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BusinessMatters Quarterly Magazine of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce

ISSUE16 WINTER2013

Apprentice Winner Takes You Into The Boardroom Tom Pellereau Page 06

West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce

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Tynnu sylw at eich gwasanaeth Cymraeg Mae adlewyrchu anghenion y cwsmer yn ganolog i ofal cwsmer da. Bydd ymdrechion busnes i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg yn cael eu gwerthfawrogi, a thrwy’r gwerthfawrogiad hwnnw y daw teyrngarwch, ymddiriedaeth a buddion eraill i’r busnes. Mae Comisiynydd y Gymraeg wedi lansio gwasanaeth newydd i gefnogi busnesau bach a chanolig i ddatblygu defnydd o’r Gymraeg. Mae pedwar swyddog yn gweithio’n uniongyrchol â busnesau ar draws Cymru trwy ddarparu: l

Mynediad at wasanaeth prawfddarllen yn Gymraeg

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Templed sy’n galluogi busnesau i ddatblygu polisi iaith unigryw i’w anghenion

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Bathodynnau, cortynnau gwddf a gwaith celf Iaith Gwaith

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Llyfryn yn rhoi cyngor ymarferol ar sut i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg

Mae’r holl wasanaethau ac adnoddau busnes ar gael yn rhad ac am ddim. I gysylltu â’ch swyddog cefnogi busnes lleol neu i archebu copi o’r llyfryn anfonwch e-bost at post@comisiynyddygymraeg.org neu ffoniwch 0845 6033 221. Mae gwybodaeth ar sut i ddatblygu’r Gymraeg mewn busnes ar gael ar y wefan comisiynyddygymraeg.org

Promoting your Welsh language services Reflecting the needs of customers is central to good customer care. Using the Welsh language is greatly valued, and through this appreciation the business gains loyalty, trust and other benefits. The Welsh Language Commissioner has launched a new service to support SMEs to develop their use of Welsh. Four officers work directly with businesses across Wales by providing: l

Access to Welsh language proofreading service

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Welsh language policy template which can be developed to meet the business’s specific needs

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‘Iaith Gwaith’ badges, lanyards and artwork

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A booklet which gives practical advice on how to use Welsh in business

All services and resources are available free of charge. To contact your local business support officer or to order a copy of the booklet, email post@welshlanguagecommissioner.org or telephone 0845 6033 221. More information on how to use Welsh in business is available on the website welshlanguagecommissioner.org

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BusinessMatters

CoNteNts

ISSUE16 WINTER2013

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OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR REGIONAL FIRMS IN HONG KONG

STARTED 10 GETTING WITH DAVID JONES

05

DAVID HONOURED AT ANNUAL DINNER

SYSTEMS HELP REGIONAL 13 MWL BUSINESSES PROSPER WITH FREE, 27

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THESE DAYS, SECURING A NEW JOB CAN BE A DAUNTING PROSPECT

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15

HAVING TROUBLE FINANCING TRAINING?

CUTTING EDGE IT CONSULTANCY 24 HOURS WITH KIRSTY CRAIG

17 HOW TO?

Contact: Daniel Shires Communications Manager West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce Riverside Innovation Centre 1 Castle Drive, Chester CH1 1SL

Production & Design Distinctive Publishing Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1LE

www.wcnwchamber.org.uk Twitter @chamberwcnw LinkedIn http://linkd.in/chamberwcnw Telephone +44 (0) 1244 669988

Telephone 0845 884 2384 production@distinctivepublishing.co.uk www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

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BIG INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE CHRISTON AS I SEE IT

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ANNUAL DINNER PHOTOS

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JUST MORE THING

Advertising John Neilson Commercial Director Telephone 0845 884 2343 john.neilson@distinctivegroup.co.uk Contributing Editor John Dean & Francis Griss deangriss@btinternet.com

Disclaimer

Distinctive Publishing or West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce 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 West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Business Factfile: Hong Kong (SAR) Opportunities Available for Regional Firms in Landmark Hong Kong Project The development of one of the world’s largest cultural projects in Hong Kong will create considerable opportunities for UK companies, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority CEO Michael Lynch has announced. At an event organised by the Hong Kong Association, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, the British Council, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade & Investment, Mr Lynch addressed UK firms to discuss developments to date and the available contracts. The West Kowloon Cultural District will be a vibrant cultural quarter for Hong Kong, with a variety of new arts and cultural facilities including the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera, M+, Hong Kong’s new museum for visual culture, Freespace, Centre for Contemporary Performance and Music Centre; representing opportunities for UK exporters throughout the supply chain. Michael Lynch said: “The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest arts and cultural development projects in the world, set to become a remarkable new destination in Asia. The authority is committed to developing long-standing and meaningful relationships with both the business and cultural sectors worldwide. With opportunities within infrastructure and content development across cultural venues, residential facilities, retail, dining and entertainment, the district presents a unique offer.

“Progress is developing rapidly on site, with the conclusion of two international architecture competitions for major venues for the performing and visual arts in the past year alone, looking towards the ground-breaking for the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera, and remarkable attendance figures increasing annually for our exhibitions and pre-opening programmes.” Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, foreign and commonwealth office minister of state said: “When I visited the West Kowloon Cultural District in June, I saw for myself once again why Hong Kong is known as ‘Asia’s World City’; outwardfacing and confident, with an increasing focus on quality and innovation, it has always been and remains one of the most exciting places in the world in which to do business. “From our art galleries, to our museums, to our music industry, Britain has world-class institutions and expertise to help deliver cultural infrastructure around the world. With the West Kowloon Cultural District expected to attract a great number of both local and overseas visitors, we have an unparalleled opportunity to help Hong Kong develop a world class cultural centre.”

Population: 7.1m (2011 census Area: 426 square miles Capital city: Hong Kong Official languages: English, Chinese

Hong Kong is one of Asia’s leading financial and business centres. Not only is it an attractive market in its own right, boasting the world’s 10th largest trading economy and the seventh-highest GDP per capita, Hong Kong is also a springboard to mainland China and an ideal base for regional operations. It offers a level playing field to business, with an accountable government, wellestablished rule of law, robust protection of IPR, a well-regulated banking system and a free flow of people, ideas and information. In January 2013 it was ranked as the world’s freest economy by the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation for the 19th consecutive year. Thanks to similar legal and international business support services, an excellent communication infrastructure and the widespread use of English, UK firms will find doing business in Hong Kong familiar and straightforward. Opportunities are plentiful and varied. Public-sector capital spend will be over £5bn a year for the next few years. Infrastructure projects include the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD); the Kai Tak development, the Shatin to Central Rail Link and projects linked to the Hong KongZhuhai-Macao bridge. Building a greener city, improving the quality of urban space, harbour-front enhancement and heritage adaptation are also important issues.

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CHAMBER NEWS

BitesizeNews Say Hello, Wave Goodbye The Chamber was delighted to welcome its newest member of staff in October. Debbie Stokes joined us as our new roving membership manager, with a remit to be out and about across West Cheshire and North Wales promoting the work of the Chamber at networking events and by meeting potential new members. If you bump into her at an event, be sure to say hello; however you want to speak to her directly you can email her on d.stokes@ wcnwchamber.org.uk. On a sad note, we also said goodbye to our former membership manager Becky Fletcher. After three and a half years of dedication and hard work Becky leaves us for pastures new; we wish her all the very best for the future. David (left) together with Robin Jones from Knights LLP

David Honoured at Annual Dinner ‘Shock’ and ‘pride’ were the words export manager David Roberts used after being honoured for his 18 years of dedicated service to West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce. His contribution to the organisation was recognised at the organisation’s Annual Dinner on October 18th in front of family, friends, colleagues and customers, as he was presented with his accolade by Robin Jones, a partner at Chamber Patrons Knights LLP. David joined the Chamber in 1996 working in membership recruitment, before taking over as export manager seven years ago. In that time he estimates he’s completed around 33,000 export documents for Chamber members and nonmembers alike. He said: “Being presented with the award as a complete surprise and a delight as it was so unexpected. Having your work recognised and applauded by people who you work with on a day to day basis is extremely humbling and a moment I’m extremely proud of.

“I plan to semi-retire in March 2014, but fully expect I’ll be adding a few thousand extra documents to my tally before then!” Colin Brew, executive director of the Chamber said: “The phrase ‘second to none’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but when it comes to Dave’s knowledge of export, no one else really comes close. He’s been a vital part of the Chamber team for very many years now, but during that time given his support to staff from other Chambers, as well as countless customers. “His award was richly deserved.” A selection of Annual Dinner photos can be found on page 32.

I plan to semi-retire in March 2014, but fully expect I’ll be adding a few thousand extra documents to my tally before then!

DTM Aids £19.5m Regeneration Blacon Parade Following two years of continued progress, construction work has begun on Blacon Parade; Chester’s ‘once in a lifetime’ £19.5m urban regeneration project. Housing 16,000 people, the once dated shopping area of Blacon Parade is now set to become a bustling commercial town centre with retail units, an integrated health centre, new housing and sheltered accommodation. The scale of and complexity of regeneration required for the Blacon Parade project led Chester and District Housing Trust to instruct DTM Legal in the acquisition of the necessary land interests and to progress the relocation of existing tenants, allowing the construction process to commence. For more information visit http://bit. ly/1ayE4Q9.

Exports Strong and Business Confidence at Six Year High The latest British Chambers of Commerce/ DHL Trade Confidence Index, which measures both UK exporting activity and business confidence, shows that UK export orders remained close to the record high levels seen in Q2, and that turnover confidence among exporters is now at the highest level since 2007 (69%). Confidence was particularly strong among exporting manufacturers, with 66% believing that their turnover is likely to improve, compared with 61% last quarter. The index number, which is calculated from the volume of export documents issued to businesses selling goods abroad, now stands at 116.32… the third highest figure on record. This is 3% higher than at the same time in 2012. For more information visit http://bit. ly/1aEFgDu.

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These days, securing a new job can be a daunting prospect. Fifty million reasons to choose employee ownership One of the main challenges with succession planning is deciding what form of exit will suit you best as a business owner. Should you go for a trade sale and a lump sum with the possibility of Entrepreneur’s Relief? Or, would an approach which may drastically reduce your capital gains exposure when you sell a controlling stake in your business work better for you? In 2014, government proposals are likely to allow business owners who are planning their exit to become eligible for a Capital Gains Tax Exemption on the sale of their business - if they sell the majority shareholding to their employees. If the proposals get the go ahead, the UK Government will allow up to £50 million per year in Capital Gains Tax Exemptions to business owners choosing this route as well as tax relief for employee owners.

The advantages are more than just financial. Employee ownership can offer you an exit strategy that can be deferred over an extended period and can offer numerous benefits to your company and your employees. For further information on how the Wales Co-operative Centre can help you to assess the suitability of your company for conversion to employee ownership, please visit the website www.walescooperative.org or contact 03001115050 to speak to one of our specialist advisors. Rhian Edwards is manager of the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Funded succession project at the Wales Co-operative Centre.

Making your CV and covering letter stand out is vital, especially when you’re battling agains many other candidates all aiming for the same position… makes you wonder how could the process be any more difficult? Well, imagine that the person looking to hire you is Britain’s most revered, respected and downright demanding businessman and he expects you to show off every facet of your business skill across a series of tasks designed to mercilessly weed out your weaker competitors… still fancy the job? That was the challenge facing Tom Pellereau, a winner of the BBC’s hugely popular show ‘The Apprentice’. Tom won The Apprentice in 2011, impressing Lord Sugar enough for him to present him with the £250,000 prize for a joint share in his business. He became renowned following his Apprentice victory as the creator of the Stylfile, his new product the Nipper Clipper and numerous other products. Chamber Communications Manager Daniel Shires sat down with Tom to discuss creating products, working with Lord Sugar and more...

BM: What’s it like to work with a demanding business partner like Lord Sugar?

TP: Really busy and successful people sometimes don’t have time to really explain why they believe something should be done, however their ‘gut feel’ makes their advice like gold dust. Lord Sugar has given me a number of suggestions which have made a huge difference to our business.

BM: What’s been the best piece of advice he’s given you?

TP: Think about the consumer. When walking down the shopping aisle, consumers only have a split second to see and understand your product. It’s essential to work out why yours is better and why should the customer buy it. Make your message simple and clear.

BM: At what point when you were growing up did you realise you had a desire to invent?

TP: From a very early age I was always trying to make things, and for as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with finding solutions to problems through creative thinking. I’ve always been very inquisitive and because I never excelled at subjects such as English at school, I naturally followed this path.

BM: When you come up with a new idea, what’s your process for turning it into something tangible? TP: For me the process consists of problem, profitability, prototype, product, production and portfolio. The most crucial thing is finding a problem that people will be willing to pay for… a problem worth solving.

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An Aside With…

AN ASIDE WITH…

Tom Pellereau

Then, I have to estimate if there is any profit in solving this problem. What would I pay for a product that solves the problem? How much do competitors’ products retail for? Don’t say there is nothing else like it on the market… there always is. Next, estimate what you think it will cost to make. These are ball park figures but are crucial. If I estimate there is an opportunity, then I get prototyping.

BM: Is there any product you look at and think to yourself, ‘wish I’d come up with that one’!

TP: There have been some amazing products that we sometimes take for granted, for example penicillin, the light bulb, the internet, the list goes on. For me, inventing is about helping people. I hope I can help to invent a better world in a fraction of the way others have before me.

BM: Congratulations on becoming a dad and releasing the Nipper Clipper. Do you think you’ll continue to develop products for babies and children, or do you prefer to keep your options open?

TP: Thank you! I would say it’s a bit of both. Having a child changes your perspective on ideas and definitely has become a huge source of inspiration. Hearing from parents who love the Nipper Clipper makes me want to create more products that will help them. At the same time, there are plenty of inventions that I would love to work on and have the opportunity to bring them to market.

BM: As an entrepreneur, what current aspects of business concern you the most and how do you think they could be solved?

TP: For my business, intellectual property (IP) in the form of patents, trademarks and design registrations is crucial. Holding IP, understanding how it works and the different types is surprisingly

complicated. IP, especially patents, are expensive and businesses have to be very careful not to overspend. However there are huge differences in the cost and protection of patents versus copyright. For example: the cost of an EU patent to protect an invention is around £10k, takes three years to gain and lasts 18; whereas the cost of copyright to protect a song or book is £0, is gained instantaneously, and lasts 70 years.

In my opinion, this drives people away from technology and towards music, writing or the arts and creates a massive barrier for technologybased innovation. The risk and rewards are set up wrong.

BM: So if you were secretary of state for business for a day, what changes would you make?

TP: As imaginary secretary of state for business I would encourage public workshops or ‘hackspaces’. Access to shared prototyping tools with experienced operators, acting like librarians, on hand to help quickly and economically test ideas could be hugely beneficial to sole traders, SME’s and UK economy.

BM: Final question, Doc Emmet Brown or Iron Man himself, Tony Stark… who do you relate to most? BM: I absolutely love Iron Man. In fact I watched it for the first time whilst in the Apprentice house, moments before Lord Sugar arrived to give us the ‘emergency’ biscuit challenge! I certainly dream of being Iron Man and I would love his workshop, being able to prototype something like that suit would really help! For more information about Tom and his products visit www.tompellereau.com.

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CHAMBER NEWS

Free Accountancy Consultation for Chamber Members Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Northgate Street, Chester, would like to offer all Chamber members an hour long, free accountancy consultation. It gives businesses the opportunity to ask questions about anything from bookkeeping, saving corporation tax and other opportunities.

Having Trouble Financing Training? Are you finding it hard to finance training for your team? The European Social Fund Skills Support for the Workforce programme could help! By accessing this newly launched programme through West Cheshire College, employers with less than 250 staff can access fully funded training across all sectors and subject areas for all employees aged 19 and over.

Key Benefits

n Fully funded training to meet your business needs (subject to eligibility criteria) n Access to high quality training providers in the region n Flexible solutions with the ability to deliver full and part qualifications n Responsive and experienced account managers.

Eligibility Criteria

n Business and organisations accessing this funding must employ less than 250 staff n Trainees benefitting from the provision must be 19 years old or over

n If accessing funding for Level 4 training the employer must employ no more than 49 staff n The training is available to employers in Cheshire and Warrington only. n The details above are a guide only; contact West Cheshire College directly to check eligibility.

Delivery

The programme is run by lead partner West Cheshire College in conjunction with Warrington Collegiate, South Cheshire College, Mantra Learning, Babington Business College and Total People.

The consultation can take place at Ellis & Co’s offices on Northgate Street, Chester, or the member’s own premises if they prefer. With 25 years’ experience, Ellis & Co can also offer its expertise when it comes to helping companies form a viable business plan which includes identifying ways to increase profits and growth. Since its launch, Ellis & Co has grown to become one of the leading accountants in Chester and Wrexham, contributing to the success of over 400 businesses in Cheshire and North Wales. Principal accountant Robert Ellis said: “As proud members of the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce we attend as many networking events as we can to strengthen our links with Chester businesses and Chamber members. “We would be thrilled to chat to new members about the benefits of Chamber membership and as part of our welcome we would like to offer you free accountancy and business advice, tailor made to you.” To book your free consultation contact Daniel Shires, Chamber Marketing Manager in the first instance on 01244 669988 or by emailing d.shires@ wcnwchamber.org.uk. More information about Ellis & Co can be found at www.ellis-uk.com.

This gives business and voluntary organisations the ability to be signposted to the appropriate provider in order to access the training that will meet their needs, whether it sector specific skills or generic abilities in customer service, IT, literacy and much more. For more information contact Rose Foster on 01244 656300 or 01244 656378. Alternatively you can email ourskills@west-cheshire.ac.uk.

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CHAMBER NEWS

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates (left), together with Professor Chris Jones (centre) and his team

Glyndwr University Launches Service to Support North Wales Business Businesses in North Wales looking to turn around their fortunes by evoking radical changes will be able to call upon the knowhow of experts from four different business specialisms under a new service being offered by Glyndwr University. As part of a new partnership with the Institute of Directors North Wales, the university will use its network of contacts within the business industry to put together a team of people to work with struggling businesses, or simply those looking to increase productivity through change. Any business which feels it could benefit from help is eligible to take part in the scheme, known as Epoch. Once they contact the university it will identify and appoint leading people from marketing, finance, human resources and operations management to work with them. Each expert will spend time within the organisation before coming together with the rest of the team to recommend a solution. Professor Chris Jones said the idea was borne from a desire to offer ‘out of the box’ solutions to businesses which have the potential to be more beneficial than standard solutions often proposed by management consultants. Professor Jones said: “Epoch is for any business that needs to radically change, either to grow or to change the culture or fabric of their organisation. “We have access to a number of very talented professional people and we feel we can provide a tremendous boost to the region’s economy by tapping into their skills more so than ever before.

change. As a university in this region we have a responsibility to do more to help.”

Epoch is for any business that needs to radically change, either to grow or to change the culture or fabric of their organisation.

Ken Skates, Clwyd South AM and deputy minister for skills and technology at the Welsh Government, launched the scheme along with Professor Jones at Glyndwr University’s Catrin Finch Centre. He said: “The launch of the Epoch project could not be happening at a more important time. The recent upheaval we’ve seen in all areas of the economy has made everyone in the region re-evaluate their approach to business.

“I made a promise 18 months ago that I would do everything in my power to make significant changes in the way Glyndwr University supports businesses in this region. These aren’t hollow promises. I’m from Flint and I’m proud to be from North East Wales so I want to help businesses here professionally as well as personally.

“Glyndwr University has an important role to play in the development of talent and skill in North East Wales and I’d like to pay tribute to the contributions which they are making.”

“All business owners in the area have worked incredibly hard over the last few years to retain as many people in jobs as they can during tough economic conditions so there are many reasons why we should be offering them help. That is the basis of this Epoch project. It’s all about radical

“Epoch will inject a new dynamism into the local economy. It’s a made in Wales partnership which we hope will lead to economic recovery.

Any business owners or managers who feel they could benefit from the Epoch project should contact Glyndwr University in Business by emailing in-business@glyndwr.ac.uk For more information about the full range of services which Glyndwr University offers to businesses visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ Inbusiness/.

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GETTINGSTARTED GETTING STARTED

David Jones

Principal/Chief Executive Coleg Cambria

With 25,000 enrolments and 1,600 staff across seven sites; 2013 has been momentous for the head of North Wales’ brand new education establishment, Coleg Cambria. David Jones, 51, from Ruthin took up the dual role of principal and chief executive for the further education college on August 1st, at the point of the merger of Yale College, Wrexham and Deeside College. In his previous role as principal of Deeside College, he had previously led the college’s merger with both the Welsh College of Horticulture in 2009 and Coleg Llysfasi in 2010, so was ideally placed to play a key role in the creation of a state of the art college for North Wales. He describes himself as ‘a product of further education’, having left school at 16, before completing an Ordinary National Diploma in Engineering in 1980. After completing a Degree in Electronics he began working in the manufacturing industry, before switching to the education sector in 1987 after being appointed Senior Lecturer in Electronics at the University of Wales, later working at Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Powys. David said: “I enjoyed school, but was never really inspired nor made to feel particularly positive about my abilities; college was very different, I was valued, and I realised I had a lot of ability and was as good as anyone! “That experience had a major influence and although I never

expected to work in a college, it stuck with me. FE colleges are amazing places, but the staff and students never seem to be given the credit they deserve compared with schools and universities.” Coleg Cambria, which was formally launched at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in early August, offers learning from pre-entry to HNC and Foundation Degrees for a host of different learners; getting to that point however was a step by step process that drew on David’s team’s experience of the previous mergers, he said: “When implementing change there will always be difficulties, but we had the benefit of the previous mergers to support our plan, and a shared vision with Yale College. “The creation of a single college from four that existed separately in 2009 is the result of the foresight, ambition and sense of responsibility of the governors of the colleges, as well as the support of so many key partners and stakeholders. There has been consistent and overwhelming support for the creation of Coleg Cambria, but ultimately it’s about delivery; giving people what they want and need, and innovating to provide this cost effectively to the highest possible modern standards.” There are similarities in David’s role to that of a head teacher, but in reality at an organisation the size of the college it’s a very different proposition. He’s also designated chief executive and chief accounting officer, as well as being a member of the governing body, David said: “It’s hard work, but an honour and privilege to be a college principal. Every day is different as we operate from seven sites in the region; three in Wrexham and one each in Connah’s Quay, Northop, Hawarden and Llysfasi near Ruthin.

“My office is at Grove Park, Wrexham, but I usually only spend part of two to three days a week there. I’m regularly at Deeside each week, but also visit the other smaller sites at least once a fortnight. I aim to get out and about as much as possible to see staff and students, and also

At Coleg Cambria we are extremely ambitious for our learners and for every business, community and person in the region and wider sub region. visit businesses in the region. I also have external roles as a deputy lieutenant of Clwyd, chair of the Deeside Enterprise Zone and a board member for the Qualifications Wales Advisory Board, Colleges Wales and CBI Wales Council.” Prior to and subsequent to the merger, the college has developed and maintained strong links to the business community across the region and has a strong desire to continue growing them. It holds the largest work-based learning contract in Wales and delivers more apprenticeships than any of its competitors. “We work with companies as diverse as Airbus, Comtek, DRB, JCB, Pendine Park and Flintshire County Council, and

many others, and our employer engagement team exists to support businesses to find the right training and development for their staff,” said David. “At Coleg Cambria we are extremely ambitious for our learners and for every business, community and person in the region and wider sub region. We are passionate about the role of education, training and skills as a driver of economic development and social justice. We remain committed to developing our role in economic development with responsive and effective employer engagement. We are mindful of the expectation on us to keep improving our services for business and we are more than ready for the challenge.”

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BARNETT WADDINGHAM

Auto-Enrolment – if only it was automatic… The government has recognised that exhortations on their own are not enough and for many people it is a help if they are “nudged” (or better … “shoved”) into a savings mode. Hence the introduction of auto-enrolment, through which some 11 million workers will be enrolled into a pension arrangement, and into which they and their employers will have to pay contributions. The government is buoyed by the “success” of auto-enrolment so far as they have seen much lower opt-out rates than anticipated. However, this does not give the full picture as many employees are ceasing pension membership after the”opt-out window”. The real test of success will be when SME’s have to start enrolling their employees throughout 2014 and 2015. Auto-enrolment is not just about pensions; it is as much about processes. An employer will need to implement an auto-enrolment scheme, but before doing so, there is a big administrative task that needs to happen.

And this administrative burden is ongoing - every time they run payroll, employers need to ensure they are following the rules. For many SMEs, they will not have the dedicated in-house resource to devote time to this, nor will they have the bargaining power of the larger

corporates to establish competitively priced autoenrolment schemes. SMEs need to ensure they plan well in advance of their staging dates. They should also consider seeking support, as the rules are complicated and the penalties for non- compliance could be severe.

An employer will need to implement an auto-enrolment scheme, but before doing so, there is a big administrative task that needs to happen.

AUTO ENROLMENT IS HAPPENING DON’T IGNORE IT! Barnett Waddingham and Standard Life present our simple, packaged solution removing the stress of Auto Enrolment and letting you get back to work.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A>E, YOUR COMPLETE AUTO-ENROLMENT SOLUTION autoenrol@barnett-waddingham.co.uk 01527 300091

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Business Matters

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MWL SYSTEMS

MWL Systems Help Regional Businesses Prosper with Free, Cutting Edge IT Consultancy MWL Systems is the first IT solutions provider to become a supporting patron of the Chamber and to celebrate this important new partnership; the IT experts are offering a special, half-day IT health check, completely free of charge to fellow members. This unique technology overview will help ensure members are updated with facts on the best and latest, most cost-effective and secure IT systems available, helping both them and their businesses stay ahead of the competition in today’s challenging economic environment. With internet and IT threats known to be on the increase, MWL Systems’ experienced consultants will run through the very latest security measures and disaster recovery solutions which can simply and effectively implemented so essential operating systems, assets and data are all properly protected. Established in 1984, the knowledge and experience MWL Systems has developed and the commitment to service and quality the team has demonstrated has led to the company developing a sound reputation as an IT provider that customers can trust with what is certainly one of their most important business assets… their computer systems. Matthew Kingsley-Williams, MWL Systems commercial director said: “We’re excited about our new partnership with the Chamber and delighted to be able to offer members this, complimentary consultancy package. “In the coming weeks and months, we’ll welcome the opportunity to show what’s different about MWL Systems, how we actually listen to what clients want and respond to their requirements, giving advice, helping them determine what they need, rather than making assumptions and why prospective clients should place their IT in our hands as opposed to any other IT provider. Also highlighting our partnership approach, which is what our current clients tell us sets us apart, and why they trust us with their IT provision and projects year on year.” MWL Systems’ ability to deliver the full spectrum of IT services and solutions to clients in every sector, in turn, provides them with the competitive advantage they need to succeed and prosper in business today. The strategic and long term partnerships which MWL Systems has forged with all the top names such as Dell, Microsoft and VMware also ensures that its consultants are experts in the latest cutting-edge technologies which will drive efficiencies. Increasing competition from other firms in the UK and overseas means that companies more than ever feel they need to focus on their core business, and

Chamber Executive Director Colin Brew presents Matthew Kingsley-Williams with MWL Systems' patronage certificate

put their IT systems in the hands of a provider they can trust to take care of it. Matthew continued: “This means that both on a day-to-day basis, keeping all our clients’ IT systems and equipment up and running and working at optimum levels, and also on a more long term, strategic level – their IT is in the safest pair of hands with the team at MWL Systems. We’re relishing the opportunity of demonstrating all these benefits to Chamber members.” Business Matters

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24HOURS... Kirsty Craig

Managing Director, Kirsty Craig Associates

“The feedback we receive from clients on how well we’ve done our job always gives me a real buzz. If you run your own business you really care and value your reputation above everything. My colleagues and I care that the service we provide goes above and beyond expectations.” After 27 years as an employer/ business owner in the recruitment and HR industry, caring about and supporting clients and candidates to the very best of her ability has been Kirsty Craig’s ultimate goal. In business in Chester for 24 years, she is now managing director of Kirsty Craig Associates (KCA), a company she’s spent the past two and a half years building along with her partner, Catherine Hill, husband and fellow director Tim and head of operations Rachel Hough. Together they provide an experienced recruitment team used to working at the highest level, a HR support/ outsource and helpline, and training/ people development services for businesses and candidates. Based in Chester they have considerable contacts and do business nationally.

24 HOURS

understand their goals we can then help them manage and develop their people.”

Kirsty’s working day begins at 6.30am and she aims to be at her desk in Chester by 8.30am. Working from a daily to-do list, she begins by clearing email, followed by appointments, marketing and finance tasks, communication with colleagues and clients, the website etc. “Usually I have at least two appointments daily, it’s rare that I don’t have anything in my diary. When I’m not talking to or actively working to attract new clients, I still get involved with recruiting at a senior level, which means evaluating CVs, candidate referrals and interviewing people. I love it because I’m always learning. “We’re hands-on with our candidates and never put anyone before a client before interviewing them first. Hiring someone who doesn’t work out can be expensive and difficult to fix later. It’s not a criticism, but there are many owners, managers and senior staff who don’t know how to recruit properly. Why would they? They are good at what they do but recruitment is, like anything, a real skill and gets better with practice. With 27 years ‘practice’, I’d like to think what I do raises standards by doing it extremely well.”

Kirsty worked as a recruiter in London before moving back to Chester in 1988 to open The Business Connection, which was sold in 2008. Unable to stay away from an industry she loves, KCA was born from Kirsty’s desire to develop and improve standards in the recruitment industry and to help companies grow their profits through their people.

KCA are busy planning the launch of a new online portal called Clarity HR that will merge with the backend of their existing website. “The Clarity system is something we’ve been looking at for a while and for me it’s the perfect package for SMEs with up to 80 staff. It’ll sit behind our website and clients will be able to access a number of features that we think will be extremely useful,” she said.

“A business is like a jigsaw puzzle and your employees are the most important pieces. What we do is bespoke, which makes it vital we get to know our client inside out, understand their business and what they’re trying to achieve. Once we

“I seldom leave the office before 7pm as I’m always trying to catch up on something or attending an after-hours event. I love meeting new people as I’m a keen networker and believe it’s really important to put yourself out there.”

KCA has already brought many rewarding moments, Kirsty said: “Recently Rachel did a superb job working with a business on the Wirral who’d had a difficult time with other recruiters. She put forward a proposal that was accepted and successfully delivered in a short space of time… their faith was restored. It’s a great feeling when you match a client and candidate together successfully and you know your instincts and intuition are good! “On the HR side we have delivered solutions on various issues that were or could have acted adversely on a client’s business. We really enjoy

working with our clients, building capability so they can implement the systems and protocols that take stress from the HR process.” Kirsty is a realist and commercially aware, but feels some ‘unfortunate’ decisions in her own experience have given her the insight and strength to help others, she said: “Don’t plan for perfect performance; allow for the unexpected and remember being brilliant at manufacturing or finance doesn’t automatically make you good at recruiting or managing people… we are though and working with us will make you so much better!”

Business Matters

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Knights LLP

A Successful First Month for Knights LLP Marks Beginning of Exciting Growth Plans Knights LLP, the UK’s first private equity backed commercial law firm, completed the successful transfer of Hill Dickinson’s former Chester office at the beginning of October kicking off a flurry of announcements.

Knights Makes Significant IT Investment Knights Solicitors LLP has taken further steps towards realising its growth plans by making a significant investment into IT. The investment underpins the firm’s intention to double turnover in the next three years and gives Knights the platform to grow into a top 100 UK law firm and deliver more collaborative working amongst staff. Building on their long heritage of professional legal service delivery, Knights’ needed to modernise its business model to become ‘fit for growth’. This meant selecting and implementing a new and integrated firm-wide business system, making it easy to share information and documents, drastically reducing paperwork, and enabling a keener day to day focus on financial control. The investment has positioned Knights for quicker decision-making, greater accessibility and responsiveness for clients, and a robust and straightforward approach to compliance. Tikit’s Partner for Windows and Tikit Connect were selected by a multi-disciplined user group, and following a focused project by a highly effective Knights/Tikit joint team, the firm successfully went live in September.

Richard Williams, Sally Wightman and Robin Jones

The completion coincided with the start of the expansion drive in Chester, with the appointment of two new partners and an additional eight lawyers. Richard Williams, a landed estates partner, joins the Chester Office strengthening the private client team locally and furthermore bolstering Knight’s wider landed estates team and expertise. Richard is a specialist in land law, renewable energy, high net worth conveyancing, wills and tax planning. Ceri Hughes, an employment partner, joins in November adding depth and expertise to the local team. Sally Wightman, office managing partner for Chester said: “We were thrilled to make such exciting appointments at the same time as the transfer of the office from Hill Dickinson to Knights. Our recent recruits add depth to our current team at the beginning of growth plans to double turnover and the headcount of the Chester office in the next 12 months.”

award recognised a unique approach that goes beyond a single product or service success within the legal sector. David Beech, chief executive officer of Knights said: “We are delighted to win the accolade for innovation; this is a great achievement and our first award since investment and being granted our alternative business structure (ABS) licence earlier this year.” To celebrate the arrival in Chester, Knights is hosting an exclusive drinks reception at Chester Racecourse in December. James Caan will conduct the opening address and give an insight into his involvement with Knights and his other experiences leading to founding his private equity house, Hamilton Bradshaw. Hamilton Bradshaw invested in Knights in June 2012, making the organisation the UK’s first commercial law firm to receive private equity backing. Following this, the firm was granted its licence to operate as an ABS in January 2013.

Knights also scooped its first award since investment at the prestigious Modern Law Awards ceremony held at The Dorchester hotel in London in September. Knights was announced the winner of the ‘Innovation of the Year’ award for their Real Estate Asset Management Service (REAMS). The

Business Matters

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HOW TO?

HOWTO?

ProTips

What is Content Marketing and How Can It Help My Business?

These are two of the questions most commonly asked by business owners and managers.

don’t find the information they are looking for, they’ll quickly click to another site to search for it.

Content marketing is creating and/or sharing content with your customers to build knowledge and credibility so that they buy from you. The idea is to communicate with them, not make a hard sell.

Follow these five tips for a successful content marketing campaign:

out are they on any social media channels or do they visit forums? Which magazines, newspapers and websites do they read? What search terms are they putting into Google?

Develop a Strategy

Get Creative

Consumers today are more sophisticated and have higher expectations of the products and services they buy. Many don’t like to be sold to in an overt manner and are increasingly switching off the traditional marketing methods: they fast forward through TV advertising, may look more critically at newspaper and magazine ads, whilst the ability to naturally block out banners on websites means they can choose to focus solely on content. Content is at the heart of everything; provided it’s of high quality, genuinely informative and engaging to the audience. Apply the ‘what’s in it for me’ question; if your target audience

Devise a strategy with aims and objectives. Most importantly, think about your audience (or target customers) at every step

Research What They’re Looking For

Your audience will have questions that relate to your products or services. Find out what these are and work the answers into the content you create. People are more likely to buy from you if they view you as an industry or product expert

Find Out Where They Are

It wastes time and money to talk about your knowledge and expertise if it’s shared with the wrong audiences. Review yours and find

People digest information in different ways. Content marketing allows you to be creative with the way you deliver relevant and valuable information; use blog posts and ‘latest news’ sections, video, photos and infographics, white papers and e-books, case studies and how-to guides

Analyse and Evaluate

Thorough analysis and evaluation highlights what type of content is working for you and whether anything needs to be altered. Monitor anything your audience can take action on, such as retweets, likes, +1s and shares.  *Tips provided by Chamber members Outwrite.

Presentation expert Nancy Duarte offers this advice to overcome this hurdle: be like Yoda. Nancy said: “After evaluating hundreds of presentations, the most common mistake I see is presenters who are self-absorbed and selfpromoting in their content. They (understandably) assume they’re the star of the show since they’re in the spotlight.

“Let’s clear something up: you, as the presenter or speaker, are not the most important guy/girl in the room. Just because you’re on a stage or in front of a crowd does not make you the saviour everyone has been waiting for. Recognise that you are Yoda, not Luke and the most important people in the room are your audience; make them the heroes of your story. Defer to them, because if they don’t engage and believe in your message, you are the one who loses. Without their help, your idea will fail. Become the mentor in their story and whisper guidance in their ear, empowering

When your to do list becomes a monster and an item next to a checkbox will actually take a long time and multiple people to complete, you need more than a checklist to keep track of it. What you really have is a project, and you need a tool designed to manage them… http://bit.ly/1b2K985

iOS 7’s Most Common Bugs (and How to Fix Them) No operating system launch is without a few bugs, but it seems like iOS 7 has had more than it’s fair share of blunders. From iMessages not working to lock screen exploits; here are some of the biggest bugs and how you can fix them… http://bit.ly/19u4Bl2

Wakeup.io Wakes You With a Free Wake Up Call Anywhere Most of us have a preferred alarm clock, whether it sits on the nightstand next to us or it’s just a series of alarms on our smartphones, but if you need a little extra push to get up, Wakeup.io is a free wakeup call service that works with any number, anywhere in the world… http://bit.ly/15h0JjO

Better Presentations? Like Yoda You Must Be One of the biggest challenges when giving a presentation or speaking in public is feeling self-conscious; whereas bad presenters can seem too self-absorbed and selfpromoting.

The Five Best Personal Project Management Tools

What ‘Business Casual’ Really Means… them to be the agents of change and achieve greatness.” This change in perspective (whether you’ve previously been too selfabsorbed or naturally uncomfortable on stage) takes the focus off of you and onto the people who are most important to your presentation… the audience.

For an older generation, ‘business casual’ may have meant “no ties required on Friday”, but now that less-formal dress is more common in so many workplaces, business casual can be a cryptic term to crack… http://bit.ly/19u8Ay3

Business Matters

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BIG INTERVIEW

THEBIGINTERVIEW

Life at the Zoo Suits New Managing Director Jamie Christon started his new role as managing director of Chester Zoo at the end of July this year.

Jamie Christon Managing Director, Chester Zoo

He came to the zoo with a great deal of experience running large organisations with an emphasis on dealing with very large numbers of visitors. Immediately before coming to the zoo he spent two and a half years as head of group on board services for Stena Line and before that he spent five years as managing director of Exeter airport in Devon, where he was also a trustee of Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust which owns Paignton and Newquay zoos. It is the airport experience which Jamie thinks is most relevant because both cover large areas of land, 50ha in the case of the zoo, have large numbers of separate buildings, the zoo has 110 acres ranging from animal houses and toilet blocks to residential properties, and both have peaks and troughs in the number of visitors coming through the doors. He said: “In many ways this is my dream job and it is similar in very many aspects to airport management. There are safety and security issues for different reasons and both have strong stakeholder engagement.” Jamie’s role at Chester Zoo is part of a unique management structure which places importance on both the conservation and education objectives of the organisation and the

need to run a successful business to be able to achieve those objectives. He works very closely with Dr Mark Pilgrim, the director general who is a zoologist and in charge of the organisation, with both reporting to a board of 15 trustees. Success in both conservation and business are the strategic objectives of the zoo, each being reliant on the other. The twin objectives are exemplified in a new project at the zoo called Islands, which is due to open in 2015. It is a development of six islands connected by both walkways and a 15 minute boat ride which will introduce visitors to the unique wildlife existing on islands including the Philippines, Bali and Sumatra while drawing attention to the particular threats faced by animals living in such an ecosystem. Jamie added: “It is a very fine balance between our conservation and education work and managing a world class visitor attraction. We try to ensure that when people visit they leave with knowledge they didn’t have when they arrived.” Jamie believes because families are concentrating on extracting the best value they can for the money they spend. “Staycations have been important and going to Chester Zoo is one of the things that people regard as a family outing and it has been really important for people to spend time with their families. We are linked to the motorway network and railway lines. People can easily come to visit us.

“We have a membership scheme with 49,000 members. For £69 per year for an adult they can visit as often as they like and people have been looking for value for money. Our membership has been increasing and people take advantage of the scheme from as far away as 2-3 hours drive time.”

Business Matters

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What we are trying to do is create a thought-through experience which allows for indoor as well as outdoor experiences In the future the zoo needs to maintain interest for the public and has some interesting challenges. New arrivals and babies, such as the Sumatran tiger and cheetah cubs born this year, are always a strong pull for visitors at the zoo but Jamie says there are many factors that go into planning,

“We are hugely weather dependent. What we are trying to do is create a thought-through experience which allows for indoor as well as outdoor experiences. Also, while managing our conservation aims, we always have to deal with ever increasing costs such as animal feed and utilities. We could not bring new species to the zoo or build a new

experience if it was not sustainable in the long term. “Our visitors fall into several categories including a group we call the curious minds demographic, who are interested in the sustainability of the things we do from managing our energy costs to where we are involved in overseas conservation projects. Our sustainable

procurement division is constantly working to integrate sustainability into everything we do. For example we are trying to source as much browse as possible for the animals from our own estate and we have an agreement for staff to have free park and ride to reach work, and that is significant because we employ 450 people at peak times.�

Business Matters

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LINDER MYERS SOLICITORS

What are the new employer duties? Employers have a new duty to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme and pay minimum employer contributions. All employers are required to take action from a date set by The Pensions Regulator (staging date). Those failing to comply with the new duty risk escalating penalties ranging from £50 to £10,000 per day and even criminal sanctions. With the legislation so complex and the penalties often severe, expert legal advice is recommended. The new employer duties fall into four broad categories:

From their designated staging date, employers must automatically enrol certain workers into a qualifying pension scheme and make minimum pension contributions. Other workers must be given the option to join a pension scheme. Issues to consider include: n When must I comply? n What pension scheme can I use? n How much do I have to contribute? n How do the recent changes affect my business?

Compliance and Records Keeping

Documentation & Communications

n What records do I need to keep?

n What changes are needed to existing contracts and HR processes?

n How long do records need to be maintained?

n What information must be given to workers?

n What about Data Protection?

n What are the time limits?

n What is my deadline for providing information to The Pensions Regulator?

n Who can provide a set of standard documents?

Employers are now required to keep pensions records and provide information to The Pensions Regulator, similar to an employer annual return to HMRC. Issues to consider include:

Employers are required to provide pensions information to workers within strict time limits. Issues to consider include:

Workforce Assessment

Employers have an obligation to all workers but it differs depending on what type of worker they are. Issues to consider include: n Who is a worker? n What are my obligations to the differing types of workers? n What is the position of agency workers and temporary workers?

From their designated staging date, employers must automatically enrol certain workers into a qualifying pension scheme and make minimum pension contributions.

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n Is there a buffer period?

At Linder Myers we can advise you throughout the automatic enrolment process and beyond, ensuring you comply with the legislation and avoid penalties. Our automatic enrolment toolkit allows you to pick the level of support you need and control compliance spend. Combining professionalism and technical excellence, Linder Myers finds solutions and delivers clear advice in order to achieve clients’ goals. Linder Myers is a firm of solicitors with specialist departments in nearly all areas of law. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients though the delivery of efficient, high quality legal services. At Linder Myers we specialise in the following areas of law: l Corporate Commercial l Commercial Property l Commercial Litigation l Corporate Recovery l Employment (for employers)

l Employment (for employees) l Trusts and Estates l Disputed Wills and Probate l Court of Protection l Residential Conveyancing

Manchester (head office) Tel: 0844 984 6000 Fax: 0844 984 6200 Email: enquiries@lindermyers.co.uk

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Cheshire Tel: 0844 984 6003 Shropshire Tel: 01743 218 450

Business Matters

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5/12/13 09:32:53


BLOOR HOMES

Not just another house builder, Bloor Homes, a house builder that is making a difference… Bloor Homes began building quality houses over 45 years ago and is today one of the UK’s most successful house builders, operating from seven regional offices and building over 2,000 new properties each year. These range from one-bedroom apartments to seven-bedroom luxury detached houses. Bloor Homes has over 75 live developments nationwide and in 2013 introduced a portfolio of 56 new house designs. This large portfolio offers customers a great deal of choice, individuality and attractive street scenes. Privately owned, the company is part of the Bloor Group that also owns Triumph Motorcycles. This diversity provides independence from shareholders and financial institutions and has meant that Bloor Homes has continued to invest and grow its business, even through the recent recession and credit crunch. In fact building has never stopped. Bloor Homes blue-sky approach goes far beyond building superior homes. Each development reflects the style of the local architecture. Choice, style and value are fundamental to the appeal of Bloor Homes’ developments. Add the popular incentives of the new Government backed ‘Help to Buy’ scheme or 100% part exchange and it is a winning formula.

“Moving home should be an enjoyable experience” says Christine Kynaston, Sales Director for Bloor Homes North West region. “We know that choosing a new home is one of the biggest and most exciting decisions people make in their lifetime. That’s why we work with home buyers every step of the way. From helping them select the right property to choosing options to personalize their home and explaining the purchasing choices and incentives available.”

“We never forget that our success is as a result of creating desirable new residential neighbourhoods, where people aspire to live in comfort and safety.”

Seeing is believing...

Discover your ideal Bloor Home by visiting www.bloorhomes.com

Relocating or moving on up?

Bloor Homes’ 100% Part Exchange † available... • Less stress and hassle • No advertising costs

bloorhomes.com - the one location where everything clicks into place...

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Gatewen Village - New Phase The Meadow - NEW! Ryecroft Green - NEW! Wrexham, Clwyd, LL11 6UY Davenham, Cheshire CW9 8HT Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 8AR 3, 4 & 5 bed houses, from £147,995 3, 4 & 5 bed homes, from £207,500 4 & 5 bed detached, from £283,995 Help to Buy Wales available early 2014, details: 01978 751073

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† Terms and conditions apply, details www.bloorhomes.com or from the Sales Suites. Photos for illustration purposes. Prices and availability correct at time of going to press.

Business Matters

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It’s in our nature to speed things up. Even progress. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid. Imagine if you could blend thrilling emotions with extraordinary efficiency. Imagine a

• • • • •

four-seat sports car with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain allowing you to travel up to 21 miles on electric power alone. Imagine a combined output of 416 hp and 0-62 mph in just 5.5 seconds, alongside 91.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 71g/km*. Imagine experiencing the future of Intelligent Performance today, with Porsche. For more information on the new Panamera range visit www.porsche.co.uk/panamera or call 0845 8454 911.

Explore the new Panamera

Porsche Centre Chester Cheshire Oaks Cheshire CH65 9LF info@porschechester.co.uk

*Official fuel economy figures for the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid in mpg (l/100 km): Urban 0.0 (0), Extra Urban 38.2 (7.4), Combined 91.1 (3.1). CO2 emissions: 71 g/km. The mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results, are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. Electric range is dependent on driving conditions. Power output and performance obtained in combined hybrid power train mode.

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• 814 seat theatre • Large, flexible conference centre • Large sprung wooden dance floor • Range of break out areas • Full bar and catering facilities

• Full technical support • Level access to all areas for unloading • Optional marketing support • Wi-fi enabled • Spacious bars and foyers

Contact the Conference Team Telephone 0151 606 2965 Email floralconferences@wirral.gov.uk www.floralpavilion.com

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Conference & meeting rooms

Handbridge Accountancy Solutions provides Accounts , Bookkeeping, Tax Returns and advice, and Payroll to small businesses in the Chester and North Wales area.

2-40 people Digital TV screens En suite residential accommodation Full catering facilities

Free Initial Consultation

Tel: 01244 674823 19 Eaton Mews, Chester CH4 7EJ Email: john@handbridgeaccountants.co.uk Web: www.handbridgeaccountants.co.uk

Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden CH5 3DF www.gladstoneslibrary.org / 01244 532350

FIRE SAFETY TRAINING Leave Safe Training specialises in providing high quality fire safety training to suit your business. Les Spencer has 30 years experience as a fire officer and has many years experience in giving fire training to local organisations.

EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS!

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COMMUNICATION IS KEY TO SUCCESS

▼ Fire Extinguisher Course

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5/12/13 09:33:20


NEWS

Manufacturing Spurt and Strong Service Sector Boost Growth The British Chambers of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) released in October provides further evidence the UK economy is healing.

ASISEEIT

The Q3 survey, made up of responses from more than 7,400 businesses, shows improvements in most key areas for both manufacturing and services compared with Q2, with many balances now stronger than their long-term historical averages. In the manufacturing sector, six key balances are at all-time highs, whilst the service sector continues to go from strength to strength. BCC were pleased that confidence in the manufacturing sector has fuelled a temporary growth spurt, but say it’s too early to declare that the recovery is now secure… especially given risks both at home and abroad that still remain.

Key Findings:

For both manufacturing and services, most key balances are stronger in Q3 than in Q2, with critical balances now stronger than long-term historical averages Several key manufacturing balances are at all-time highs, but this could be due to a temporary spurt Employment also rose in the services sector to +20%, and is at its best level since 2007 Business confidence in turnover and profitability remains high. In both manufacturing (+66% and +46% respectively) and services (+58% and +39%) these figures are all above pre-recession levels Investment in plant and machinery in the manufacturing sector fell and is lower than in 2007, despite the full capacity balance being at a record high Several key services balances are still lower than pre-recession levels, even though they improved this quarter: employment expectations (+26%), cashflow (+12%), investment balances (+17% for machinery, +24% for training), and profitability confidence (+39%) Both export balances in the service sector (sales and orders) fell slightly

Pressure to raise prices increased in Q3

Overall, the Q3 results support BCC’s view that the recovery is strengthening, but significant challenges remain. John Longworth, director general of the BCC said: “We have long-championed the idea that businesses up and down the country have remained confident about their abilities to grow. Even more firms now believe they can increase their turnover and sales, and hire more staff, which is a testament to their hard-work, creativity and ambition. “It is fantastic to see our small yet dynamic manufacturing sector doing so well, with our results suggesting a recent growth spurt. However, we need to ensure that this does not become an aberration, but rather the norm, particularly when the economic recovery is still facing external risks.”

Robin Dillamore, Director at Dillamore & Co Ltd Chartered Accountants and Chamber Director

I’d like to tell you about an exciting project being pioneered in Chester; an initiative that has already attracted attention from Westminster. It’s a partnership between the public sector, community groups and business and there is opportunity for more organisations to get involved. The project involves Panna Cage football; two on two football played inside a large metal cage. Games last for two minutes and can be won on goals scored or by achieving a ‘nutmeg’ (panna is the Dutch term for nutmeg, where the ball is passed through the legs of an opponent). I helped with the Panna Cage when it made its first appearance in Chester at the Blacon Festival in 2011. For four hours non-stop there were queues of young people waiting to play, since then Streetworx and Chester Police have worked together to plan, organise and deliver Panna Cage sessions across Chester. Streetworx was started in 2010 by The Community Church in Blacon. It is headed up by Paul Stevens, a church leader, and Sam Crick, a Chester University graduate. They have a vision to engage with young people face to face and empower them to achieve their potential. The Panna Cage also gives Police Community Support Officers the opportunity to build positive relationships with young people and the community. The cage runs in seven locations across Chester during every school holiday, apart from Christmas and February half term. As a result there has been year on year an average reduction of 18% in youth related anti-social behaviour, according to Sergeant Ian Wilson of Chester Police. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, came to see the Panna Cage in action in October 2013. She was very impressed, she said: “I think the cage is absolutely fantastic. It does several things. First of all it’s taking kids off the street; it gives them something positive to do, which is also healthy and good. It’s saving police time. It’s having a tremendous effect on anti-social behaviour locally, but it brings the community together too.” Paul and Sam are actively looking for more local businesses to get involved by sponsoring a panel on the Panna cage. This is a great opportunity for businesses to gain valuable publicity and at the same time help fund a worthwhile project that is making a difference in young people’s lives and changing our communities for the better. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/streetworx.

Business Matters

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5/12/13 09:33:22


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5/12/13 09:33:29


www.renault.co.uk

RENAULT CAPTUR CAPTURE LIFE ARIZONA COLLECTION

MIAMI COLLECTION

MANHATTAN COLLECTION

CUSTOMISABLE COLOUR COLLECTIONS

EFFICIENT ENERGY ENGINES

MULTIMEDIA TOUCHSCREEN WITH INTEGRATED NAVIGATION

FROM £199 PER MONTH*

LOOKERS CHESTER SEALAND ROAD, CHESTER CH1 4LQ TEL 0844 234 3458 WWW.LOOKERS.CO.UK/RENAULT The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Renault Captur range are: Urban 42.8 (6.6)–67.26 (3.7); Extra Urban 60.1 (4.7)–83.1 (3.4); Combined 52.31 (5.4)–76.4(3.7). The official CO2 emissions for the range are 125–96g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment figures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary according to driving styles, road conditions and other factors. Terms and exclusions apply. Warranty 100,000 miles. Service 48,000 miles. Visit www.renault.co.uk/4plus for details. *Rental stated is for Renault Lease. Comparable payments are available on our personal contract purchase product – ask your dealer for details. If you choose Renault Lease then you will not own the car. When you have paid the final rental at the end of the contract, you can keep using the car and pay an annual rental equivalent to one monthly rental. Typical example: Car shown is a New Captur Dynamique MediaNav TCe 90 S&S, advance rental £1999 inc VAT followed by 48 monthly rentals of £199 inc VAT, final rental £5846 inc VAT. A finance facility fee of £149 will be payable with the advance rental. For finance, conditions apply. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. You must be at least 18 and a UK resident (excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands) to apply. Finance provided by RCI Financial Services Limited, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. Available at participating dealers only. Not available in conjunction with any other schemes or finance offers. Please check with your local dealer for information. Offers are available to retail and business customers (but exclude fleet customers with own terms), and are valid on new vehicles when ordered by 30 September 2013. Cars shown with optional metallic paint available at an additional £595 (£225 for Ivory non-metallic paint) and £300 for the contrasting roof.

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5/12/13 09:33:32


cheshire west and chester

Find It in Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester Council have recently rebranded the combined services affecting and supporting business growth in the borough. The new growth and prosperity directorate, led by director Charlie Seward is committed to supporting businesses. The new service will develop growth advocates from within the services that interact with businesses, creating a more coordinated approach, and supporting the business community to realise their ambitions.

By helping businesses in the Cheshire and Warrington area to win more work from public and private sector buyers, the initiative will help to keep the Cheshire and Warrington pound in Cheshire and Warrington. This supports the local economy, retains and creates jobs and ultimately, benefits the whole of the local community.

As a council we are actively engaged in facilitating opportunities for businesses to start, expand and create jobs, joining up the current offer from local authority business facing services and integrating the private sector offer.

Businesses can upload their own requirements for goods and services (known as opportunities) and get quotations from local businesses that can provide what they need. It’s completely free and will hopefully result in better prices from companies in the Cheshire and Warrington area. A more local supply chain could also contribute to lowering carbon emissions by reducing transportation costs.

Key account management visits will assist the borough’s top 50 companies to remove barriers to growth; investment support will provide a more focused approach to attracting new business to the borough, along with assisting existing business to develop and grow. We are looking to adopt a sector based approach, promoting the strengths of our economy to provide wider support for investors. As part of the support focused on growth and prosperity we have developed a new online support tool, ‘Find-it’ in Cheshire and Warrington, this new website is a business-to-business portal for sharing local contract opportunities. Local suppliers will have access to a range of extra services to help local suppliers to bid for (and win) bigger and better contracts.

Local businesses can register with Find-it in Cheshire and Warrington for free. This gives them access to the contract opportunities, with email alerts, and also allows them to create their own profiles, or ‘mini-sites’, within the website.

The free online profiles are complemented by a range of other functions including listings of business-to-business events in the area, the latest news for local businesses and valuable support and advice services provided by local, regional and national organisations. The overall purpose is to ‘match-make’ local buyers and suppliers and help big businesses to discover the quality and variety of suppliers right on their doorstep. This is your chance to register for free now on the new Find-it website, if you want to find out more or join us for a presentation of the site then please contact us on: Email: businessevents@cheshirewestandchester. gov.uk Phone: (01244) 515561 Tweet: @Finditcheshire www.finditincheshireandwarrington.co.uk

Fellow members can search for suppliers by business sector and visit other members’ profiles, which include their contact details, a description of their goods and services, pictures, PDF downloads and many other features.

Business Matters

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5/12/13 09:33:34


hoWIWorK I’m Gavin Preston and This Is…

Tell us a bit about you, your background and what brings you to this role.

My business and corporate experience is rooted in qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG followed by business and finance roles for BAE SYSTEMS. Subsequently I’ve worked across numerous sectors and am a highly experienced high performance business consultant and executive coach with extensive experience in multinational organisations and medium sized businesses. I work with entrepreneurs whose business have hit a plateau and help them get back into growth and with early stage businesses to help them accelerate their growth. I also work with bankers and accountants, helping them to engage differently with their entrepreneurial clients in order that they add value to the growth of their client’s business. What one word best describes how you work? Strategically What’s your workspace like? Light, uncluttered, clean and surrounded by an extensive library. What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Apple ‘toys’ and mind-mapping software.

WeB INsIGhts

What are your best time saving tricks? Focus on one thing at a time, build and use a capable team and switch off distractions such as your mobile phone, email/social media alerts etc. How do you manage your to-do list? By using the Stephen Covey principle of what is important and what is urgent; helping me to prioritise the important things that are aligned to my business strategy. Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? My iPad. What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Incisively identifying the core need or the core problem within a business or organisation. What’s your sleep routine like? I have a four month old baby… need I say more! What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The quote by American author Napoleon Hill, who said: “What the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve.” Finally, have you got any other ‘lifehack’ tips for getting things done better you’re able to share? Attach pain to the things that you don’t want and pleasure to the things that you do want. Have a mentor to hold you accountable to deliver the things that you do want.

James Crane, managing director of Overbyte Interactive and Chamber director answers your computing questions. Q: What’s the best way to protect our office WI-FI? We recently received a complaint that a film had been downloaded using it… A: There are a number of steps in making a Wi-Fi network secure. The first would be to ensure its WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) encrypted. This forces users to enter a password prior to joining the network. Avoid the older and less secure WEP standard. Other steps include allowing only specific machines access and even hiding your network from public view. Also, consider

legitimately logged-on users that are downloading inappropriate files. Your router may have options here, if not you can buy solutions to restrict access to such material. Finally, dig around, see if you can track the download source. Q: We’re discussing upgrading our stock of laptops, but unsure whether to go with ones using SSDs or traditional hard drives. Could you advise which is better? A: This depends on your laptop’s role and your budget. Consider that SSDs (solid state disks) are more

shock resistant, have lower energy requirements and are slightly faster. However, they are significantly more expensive than HDDs (hard disk drives) and become prohibitively so for larger capacity drives. Traditional HDDs are less protected against shock (dropping it) and use more power. However, you can very cheaply buy large capacity disks and the reality is that shock damage is rare. Given this, for standard office equipment, I’d always go for HDD-based hardware; the savings are better spent on other upgrades eg memory. Business Matters

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eVeNts

EVENTS

Annual Dinner, October 18th The Chester Grosvenor.

Business Matters

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5/12/13 09:33:45


NEW MEMBERS

NEWMEMBERS 147 Consultants Unit 6 Bretton Hall Buildings Bretton Hall Farm CHESTER Cheshire CH4 0DF 01244 888147 lee@147consultants.co.uk Mr Lee Stephens

A M Custom Clothing Riverside Innovation Centre CHESTER Cheshire CH1 1SL 0759 7815868 sales@amcustomclothing.co.uk Mr Alex Franklin ACCA Cymru Wales PO Box 2520 CARDIFF South Glamorgan CF23 0GN 0844 8944835 ceri.maund@accaglobal.com Ms Ceri Maund Altrain ADR Stanney Mill Road CHESTER Cheshire CH2 4HX 01244 545157 lisa@altrainadr.co.uk Ms Lisa Antrobus Awesome Feathers Lochinver lon Ganol MENAI BRIDGE Gwynedd LL59 5YD 07990 586989 awesomefeathers@hotmail. co.uk Mr David Pugh Bridge Community Farms CIC Abbotts Bank Westminster Avenue CHESTER Cheshire CH4 8JB 07825303060 francis@gfmb.co.uk Business Doctors Chester Wrexham & Flintshire 2 Victoria Road CHESTER Cheshire CH4 8SS 07786 225552 pamelad@businessdoctors.co.uk Mrs Pamela Drew

D&G Independent Ltd Park House Broncoed Business Park Wrexham Road MOLD Flintshire CH7 1HP 01352 754272 wayne.musker@dandgifa.co.uk Mr Wayne Musker Fluke Photography 19A Watersedge FRODSHAM Cheshire WA6 7NQ 07944 022711 marie-claire@ flukephotography.co.uk Ms Marie-Claire Ashcroft Forever Living Products Ackworth House 7 church Lane Upton CHESTER Cheshire CH2 1DJ 07722 191811 susannelv@yahoo.co.uk Mrs Susanne Lewis Furnace Farm Ltd Tal-y-Cafn COLWYN BAY Gwynedd LL28 5RP 01492 651100 chris@bodnant-welshfood. co.uk Mr Chris Moreton Gladstone’s Library Church Lane DEESIDE Flintshire CH5 3DF 01244 532350 enquiries@gladlib.org Ms Jane Dawson Higher Training Ltd Greenbank Cottage Higher Lane Rossett WREXHAM Wrexham County Borough LL12 0AB 07732 952059 nicola@highertraining.co.uk Ms Nicola Morris

HL Healthcare Ltd Old Post Office Shutley Lane NORTHWICH Cheshire CW8 4RP 01606 892360 mark@hlhealthcare.co.uk Mr Mark Llewellyn Jones Financial Services 20 Parc Branwen HOLYHEAD Gwyned LL65 3AW 07854 251129/01407760382 geraint@ jonesfinancialservices.co.uk Mr Geraint Jones Kirsty Craig Associates Riverside Innovation Centre Castle Drive CHESTER Cheshire CH1 1SL 07802 535169/08435044651 kirsty@kirstycraigassociates. co.uk Mrs Kirsty Craig KPI Recruiting Ltd Unit B14 Zone 1 Deeside Industrial Estate DEESIDE Flintshire CH5 2JZ 01244 289800 jon@kpir.co.uk Mr Jon Cope

Parry & Evans Ltd Unit 103 Zone 1 DEESIDE Flintshire CH5 2LR 01244 281019 neil.bibby@reisswolf.org.uk Mr Neil Bibby Propel Recruitment Quinten Hazell Enterprise Park Glan Y Wern Road COLWYN BAY Conwy County Borough LL5 5BS 01745812263 sandra@propelrecruitment. co.uk Mrs Sandra Donogue Reisswolf Unit 103 Zone 1 DEESIDE Flintshire CH5 2LR 01244 281019 neil.bibby@reisswolf.org.uk Mr Neil Bibby Remortgage Plus 17 Edge Grove CHESTER Cheshire CH2 3DZ 01244 310493 info@remortgageplus.co.uk Mr Ian Bullock

KZN Solutions Limited Cornmill Cottage 30 Cornmill Court WARRINGTON Cheshire WA3 7BU 07880726800 georgina.sumner@ kznsolutions.co.uk

Residential Estates Ltd Raglan Chambers First Floor 28 Frodsham Street CHESTER Cheshire CH1 3JL 01244 343355 sales@residential-estates.co.uk Mr Gary Taylor

Moneytree Wealth Management Ltd Unit 5 Venture Point Stanney Mill Road CHESTER Cheshire CH2 4NE 01244 470107 linford@moneytreewm.co.uk Mr Linford Brown

RICOH UK Ltd Ricoh House Tudor Road RUNCORN Cheshire WA7 1TA 01928 599599 simon.riley@ricoh.co.uk Mr Simon Riley

Smart PA 78 Jacks Wood Avenue ELLESMERE PORT Cheshire CH65 3BT 0151 5129155 michelle@smartpasupport.com Ms Michelle Scarisbrick The Travel Visa Company The Quadrangle Crewe Hall Weston Road CREWE Cheshire CW1 6UY 01270 250590 karen@thetravelviscompany. co.uk Mrs Karen Taylor Tropic Skincare Netherwood House Whitchurch Road CHESTER Cheshire CH3 6AF 01244 314605 mc@marieclairecarlyle.com Ms Marie-Claire Carlyle TWG Northwich Ltd Hargreaves Road NORTHWICH Cheshire CW9 7BL 01606 44624 brian.phillips@twgnorthwich. co.uk Watkins Smith (NW) Ltd 5 Mae-y-Glowyr Northop Hall MOLD Flintshire CH7 6JT 07979 181913 kate@watkinssmith.co.uk Ms Kate Smith Winning Pitch Building 8 Floor 8 Exchange Quay SALFORD Lancashire M5 3EJ 0161 8764922 gaevents@winning-pitch.co.uk Mr Ian Fletcher

Business Matters

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Just One More Thing… 1. What brought you to your current job?

I started in the bank following my A-Levels, whilst deciding on whether to pursue a career in law. As the weeks and months went by, I really enjoyed helping people at the bank and could see all the opportunities that working for Nat West could offer. 2. What inspires you?

That we can always and should always learn more, that we can always help more people and that things can always change! In my view the world including banking is undergoing a fundamental shift at present in the way people deal with each other via social media, their expectations of life and relationships. This applies also in banking with what customers expect of us, how we need to evolve and change. It’s inspiring to be part of that, to be able to and need to learn new skills and keep pace with technology and a changing society. 3. Who do you admire?

It’s quite controversial but Lance Armstrong has always been someone I have admired. Whilst he has been mired in controversy over recent years (and I don’t think we’ll ever know the full truth) the way he fought and overcame cancer, as well as building the Livestrong brand is an inspirational story of the power of one individual in helping others. Dedicating so much time and resource to building Livestrong into what it is today should be a lesson for us all. 4. What advice would you give someone aiming for a job like yours?

To try hard, to get back up when you are knocked down, be open to new ideas, new ways of thinking, be honest, authentic, try to put the needs of others before your own and never stop learning. 5. Tell us about your most memorable moment or greatest achievement in life.

People normally talk about their children and marriage and those are certainly true for me too! However, the greatest personal achievement was

Rewind The world as it was 10 years ago… December 2003 2nd:ऀUS Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wins the annual ‘Foot in Mouth’ awarded by the Plain English Campaign

I

M

5th:ऀ A return of the ‘Home Internationals’ football tournament is narrowly missed as England, Wales and Northern Ireland are drawn together in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup

Dave Furnival         

Director, Nat West Business Banking

raising several thousand pounds for the Countess of Chester paediatric department by competing in and completing the Etape De Tour, which is a cycling race that follows one of the routes of the Tour De France. It was mentally the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do; to overcome your own demons whilst raising funds and realising that you can make a difference. I was humbled by the generosity of all those who sponsored me and 10 hours in the Pyrenees gave me plenty of time to think about that! 6. What was your childhood ambition?

I wanted to (and still do) fly in a fighter jet! 7. If you were Prime Minister, what one change would you make to help business?

I would look for ways to encourage businesses to think about growth outside of our country. We have so many good businesses in the UK that still don’t consider exporting as a viable option, have never spoken to their bank or UKTI about the options so, I would look for ways to encourage them to engage overseas and really put the UK back on the map. 8. What are you listening to, watching, reading or playing at the moment?

7th: ऀPresident Putin’s United Russia Party win a resounding victory in the 2003 Russian election, but monitors say the process was ‘overwhelmingly distorted’ in the government’s favour 13th: ऀSaddam Hussein is captured and arrested by US forces in Tikrit, Iraq, by the 4th Infantry Division

January 2004 1st:ऀ MySpace officially launches 12th: The World Wildlife Fund reports the orangutan is in danger of becoming extinct within the next 20 years because of commercial logging and oil palm plantations 13th: ऀSerial killer Dr Harold Shipman is found dead in his prison cell 16th:ऀThe United States’ national debt passed $7 Trillion 27th: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King receives 11 nominations for the 2004 Academy Awards 28th:ऀThe Hutton Inquiry report concludes there was no ‘dishonourable conduct’ on the part of the UK government in the suicide of weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

February 2004 1st:ऀ Janet Jackson suffers her infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII

I am currently listening to The Script, I love the lyrics to ‘I’m Yours’. I’m reading Leading Change by John Kotter, which is a great book on change management and different views. For my birthday my wife bought me a guitar and guitar lessons so I’m also playing that (very badly)!

4th: Facebook is launched

9. What couldn’t you live without?

My family and friends; they keep you grounded and remember all the silly things you did when you were a kid (and remind you of them all the time)!

11th:ऀ Scientists find the fossilised head of a 400 million year old fly, making it the oldest known insect

10. Describe a perfect Sunday…

18th: ऀApple Computers pays off its remaining $3m and becomes debt free

Coffee, croissants and quick 50 mile bike ride before spending the rest of the day with the kids.

I b t f

12th: ऀMick Jagger is knighted

8th: Dr Hans Blix accuses the US and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

F

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20th: The Hubble Space Telescope shows that ‘dark energy’ is pushing apart the universe

Business Matters

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Business Matters 16  

Business Matters is the official magazine of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce specifically designed for Chamber members, but...

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