BUSINESSEDGE The magazine of Sussex Enterprise
Allied Protection comes of age Social Media What’s the return? Kabuki Productions Conveying companies’ messages
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This issue focuses on the digital economy. With social media seeping into every imaginable industry, we have looked at its impact on business and the benefits it can bring. We visit Horsham to find out how its economy is adapting to changing times and, moving further south to East Brighton, look at how the American Express Community Stadium is helping regenerate the local economy. We talk to member company Allied Protection, a leading provider of fire detection and alarm systems, on growing a business and how to tackle the inevitable people challenges this presents. And don’t miss the feature on Kabuki Productions – a Premier member, and a great success story. Kabuki Productions is a creative and technical event production company, which specialises in producing corporate and public sector events across the world. We have been very pleased with the response we have had to calls for stories but we are always looking for more. So, if you have anything you would like to tell us, please get in touch on businessedgeenquiries@ sussexenterprise.co.uk. Our next issue is due out at the end of September and will focus on the advanced manufacturing sector. We look forward to hearing from you.
Cover photo courtesy of Chris Butler at The Photography Lounge
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How flexible are you? “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin
Over the last three years the ability to respond to change has been at the forefront of our collective minds. For me, in talking to many of you, the single word that describes you and your ability to still be in business and/or thrive is RESILIENCE. Resilience is not about being stubborn. In fact stubbornness is about being inflexible and not being able to adapt – a dinosaur. Being resilient is about being flexible so that you adapt and change, bend but do not break. In the last three years we have all had moments of doubt about whether we can overcome the problems that face us and get us down. I have, after all I am a West Ham supporter! Can you learn to be more resilient? I think that you can. It is trite to say that we should view problems as opportunities and learn from mistakes.Yes, we can all do that, but how. Some of us are naturally more resilient than others, but there are some simple tips about how to enhance that resilience. Have a positive, but realistic outlook: Not a naive belief that everything is going to be okay. It is recognising the negative aspects of reality and believing that you can handle whatever comes your way. Being wildly optimistic means you just set yourself up for a fall. Be targeted and have a ruthless focus, with concentrated effort and be better at saying no: Within business there are many things that you could do, but only a few of them add real value. A calm assessment of what does and does not add value is required from time to time. Ability to problem-solve: This is the practice of putting aside, or compartmentalizing, negative events allowing one to use logic and creativity to find solutions. The ability to access one’s creativity in spite of feeling anxious enables brainstorming and choosing the best solutions. Government chooses to invest disproportionate amounts of money in deprived parts of the UK. It chooses to invest
little money in ensuring that the South East continues to generate the wealth that the rest of the country depends on. Act more quickly and decisively: Prevarication might seem the easiest route at the time. But it leads to worry about both the decision, the communication of the decision (as it normally has an impact on people) and delay often costs money. Looking after yourself: The resilient business owner feels the stress without it taking a toll on her or him.You are less likely to feel overwhelmed or become physically ill.You need to make time for good self-care.You need to exercise, eat well, and rest because these are necessary for successful management of one’s business. Motherhood and apple pie I know, but do you do it? Trust staff more (with the right guidance) and play to their strengths: You can’t do everything. That means we have to let go of things in a managed way. Surprising things can happen, and I don’t mean disasters. It is all too easy to try and control everything. Be positive: Take the time to let others know they have done a good job. Often when we are under pressure we are very task focussed and do not recognise what is going on around us. This is the time when we need to let others know how valuable they are and encourage them to take additional responsibility. Resilient people can notice and appreciate positivity and still face the difficulty head-on. They are able to see that life is not all bad or all good. Support from others: Make use of support systems that can include friends and family. Professional networking groups, roundtables, and mastermind groups can also provide emotional support. It has been found in research that many resilient people had at least one person who believed in them and urged them to not quit. This may take the form of a mentor, a coach, a colleague, a family member or a friend. They can give you an independent perspective.
CEO Mark Froud
Flexibility and being outside the box: The resilient person exhibits flexibility in their expression of emotions, problem-solving, and thinking. Another way to look at this is to stop saying “yeah but...” and replace it with “yes and...” He/she is able to hold different, sometimes opposing, concepts without feeling unduly stressed. Ability to act with conviction: This final part of resiliency means that one has the energy, determination, and means to stay in motion. Do not feel chained to previous ideas and practices that no longer fit the situation. Resilient entrepreneurs use their heads and hearts to take action and stay faithful to the core purpose of their business. Beware employment law, slower is often quicker and cheaper: In contradiction to the above, this is an area where the turtle, not the hare wins. Use our HR team to make sure you do not make technical mistakes that could cost you dearly, an Employment Tribunal will eat up your time and cost you money. Speak to one of our HR consultants on 0845 67 888 67.
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THE ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION 2011 Jacqueline Gold, the Chief Executive of Ann Summers, was the Keynote Speaker at THE ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION 2011 at the Brighton Dome on 7 June (attendance was by invitation only). Jacqueline Gold is one of Britain’s most successful businesswomen. As Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, she’s become known as the “woman responsible for bringing sex to the high street”. Ms Gold told her inspirational story of how she joined Ann Summers in 1979 and transformed it into the hugely successful business it is today, with annual sales of over £150 million! Also on the panel of speakers were Neil Smart from the Office of Fair Trading and Question Time style Panel Debate on the topic of “Your People” with distinguished Rewards & Management specialists. Delegates then interacted in three different Legal Workshop about; Buying & Selling a Business, Getting a Prenup to avoid Commercial Disputes and Tips on resolving Employment Disputes.
This event follows the success of last year’s convention which was run for this second year by ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, an innovative and award winning business specialist Law Firm based in Brighton & Burgess Hill. The event was a prestigious and professional business convention for Sussex businesses with high profile speakers and was a complete sell out. Penina Shepherd, Founder & MD of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW said: “The purpose of the ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION is to give another platform to our clients and contact to share business acumen, inspire; harmonize their understanding of business & law; network & entertain. This was our second annual convention and we had a full house with over 150 business executives. I am absolutely delighted it went so well.” Jacqueline Gold and Penina Shepherd
Our promise to young people There are over 6000 young jobseekers in Sussex, many of whom have struggled to find work since they left school, college or university. We must tackle such unemployment head on, which is why we have put together a £200 million package of support to help young people into work. Chris Grayling explains. Central to the package we are offering is our Work Experience initiative. This will give 18-24 year olds the chance to break out of the unemployment trap by scrapping the ridiculous rules that threatened them with the loss of their benefits if they took part in a work placement lasting more than a fortnight. Instead, they will be able to do a two month placement with a local business whilst continuing to receiving their Jobseeker’s Allowance so that they can afford to make the most of their Work Experience. We believe that Work Experience is the best
way forward for young people as it helps them gain practical experience that employers often think they lack. It also helps them to hone their skills and showcase their talents to you or other potential employers. This can really give them the edge in a tough jobs market and I believe that given the chance, the young jobseekers of Sussex will grasp such an opportunity - to enhance their CV and build new contacts - with both hands. But we can’t do this alone.You, the business people of Sussex, will play a crucial role in creating the Work Experience placements that will help young
people in your area get into work. Far from asking you to do this alone, our Jobcentre Plus advisers are on hand to help you.They can tell you about the benefits of offering a placement to someone in your business and can find a suitable candidate who fits with your needs. Help us help your local community, and help your business. For further information please contact Jayne Shervill, Get Britain Working Project Manager, Jobcentre Plus, Surrey and Sussex District on 01273 368515.
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“IT - More than just Boys Toys”
TERINEA IT Support Services - Celebrating 10 years... Terinea is an IT support and development company serving small to medium sized businesses in Kent and East Sussex.
Its passion for delivering technology solutions that will achieve clients’ FEATURE business objectives is what Terinea was founded on ten years ago. Proud to have been the first company in the UK to pass the NatWest/Mastercard Chip and Pin accreditation first time, its passion continues to drive it today – designing, implementing and supporting IT business solutions. “In my previous role I was the UK Software development manager for a Pan-European EPoS provider. The systems I designed were used by companies such as Sony Music, Sea Containers & Budgens Supermarkets. With Terinea I have taken this knowledge and used it to help SME’s in the South East build powerful & resilient systems.” says Managing Director Robin Tweedie-Walker.
provided to your customers. Terinea can help to improve both organisational and individual efficiency and productivity, by reshaping your existing IT infrastructure and providing expert IT support and advice. Terinea will ensure that your Microsoft Active Directory or Small Business systems are being utilised to their fullest capabilities & that you are getting the full benefits from your investment in these products.
How can you help set your business apart from its competitors?
Terinea has a flexible approach. For some clients it takes responsibility for all aspects of their IT, including day-to-day support, technical management and long term planning, whilst for others it acts as a supplementary IT resource. Some clients use Terinea only to develop bespoke software or deliver key projects. Its pricing structure reflects the same level of flexibility, with clients able to select from a number of different support packages according to their budget.
In the current economic climate, it is businesses that are able to deliver an improved customer service experience that are taking the lead and continuing to grow. Now is the right time to find new ways of utilising your existing IT investment to enhance their quality and cost-effectiveness and so improve the service
Terinea’s business is built upon the close working relationships it develops with its clients and whatever the level of support chosen, Terinea’s service is always designed around the needs of the individual business it is working alongside, aiming to act as an integral extension to that business.
“Terinea have taken the time and effort to establish the current and future requirements for our IT infrastructure and with their commercial awareness, have saved us money in the long run. The systems they have implemented are powerful and resilient. We rely on their services on a day-to-day basis and they remain proactive, committed and helpful.” – Andy Barton, Systems Development Manager, Countrystyle Group. “I have been working alongside Terinea for about 4 years now and I continue to find their services, staff and approach second to none within the IT support field. Their dedication and commitment is outstanding.” – Peter May, Managing Director, Trade Paints.
Contact details For further information please contact us on 0800 342 3050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively visit our website at www.terinea.co.uk
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Sussex Food and Drink Awards open for votes! The sixth annual Sussex Food and Drink Awards opened for voting in June, with a formal launch at the South of England Show, at the President’s VIP Sussex breakfast, inviting the public to choose their local food heroes online at www.sussexfoodawards.biz
to promoting local produce in the county – first round votes should be in by July 29th for shortlisting and voting re-opens in September.
Sussex Butcher of the Year – sponsored by Natural Farms. The winner will be a top quality butcher’s which sells and promotes local farmers’ meat and offers that little bit extra in terms of quality and service.
Sussex Food Producer of the Year – sponsored by The Southern Co-operative. The winner will be a producer of a single food ingredient or a prepared food product, which is delicious and local to Sussex. Best Sussex Food/Farm Shop – sponsored by the South Downs National Park and Collabor8. The winner will creatively sell mainly Sussex produce and could be a farm shop, gate sale, a farm delivering local produce, a delicatessen or independent local/high street shop. Best Sussex Eating Experience – sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter. The winner could be a restaurant, hotel, pub or café which uses and promotes mainly Sussex produce and offers consistently high quality food in an enjoyable atmosphere. Sussex Farmer of the Year – sponsored by Knill James. The winner will be a Sussex Farmer who has made the greatest contribution
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year – sponsored by Sussex Food & Drink Network. The winner will be a drink producer whose products are high quality and delicious. New for this year, the three finalists will include one brewery, one vineyard and one producer of non-alcoholic drinks.
Sussex Young Chef of the Year – sponsored by Natural PR. Aged 25 or under, the winner will be working or studying in Sussex and be passionate about local produce. First round votes by July 15th to decide who goes through to a master-chef style cook off. Best Sussex Farmers Market – sponsored by Harveys. The winner will sell an exciting and varied range of local produce and offer an experience which shoppers, producers and stall holders really enjoy. Voting will stay open until October 2nd, when a shortlist will be vetted by a panel of experts, chaired by food industry expert, Clive Beddall OBE. Winners will receive their trophies at the awards ceremony, renowned as the Sussex foodie event of the year, on 26th January 2012. It will for the first time be held at the stunning new American Express Community Stadium, with a scrumptious seven-course banquet made from the best Sussex ingredients, created by
head chef Fred Tobin, supporting Chestnut Tree House, the only children’s hospice in Sussex. Said Clive Beddall OBE: “Your vote counts, so please do get voting for the wonderful food and drink producers and outlets in our county – and everyone who votes online will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to the awards banquet.”
Long man of Wilmington highlights best of Sussex food and drink. Pic by Alun Price
Solufeed irrigation unit for fertiliser in Africa
“Fertiliser is a growing market” Says Dick Holden of Solufeed Water is an ever-increasing scarce resource for horticulture throughout the world and Sussex based Solufeed, recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, has capitalised on this market. Solufeed fertilisers are highly water-soluble and therefore the nutrients immediately available to the plants are added to the irrigation water. Not only is the water focused on the plant so are the much needed nutrients resulting in healthier, higher yielding crops minimising waste of water and fertiliser. Their products offer significant improvements over conventional fertilisers that are in granular form and spread on to the soil and take several months to break down and the nutrients to become available. Solufeed has earned an enviable reputation throughout the world. For more than 20 years Solufeed has concentrated on export markets and now sells through national distributors in more than 40 countries. The Solufeed technical team have specialist knowledge of a wide range of crops wherever they are grown in the world. Solufeed’s dedicated despatch team have export expertise so every consignment is shipped with the correct comprehensive documentation ensuring a swift and trouble free delivery to its eventual destination. In addition, customers are assured of the quality of service as Solufeed is ISO 9001 certified, thanks to the help of Sussex Enterprise.
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Trade Forum Focus on China attracts a full house The spring meeting of the Sussex Enterprise International Trade Forum held at the HSBC Commercial Centre in Worthing attracted a full house. The key business presentations were led off by Patrick Lohlein from Go East Consulting who focused on the reality rather than the rhetoric of trading with Chinese companies. Patrick highlighted the cultural issues and the need to be open minded and adaptable to achieve long term success in an environment that is constantly evolving and developing.
Apart from the growing awareness of the value of the forum the focus of China was the draw. The statistics on China as always flowed fast and furious; the second largest economy in the world, the unbelievable sustained growth rate, the number of cities with over a million inhabitants. Interestingly there are now over 400 Chinese companies established in the UK. The real value though as always with the Forum meetings is the first hand business and market experience shared by the carefully selected presenters. Opening the meeting Phil Barnes from HSBC outlined the bank’s comprehensive capabilities in supporting its customers in trading with China. This was followed by Chris Lowsley, Specialist International Trade Adviser for UKTI, not only contributed to the stream of statistics but more importantly outlined the support that UKTI can bring to companies wishing to build trade relationships in China. Chris highlighted the Trade Mission planned for 21-25th November to Chongqing, probably the biggest city in China you have never heard of!
Richard Moore, from Sussex based Expediency, was the second business speaker. Richard outlined how his company had partnered with a Guilin based company to overcome some of the concerns businesses express of quality control and reliability of supply when needing to achieve lower cost production in order to remain competitive. “Striking the balance,” he said “between British management and a motivated Chinese workforce was the key.” The final speaker in a packed programme was Guy Franklyn-Bute from Invest HK. “Hong Kong” he commented, “still provided a valuable gateway to China.” He highlighted its status, along with Macau as Special Administration Region with favourable investment opportunities for trading with the rest of China.
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Summing up the meeting, Rob Fryatt of Xenex Associates who leads the forum, said “The quarterly meetings of the Sussex Enterprise International Trade Forum continue to attract a mix of experienced international traders, along with companies just starting to trade internationally.” He continued, “the mix can be very stimulating for all. Our goal is for our presenters to share information, knowledge and experience to help Sussex businesses. This meeting on China certainly achieved this.”
Date: Monday 3rd October 2011 Start time: 6.00pm Venue: Brighton, Venue tbc Delegates: Open to members and non-members.
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Stadium proves its worth for economic regeneration
Although the need for a permanent home for Brighton & Hove Albion was the catalyst that put the American Express Community Stadium on the local agenda, the provision of new facilities at Village Way also created the opportunity to meet wider needs in Brighton and Hove. The development is unique. It provides much-needed facilities for Brighton & Hove Albion, but, in addition, the improvements to the local highway infrastructure and the linkage with secondary, further and higher education on one campus, has already made a significant contribution to the regeneration of this part of the city. It will not just be used for football but many other activities which will serve the community and meet the Government’s agenda on regeneration, education, skills training, jobs creation and social inclusion. The American Express Community Stadium is located in East Brighton in the Moulescoomb and Bevendean Ward, one of the most educationally and employment deprived wards in the South East. It is ideally located to serve the local community and make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the area. The stadium has been built on land owned by the University of Brighton and Brighton & Hove
City Council and the development has made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the University campus at Falmer. For instance, a Study Support Centre located within a stadium using the “Power of Football” is a powerful incentive to attract into education children, young people and adults who missed out on opportunities at a younger age. People who are not in employment, education or training are a priority group identified by the Government and a stadium located adjacent to one of the most educationally deprived wards in the country is ideally placed to serve this target sector. For example, one of the kitchens is oversized to accommodate workstations for students allowing the delivery of catering courses by City College. On a non-match day, students will prepare, cook and serve the food in a training restaurant serving customers attending conferences or meetings. On a match day, these students will be offered employment
opportunities working in the eight hospitality suites in the stadium. Approximately 300 new jobs were created through the construction phases of the stadium alone. In total, it is estimated that 734 full-time equivalent jobs will be created by the stadium development – already the catering contractor has recruited more than 300 staff – 91% of whom have BN postcodes and the Club is in the process of recruiting a further 200 stewards and event staff. Sussex Enterprise was asked to consider the impact of the stadium on the local economy in Brighton & Hove. Our forecast suggested that the total impact on Local GDP will rise to £24.4 million by the fifth year of operation. We concluded that in addition to the jobs created directly by the stadium development a further 217 will be created in companies providing supporting goods and services in the tourism and leisure industry in the City of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex.
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Viable UK manufacturing
Price sensitivity is always a key factor in any industry. Being able to pull all of the necessary disciplines together to ensure a sustained competitive manufacturing service, here in the the U.K. is another thing; but that’s just what we at Tenkay Electronics continue to do, right here in Sussex. Managing Director, Steve Dixon explains.
An all encompassing discipline here at Tenkay is our Total supply chain FEATURE management solution. This was developed to give our customers the confidence that we will take full ownership of the entire manufacturing process; from procurement of all raw materials and components through to final assembly and test. Offering a comprehensive Turnkey manufacturing solution, Tenkay believe that we are the ideal partner when looking for an efficient, professional company to produce your electronic assemblies. Utilising an established network of manufacturers and recognised franchised distributors, Tenkay only use components that have been specified on our clients bill of material, unless we have been asked to look at other available options. Tenkay’s customer base is varied. Working within a myriad of industries over the years has
resulted in Tenkay’s ethos. To offer recognised “best practice” approaches and solutions. Applying our knowledge to all areas of the business, whether that be in P.C.B production, wire harnessing, loom assembly, cabinet or panel building or indeed in full electromechanical build, we will always adopt an industry “best practice” method. Lean manufacturing, something that Tenkay has been recognised by it’s peers for, is a prime example of this and is something that can be adopted by any business to optimise the efficiencies of it’s processes. Currently shipping fully tested and inspected products to over 20 countries across the world including Korea, Russia, China and Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia, all from our manufacturing base here in Sussex, Tenkay also utilise production options overseas. High volume and less technically demanding cable assemblies are best suited for this route.
Products that require a high degree of technical ability and dexterity are produced here in the U.K. This balance allows us to offer an extremely competitive and economical pricing structure to all of our clients. Tenkay are Certified to ISO9001, and ISO14001, and have just been awarded OHSAS18001
Contact details Lancing Business Park, Marlborough Road, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 8TN. Tel: 01903 855455 Email email@example.com www.tenkay.co.uk
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An SME business finance product for today’s marketplace
It is widely acknowledged that this is a challenging time for small and medium-sized business. The government has even created Project Merlin, an agreement with the country’s four biggest banks, to help boost lending. However, this initiative has yet to bear fruit. At a time when credit is limited and rising numbers of late payments are adding to the pressure on small and medium-sized businesses, companies are increasingly turning to flexible finance products that combine innovation with customer service in order to maintain cash flow and healthy relationships.
Selective invoice discounting can help start-ups become established, provide businesses with short-term cash injections and help companies weather unexpected interruptions in cash flow. Also, letting clients know that you use this business banking facility can encourage them to pay on time.
Selective invoice discounting, a form of invoice finance, is one of these products. Recent figures from the Asset Based Finance Association show that invoice finance is outperforming all other types of business lending, up 9% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to a 2.5% contraction in wider bank lending.
Use a finance company such as Tandem Invoice Finance and up to 90% of the value of an invoice can be advanced and the facility can be used over and over again, when the need arises. Only a single fee is charged per invoice and, once an invoice is settled, there is no ongoing commitment.
Why is selective invoice discounting becoming so popular?
Choose your selective invoice discounting supplier well and this bespoke service also comes with a high level of customer service that is dedicated to ensuring that the changing finance needs of small and medium-sized businesses are successfully met. Selective invoice discounting: flexibility, transparency and reassurance all rolled into one.
Because it allows small and medium-sized businesses to release funds from single invoices on an invoice-to-invoice basis without having to commit to ongoing or long-term contracts. Against a backdrop of increasingly unattractive and inaccessible mainstream bank lending policies, selective invoice discounting is fast becoming an essential finance service for companies in today’s marketplace.
For more information see our website at www.tandemuk.com
Release cash from invoices instantly with Selective Invoice Discounting Cash locked in debtor invoices? Companies taking longer to pay? Our service commitment is unique, we offer: • Flexibility – invoice ﬁnance on an invoice-to-invoice basis
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The localism puzzle - can Government piece it together? The Localism agenda can and must be one of growth
As part of the Government’s ‘Big Society’ push, the Localism Bill, crafted by Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, aims to shift power from central government back to local communities. But, it has not been an easy journey for the Bill and, despite it making its way through the final stages of Parliament (at the time of writing this article), there are still real concerns that localism could delay the economic recovery. The Bill aims to devolve much decision-making from Whitehall, provide communities with
planning system. For too long, the scales have been weighted against companies seeking to expand their premises and invest in their local areas, despite taking a responsible and sustainable approach to development. The Government must remember that business, and small firms in particular, are the drivers of local economies and will take the lead in ensuring that economic recovery is strengthened. In the original proposal set out earlier this year, neighbourhood planning, was one of the elements of the Bill that introduces a
“There is little clarity about who will ultimately be responsible for what.” a new right to buy and manage threatened community assets, give community groups the right to challenge and run local services, to bid for assets that will help deliver them more effectively, to increase public sector accountability and to hold referenda on local issues. Our members tell us that one of the areas of greatest concern to them is the potential for the localism agenda to further complicate the
new right for communities to draw up their own ‘neighbourhood development plan’ to provide local people with greater control over developments in their communities. The huge omission in all of this was that business could not become involved with the neighbourhood forums on planning. Government forgot that while residents may have an idea about what they would like to see, it is only fair that the local businesses that
generate growth and prosperity in the areas had their say too. The Chamber movement campaigned for a business vote and won. The government rightly recognised that businesses play an important role in communities, and amended the Bill to ensure that local companies have a voice in local planning decisions. This was a positive step, but it left still much more to be done to deliver a cost-effective, timely and efficient planning process that gives businesses confidence to invest. The Communities and Local Government Committee report, released in June, said “There is little clarity about who will ultimately be responsible for what”. In response to this report, we called for Government to remember that councils must be accountable to businesses as well as local residents. Local companies must be seen as constituents, not just tick-box consultees. At the time of writing this article, the Bill was entering the House of Lords and we urged Ministers to ensure it delivers a business-friendly planning system. Growth requires greater clarity and certainty for the thousands of companies across Sussex that face repeated planning delays, spiralling costs, and spurious objections that stifle growth and jobs. Hopefully, by the time you read this, all will be crystal clear on the Localism front and business can forge ahead with economic growth.
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Red tape: transforming ministers’ rhetoric into reality on the ground For many years, under Governments of every political persuasion, ministers and civil servants turned a blind eye to business concerns about excessive regulation. Adam Marshall Director of Policy explains.
We in the private sector were accused of hysteria, of paddling our own canoe, and some entrenched interests even went so far as to say the business lobby was trying to undermine legitimate regulation – an unfair argument in the case of the BCC and the Chamber Network. Now, however, the Government of the day has changed its tune. In rhetoric, at least, there’s a newfound drive to weed out unnecessary and burdensome regulation facing business. We’ve been asked to nominate hated regulations through the on-line Red Tape Challenge, to work with Government departments to identify long-standing regulations that impose unnecessary costs and bureaucracy on companies, and to support a much-trumpeted exemption from new regulations for micro-enterprises (startups and businesses employing fewer than ten people). Ministers seem to agree that our ‘Year for Growth’ priority of making recruitment easier is one that they should support. So far, so good, I hear you say.Yet all is not as it seems, as is ever the case in British politics. While ministers are certainly talking the talk on regulation, I am detecting an increasing frustration from Chamber member companies – as businesses the length and breadth of Britain report that little has really changed on the ground.
while protecting an estimated five individuals each year. Ministers have taken up our ideas for the reform of Employment Tribunals, including a fee and mandatory pre-claim advice to weed out malicious and unjustified cases. They are now consulting on burdensome TUPE regulations, redundancy procedures, and ways to limit the size of Tribunal claims. In some cases, we’ve even been able to head off burdensome regulatory ideas before they’ve gone from Ministers’ heads onto the statute books – the sorts of successes most businesspeople rarely hear about. Yet we’ve also lost some fights, such as our attempt to retain the Default Retirement Age, which allowed employers to plan and manage the future of their workforce. And new regulatory storm clouds are gathering on the horizon: plans to introduce fully-flexible parental leave by 2015, which would cause most small- and medium-sized companies untold disruption; plans to extend the right to request flexible working to everyone, leaving businesses in a position of having to justify every rejection; compulsory pay
audits for companies that lose a Tribunal equal pay claim … the list goes on. So it’s no wonder many employers across the land feel that the deck is stacked against them. Governments’ instincts are always to use regulation – to satisfy a Minister’s desire for publicity, and the Civil Service’s desire to ‘fix’ a perceived problem. Continuous regulatory change makes compliance difficult and expensive. And above all, as a recent BCC survey of 7,000 businesses has shown, it stops many member companies from employing more people and expanding into new markets. So we’ll keep fighting on behalf of local businesses all across the UK. We will force ministers to match their de-regulatory rhetoric with real change on the ground – one policy at a time. The UK’s future growth prospects depend on it. Dr Adam Marshall is Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce (www.britishchambers.org.uk)
We have had some successes in recent months. Thanks to BCC lobbying, the Government dropped its plans to introduce a right to request time off to train for firms with fewer than 250 employees. They are rolling back burdensome clauses from the Equality Act on dual discrimination, which would have cost companies millions
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Is your perception of Insolvency Practitioners a funeral parlour for businesses? If so think again. Even during this present economic climate, insolvency firms are often perceived as funeral parlours for failed businesses – the final part of the formal and legal process of receivership, administration, liquidation or a voluntary arrangement. However, this isn’t necessarily the case – very often, especially if involved at the early stages, they can be lifesaving doctors. One of the functions undertaken by insolvency practitioners is a rescue-based approach, where the aim is to change the fortunes of a struggling company in the shortest possible time. This can include: Negotiating improved terms and/or repayment schedules with secured lenders, HM Revenue & Customs and key trade creditors
Devising and implementing working capital strategies designed to release cash
Financial restructuring - arranging alternative or additional funding lines with banks, asset-based lenders, mortgage lenders, private equity houses
Advice and due-diligence in relation to the acquisition of distressed businesses
More and more businesses are looking upon cash flow difficulties as an opportunity for renewal by proactively working with insolvency firms. Many of these businesses can avoid formal insolvency, by involving the insolvency practitioner at an early stage to allow them to devise and apply the correct solution to the business’s problems. A large part of the Insolvency Practitioners role is to co-ordinate the relationship between the various interested parties. RSM Tenon works with all stakeholders, ranging from directors, banks, shareholders, venture capitalists, government grant agencies, trade creditors, etc from the very beginning of our involvement in the turnaround process. This is essential, as it not only helps to get an in-depth knowledge of the business and its specific issues, but also ensures that all
the stakeholders are provided with the same information from day one, which is key to achieving a successful conclusion and ensuring the business will prosper in the future.
For more information, call RSM Tenon’s Brighton director, Ian Cadlock on 01273 322 402 or email on email@example.com
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ASK THE EXPERT
Keeping the cloud secure Q
How do I protect the data that I hold and stay on the right side of the law if I switch to cloud computing?
Cloud computing has significant benefits for businesses, but it also poses some legal concerns, in particular the security of personal data when in the cloud and the transfer of such data to and from the cloud.
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the seventh data protection principle requires that “appropriate technical and organisational measures” must be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. It is relatively easy when operating your own IT systems to ensure appropriate technical and
I have just spent a lot of money developing a new website for my business – will I get immediate tax relief?
How web development costs are treated for tax purposes depends on what the website is for. If it directly creates income for your business - through an online store, advertising or subscriptions - it is deemed to be a business asset. For the purposes of tax, the cost of the asset is written down at 20 per cent a year. So it will take you a number of years to get the tax relief.
Mark O’Shea, Partner and Head of Commerce & Technology Team. Tel: +44 (0)1293 527744. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rawlisonbutler.com organisational measures are in place but less so where data is in the cloud. The eighth data protection principle prohibits personal data from being transferred outside of the EEA unless the recipient country or territory ensures “an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data”. This principle was formulated way before cloud computing and fails to adequately cater for the way in which cloud computing works, where identical copies of data may be retained at a service provider’s data centres around the world.
Essentially, you need to ensure that data is: n
Protected during transfers to a provider’s data centres.
Securely stored and protected by the provider – this will usually mean ensuring that you have data protection compliant contracts in place with the supplier.
Carol Lewis is a director of Bainbridge Lewis, Brighton-based accountants for growing businesses. Find out more at www.bainbridgelewis.co.uk
However, if you are a small business you can claim 100 per cent Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) and get the cost as a tax deduction in the first year. To qualify for AIA you need to have spent less than £100,000 in 2011/12 on assets. From April 2012 the limit for AIA goes down to £25,000 so if you spend a lot on assets be careful when the website is
Social Media Guide available now from Sussex Enterprise One of the frequent topics we are asked about is the use of social media: is it a good idea, can it work for any business, what are the legal implications of letting staff loose on Twitter or Linked In, and what benefits does it have from a business perspective? The answer is broadly yes it can have great positives for all sorts of organisations, as long as the implementation
Given that data protection laws are hardly uniform, this can mean that data centres located in different jurisdictions may be impeded from sharing or transferring identical data to their counterparts elsewhere in the world.
and the outcomes have been thought through carefully. I am sure you wouldn’t dream of allowing any member of staff to design a marketing campaign on behalf of your business, but many of us let individual employees loose with the company reputation by allowing them access to social media without any guidance or training whatsoever.
We have developed a brief guide entitled Social Media – A Game of Risk? which is available free of charge. If you would like a copy, just email me on Tania.email@example.com.
completed to ensure you can claim AIA. If the website is only used for advertising or promoting your business’s own products or services, it can be expensed which means you will get immediate tax relief. Subsequent regular costs – updating, hosting etc - can be treated in the same way.
If you have a business question that you would like answered, please email it to businessedgeenquiries@ sussexenterprise.co.uk, marking the subject line Ask the Expert, and we will try to include it and the answer in the next edition.
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Horsham ready for of economic life
Horsham has confronted many difficult economic times over the years but, according to those who live and work there, its economy remains strong and able to adapt to changing times.
The statistics explain why. The unemployment rate for the district is 1.9%, which compares to a county figure of 2.4% and a national rate of 3.7%., and the area has high levels of educational attainment. Figures show that 41.5% of residents have achieved NVQ level 4 and above. Across West Sussex the figure is 30.6% and the national level is 29.9%. That translates into 53% of residents employed in managerial, professional and technical occupations. Horsham District also has a significant proportion of manufacturing jobs, 11.5% compared with the West Sussex and national figures of 9.7% and 10.2%. Construction accounts for 5.7% of jobs and, overall, 73% of businesses in the area have no more than four employees. Tom Crowley, Chief Executive of Horsham District Council, said: “We are fortunate to have a strong local economy. Whilst the current economic climate has placed strains on our area,
nevertheless the district’s economy has performed relatively well compared to local, regional and national comparators. This bears out the forecast in the analysis undertaken by Experian in September 2010, which showed Horsham was the seventh most resilient district in the country in terms of our ability to withstand the recession. “We have a high level of business start-ups although recent years have also seen a high degree of attrition on this front, in common with other areas. Our Council has pioneered support for such business locally and our “Microbiz” initiative has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2003. The ninth annual Microbiz event was held in Horsham in March and attracted almost 600 business visitors.” In addition to start-ups, the area also has plenty of big names but that does not mean it is immune from setbacks. Mr Crowley said: “Novartis announced its plans to shed 550 jobs in the town in April. They are still consulting on the proposal and we have offered to work with them to co-ordinate advice and support from agencies and organisations to help those affected. We will also work with the company to explore future options for any land released as a result of their
contraction. We will encourage the continuation of employment use on the site.” And despite the area’s attractions, recruitment can be a problem. He said: “Our towns and villages have a rich historic and architectural heritage. Horsham and the north of the district are within the Gatwick Diamond, which is a regional and national economic powerhouse. Coupled with high levels of educational attainment, employment and prosperity, we have a winning combination. “However, low levels of unemployment, skills shortages and high house prices can make it difficult to recruit staff. This is exacerbated by poor and declining public transport provision. For example, there is no direct rail link with Brighton which could provide further labour for local employers. There is also a lack of suitable land and buildings for expansion and a lack of high speed broadband, and particular concern about growing rural ‘digital divide’.” Mr Crowley sees the area itself as a key part of the work to attract investment. He said: “Horsham town centre is unique. It is one of the best town centres in the country – a fact recognised in successive surveys such as Channel
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or the challenges
4’s Location, Location, Location. Over the past 25 years the Council has shown considerable flair and initiative in creating the conditions to attract very substantial private sector investment and has seen a huge return on its relatively limited pump priming.
“We were instrumental in the development of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership which will ensure our voice is heard in Westminster. A key issue is the identification of a site for a major business and research park within the sub-region.
“Whilst other town centres have struggled, and in some cases sadly failed, to get their regeneration plans off the drawing board, we have a first-class offer, combining the best of our market town heritage and modern retail and leisure facilities.
“We are taking a lead role with other councils, business organisations, such as Sussex Enterprise, and community representatives to push for action to tackle the Broadband digital divide and we will continue to develop and deliver a programme of affordable homes.”
“We recently commissioned top consultancy, Urban Practitioners, to undertake a thought-provoking study entitled “Future Prosperity of Horsham”. The study identifies potential significant new retail opportunities in the town centre, plus imaginative ideas for transforming Albion Way into a Boulevard.
Another person who can see the advantages of being based in Horsham is Peter Atkin, Managing Director of Corporate Mosaic. Based in the centre of Horsham, Corporate Mosaic is a team of specialist professionals supporting the functions of the Company Secretary and in-house lawyers for PLCs and international groups.
“We place a very high priority on Economic Development. We act as a champion for local businesses in representing their needs to Government and other agencies and we will take direct action through our services, such as planning, and through the use and acquisition of property.
Mr Atkin said: “The Horsham district has an excellent reputation for supporting the large number of small businesses based in the area. Horsham is situated within the Gatwick Diamond, the economic centre of Sussex and Surrey and we chose to be based here because of the functionality of the location balanced with
quality of life. Meetings with clients are never an issue. We are within easy reach of London by rail and close proximity to the motorway network. International clients like our location because Gatwick Airport is on our doorstep. “Horsham is an attractive place to live, both for our staff and for clients. We were confident that, culturally, we could still preserve ‘City standards’ operating from Horsham. Technology facilitates international operations just as effectively as from anywhere else. “Being based in Horsham has kept operating costs lower than if we were based in London. The location enables us to recruit high calibre employees. “We have hosted many client chief executives, group finance directors, company secretaries and general counsel in our Horsham office. Without fail, they compliment us on our location. “And alongside other businesses, we are actively working with community organisations and the district council to promote economic growth through inward investment. Horsham District is not standing still and significant progress has already been made.”
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Operational Restructuring and Turnaround Unfortunately some businesses experience periods of financial stress but if this is addressed early and quickly the result can be good long term sustainable performance
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THE STEAM ROOM
Can’t give it away – you have to pay When given the opportunity to let off steam how fabulous, can’t wait to sit down and sound off and yet when I entered the designated area my mind went blank. Put on or in the spot what do I really find to be the ‘issues’ bothering me and my business. Well it bothers me that Tony Blair is still at large but that doesn’t affect the business, it bothers me that Brighton council are rather ridiculously installing two sets of lights at pedestrian crossings to allow those at the back to see when the green man is er well green. They seem to ignore that the movement of pedestrians crossing the road will alert those at the rear. And it bothers me that despite the obvious failure of the drugs policy in this country, it remains. But neither are ‘issues’ in my business. There must be issues? Well I see that the founder of the ‘Big Issue’ has an MBE but what did he change? Ok he made us all aware and feel good when we were relieved of a quid, “no keep the change” we’d magnanimously say as we swerved away. Others have made us aware of the need of our corporate responsibility to all in the workplace which we shouldn’t swerve. And generally I have found that if you follow the guidelines and stay ‘on-top’ then all these seemingly unnecessary health and safety regimes are valuable, like ISO9001 which I used to hate, they positively make sense. With all hunky dory in my little business world then time to look further to the local community, ask not what can my country do for me etc. My fellow directors and I set forth therefore on a mission to put our corporate selves out into the community via some charitable cause. Then, coincidentally from hundreds in our industry, we were selected by the editor/organiser of the inaugural BITC (Business in the Community) Responsible Business Convention to attend their two day, not-for-profit event “delivering practical solutions to help businesses create long-term, sustainable business models with economic, environmental and social value.” Hmmm sounded good, right down our corporate street. Off I went enthusiastically expectant to the Business Design Centre London. Loads to see, plenty of charities with all sorts of goodies and opportunities for ‘getting involved’. There was Samaritans, perhaps not the right fit for our telesales team,Victim Support, perhaps useful
to some who’ve suffered our telesales team! Target Tuberculosis, Give & Gain, The Deborah Hutton campaign and a whole lot more, many of whom I left with my little card. Next day back to the office with a bag full of corporate care in the community opportunity. Our operations director was really pleased to see all that I’d amassed. She’d already started a project and was keen to add what I’d found. “Great” she said, “we can really get on with this now”.
Each edition we invite a visitor to ‘The Steam Room’ to let off steam on the issues that are bothering them and their business.
Here we are nearly three months on. How many scout huts have we painted, how many trees planted or old ladies lawns mown? Zilch, zero, rien, nothing. Why? Well, after numerous phone calls and web searches we discovered there is a cost. “Wasn’t that the point?” I hear you ask, er well sort of yes but the cost is not demanded by a worthy charity but rather by the agency that we have to join up with before we can set-off on a charitable path. A sprat to catch a mackerel maybe but a cost to join such an agency and then to be given a list of charities we might choose to help? For instance, the BCP (The Business Community Partnership) wants £150 from our size of organisation. The BCP is however a ‘social enterprise’, which from their website means any ‘surpluses’ are used to develop their services and activities and to keep their fees low. Are they a charity then? I think not but Impetus, “empowering local people” is, our ops director found them however geared to focusing individuals, rather than companies toward their suitable charity ‘match’. The issue then is, why should we have to ‘donate’ monies in order to discover how we can best donate company time, expertise and human resource to a local charity? Those I left with my little business card have not responded either, not one. It makes you wonder. It could even make one steam and if one does, perhaps there’s a ‘social enterprise’ to help with that.
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Animal Arks made to last
What are animal arks? They are houses or shelters built for pigs but can be adapted to house goats, sheep or other animals. New start-up member Ardingly Arks’ Bess Cottington explains. challenge is to get recognition from the various smallholding magazines. In the near future we are starting an animal movement service for those people who want to or do keep animals but do not have the use of an expensive trailer to move their animals.
We build them in a variety of sizes, with or without floors, whatever fits your animal’s needs. They are usually made from curved metal sheeting supported by a wooden structure. Ardingly Arks was started earlier this year by myself Bess and Mark my husband. Mark’s fascination with pigs started as a boy when he worked on a pig farm at weekends Last year he read an article on pig keeping courses, having spent some time on the internet a course was arranged for Mark at the Weald and Downland Museum. That was it; he decided we would keep a couple of pigs in our large back garden in Ardingly. After seeking advice and a lot of deliberation two British Saddleback weaners were purchased. An ark was made and a paddock fenced off for our weaners; by the way the neighbours were just as excited about the pigs and offered to help at any time. We were so happy with the ark that pictures were shown to fellow members of the West Sussex Smallholders Club. Within a few weeks various members had ordered pig arks and that was it. There is a growing interest in self sufficiency and pig keeping but very few
We joined Sussex Enterprise as a start-up company because in the past we have experienced the help, support and encouragement it offers its members. Also the practical Human Resource guidance and the legal help lines are invaluable to a small company. companies construct arks in this area. We soon realized the quality product we offer filled a niche in the market and the company was started, the obvious name was Ardingly Arks. We deliver and construct the ark where it is needed or it can be collected in kit form for self assembly using the instruction pack provided from our workshop in Ardingly. Our website is now up and running and we have delivered our first ark over seas, albeit the Isle of Wight. Various companies who run short pig keeping courses recommend our arks but our next
Our one regret is that we did not start this company earlier; it is great fun going to beautiful places that we would otherwise not see. We have limited knowledge of internet advertising but are sure this can be improved by attending a Sussex Enterprise course. We did not realize how important networking skills would be until we started to visit agricultural shows, they work and win orders. Pigs are fun to keep so please take a look at our website, ardingly-arks.co.uk
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THE BIG INTERVIEW
Allied Protection co We talk to member company Allied Protection on growing a business in a recession and how to tackle the inevitable people challenges this presents.
llied Protection, based in Burgess Hill, has been established for twenty one years this year, and is run by Jamie and Tim Dawson along with Directors, Jeremy Malet and Luke Finney who have helped spearhead the company’s growth. Allied Protection is a leading provider of fire detection and alarm systems to both the public and private sectors. The company has staff across the south east, having grown the team from 3 up to the current complement of 40. It provides a comprehensive service maintaining and servicing fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire suppression systems, portable extinguishers, smoke vents, nurse, warden call and access control systems, as well as providing fire risk assessments, signage surveys and dedicated staff training as part of a comprehensive fire protection package. Jamie Dawson, the Managing Director at Allied Protection, puts their success down to a focus on quality, customer service and a strategic approach to growing the business. “We have developed a web based system with client led KPI’s which allows the clients to monitor service lifecycles, contracts, assets, maintenance and stock management instantaneously. It also allows central and remote users throughout the enterprise a single, unified view of the entire service. Furthermore, this can be made accessible to our customers through a client web portal, allowing them to track the progress of preventative and reactive maintenance, allowing them to monitor their premises on a near to real-time basis. This allows us to take a proactive approach to helping clients manage their fire protection, and with 80% of our clients being in the housing sector,
we never underestimate the gravity of work we do. It could well be a matter of life or death.” The company has also to undergo the OJEU (the Official Journal of European Union) process for many of its tenders, and anyone who has ever attempted to follow this labyrinthine black art will recognise just how time consuming and frustrating it can be. Having experienced these challenges on a number of occasions in house, Allied has now invested in recruiting their own bid writer who brings consistency and manages the whole complicated process on their behalf. And unusually for most business leaders, Jamie has some positive things to say about the EU. “Recent changes to legislation have opened up opportunities for the company in terms of managing fire safety.” Allied’s core business does allow them the security of long term contracts, in the main with multi-site clients, but the company have still had to build their reputation to win them, and build relationships to keep them. And with 50% added to turnover in the last year, Jamie is positive about the company’s performance during the recession and about the future. “We acquired Gemini Fire Management in 2010 which gave us added expertise in gas fire suppression, which complemented our existing services, and we have incorporated the company to share the same values and behaviours as Allied Protection. And we continue to look for similar opportunities where we can expand our services but in an integrated way.” Another example of managed acquisition is Solargen, which installs solar panels into both commercial and domestic buildings. And with a guaranteed rate of 43.3p per unit being paid to unit owners for a guaranteed 25 years provided
the system is installed by 2013, it would appear that Allied has again spotted an opportunity which complements the business. The challenge now is to spot the next Solargen or Gemini Fire Management. And with acquisition and growth come business challenges particularly in terms of people. With rapid growth particularly in small businesses, there can be a risk that the management team understandably has to focus on the strategic issues, and can overlook precisely the asset which then needs to deliver the new product or service. Jamie has spotted this risk “We recognised that the people side of the business was vital to us and to our continuing success, and it isn’t our key strength or skill, so we knew we needed some specialist help. We spoke to Tania Woodward from the Sussex Enterprise HR Services team and she is now leading a programme to ensure that our staff and managers are prepared and ready to come on this journey of growth with us.” As well as ensuring the company is legally compliant, Tania is looking at a strategic HR programme to support growth, as well as being on hand to help with any future TUPE processes. The company is now at the point where management expertise needs to be strengthened: up to this point, it is possible for a Managing Director to be aware and on top of all the issues, but as the company grows, some aspects inevitably need to be delegated and this needs to be done properly and effectively. “I have been very pleased with the partnership we have struck with Sussex Enterprise, and look forward to this deepening as we grow”. And the story doesn’t end here – Jamie and his Team are already looking forward to other exciting developments for the company, and another 21 years of growth.
We recognised that the people side of the business was vital to us and to our continuing success, and it isn’t our key strength or skill, so we knew we needed some specialist help. We spoke to Tania Woodward from the Sussex Enterprise HR Services team and she is now leading a programme to ensure that our staff and managers are prepared and ready to come on this journey of growth with us.
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comes of age
Jamie Dawson on a sponsored drive across India where Jamie and his brother Tim raised £1⁄4m for the Rainbow Trust
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Master in the art o companies’ messag “Love, love, love my work” are the words of Ajay Parekh, Director and founder of Kabuki Productions (the word ‘Kabuki’ comes from the reference to a piece of stage technology that allows a cloth to drop or reveal a product, better known as a ‘kabuki drop’ or ‘kabuki reveal’).
experience, integrity, and creativity together, to use my own voice, talk my own language. To use all of my people skills to bring together the best talent in the industry, which is why I launched Kabuki Productions. It is such a dynamic, exciting and vibrant industry that I have the privilege to work in. Not a day goes by when I don’t wonder where the next opportunity will come from. In an absurd way it is like being in The Apprentice every day, waking up to see what people, locations and challenges we are presented with. When it all comes together we are stage managers, producers, marketers, communicators, pr and brand managers all in one.”
f it’s true that passion drives success, then Kabuki Productions will reach the stars. Kabuki Productions, a Premier Member, is a creative and technical event production company based in Chichester. It specialises in producing corporate and public sector events across the world, providing a wide range of live events, including conferences, awards and parties, and video and digital production and outdoor events. And in Ajay’s view, how a company communicates has never been so important. Every message it delivers to staff and customers is of incredible value. Style, substance and clarity are essential. It’s not just the message itself the MD delivers at the annual staff briefing that needs careful crafting and attention: it’s every part of the performance and presentation content: how they present themselves, how they deliver the message, and performance is part of Ajay’s background. His early training in stage and production management at Central School of Speech and Drama, which developed into a career for a range of bands, promoters and corporate clients followed by several years as an assistant director in film and television. The last fifteen years have been devoted to corporate communications as a producer and project director. And it’s the combination of this diverse background that gives Ajay the unique fusion that is Kabuki. In Ajay’s view “live events and media content are an integral part of corporate communication. They are a vital way of creating, nurturing and reinforcing the
relationships needed for success.” His skill lies in understanding what is at the heart of the client’s story, and the ability and creativity to turn this into a compelling message. He combines this with a sprinkle of theatre that has led to some incredible corporate events for clients like Schroders, Pfizer, American Express, Eli Lilly and British Airways which have taken place across the world and have included the delivery of an opera on the hilltops of Rome and the launch of the London Eye on Millennium Eve! These sorts of events have become less prevalent with the onset of the recession, but the need for creativity and high production values in a corporate world is still a big demand.
In February this year, Kabuki Productions worked for Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, to deliver a series of video edits showing the manufacturing process for their Ghost and Phantom models. The videos show the
Kabuki Productions Since forming Kabuki Productions, it has given Ajay the freedom to put his own stamp on the work he delivers. “I wanted to bring all of my
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t of conveying ages
Rolls-Royce assembly line in action. The series of films will be accessible to the worlds press and distributed by an online media agency to showcase the incredible attention to detail which is afforded to the manufacturer of two of the company’s most famous models, the Ghost and Phantom. And for Kabuki Productions, video projects are the latest in a rising number of digital commissions, completing last year a series of global brand videos for a Swiss bank, a set of promotional videos for an orchestra and recently started two commissions for Pallant House Gallery and Chichester District Council. “Video marketing continues to be increasingly popular for businesses and organisations, which reflects a major trend in the adoption of digital-based marketing strategies.” He added; “All businesses, whatever their size, need to stay ahead of the competition, especially in the current climate,
and a low-cost web video service can help them achieve that. Web videos offer the face-to-face communication that strongly appeals to consumers.” Web videos are increasingly being used by businesses for a range of purposes, such as explaining what they do, demonstrating products and services, and enhancing client testimonials. And where international staff conferences may not be in the reach of most businesses, a web video promoting their company absolutely could be. Kabuki Productions recently launched their “One Minute To Win It” video production service for clients in the Chichester area, seeing Kabuki gain local business to complement their international clients. “We see it as an opportunity to expand our business and to help our local peers get ahead of their rivals. They can benefit from our expertise in filming and editing, but we’ve priced it realistically to ensure we stay competitive for a local enterprise,” said Ajay.
Despite a murky economic climate, Kabuki Productions has recently appointed two new members to its team: Account Director Ian Berridge, who comes with over 20 years of global event and conference experience, and Project Co-ordinator Limara Hassall who joined in December 2010. “Despite the general economic gloom, we had a good year in 2010 and things are shaping up well again in 2011. With a strong team and service offering I want to grab this opportunity and run with it,” explains Ajay. And a recent Paris trip has resulted in a European contract for a major global pharmaceutical company, to deliver a series of European meetings, workshops and video projects. So, with both sides of the Kabuki business performing strongly, the future is certainly looking bright for Ajay and the team.
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Limpio Storage Solutions was formed in 2002 to provide low cost, high quality archive and general storage services in the Gatwick area. Our aim is to offer our customers a fresh look at this frequently overlooked but vital support service and create a genuine value to business off site supplier. With year on year growth LSS has grown to establish itself as a competitive, service driven, premium storage contractor that offers so much more! From the warehouse floor to the boardroom our team is committed to achieve the highest standard in all of the services we offer. We will never compromise on the handling and security of any of your files or goods and through consistent delivery of service we will time and again deliver proven value to your business.
Limpio Storage Solutions Unit 25, Gatwick International Distribution Centre Cobham Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9RX Tel: 01293 612129 Fax: 01293 515598 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Evenings for small groups Call to discuss your ideas 01273 481048 Cheese Please,46 High Street, Lewes. East Sussex BN7 2DD
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Join The Disabilities Trust running team in the 2012 Brighton Marathon on April 15 2012
Minimum sponsorship ÂŁ500 To secure your place call 01444 237286 or email email@example.com The Disabilities Trust is a leading national charity providing high quality care, rehabilitation and support for people with acquired brain injury, physical disabilities, learning disabilities and adults and children with autism. Registered Charity No 800797
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www.thedtgroup.org 28/7/11 11:39:45
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this feature we’ve had loads of
Step 3. Why buy from you instead of your competitor? It’s important to convey the reason to buy from you rather than someone else. Again this needs to be read in no more than 2 - 3 seconds!
calls from businesses that are
clearly in need of some extra pointers on how to make their marketing budget provide them
with the ROI they deserve
Step 4. Why should they buy from you today?
Is your marketing wasting your money?
There must be a reason to ‘buy today’ rather than ‘pop it in a draw for future reference’ (if this happens it may as well be in the bin, which is where it will end up!)
We don’t like to use the recession word any more than you do but the fact is that many businesses have experienced tough times recently and plenty still are.
Clean, uncomplicated design with each step followed so that your audience has absorbed the key points described in approximately 10 seconds only.
Effective marketing tools can make a huge difference to sales but get it wrong and you can watch your money just fly away!
If you do all this then you will have something worth keeping in your marketing toolkit. Now, here’s the really good news... HH Design are going to help you get it right!
Unfortunately the money you spend on a marketing tool that doesn’t work, is only a fraction of what gets wasted.
do n’ t
It’s more than just the cost of the marketing tool that gets wasted. ime... w
We would like to give your business a gift! We would like to give you a 60 minute COMPLIMENTARY design and marketing health check. With a complimentary design and marketing health check with HH Design you will benefit from marketing and design tips and advice that could make a huge difference to your future sales.
A marketing tool that isn’t working for your business wastes two other things – staff resources, using tools that aren’t working effectively and time, which is the very thing we don’t have during a recession.
These two things can waste as much as 3000% more than the money you spent on your marketing tool. Staggering isn’t it?
What do you need to do to get it right? Whether it’s a brochure, leaflet, mailer, website, exhibition graphics – what ever you have in your marketing toolkit it MUST follow 4 simple steps.
Step 1. Design that packs a punch and grabs attention. Effective marketing tools must have a very high impact concept in their design something that grabs attention in a 1 second glance!
Step 2. Once you have attention - KEEP IT!
There are no strings attached. If you are looking to take stock of your corporate identity and marketing communications, this could be a fantastic way to kick the recession into touch.
take the first step to
turning your marketing toolkit
into the effective sales tool that
it should be and call us today on 01293 536362 to book your complimentary design and
marketing health check
Allison Golding, Business Development, HH Design
Graham Laker, Managing Director, HH Design
since the last time we did
You must immediately convey the main point of your message in a headline something that can be read in 2 - 3 seconds!
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Post.2a, Kelvin Business Centre, Kelvin Way, Manor Royal, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9SF
BC Design & Development specialises in helping your business establish a strong web presence. Giving you and your business positive credibility For Competitively Priced Affordable Website Designs Contact us today to get your website online
WWW.BCDD.CO.UK firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Website Designs : Website Make-overs Content Managed Sites : Website Search Engine Optimisation
with 16,000 opportunities for your customers to see you every single day, you can’t go wrong
Allison Golding, Business Development, HH Design
“You’ll fall in love with our coffee ... and our snack vending services” To ﬁnd out how we can supply you with a delicious range of refreshments, call ...
0800 195 3170 www.westwaysvending.co.uk BUSINESSEDGE 31
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Be part of it Learning and Development with Sussex Enterprise Regardless of your industry, if you don’t have a business plan that includes Social Media marketing, you’re missing opportunities and customers. More than just having a Social Media presence, you also need to consider changing the way your company participates in Social Media. The biggest mistake most companies seem to make is jumping into Social Media using the same messaging they do everywhere else, but this just does not work. Companies need to join the conversations and add value. Social Media provides an opportunity for anyone to voice their opinion, so it is vitally important that you are not only monitoring, but also engaging in the conversation to help assist your customers in their buying process. Since your customers are using social media to see what people are saying about your company, if you are not participating then you may miss out. To read our members’ views on Social Media, please turn to pages 38/39.
An Introduction to Social Media half day am - 16th August and 29th September
Our research has shown that Social Media is highest ranking search of all our training courses, and so to help with the demand, we have added extra workshops this summer to assist you in your journey into the daunting world of Social Media, all at a specially reduced rate of £100 per course.
CIEH Level 2 Award in Health and Safety – 11th August 2011 – This one day course gives an understanding of health and safety to enable you to contribute to any risk assessment based Health and Safety management system.
Blogging for Business half day pm – 16th August and 29th September Social Media Return on Investment half day am – 17th August and 30th September A selection from our other courses coming up, all especially designed to help you and your staff reach their full potential. Customer Service Excellence – 10th August 2011 – This is a one day course that focuses on the skills and strategy behind providing your customers with excellence to grow your business.
Sales Professional Stage 2 – 24th August 2011 – An intense look at the complete sales cycle, ideal as a follow on from Stage 1 or for more senior sales teams. Present With Confidence – 1st September 2011 - This one day course develops skills to enable you to effectively deal with complex presentations and difficult audiences. It will develop your confidence and capability to give excellent presentations All our courses represent excellent value for money plus we offer all Member plus and Premier members 20% discount on our open courses.
Contact details For further information on our full range of scheduled and bespoke courses please contact us on 0844 375 9543 or email email@example.com. Alternatively visit our website at www.sussexenterprise.co.uk.
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SRS Sussex Risk Services SRS are a Small Independent Occupational Safety and Risk Practice, offering the following services to the Businesses of Sussex l l l
l l l l l l l l
Fire Safety & Fire Risk Assessments Health & Safety Specialist Safety Services such as Marine, DSEAR, Built Environment Marine Safety including Health & Safety Health, Safety, Fire & Environment Policy Development with on-line facility Safety for the Built Environment Crime Prevention Through Design Practitioners Security Surveyors Emergency Planning Risk Assessors Safety Management Consultants Risk Management Consultants Training
Newhaven Enterprise Centre, Denton Island, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9BA Tel: 01273 905 029 Fax: 01273 615 251 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sussexriskservices.com
Staff experience gained from: Operational Fire Officers & Fire Safety Specialists (25 Years), Ministry of Defence Safety, Health, Environment and Fire Advisors, Former Local Authority Licencing & Safety Enforcements Officers, Sussex Police Crime Prevention Officers & Licencing, National & International Consultancy Professionally qualified and Registered with appropriate governing bodies, with ÂŁ1 million Professional Indemnity Insurance. Find SRS Sussex Risk Services on the Institute of Fire Engineers Consultants Register
FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION MEMBER 2011
SRS Supporting Businesses in Sussex.
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Social Media: What’s the return? Many of us have heard the statistics, 95 million tweets per day, over 100 million active LinkedIn users, and the equivalent of the population of Brazil now on Facebook…But can social media really help companies work towards marketing objectives or is all this endless profile updating really wasting time, effort and, subsequently, your money?
aving contacted all Sussex Enterprise member interviewees via Twitter (of course!), Business Edge speaks to active users from a range of sectors and sizes to discuss benefits, challenges and social media return on investment (ROI). Success in social media is not guaranteed, as time must be dedicated to understand the various channels, and whether they can actually provide substantial ROI. It could be argued that social media is a tool to improve those difficult to measure marketing metrics such as brand recognition and reputation, potentially adding to the problems with justifying the return. Most members we spoke to highlighted the relatively cost free benefits of social media, with the main expense being time. Catherine O’Regan, Web Development Officer at Sussex Downs College dedicates approximately 20% of a full time post to social media. “It is likely as our online presence grows, it will take more time.Yet the methods and tools will become simpler in the future so it will be a case of doing it more frequently rather than it taking longer to do. Getting it right will help increase actual business so return on investment should be measurable in real terms.” Similarly to Catherine, Jackie Webley, Sales, PR & Marketing Executive at the Grand Hotel uses social media daily. “The time it takes varies day to day depending on relevant information
being available. An average of 10 hours a week would be a fair time.” Likewise, Kate Hamilton Marketing Manager at fire safety products and systems manufacturer, Fireco notes that; “If effectively managed it needn’t take up large amounts of time. It’s important that everyone’s involved, and it’s through this engagement and the community of ideas that the possibilities for it to be a really creative tool are realised.” The time taken clearly varies, but people engaging in social media should be realistic and attempt to analyse the cost/benefit for their company, which as evident, remains problematic. When we spoke with Antonia Chitty, owner of social media training consultancy ACEInspire, she said that it’s definitely worth learning how to use the tools properly to maximise ROI. “You need to have a grasp of the sort of communication that drives people to your site and the sort that people view as ‘noise’. Understanding how to raise your profile with social media is intuitive, but you need to invest time to develop the intuition.” Proof that social media potentially provides ROI in many sectors, is accountancy firm Probiz - Peter Jarman & Co. Kayvan Khoroosi, SME Business and Tax Manager at the company, believes the challenges are sector specific and also believes that making most of the opportunities takes time. “The main benefit of social media has to be the fact that we have raised the awareness and the profile of our company, including building our reputation and developing trusted relationships with the public. It is a great tool for driving brand and building client loyalty. There is still a lot more
we could do as we have not made the most of all the opportunities due to lack of time however we are making a concerted effort this year to change that. The challenges are making the accountancy world interesting enough that people want to learn more and interact with us. Also, due to many rules governed by our accountancy body and laws it is very difficult to give specific advice to users like other businesses.” So, what’s the future for social media? Will we see further integration into business practices in sectors across Sussex? Many are vehemently against the suggestion, believing that social networking is a ‘fad’. With The Guardian reporting in June this year that Facebook saw slowing growth in user numbers, this may be an indication of the decline in popularity of social networking. When speaking with Sussex Enterprise members, an emerging trend is social media as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. As Catherine O’Regan says, “There’s a possibility that at some point a brand may only use social media platforms themselves and dispense with their own websites or offline material. It may take a while though before it is integrated into all business practices”. ACEInspire owner Antonia Chitty supports this view; “In the future I expect more and more businesses to have a point of contact for customers via social media, just as they do now by phone or email. Without it, 21st century customers will wonder where your business is.” With examples of corporations such as FedEx and Microsoft (to name but a few) using social
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media as a CRM platform, this doesn’t seem a distant future.
your audience, and you’ve taken the first step to social media success.”
But for those of you hesitant, where do you start? Antonia went on to say it’s targeting that’s key, the backbone to any marketing practice. “The starting point for any company is to find out how your potential customers are using social media. Are they sharing local recommendations with friends on Facebook, or networking for business on Linked In? Find
Clearly, there are many benefits that social media can add to a marketing strategy, but before spending time setting up and updating various sites, ask yourself where your customers really are; is it Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Do they even engage in social media at all? Furthermore, are your objectives to increase awareness, influence people or drive traffic to
your website? Because it is quite clear that for companies of all sizes and sectors, the answers can be glaringly dissimilar and will certainly have an effect on your ROI. We have a range of social media courses that can help you answer these questions, and get you up to speed with the tools needed to do the job properly! Simply visit www.sussexenterprise. co.uk/training/social-media/ or go to page 32 for all our courses coming up.
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Charity sees the need, not the cause Worthing Churches Homeless Projects (WCHP) is a local Charity founded in 1991 to provide food and warmth to homeless people in the Worthing area.
Today, the charity has grown to work from four main sites, employing FEATURE professional staff, works with local statutory and voluntary agencies and has over 150 volunteers drawn from all sections of the community.
WCHP have a variety of projects to meet the differing needs of their clients including a day centre and four hostels accommodating 55 people.
We work with people who are homeless or insecurely housed to help them to make the necessary changes towards a sustainable independent life.
Registered Charity No. 1027832
Every year we help around 450 individuals, making Worthing a better place to live – to continue to do this we need your support!
Anyone aged 18 years and above in the Worthing area who is homeless or insecurely housed can apply to WCHP.
Help us in our new venture – we are opening a shop at 26-28 Strand Parade in Worthing, refurbishing and selling second hand bikes – any donations gratefully received. ALSO needed - donations of good quality items for our Charity Shop at 117 Montague Street, Worthing, BN11 3BP Bric a Brac, Clothes, CDs, Books, Videos, Records, Jewellery, Toys etc.
For collection please contact the Fundraising Team on 01903 227829
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Sussex Enterprise events
5th May 2011 Branding Uncovered Breakfast event.
Listings for September/October 6th September - SEO Breakfast Pestalozzi Country Park Estate, Battle Nr Hastings 07:30 – 10:00am Free to attend Back by popular demand! Most people aren’t getting the most out of their websites. If you’re one of them – and you don’t know how to bring more visitors to your site; if you don’t know how to improve your search engine rankings – or even why you need to - then take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Search Engine Optimisation is what you need. If that means nothing to you then don’t worry - our SEO breakfast is here to help. Bringing together like-minded people, who wish to improve their visitor numbers and rankings on search engines but don’t know where to start. It’s a great way to learn about how to get the most from your website, how to attract more customers – and, since our attendees come from a wide business background, it’s a great place to network! Registration opens at 07:30am, breakfast provided. 8th September – Tea on the Terrace House of Commons,Westminster 4:00 – 6:00pm PREMIER MEMBERS EVENT This event is for Premier level members only. An exclusive opportunity to meet and converse with MP’s from Sussex and North Hampshire
amongst the imposing surroundings of Westminster. Network with other premier members and enjoy a delightful afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the Thames. Book early to secure your place. 22nd September - Your Business Guide to Pension Reform DMH Stallard offices, Crawley 07:30 – 10:00am People in Britain are living longer and although this is good news, this has an impact on how much it costs to fund retirement both for the State and individuals. To help people save for their retirement the Government has introduced automatic enrolment into work place pensions starting in 2012. This will apply to all employers from the smallest to the largest. This presentation delivered by the Pensions Advisory Service will put these reforms into context and go through the many implications for businesses. This event is relevant to representatives of any business that employs any staff, including business owners, HR managers, Finance mangers and those responsible for Pay Roll. 3rd October – Sussex International Trade Forum Brighton (venue tbc) 6:00 – 8:30pm This quarter’s event focuses on Belgium and the opportunities to be found there. The
Government has made it clear, as has the British Chambers of Commerce, that we need an export led recovery from the recession. Expand your horizons at our International Trade Forum Event in Brighton 6th October – How to Use LinkedIn to Make More Sales Park House Hotel, Midhurst 07:30 – 10:00am So you want to make more sales.You’ve selected a market to focus on – wise move. So how in the world do you get in front of the people you want to meet? Referrals are great and should be your first source. Think who you know that knows someone else and so on. But there’s another method however that not enough people take advantage of – LinkedIn.To most LinkedIn is a site where you signup, add and connect with others that you know and then rarely come back to again – if ever. LinkedIn can help you get meetings with these target clients. Join us and our industry experts to find out how you make LinkedIn work harder for you and increase your bottom line. Just 50 places available, book early to avoid disappointment.
Contact details All events can be booked by visiting www.sussexenterprise.co.uk/events
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MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Net a great stationery deal! All members are reminded of the special deal Sussex Enterprise have done with Netstationers, a stationery supply company that guarantees some very special deals for our member companies. Philip Child from Europa Medical Services told us that ‘Netstationers are very competitively priced and Clayton offers a great, personal service. If members haven’t tried the service yet, I would recommend that they do.’ If you would like the chance to see if this member service can save you money, then give James or Chris a ring in the office on 01444 259160 or 01444 259215 or email them on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and they will make sure that Clayton Spry from Netstationers gives you a call.
Roy Stannard joins Zerofiftyone Media
Roy has joined Peacehaven-based full service agency, Zerofiftyone, one of the largest marketing, advertising and PR companies on the south coast. He specialises in branding, re-branding, strategic marketing initiatives, blue-sky thinking and performance related marketing. He was a founder director of Splash FM in 2001. After winning the radio licence in late 2002, Roy assumed the role of MD of 107.7 Splash FM and took the Station to launch on the 5th May 2003. In its first two years on air the Station was accepted as the voice of Worthing and regarded as an exemplar of independent local radio by Ofcom. He left to set up his own ad agency in Worthing in 2006. Previously an Executive Committee Member
of the Worthing Chamber of Commerce, Roy was the Founder Chairman of the 350-strong business economic forum Worthing First from November 2004 to March 2007. Since joining Zerofiftyone media he has brought over a dozen clients to the agency, including the national charity Cats Protection. The Agency already works with major clients including Kent County Council, Pets Corner and Sussex Bed Centres. In his spare time Roy is a Trustee/Director of Worthing Theatres Trust that is seeking to operate the four venues in Worthing as a Community trust.
He enjoys theatre locally and in London, is a creative writer with a children’s novel ready for publishing, is a regular blogger and is a regular contributor of articles and comment in the business media. His strength lies in creating and directing corporate advertising campaigns. He is happy to spend an hour with you if are seeking to get better value from your marketing budgets. He can be contacted on 01273 587446 or roy@zeroﬁftyone.com Picture by Maria Scard www.mariascard.com
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Optimism among ec Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, the UK’s first Green MP, is upbeat about the way the area has survived difficult economic times, and about the opportunities that lie ahead.
ne of the reasons, she says, is the variety of the area’s businesses. Caroline said: “Brighton is a thriving city with a diverse local economy, characterised by a mix of media businesses, creative enterprises, entertainment ventures, third sector organisations and colourful independent retailers. Indeed, the city is home to the largest concentration of independent traders on the south coast. “We enjoy a strong reputation as a popular seaside destination, so leisure and tourism remain critical – with about eight million visitors a year supporting an estimated 6,000 local jobs. As the natural gateway to the South Downs National Park, the city also has great potential to be a centre for green tourism. “The city’s proximity to the capital and beautiful coastal location no doubt play a part in its commercial appeal, but I think many also recognise its reputation as a place where independent companies can flourish, its position as a key conference venue and its increasing popularity as a setting for green innovation. “Our rich cultural heritage and creative spirit also help to create a positive environment for businesses; the Brighton Festival, for example, attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually and contributes £20m to the local economy. The creative industries account for 20% of local companies and almost 10% of the jobs. This expertise definitely draws companies in, with our universities, colleges and English language schools feeding new talent into the mix.
“Thanks to these strengths, Brighton seems to have fared better in the economic downturn compared to many places in the UK, but the impact has still been serious. I am profoundly concerned about the impact on my constituents of the Conservative-led Government’s plans to slash public spending, cut jobs and scale back public services. Given the importance of the third sector to Brighton’s local economy, the reduction in public funding for not-for-profit service providers and charities is of particular concern.” She sees great opportunities in the digital economy as a way of fighting back, saying: “The
“Despite concerns about the economic downturn and the Government’s savage cuts, I’m optimistic that Brighton and Hove has a very bright future.” digital economy, perhaps more than any other, is constantly changing and re-inventing itself, there is a real upsurge in local recruitment in the digital industries. The Green Party recognises that the innovations in this industry have huge potential to facilitate greater public welfare and democracy, and we support an increase in public spending on R&D – as well as other measures to benefit emerging businesses.” The Council, she believes, has an important role to play. She said: “At least 2,000 public sector jobs and a matching 2,000 private sector jobs could be lost in Brighton and Hove as a result of the Government’s austerity drive. “The Green-led Council is committed to increasing equality despite the spending cuts, so will be doing all it can to protect services for children, vulnerable adults and those on low incomes – as well as harnessing the city’s creative spirit, innovation and energy to help retain and attract business.
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Picture by Matt Bachelor www.flickr.com/photos/dogfrog
“It’s still early days for the new administration, but Council Leader Bill Randall has already set out a plan to reduce the city’s eco footprint and create a ‘biosphere reserve’ with neighbouring authorities – both backed by the business community and other public bodies. “Another key priority for the Green administration is to address the shortage of affordable workspaces that often leads to growing businesses leaving the city. The Greens have called for all major regeneration schemes to include creative industry workspaces. “Despite concerns about the economic downturn and the Government’s savage cuts, I’m optimistic that Brighton and Hove has a very bright future. If the potential for new green industries and independent enterprises is fulfilled, then the benefits to the local economy will be huge. “Brighton has a real opportunity to broaden its economic base by becoming the UK’s greenest
city, and people here are already leading the way in green technologies. The city has many of the key attributes needed to attract environmental industries, such as research universities and an expanding business and financial sector – not to mention a new Green-led Council. I am encouraged by the examples of green industry already present here, such as Blue Carbon in Woodingdean, which is helping to deliver energy savings for businesses and local authorities. “A strong local economy is central to the Green Party’s vision for a sustainable future; we don’t think it makes sense for goods to be shipped half way around the world if they could just as easily be produced locally. Building a local and self-sufficient economy means building up small business. On the whole, it is not small businesses that cause pollution, transport goods between continents, waste resources and exploit their workers. They serve largely local markets and strengthen local economies and communities.
“Many Green policies are based on what businesses have already told us they want; reducing bureaucracy by scrapping VAT, introducing legislation to outlaw late payment, making more affordable work space available for local small businesses, enforcing regulations which favour sustainable business, among others. We believe that local business tends to create more wealth for the surrounding area than multinationals, and that the dominance of any one retailer in a local area has a negative impact on consumer choice. Caroline believes that Sussex Enterprise has a key role to play, saying: “With its programme of networking opportunities and strategic advice for businesses, Sussex Enterprise plays an invaluable role in helping to strengthen the local economy. And at a time when small business are struggling to cope in the hostile economic climate, the sort of services which bodies like Sussex Enterprise provide are more important than ever.”
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Reaching China from West Chiltington How Sussex-based Xpediency can help local companies engage with the Middle Kingdom China has entered our boardrooms, shops, homes and consciousness in recent times so that – like a growing hum – we can no longer afford to ignore it. However, if you don’t ﬁnd double-digit GDP growth, frenetic innovation or a huge potential market exciting enough, Jonathan Sims, CEO of Xpediency, will be equally happy sharing with you the story of how, in 2009, he discovered and explored the world’s largest cave deep in the jungles of Vietnam. Upon leaving his role as a Major in the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps nearly a decade ago, Sussex-dwelling Jonathan set up Xpediency. Whilst researching his Masters’ thesis on ‘Quality in manufacturing across different cultures’, he had visited Chinese factories, crystallising in his mind three characteristics of Chinese manufacturing: its impressive workforce, underwhelming management and the fantastic opportunity the country presented for somebody with technical know-how. Xpediency was born shortly thereafter and the family business grew. Today in West Chiltington, father Allan and sister Cathy take care of UK Operations and Finance respectively, while Jonathan’s wife Yingjie is General Manager of Xpediency’s Guilin factory…just 5,700 miles away! Xpediency focuses on three key areas: manufacturing, distribution and consultancy. l
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Xpediency’s manufacturing capabilities allow UK businesses to (partially) outsource production. The Guilin facility is equipped with the latest CNC machinery, including Star 7-axis CNC lathes and 4-axis CNC milling machines. Additionally, there is an assembly team able to carry out assembly tasks on basic items through to technically-challenging pieces. The current range of products made on-site is broad, encompassing monitor arms, radiator valves, road safety components, aerospace parts and dental scalar tips.
To assess the viability and routes to market for potential new products in China, Xpediency’s Sales & Marketing team provides both initial assessment and full distribution from the Guilin hub.
However, if it is just a consultation on how engagement with China might benefit your business, then Xpediency’s UK team would always be happy to meet for a chat.
When Xpediency recently addressed Sussex Enterprise’s International Trade Forum, some of the key risks cited by SMEs wary of engaging with China included loss of quality, problems of engaging with a ‘very’ foreign culture and concerns over lack of IPR protection. At Xpediency, all three of these challenges have been met and overcome. Quality is safeguarded by implementation and continual assessment of a rigorous quality management system throughout the production process, which is based upon Jonathan’s previous experience of working on ammunition within the British Army. Meanwhile, the British management team in both Sussex and Guilin provide smooth communication to ensure that customer specifications and preferences are never lost in translation. In protecting client IPR, Xpediency project-manages component quality, assembly and packing, making certain that no single local manufacturer has full project access.
For a business that wishes to explore China’s competitive manufacturing base, distribute product into a market with rapidly-growing disposable incomes or would just like to bounce some ideas, Xpediency provides a safe, local solution. Jonathan will then try to tempt you to visit Xpediency’s facilities in picturesque Guilin; a city sliced by rivers, surrounded by mountains and riddled with, of course, caves! Xpediency The Old Granary, East Street, West Chiltington RH20 2JY Phone us on: 01798 812 081 or e-mail us at: Richard@Xpediency.com
Law firm celebrates office move
Kingsley Roger-Jones, Clifford Dann, Close up magician Martin Sanderson, Chris Randall, Managing Partner, Mayo Wynne Baxter, Clare Smith, HR Director, Mayo Wynne Baxter
Paul Hopwood, Paul Hopwood Consulting Ltd, Peggy Hall, MWB, Jonathon Morris, Sussex Downs College, Sarah Hopwood, Paul Hopwood Consulting Ltd, Tim Cobb, Cobb PR
Ryan Heal, Juice FM, Jason Edge, Head of Marketing, Marketing Wynne Baxter, Clive Bonny, Strategic Management Partners
Sussex Law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter celebrated the official opening of its new Lewes office with a reception for over 170 people on Tuesday May 10.
including Sara Stoner,Vice Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex. They were entertained by close-up magician Martin Sanderson.
the town centre and the station, so still very convenient for public transport.
The firm, who are one of the oldest law firms in Lewes, recently moved from their office on the High Street to larger premises in Bell Lane. The new location offers spacious offices, ample parking and a large meeting room for events and seminars. The guest list was made up of clients, members of the local business community and dignitaries,
Chris Randall, Mayo Wynne Baxter’s Managing Partner, explained the reason for moving to Bell Lane: “While we can date the firm’s history back to the mid 1800s, we are a forward-looking, contemporary business and have developed our services to keep in step with demand. Over the years, we have increased our areas of specialism and therefore our staff, to the extent that we outgrew our original town centre office. “The Bell Lane premises are ideal for our current needs, giving us the space we need, fabulous views and lots of free parking for our clients. But we are just a few minutes’ walk from
“Mayo Wynne Baxter’s roots are firmly in Lewes and we are still very much in the heart of the town.” Bell Lane is home to a number of other businesses, including Southdown Housing and accountants Knill James. David Martin, Partner with Knill James, said: “We’re delighted to have Mayo Wynne Baxter as neighbours. Their move is very positive in terms of developing Bell Lane into a business nucleus for Lewes and the presence of a prestigious law firm will undoubtedly help attract other key businesses into the area. We also share a number of clients, so I am sure they will find the proximity of our two firms very convenient.”
Recruitment mission for events at the Amex Stadium Brighton resident, Ruth Melton, has been appointed as the new Recruitment and Staff Manager for the catering and events team at The American Express Community Stadium. Twenty-six-year-old Ruth has worked for various high profile companies including Virgin Money, Kimberly Clark and EDF Energy and she will be responsible for the crucial task of recruiting all the full-time and part-time catering support staff for events at the Amex stadium. “I am delighted to be working with such a dynamic and creative team at the stadium and
I’m absolutely ready for the challenge of this new role,” said Ruth. “We are estimating that up to 600 people will be needed for staffing the catering on match day and non-match day events and in addition to overseeing all of them, I will also be responsible for the recruitment of many new full-time positions as well,” said Ruth. Ruth is working closely with the local council, university and City College to ensure as many jobs as possible can be offered to the local community. The supply and demand of top up staff needed for special events and match days will also be supported by two leading recruitment agencies, CIP and Michael Wisher who work across the South East.
The catering team will be providing service for over 3,000 people on match days, including the directors box, 14 corporate boxes, nine lounges and the supporters restaurant, so it is vital to have a team that will deliver on every level. Said Elliott Moore, General Manager of Catering, “I am delighted to welcome Ruth onto the team; she is a vibrant and self-motivated person and comes with all the experience needed for this demanding role, ensuring all our staffing requirements are fulfilled.” For information about events at the stadium, email: EventsBrighton@azure.uk.com or call the events team on 01273 542 343.
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Ahha Ltd 257 Kings Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 2UR Audrey Fletcher-Price, Director T: +44(0)1323 501722 E: email@example.com Alexander Rose Ltd Garden & Patio Furniture Wholesalers Alexander House, 59 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LE Paul Stammer, Managing Director T: +44(0)1444 258931 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.alexander-rose.co.uk All Leisure Group Ltd Luxury Cruises Lynnem House, 1 Victoria Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9NF Jos Dewing, Director T: +44(0)1444 462103 E: email@example.com W: www.allleisuregroup.com Annie Davidson Coaching Coaching Old Copwood, Rocks Road, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3PT Annie Davidson, Proprietor T: +44(0)7889 272560 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Architecture Live Architecture Tall Trees, The Cylinders, Fernhurst, Haslemere, GU27 3EL Irene Gratton, Director T: +44 (0)1428 652018 E: email@example.com W: www.arcitecturelive.co.uk Bowles Development Centre Management Training and Development Centre Sandhill Lane, Eridge Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 9LW Katherine Parker, Business Development Manager T: +44(0)1892 610600 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bowles.ac
Boyka Kostadinova Mavrodieva Nursing 9 Seaside Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3PR Boyka Mavrodieva T: +44(0)1323 644923 E: email@example.com Diverse Energy Ltd
Grooveback Consulting Business Coach
31 Cricketfield, Newick, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4LL Penny Heater, Business Coach T: +44(0)7770 682557 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.Grooveback-Consulting.co.uk
2nd/3rd Floor, 164-165 Western Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2BB Hemantha Perera Trevelyan Marketing Manager T: +44(0)1273 206710 E: hemantha.pereratrevelyan@lcearch. com W: www.lcearch.com
HolyCow! Event Planning
Events & Conferences
Spring Copse Business Park, Slinfold, West Sussex, RH13 0SZ Alistair Liversey, Operations Director T: +44(0)1403 792010 E: email@example.com W: www.diverse-energy.com
2 Beech Way, Angmering, West Sussex, BN16 4FQ Jennifer Trew T: +44(0)7730 408867 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.holycoweventplanning.com
Family Law Partners
Queensberry House, 106 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XF Linda Lamb, Director T: +44(0)1273 862366 E: email@example.com W: www.familylawpartners.co.uk
34 Perryfields, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8TU Karen Sargent, Managing Director T: +44(0)1444 244811 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Testing Technology Ltd Fire Safety Unit 19, Charlwoods Road , East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2HL Vanda Dixon, Export Sales Manager T: +44(0)1342 323600 E: email@example.com W: www.fire-testing.com G D Electronics Ltd Electronics Engineer 43 Swan Road, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2DE Glyn Evans, Managing Director T: +44(0)1323 840361 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.gdelectronics.co.uk gishArt Art 34 Downview Road, Felpham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 8HH Heather Gale, Managing Director T: +44(0)1243 837355 E: email@example.com W: www.cafepress.com/gishcats
Lead Wizards Lead Generation 47 Santa Cruz Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 5TA Brian Goodger, Managing Director T: +44(0)1323 470617 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.leadwizards.co.uk Lucy Armstrong Chocolates Food & Drink Cowdry Barn, Birdham Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 7BX Lucy Armstrong T: +44(0)1243 512024 E: email@example.com W: www.lachocolates.co.uk
Consultant 55 Bramble Gardens, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8UQ Keith Trigwell, Owner T: +44(0)7921 000048 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Kevin Rodbard Photography
LVZ Automation Ltd Horticultural Ridgeway Nursery, Selsey Road, Hunston, West Sussex, PO20 1AU Simon Burgan T: +44(0)1243 784800 E: email@example.com W: www.lvz-automation.co.uk
Photography 8 Manor Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 0NL Kevin Rodbard T: +44(0)1444 233110 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kevinrodbard.co.uk KRA Technical Ltd Energy Consultant 5 South Point, Emerald Quay, Shoreham-by-Sea,West Sussex, BN43 5JL Keith Rule, Director T: +44(0)1273 455 642 E: Keithrule@kra-technical.com W: www.kra-technical.com
Mid Sussex IT IT Consultant The Old Farm House Office, Twineham Lane, Twineham, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 5NP Phil Edell, Owner T: +44(0)1444 365365 E: email@example.com W: www.midsussexit.co.uk Miller Construction Construction The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR Ian Moore T: +44(0)870 336 4550 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.millerconstruction.co.uk
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Snuggle Bundle Ltd
The 1 Boot Camp
Childrens blanket manufacturer
Health & Beauty
Digital Archiving Technologies
Suite F, KBF House, 55 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LH James Newbery T: +44(0)1444 848160 E: email@example.com W: www.netsense.co.uk
Merrydown, Surry Boat Yard, Brighton Road, Shoreham, West Sussex, BN43 6RS David Solomons, Managing Director T: +44(0)7500 402028 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.snugglebundle.com
Rystwood Acre, Hartfield Road, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5NF Paul Nix T: +44(0)843 005 5203 E: email@example.com W: www.the1bootcamp.com
Studio 456, Hardham Mill Business Park, London Road, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1LA Ian Clark, Managing Director T: +44(0)1798 875165 E: ianc@Trevelyan.co.uk W: www.trevelyanltd.co.uk
Pergentium Ltd Medical Equipment 10 Martyn Close, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9QH Heidi Murphy-Hunt, Director T: +44(0)1273 493989 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.pergentium.com Premium LM Ltd Premium Lifestyle Management 52 Clifton Court, Clifton Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 4DU Anna Boyarova, Director T: +44(0)844 324 0050 E: email@example.com W: www.premium-lm.com Qualitiva Limited Computers & Internet First Point, Buckingham Gate, London Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, West Sussex, RH6 0NT James Brock T: +44(0)1293 897134 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.qualitiva.com Securicat Alarms 29 York Avenue, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1PJ Tony Parr, Director T: +44(0)1273 738403 E: tony.parr@Securicat.co.uk W: www.Securicat.co.uk Seico Insurance Consultants Ltd
Solarnova UK Ltd Solar Power Ridgeway Nursery, Selsey Road, Hunston, West Sussex, PO20 1AU Simon Burgan T: +44(0)1243 784800 E: email@example.com W: www.solarnova.co.uk Southern Mediators
The Pertinax Partnership
V Laker & Co Ltd
Business Development & Marketing Sackville Suite, Woodbury House, Lewes Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3UD Philip de Jong, Partner T: +44(0)1342 324984 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.pertinax.co.uk
Electricians 71 Rowlands Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3JN Susan Jones, Partner T: +44(0)1903 238836 E: email@example.com W: www.vlakerandcoltd.com
The Smart Card Store Ltd
W J King & Co (Brewers)
Sawyers Green Lane, Jevington, East Sussex, BN26 5QD Michael Jones T: +44(0)7503 184834 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.southernmediators.co.uk
Maritime House, Basin Road North, Hove, East Sussex, BN41 1WR Guy Hudson T: +44(0)1273 384945 E: email@example.com W: www.thesmartcardstore.com
Unit 2-5 Jubilee Estate, Foundry Lane, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 5UE Nigel Lambe, Chief Executive T: +44(0)1403 272102 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kingbeer.co.uk
Top Corner Events Ltd
11 Manor Farm Close, Selsey, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 0LZ Sally Paice, Director T: +44(0)1243 607231 E: Sallypaice1@hotmail.com W: www.spaicemusic.com
Unit B The Old Dairy, The Street, Glynde, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6TA Siobhan Burns, Managing Director T: +44(0)207 700 1888 E: email@example.com W: www.topcorner.co.uk
Webster Griffin Ltd Manufacture and design packing machinery Brooklands Park, Farningham Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 2JD Theresa Stirk, Accountant T: +44(0)1892 664250 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.webstergriffin.com
Speak English Buddy System Englsh Language Training 11 Chatam Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2SP Lynne Hunter, Director T: +44(0)1903 219 251 E: email@example.com W: www.speakenglishbuddysystem.co.uk
Enjoy a range of benefits exclusively negotiated for you
Ground Floor East, The Agora, Ellen St, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3LN Micala Wilkins, Group Sales Manager T: +44(0)1273 778888 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.seico-insurance.com
Two Ways, Bevernbridge, South Chailey, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4QD Martin Blackmore, Owner T: +44(0)1273 400184 E: email@example.com W: www.tabledoctor.co.uk
For more information about becoming a member, call us on...
0845 67 888 67 BUSINESSEDGE 45
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THE LAST WORD
THE LAST WORD… Each edition we invite one of our contributors to answer some key questions we all want to know the answers to. This time it’s the turn of Ajay Parekh Director and founder of Kabuki Productions
1 2 3 4 5
Which words or phrase do you most often overuse? To many to remember. Fantastic is often heard far too many times. Karaoke song of choice? ‘If I had a Hammer’ but it has to be the version sung by Leonard Nimoy What’s your biggest regret? Too many to remember but they usually do not last long.
What talent would you most like to have? To sing.
What quality do you most admire in a person? Humility and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
Which virtue is the most overrated? Money and power.
Early mornings or late nights? Both, never like the middle bit.
When and where were you happiest? I am still working on this and on the whole I have had a life full of happy moments.
Deal or no deal? Always No Deal. I want to know what is left on the table.
When was the last time you lied? When claiming compensation for my recent parking notices.
Tell us a secret... I lied in some of the above questions.
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