expect depth and challenge.

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

Are you looking to grow your business through training? Do you believe your greatest assets are your people? If yes, get in touch.

tel: 01444 259 259


business new members matters

february/march august/september december/january 2019 2020 2018 2018 business business business business edge edge edge edge

Manpower UK Ltd

Paine Manwaring Ltd

Premier Energy Services Ltd

35 The Broadway, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1HD

Unit D, Easting Trading Estate, Dominion Way, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 8HQ

Premier House, Daux Road, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9SJ

www.manpower.co.uk

www.painemanwaring.co.uk

www.premierenergy.co.uk

01293 560180

01903 237522

01403 740240

Our specialist tech hub is backed-up by 70 years’ experience in providing ‘Manpower’ coast to coast. A dedicated team of industry professionals, we provide local knowledge, bespoke packages and access to the best candidates in their field. Technical, construction, engineering and manufacturing, we provide temp, contract and perm solutions.

Trading since 1725, Paine Manwaring is one of the oldest businesses in Sussex. This Worthing and Chichester based member installs and maintains Heating, Plumbing and Electrical systems across the South East. Employing over 100 local staff, this well-respected Company also inspects and maintains over 7000 systems for business, education, local authority and private clients.

Premier Energy Services are independent Utility Consultants delivering market leading services in the commercial, residential & infrastructure development sectors. We provide pre & post-acquisition utility infrastructure costs, site feasibility reports, consultancy support and net zero carbon insights for project design and construction.

Seaside Creative Ltd

SPB Business Support

The Jonathan Lea Network

Suite 8, Brooklands House, Marlborough Road, Lancing Business Park Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8AF

Warwick Durbans Road, Wisborough Green, West Sussex, RH14 0DG

John de Mierre House, Basepoint Business Centre, Bridge Rd, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1UA

www.seasidecreative.co.uk

www.spb-bs.com

www.jonathanlea.net

01903 686858

07974 202730

01444 708640

Seaside Creative Ltd turns ordinary business into award-winning clients. We offer in-house expertise in Strategy, PR, Social Media, Design and Branding as well as Photography and Video. This means that clients can trust us to get on with the business of raising awareness and profile building, while they get on with core activities. Dealing with just one agency saves much precious time and hassle too 

We are an experienced team with expertise in the financial decision making that creates successful companies. We can act as freelance Finance Directors for businesses who do not have the requirement for a full time position and also assist SME’s in managing the financial side of their business.

The Jonathan Lea Network is an innovative new law firm that specialises in advising businesses, from technology start-ups to mature private companies and publicly listed companies. In less than two years the firm has organically grown its turnover six-fold while building a loyal national, international and local client base.

The Radio Company

Warnes Projects Ltd

Sensia

26 Station Road, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0EP

Unit 11, Ford Lane Business Park, Ford, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0UZ

Longfield Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3EY

www.theradiocompanyonline.com

www.warnesprojects.co.uk

www.sensiaglobal.com

0800 374 916

01243 558570

01892 518000

For more than 30 years The Radio Company has been delivering advanced, robust and cost-effective two-way radio systems and solutions throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Supporting diverse industries including Event Management, Security and Construction, The Radio Company sells, hires, repairs and integrates two-way radio equipment and related technologies.

Formed in 2005, Warnes Projects is a clientfocused fit-out and refurbishment specialist, offering large projects and small works, concentrating on the commercial, industrial and education sectors. It continues to succeed, securing numerous clients by providing high quality projects on time and on budget by a team of highly skilled professionals.

Sensia brings together the pioneering process automation and safety, real-time control and IoT technologies of Rockwell Automation, combined with the unmatched measurement and instrumentation, software and analytics capabilities of Schlumberger. The result is Sensia—the leading automation specialist in oil & gas production, transportation and processing

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

51


business new members matters

august/september december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 2018 business edge

Ready Steady Store

The Social Workshop

Jon Bryant

16 Victoria Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9NF

Washbrook View, Churchfields, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, BN6 9TU

9 Johnson Drive, Burgess Hill West Sussex, RH15 0TT

www.readysteadystore.com

www.thesocialworkshop.co.uk

chicustards.wordpress.com

01444 711366

01273 833 786

07831 832439

Ready Steady Store is a storage solutions provider, our new Burgess Hill store opens on January 31st .

Julie Sealey & Katie Yarde co-founded The Social Workshop to help businesses develop brilliant social media strategies to make noise online, save time and generate more sales. Their interactive social media workshops are practical and (dare we say) fun, not to mention excellent networking opportunities. Julie & Katie bring a wealth of professional experience and a mutual love of social media to their innovative sessions.

Image matters! If you want “big company production values” at local business prices to help you stand out from the crowd, my extensive experience in mainstream corporate comms/video production and photography can help raise your visual media game. For corporate portraiture, stills/video projects, on camera interviews and more, contact me

We offer affordable storage, units the size of lockers up to double garages.  We have 24 hour access and the latest security. Business Edge readers get an extra 30% discount using code EDGE30 online now!

Lewis Denley Solicitors 44-46 Springfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 2PD www.lewisdenley.com 01403 456 430 Lewis Denley are a general practice law firm based in Horsham. The firm offers a wide range of legal services to both private individuals and companies. The firm challenges the traditional law firm by offering a transparent pricing structure to our clients and bespoke technology to interact with our clients

52

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: 01444 259 259


growth

february/march 2020 business edge

Project funding – timing is everything Chris Barker from Innovation Funding specialists ABGI explains the different sources of funding available to business throughout the lifetime of a project. Chris Barker Innovation Funding Specialist ABGI UK

The UK Government has committed to introduce the fastest ever increase in domestic public R&D spending so that public spending on R&D rises above the OECD average, reaching £18 billion by 2024. This includes a guarantee to match EU R&D funding, a new national Space Strategy and investment in a range of technologies. They recognise that investment in research and development is a key driver of innovation and productivity growth. In this challenging and uncertain economic climate, this is great news for UK companies. Investing in innovation is an invaluable way for businesses to build resilience. This is, of course, easier said than done at a time when many companies feel that investing precious resources in R&D or innovation isn’t their top priority. It is therefore essential to look at the range of opportunities to access the appropriate means of funding at each stage of an innovation project. There’s a wide variety of mechanisms available to help companies stay innovative and boost competitiveness, starting with grants. These tend to be used to support early stage projects where the technical challenges are greater and the risk of failure is higher. Along with European

sourced grants, InnovateUK offers a number of initiatives to support Britishbased companies. These include SMART grants which provide early stage assistance for companies working on disruptive technologies. Meanwhile the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund offers support for projects aimed at improving productivity and sustainability in food production as well as those which are focused on including enhancing resources and energy efficiency in foundation industries. There is also a range of grants aimed at encouraging collaborative, cross-border research for UK companies in specific sectors, such as aerospace and rail. Commercial Funding is another support mechanism for innovation, ideal for many projects at a more advanced stage. While it takes the form of a loan or asset finance, it tends to offer more flexibility than grants with fewer conditions attached. Companies accessing this type of funding must typically provide security against the lending. For early stage growth companies which lack traditional assets, we are seeing an increasing trend where some are securing commercial funding for innovation projects or market development activity against their intellectual property such as internally developed software. At least one bank in the UK is currently offering commercial loans to support innovation projects. InnovateUK also offers commercial funding through its innovation loan but with some conditions. Companies

can apply for quasi-commercial funding for ‘near to market’ projects to augment their own resources to progress innovation projects. There are also a few equity investors focused on investing in new technology ventures where the existing intellectual property can be valued as an asset or it offers strong commercial exploitation. The UK Government’s R&D tax relief scheme also continues to provide financial benefits to companies investing in innovation to resolve technical uncertainties. While the level of relief will be impacted by use of grants, the benefits of this incentive can often be significant, especially where there has been a high level of innovation-related spending undertaken. Companies which have been fortunate enough to develop intellectual property through an innovation project for which they’ve secured a patent against can also benefit from Patent Box relief. This scheme offers reduced corporation tax on all profits directly attributed to the commercialisation of the patent itself. As we begin this new decade facing an uncertain economic outlook, it is essential that innovation does not fall by the wayside. By accessing the wide range of support available, from the inception to the commercialisation of innovation projects, UK businesses can ensure that they continue to be competitive in the global market.

AS A CHAMBER MEMBER YOU’RE WELL CONNECTED

53


business five minutes matters with

august/september december/january february/march february/march2020 2019 2018 business edge

5 minutes with... Ana Christie Chief Executive Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Sussex Chamber of Commerce is funded by annual membership subscription fees. Our subscription fees include affiliation to the British Chambers of Commerce, which includes costs to deliver the services offered in your membership and all related administrative costs. Our Mission is to help members GROW, DEVELOP, DISCOVER, INFLUENCE. Members join for many reasons, be it for personal or business growth. Members value the opportunity to network with like-minded local businesses across Sussex, to raise their profile by sending their latest news for our website or Business Edge magazine and use the many discounted training offers. In addition, businesses that are thinking of trading overseas value the export advice. Members have access to discounted and free services, as well as policy advice and representation.

What was the outcome of the membership consultation? Last year we held our biggest ever membership consultation. Amazingly over 60% of members have been with the Chamber for over 5 years, many for over 10 or 20 years. We continue to enhance and improve our services.

How did you hear about the Chamber? 20% heard about us from another member. Did you know? We reward current members by growing the Chamber community. Complete a referral forum, when the new business joins, they save £60 on their joining fee, and you as the member save £60 upon renewal.

What are the main reasons for joining the Chamber? Over 30% of members are interested in the services and over 36% wish to connect with others. There are numerous discounted services (healthcare plans, foreign exchange, breakdown cover). Increased networking events and forums have been added to the 2020 calendar so you can connect with others. New members can attend a free breakfast meeting to meet the team, myself and to receive their membership certificate.

54

What are the most valuable aspects of the Chamber?

How would you prefer to receive information?

The networking events and forums, export documentation and Chamber Protect services (free HR, Legal, Tax and H&S).

86% of members said they receive “just the right amount of information”. We are currently enhancing our e-marketing to suit individual needs.

How can we improve our services?

What are the key priorities for members?

Following a huge amount of feedback, we have made many changes: non-members can now only attend 2 events, there is a greater price difference for non-members to attend events and training courses, delegate lists are sent out to members only prior to events, member to member offers are showcased in the Business Edge magazine, membership certificates are sent out to all members following renewal. We have increased networking around the county and introduced new speaker opportunities to include “How to Workshops”. Furthermore, a new Patron level of membership has been launched.

Members would like the Chamber to champion and campaign on key business issues (i.e. trade, infrastructure, skills and connectivity) as well as technology and sustainability. A testament to the power of the Chamber network has been the various Chamber wins in 2019. We continue to campaign on key issues including a People Campaign. New for 2020 are our Digital Forums focusing on technology, artificial intelligence, IT and cyber issues. Sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint will be a key priority campaign for the Chamber network.

What areas of the Chamber were you unfamiliar with? The Chamber support services, social media, PR, marketing as well as Young Chamber. Members can share news blogs for our website and new for 2020 are “Business Toolkits”. We have also launched a People Campaign. (Further information can be found on our website).

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

We will continue to enhance your membership and our services and value your feedback.

As part of our Membership Consultation, we ran a competition. The prize draw winner was Richard Edge from Marlow Ropes. Congratulations Richard!

tel: 01444 259 259


chamber welcome business matters

august/september february/march 2019 business edge

ACCELERATE YOUR CAREER WITH A PART-TIME PROFESSIONAL COURSE

Career-focused courses

Our accredited part-time courses enable you to learn in a way that works for you. You will develop the knowledge and practical experience to accelerate your career, and widen your professional network.

february/march 2020 business edge

Come and visit us at an Open Evening

Our Open Evenings give you a chance to speak directly with students and staff and to find out more about our professionally accredited courses in marketing, management, accountancy, human resources and law.

JOIN US AT AN OPEN EVENING To book your place at one of our Open Evenings visit www.brighton.ac.uk/bbs/part-time. If you want to find out more or have any questions about our postgraduate courses, the course team will be happy to help. Email us at business@brighton.ac.uk.

256

www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk

tel: tel: 01444 01444259 259259 259

Profile for Distinctive Publishing

Business Edge 53  

The magazine for the Sussex Chamber of Commerce.

Business Edge 53  

The magazine for the Sussex Chamber of Commerce.