InBusiness Spring 2014

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Wa l e s ’ P r e m i e r I n d e p e n d e n t M a g a z i n e F o r P e o p l e I n B u s i n e s s

Future Focussed We chat to Andy Parry of my pension reviewer Plus design, fitness, fashion, networking & more

B usiness P rofiles , F inance , H uman R esources

T here ’ s M ore O nline www . inbusinessmag . co . uk

D esign , M arketing , M anagement and T raining plus


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Wales’ Premier Independent Magazine For People In Business

InBusiness Group Managing Editor Jennifer Hobbs-Roberts Creative Director Mark Roberts InBusiness Cardiff House, Cardiff Road, Cardiff CF63 2AW 0845 180 2345 Passionate about Wales We are a small independent publisher. We are not a large publishing group pretending to be home grown. InBusiness magazine is written, designed and printed in Wales for the people of Wales. Our philosophy We are committed to quality. This quote by William Foster pretty much sums up our thinking: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” Caveat emptor Advertisers supply their own copy or artwork, and therefore InBusiness magazine cannot accept any responsibility for disputes between advertisers and their customers. Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. Important you read this We have made every effort to ensure that all information contained in InBusiness magazine or on (or our social media streams) is correct and accurate. However, we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions and can offer no compensation should we get it wrong. Please note that the opinions, thoughts, views or ideas expressed in articles contained in InBusiness magazine are strictly those of the authors. Intellectual property © Copyright InBusiness magazine 2014. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine (including adverts) may be reproduced in any shape or form (in whole or part) without the express written permission of the publishers. We take breach of copyright and theft of intellectual property extremely seriously and will sue at the drop of a croissant. You have been warned (nicely); ignorance is no excuse. Subscriptions To guarantee your copy, please send a cheque for £20 (four issues) made payable to InBusiness magazine. Visit for special subscriber discounts and special offers. Missed the last issue? We hold a small number of each issue in stock so if you do need a pristine copy, please email Hopefully we’ll have the issue you want (but we cannot guarantee it). Each back issue costs £5 including postage and packing. Yes it’s free. Priceless actually! InBusiness magazine is distributed free through a wide variety of outlets across Wales and is given away free of charge on the understanding that we are happy for it to be lent, passed on, given to friends and generally read until it falls apart. At which point, you can recycle it and we’d be delighted if you did. Green is good The paper InBusiness magazine is printed on is sourced from sustainably managed Scandinavian tree farms and utilises an elementary chlorine-free bleaching process.

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WELCOME John Sculley once said, “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.” It’s been a pretty slow start to the year for a lot of businesses. Builders I talk to are frustrated because they can’t get going on projects, and retailers are equally miffed. The stormy weather has meant that footfall is way down on what it should be but, don’t lose heart fellow business owners, Spring is just around the corner. With my favourite season comes a sense of optimism. Every year, at around this time, I see the mood of business owners across South Wales change dramatically. The post-Christmas/New Year apathy is replaced by renewed energy and increased confidence and, we should be confident, because 2014 (unlike 2013 with its unlucky connotations) has, on paper, the promise to be a good year for the small businesses. Why am I so optimistic? For a start the economy is growing. That’s indisputable. We’re actually bucking the European trend. Second, The Bank Of England’s recent ‘adjustments’ to its projections on interest rate rises has, for the short to mid-term, settled the jitters in the market. Third, banks are beginning to lend. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of banks or their behaviour over the last decade, but they are getting their houses in order. All this adds up to reasons to be cheerful(ish). Businesses, certainly the small ones, live or die on two things: cashflow and confidence - and, usually, those two big Cs are inextricably linked. We’ll be looking at ways to improve both in our summer issue but, for now, we’ll have to be content with a few cheques landing on the mat and some warm Spring days to boost our endorphins.

Talking about raising endorphins, on page 14 we interview personal trainer JD McManus - if there’s one thing you can do to raise your energy levels and de-stress it’s a good workout. If your weight is a problem, check out Helen McCarthy’s feature on page 40, it’ll give you some positive ideas. They say people buy from people and, I’m proud to say, this issue is packed with clever ones: our cover man Andy Parry; talented graphic designer Darren Witts on page 16; David Ryall of Cardiff Bathroom Centre on page 42; Russell Scott-Lawson of Hawkes dishes out style tips to Jonathan Davies on page 20 and new kid on the block, Chris Macnamara of The Brogue Trader, is on 22 (I have to say I was particularly impressed with his start-up). We also feature several younger entrepreneurs in this issue - the incredibly talented chaps of iApp Manager grace our pages on 52, and woodsman and firewood expert Luke Bater of PLB Ecowood chips in on page 24. That would probably be my cue to ‘log off ’ (pun intended) but I’ll leave the Last Word to the fabulously glamorous Ruth Benjamin of Benjamin’s Interiors to have this issue’s parting shot. Stay future focussed. See you again in the summer. Mark Roberts Creative Director 07766 106 731

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook at InBizWales



InBusiness news b rid g end

Training Company’s Best Practice Award The largest independent hairdressing and beauty training provider in Wales is being held up by education and training watchdog Estyn as an example for others to follow. Bridgend-based ISA Training features in Estyn’s annual report, and in two best practice case studies on its website. ISA Training’s MD Berni Tyler is delighted that the company’s pioneering work has been recognised by Estyn.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the company’s work has been acknowledged by Estyn not only in its annual report but also in two best practice case studies on its website,” she added.

“It’s recognition of the dedication and hard work by everyone associated with ISA Training and is the ultimate accolade from Estyn.” Shirley Davis-Fox and Berni Tyler

Last year, the company achieved Investors in People gold status last year, was named the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year and won the Bridgend Business Service of the Year award.

For more information please contact Berni Tyler, ISA Training’s Managing Director, on 0845 301 8660

This Charming M an CARDIFF

Geoffrey Carter Lloyd passed away on 17th November, aged 72, after losing his battle with cancer. Geoff was one of the business community’s real characters, having forged a career in civil engineering and later founded the St David’s Polo & Racing Club in Cardiff which is when our paths first crossed. Fonmon Castle owner Sir Brooke Boothby recalls, “Geoff approached me about the possibility of polo at Fonmon with all the irrepressible enthusiasm that I later came to understand went with everything he did.

I shall miss his infectious laughter, and above all his ability to create an event out of everything he touched.”

“ We miss Geoff, Cardiff is a greyer city without him.”

Geoff had been a supporter of our little publishing business from our first issue of Vale Life in 2007. We have some special memories of Geoff but one stands out. We interviewed Geoff for a Last Word feature in Vale Life and, at the end, he was asked to describe himself in three words. He replied, “I need only one, FABULOUS!”


Dragons warm to AR When it comes to playing rugby Newport Gwent Dragons are in a different league, but when new office equipment was required at Rodney Parade, the Newport-based AR Digital team offered the right technological solutions needed to keep the Dragons ahead of the pack. AR Digital Ltd have been appointed as the official suppliers of office equipment and multifunctional photocopiers to Newport Gwent Dragons. The company, led by father and son Rick and Alex Poraziski, has installed the very latest remote monitoring software allowing service calls to be placed automatically and enabling remote diagnostics to be undertaken.

Left to right, Rick and Alex Porazinski of AR Digital with John Reid, Newport Gwent Dragons

Rick Porazinski, said, “We are very pleased to have been chosen to provide a full document solution package to Newport Gwent Dragons. We’ve really enjoyed this project. The equipment installed not only boasts touch screen devices, which allow interaction in the same way as you can with a smart phone or tablet, but also offers significant running and energy costs reductions.” 6

John Reid, Commercial manager, Newport Gwent Dragons, added, “We are a busy office and we needed a solution provider who was not only cost effective but also able to offer cutting edge technology. It’s also great we have been able to appoint a local team of professionals.” AR Digital 01633 891261

cardiff b ay

Help Welsh Hearts leap into Spring Have fun this Easter and join hundreds of Easter Bunnies and furry friends and enter The 5k Easter Bunny Run at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. YSTRAD MYNACH

Join the Mad Hatter who will lead you on this 5K run, walk, hop, jog, or cycle as you chase his carrot around Cardiff Bay with your speed enhancing bunny ears! Prizes for the best fancy dress.

Like father, like son Lewis Parry is following his father’s footsteps into the family business. His father Andy Parry who is MD at Ideal Financial Planning and also who is also MD of My Pension Reviewer features on our front in this issue (see cover and page 12).

Meet at The Oval Basin, Cardiff Bay in front of The Wales Millennium Centre. Registration from 9.15am. Warm up at 10.45am, race starts at 11am. A great family Easter Fun Run for all the hearts of Wales!

Entry £5 per person. Register online www.welshhearts/

Lewis is a General Assurance advisor and provides advice within Ideal Financial Planning Limited. Lewis says, “I think we’re here to help make life easier in the event of a family, business or emotional crisis. Ideal Financial Planning Limited offers mortgages, life assurance and income protection to individuals, families and businesses.” The company offers: Family and lifestyle protection Lewis provides advice on a range of products, where the benefits will to protect a family’s income and lifestyle in the event of death or critical illness. He can also put in place income protection policies which can be called on if the breadwinner is off work due to illness or accident. “Protecting the family home in the event of death or earlier critical illness can take a huge amount of worry away,” says Lewis.



Innovative vehicle servicing company seems to have a winning formula. The company started by John Enticott has, hush hush, won three significant commercial contracts recently and has sold twelve soft franchises across south Wales and the south West. See the Tried&Tested feature on page 19.

Family owned independent, Cardiff Bathroom Centre, has strengthened its range with the addition of Imperial.

CollectMyWheels gets go faster stripes

Cardiff Bathroom Centre showcases new brand

David Ryall, Director, said, “Imperial is a great British company. We’re really proud to showcasetheir fantastic products.” Find out more about Cardiff Bathroom Centre on page 42. 7

Business assurance “Business protection policies for directors to ensure that the director’s shareholding is protected in the event of death or earlier critical illness is something we can advise on,” says Lewis. “Key Man assurance cover, to protect a business if financial loss occurs in the event of the death of a key person employee within a business can be extremely useful. Some benefits paid out under claim, could be used to recruit and train new key personnel if the business needs too.” Ideal Financial Planning Limited Tredomen Business & Innovation Centre Tredomen Business Park Ystrad Mynach CF82 7FN 08445 763 135

InBusiness news THE MEDIA ANGEL

Cardiff Airport & Vueling sponsor ITV Weather The Media Angel, a local advertising agency in The Vale of Glamorgan are very excited to announce they have clinched the deal for their client Cardiff Airport and Vueling Airlines to be the new sponsors of ITV Cymru Wales Weather from the beginning of 2014. Alison Debono MD of The Media Angel said “With ITV Weather sponsorship being such a high impact advertising opportunity, reaching 94% of all adults across Wales in 2013, we are really excited for our client to be associated with this prestigious sponsorship. This advertising opportunity provides a communication platform that is unsurpassed in terms of scale and reach. To be linked with weather sponsorship on ITV is really exciting for Cardiff Airport and The Media Angel.

Marketing and PR Manager at Cardiff Airport said “The sponsorship was a great way for us to start 2014 and remind the people of Wales of the great choice of destinations available from their national airport. Vueling offer four great routes at very competitive prices so we want to ensure they are front of mind when Welsh travellers are booking their next flight to Spain. ITV Cymru Wales Weather gave us a great platform to do just that and, combined with our other activity, should encourage more Welsh travellers to choose Cardiff once again.” The Media Angel helps clients with their marketing requirements, from TV and radio to outdoor and online. The Media Angel 02921 320200 Pod 2, Avon House, Stanwell Road CF64 5RL Why do you think it has proved so popular? During the time I was about to release the cufflinks, the TV series with Professor Brian Cox become a bit of a supernova, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to release the design which then led to the men’s t-shirt. There is always a high demand for designs for men and I hope to introduce more at a later date.


Melinda Mulcahy - E=mc2 Jewellery designer Melinda Mulcahy tells us more about one of her popular designs. Why did you choose this design? My husband had always been mildly obsessed about physics and he always quotes physics equations during dinner parties and taught our two daughters E=mc2 and its meaning when they were first learning to talk as a bit of a joke. I made a set of cufflinks for Christmas and had some of his work colleague’s comment on them.

I understand that you’ve decided to move away from the popular online website Not On The High Street. Please tell us why? I am certainly not moving away from one of the biggest online retailers in the UK, I’m just not as focused right now. I am one person in the business who not only makes the jewellery but markets and designs my own website and it’s fair to say my resources are stretched. So whilst the online side is constantly ticking over, my main focus at present is to build a base with my new studio shop in Cowbridge. However, over the years, with this globally open market place, copying my designs has been frustrating. The minute I introduce a new design and load it onto any large website marketplace like NOTHS or Etsy, 8

within a week someone has copied it, so I don’t really get the chance to become known for the product. This happened with the plectrums and now there are hundreds of designers offering personalised plectrums all around the world. It’s extremely frustrating as I’m not a well know brand that can throw huge budgets at advertising and marketing to combat it. What is your favourite gemstone to work with? Labradorite throws the most wonderful iridescence within the gemstone, as does Rainbow Moonstone, which makes these gemstone so very unique and loved by lots of jewellery makers, yet are so under-utilized. Melinda Mulcahy Rear Ground Studio 27 High Street, Cowbridge Follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter


creative engineering

hands up who’s run out of ideas to promote their business?



WEBSITES Website looking dated?

BRANDING Do you need a new logo?


PRINTING Business cards to brochures





We can get you noticed

Profit through promotion

014 46 711 811 10

Laura Bridgwater and Joan Hoctor make up this fun, swing-style singing duo based in the Cardiff area. Having launched their act three years ago, they are going from strength to strength. We wanted to know more about them.


Prefer Blondes

L: I’m a bit of a Jackie of all trades. I teach Italian on a private tuition basis and also work a few days a month at Celtic Prop Hire, which hires out props to theatre, film and TV. I used to do quite a bit of acting but now the singing has taken over. I love the variety - it makes every week different. What sort of functions do you perform at? L: Gosh, all sorts. We’ve done weddings, festivals, nursing homes (they love all the vintage stuff), special events and dinner dances... We debuted at the City Hall. It was so nerve wracking! We traipsed up and down the corridors before we went on, wondering why we were putting ourselves through the agony. It all turned out really well though. J: We always get nervous before we go on, but it helps to keep us focussed. Some of our songs are very quick and wordy so we can’t take our eye off the ball. We currently have a regular Saturday night spot at the VIP Piano Lounge in Cardiff Bay. If anyone reading this wants to come and see us in action, they can.

Why did you decide to set up Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? J: Laura came up with the idea and gave me a call to see if I was interested, and I was. L: I met Joan 15 years ago when we performed in musical theatre together. When I decided that I wanted to get an act together Joan was the first person I thought of. Not only is she a great singer, we get on really well and have a laugh together. Why the name? L: Ah, this was Joan’s idea. It’s perfect because it evokes an age of glamour and fun, and we do have a lot of fun when we perform. J: And being brunettes, people remember the name because of the irony factor. Everyone’s first comment when they first see us is “But you’re not blondes!”

“I’m a bit of a Jackie of all trades.”

What style of music do you perform and why did you choose this? J: We sing songs with a swing element to them. Some of them are from the 40’s and 50’s, like songs by The Andrews Sisters, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, but we also sing modern swing, like Imelda May and Caro Emerald, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (I know, not many people of heard of that last one, but it’s a great foot-tapping number) What are your favourites songs that you sing and why? L: We only sing songs we love, but my favourite is usually the newest to the set.

L: So far we’ve been very lucky and not needed an agent. Gigs have come to us either by word of mouth or because someone has seen us perform and has booked us for their own event. Can you provide a short testimonial please? “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes more than lived up to their name. Sexy, sassy and gusty they did a great set which made our 2011 MAD Awards go with a real swing! Miss them and you’ll definitely miss out.” Sarah Manners PR & Marketing Manager, Wales & West Housing

J: Yes, and if we get tired of a song, we strike it from the set and replace it with something new and fresh. L: We’re learning new songs all the time. What are your ‘day jobs’? J: We’re both freelance which means that our schedules are flexible. I’ve got my own mobile hairdressing business. I’m able to arrange my business around picking up my daughter, Scarlett, from school, family life, and rehearsals with Laura. 11

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 07952 581352 Follow on Facebook

As a nation we’re all coming around to the fact that we’re going to need to provide for our own retirement and not rely on the state for our pensions. We talk to south Wales pension guru, Andy Parry of My Pension Reviewer.

R isk & R eward

Please tell us a little bit about your career and background… I started in the financial industry in 1990, while still serving in the Army. I left the Army in 1991, after completing eleven years service, to become a full time financial adviser. I started out self employed until I joined Pearl Assurance in 1995 to take up an employed position, working my way into management. Then, wanting to do something for myself, in 2000 I set up my own financial advice company. What have the challenges been to your business? There have been massive changes to the regulations over the years so it has been real a challenge to stay on top of it. Lots of studying followed by lots of exams. Do you operate alone in the business? Currently I have different advisers within the business and associates who can provide advice on a wide range of financial services - from life assurance protection for individuals, business’s, Mortgages, Pensions and Investments.

When and why did you set up My Pension Reviewer? My Pension Reviewer Limited (MPR) was set up in 2012. Although it runs alongside Ideal Financial Planning Limited, it is a standalone business, which effectively promotes and provides pension reviews. According to Towers Watson, and reported in Financial Planner, the UK has the third largest pension market in the world behind the United States and Japan with £1.7 trillion of assets being managed at any one time. Many pension consumers don’t know where their pensions are! They may have moved home and forgot to inform their pension provider, or have lost the paperwork, or just simply don’t understand what they have or how much income their pension will provide in retirement. I set up My Pension Reviewer to make getting a pension report easier for people. The market is huge - there’s a lot of confused people out there.

So do you provide advice? My Pension Reviewer does not provide advice on the pension or what investments sit within it, as MPR’s not authorised to do so. MPR gets the pension reviewed by an authorised firm of financial advisors, who will prepare a report and offer fully regulated advice on the pension. The clients can have a mixture of investments within the pension, however after their Attitude To Risk as been assessed by the financial adviser who is looking after them. The client can choose to take the advice of the financial adviser or not - there is no obligation or cost in obtaining a report. What’s Attitude To Risk? Basically, it’s an assessment based on the client’s attitude to how much risk they want to take with their investments. Typically, lower risk mean lower returns. Obviously the higher the risk, the higher the potential gains but you can lose big too.

“ I left the Army in 1991, after completing eleven years service, to become a full time financial adviser.” 12

How do you know a good investment from a bad one? There are many investments available - they all come with an element of risk. It will be the investors own decision on where they wish to invest. However, after being risk-rated, the advisor needs to know that the client understands what they are investing in. The advisor will look at the client’s appetite for loss or gain. Who is your ideal client? Anyone with a pension. Someone who has lost their pension details? Or worked for a company and moved on and is unsure if there is a pension in place. We can find pensions using the pension tracing service at find-lost-pension Many clients receive a pension statement each year, open the envelope, look at the value and put the statement in a draw. If that’s you reading this, maybe you should get in touch. What do you do to promote your business? Sponsorship is good for us. My Pension Reviewer is an official partner of The Cardiff Blues. The North Stand has been named the My Pension Reviewer stand. This gets a lot of television coverage during televised home games, which are seen all around the UK and Europe. We promote our services in high quality lifestyle and business magazines. The use of social media has also helped. Our website is currently being updated to stay on top of an ever changing market. What sets your business apart from other providers in your industry? There are many firms offering various types of pension review. With a market of £1.7 trillion there needs to be just to cope with the demand. Many companies don’t offer a face to face service, they just complete paperwork and send it by post. All our clients are seen face to face. We also like to think that once we gain a client, he or she will stay with us for life. We’re so confident in our service we wouldn’t expect them to look elsewhere.

How has your business changed over the last ten years? In some ways we’re like a boat at sea. Some weeks are calm, some are stormy but whatwever the conditions we sail on. That’s the nature of what we do. It’s like navigation. We have seen many changes in the market over the past decade with huge ups and downs. The global financial crisis starting in 2008 saw banks and, in turn, the mortgage market collapse. This has made many investors very twitchy but there are clear signs that confidence is returning which will mean more stability. Our other company, Ideal Financial Planning, has seen the mortgage market starting to show signs of recovery too with lenders gaining confidence. Regulation has also changed, which has also seen the change of the regulator from the FSA to the now FCA, who now regulate the financial services in the UK. In many respects it’s been a good thing. Is there such a thing as a safe investment? A cash deposit investment is safe up to the Financial Services Compensation scheme limit of £50,000 per account. As I mentioned earlier the low risk, or safer types of investments, tend to provide lower returns. This is the real point of obtaining a report as many people have pensions with investment funds assume they’re in safe portfolios when they’re not.

“ According to Towers Watson, and reported in Financial Planner, the UK has the third largest pension market in the world behind the United States and Japan with £1.7 trillion of assets being managed at any one time.” 13

What are your ambitions for the future? To continue our relationship with The Cardiff Blues - I’m a big fan anyway. I want to continue to develop the business and meet as many new and existing clients as possible. I’d like to increase our market share of the £1.7 trillion of the pension market, which has doubled since 2002. My son Lewis has now joined the company and is training to become a qualified Financial Advisor. He’s already offering Income and Life Protection for individuals, families and businesses. I’m very proud to have him aboard.

My Pension Reviewer Limited Tredomen Business and Innovation Centre Tredomen Business Park Ystrad Mynach CF82 7FN 08445 763 135

Ideal Financial Planning Limited Tredomen Business and Innovation Centre Tredomen Business Park Ystrad Mynach CF82 7FN 08445 763 135

TESTIMONIAL Sean Power “JD McManus worked with me as a personal trainer for four months while I was overseas. I am a road cyclist and race competitively. I was concerned about losing too much of my conditioning. I started off with a bad attitude - I did not think a trainer could tell me anything I did not already know and I thought spin classes were for people who could not ride a real bike. JD proved me very wrong on both counts. As a trainer JD is extremely knowledgeable, and very skilled at applying that knowledge to a variety of people at different fitness levels, abilities and conditions. Extra credit has to be given for personality - I am not an easy person to work with. He’s an innovative trainer, dedicated professional and great person.” 14

John Declan McManus (people call him JD) has just set up Hero Personal Training in the heart of Pontcanna, Cardiff. We took a walk in the park with JD to find out more.

We Could Be heroes I’m offering much more than just meeting up with a client for a couple of sessions a week or a month. I’m inviting clients into my world and asking for the same in return, so that I can really help and so that we can change their lives. I am offering a very in-depth and personable service with lots and lots of little extras. I’m all about going the extra mile.

The first thing that strikes you about JD is he’s very softly spoken. You often find that with people who’ve been in or around the military - they have an air of quiet confidence. Just chatting with JD, I get a sense that he’s the type of guy that if he says he’s going to do something, he’ll do it. I believe him when he says he can make a difference. Tell us a little about your background I’m a personal trainer from Northern Ireland. I was born in Kenya, so was inspired to study Zoology and came to Wales and Aberystwyth University in 1998 - close enough to home, but far enough from the issues of Northern Ireland. So I’ve lived in Wales since really. It’s lush! But I eventually decided to become a personal trainer after studying the Japanese martial art of JuJitsu as a teenager. It had a really lasting and positive effect on me, and I wanted to help others get into fitness. Who are your typical clients? Well, over the last four years, while working in the NATO gym on Kandahar AirField (KAF), in south-east Afghanistan, my clients were military and civilians wanting to lose weight or improve longdistance run time. Or they wanted to just get into structured training and get in better shape. Now I’m back here in Cardiff, I really want to make a difference. Now my typical clients are men/women from 30 to 55 who want to loose 20 to 30lbs and who are looking for a private, convenient environment in which to train.

What services do you offer? I offer private one-on-one training and semi-private or small group training in groups of up to four or five and I offer guaranteed weight loss results. I also offer a running club with a “1000 mile” challenge! And several times a year I will hold free, charity driven events in the local parks to motivate and inspire the local community to get outdoors and get fit. Where do you train your clients? In my private, one-on-one home studio, the local parks and/or at clients homes as well as in Pontcanna Dojo. What type of training do you offer? That’s a good question, but I don’t want to give away any secrets. As any good trainer should, I keep it varied and keep it applicable to the clients ability levels, but always with the aim of progressing to better and better levels of performance. I do bring in a lot of martial arts influences like balance and co-ordination - much more fun than it sounds - especially for me! And the real fundamentals, like core strength and flexibility to avoid injuries. So no secrets, but I do love the Bulgarian Bag. Why would someone come to you and what do you think you offer that’s different? Well, firstly, a guarantee means a lot. But it requires a lot of involvement, and commitment from both sides. 15

How soon can a client expect to see some results from working with you? Well, as with any training, if you do it properly you’ll start seeing results within a couple of weeks. But with me, clients will see in a couple of weeks that they’re going to be able to stick with it in the long-term. It’s not about seeing changes as soon as possible anybody can have a blast at something for a couple of weeks. It’s about achieving goals, and changing your life to maintain those goals. It won’t take my clients long to feel confident that, with me in their corner, they’re going to make it. Not only that, they’re going to enjoy it! TESTIMONIAL Chris Berthouil “JD is simply the best personal coach I’ve ever worked with. He understands what you’re looking for and knows how to keep you motivated in order to reach your goals. I like it very much that he doesn’t stick to the classics, but also adds new and challenging exercises that get you in the best shape of your life.”

To learn how to lose 20-30lbs, and to take advantage of a free consultation, call us today on 02921 256426 Hero Personal Training JD McManus Ground Floor Flat 228 Cathedral Road Pontcanna Cardiff CF11 9JG 029 2125 6426

Graphic designers and consultants have, like most sectors, had to look at their overheads over recent times. Ten years ago, the directories were packed full of heavily staffed consultancies but those are now few and far between. Good designers have moved with the times. We talk to Canton based designer Darren Witts.

Darren with Caroline Challoner, Director of Cazbah

Home Office Who are you and what do you do? I am Darren Witts and I own Treganna Design, a graphic design agency in Canton, Cardiff.

How is business? It’s good. Considering the current climate, I was expecting the last two years to have been the most challenging since I started, but surprising they have been my busiest. I have worked hard to establish a solid client base who have been very loyal and have told others about Treganna Design. How long have you been self-employed? Having worked in the industry for seven years, I became freelance in 2006. It really did feel like a sink or swim situation, so I decided to get out there and get business in. I have never looked back. Working freelance gave me the opportunity to work in a number of other agencies, picking up invaluable varied experience along the way. It was this that made me decide to set up Treganna Design three years ago, and making the conscious decision to base myself at home in Canton.

Have your been formally trained and what qualifications do you have? I completed a HND in Graphic Design at Falmouth University, where I was utterly spoilt for inspiration… fantastic beaches and gardens with palm trees surrounded our studio! I then completed to Degree level in Maidstone in Kent, which was somewhat less uplifting. I still pack the car and go back to Cornwall as often as possible, where my stress levels evaporate as soon as I see the sea!

How do you find working from home? I love it. I have been able to make my job work around my life, rather than the other way around, and it is a good balance. Office politics are a thing of the past and I can get my head down and do the job I’m being paid for without any distractions. Of course, sometimes I feel like Shirley Valentine talking to my wall, but when this happens I get out of the house and head for Chapter Arts Centre for a strong coffee with my laptop! 16

To be honest, I work with so many people on a daily basis, either visiting or speaking to clients on the phone, I don’t get much time to dwell on any negatives and I always have my dog Barney here in the day to keep me company and bounce ideas off!

“ Word of mouth has been invaluable in getting my name out there, and I think people tend to ‘buy in’ to a person when they are recommended.”

How does working from home benefit your clients? Well the bottom line benefit is that I have fewer overheads to be passed on to clients in the final bill; my prices are more competitive than many other larger agencies who need to pay other designers and overhead fees, and I feel my design is as good as any of the bigger agencies. Also, I’m not constrained by normal working hours… if a job requires long hours into the night or over weekends or even for some quick midnight amendments, it’s always easy to do and I think my clients are grateful for this. Gone are the days when the working day finishes at 5pm! What type of clients do you work for? Over the past six years I have forged a close working relationship with Cazbah, a Marketing, Event and Research company. Together we have worked on many large corporate events, where I have designed the branding and marketing materials, in addition to many public sector campaigns for Welsh Government. Last year, I was lucky to work on the two prospectuses for Coleg Morgannwg (now Coleg Y Cymoedd) and do many projects with a variety of large private sector companies to small start up businesses, where I like to offer them a special start up rate. I seem to have been working with a lot of food based clients lately, ranging from bakers and catering companies to food consultants and the Cowbridge Food Festival.

“ I work best when there is full trust between myself and a client. I think I’m a pretty friendly guy and always try to be as approachable as possible about any aspect of work.”

What type of clients would you like to work for? I always feel that I work best when there is full trust between myself and a client. I think I’m a pretty friendly guy and always try to be as approachable as possible about any aspect of work. No one ever wants to work with someone who is unhelpful about things, so I do my utmost to make people want to enjoy working with ‘me’ and hopefully come back. So really, any business that wants affordable and creative design, delivered with a friendly face. What type of projects do you enjoy working on? Probably the same as any other designer; one that gets your creative juices flowing and makes you excited to set pen to paper (yes, I still use a sketch pad to start a project). It’s great to have a brief from a client that they already have an idea about, but you get that immediate spark that you can bring something special to a project and make them as excited about it as you. What do you do or have you done to promote yourself? Word of mouth has been invaluable in getting my name out there, and I think people tend to ‘buy in’ to a person when they are recommended by someone they trust. For a small agency, social media has been really important and has been a new area to explore; when I recently gave my website a facelift and mentioned it in Twitter, I was surprised by the number of people who approached me with work queries. It is also handy for getting the message out there about any offers that I might have. What are your hopes for the coming year? I am confident about the coming year. The breadth of clients that I have has widened. I am really enjoying my work at the moment and on a personal level, I am looking forward to exploring Italy a bit, as we have a few trips planned. 18

What do you do to relax? Getting out on my bike and I’m a regular at my local gym in Canton a few times a week… the classes absolutely kill me but I need them after sitting at my desk all day. And no matter what I’ve got on, when my dog gives me ‘that look’, I know it’s time for yet another walk! We deliberately chose to buy a place in Canton because it is such a great neighbourhood, Chapter is on the doorstep and there are great food places nearby. Hence the need for the gym! So I’m a new business and I need some design work doing. Where do I start? I suppose you want to think about what you are trying to achieve and want to get out of it. Do you want to attract new businesses, develop a brand or just take a fresh look at things? Either way, I’d suggest just giving me a call and we can talk through the various options and go from there. Some of the best ideas can come from talking these things through. It can be a really enjoyable process and there is nothing to be scared of if you have never done this before.

Treganna Design Graphic Designers 07765 474 705/ 029 2030 3007 @Tregannadesign

Based in Maesteg, Rose Burridge is a busy, self-employed, chartered quality professional. Rose works with clients across the UK looking to implement ISO standards in their businesses. As she travels a great deal, having a reliable car is essential.

Tried & Tested

As a business that relies on client contact over a large geographical area, Rose needs to be absolutely sure that her car is in A1 condition at all times. Time, as we all know, is money so the last thing Rose needs is to be sat in a service bay waiting for her car to be serviced, when she could be getting on with work. How did you hear about CollectMyWheels? I met John Enticott at a networking event in Bridgend around four years ago. What work do they undertake for you? MOT, service, rescue and recovery, fault diagnostics, brakes – they look after just about everything.

Are you pleased with their service? Always, yes. What do you like most about the CollectMyWheels offering? They’re easy to contact. Always give good clear explanations, a great service and speedy turnaround. It’s the collection and delivery service that especially impresses me. It means I don’t have to take time off work. I like the online booking facility too - I can book a time that fits in with my schedule. Would you recommend CollectMyWheels to friends or family? I have - to many friends, colleagues and family. John is a great mechanic knowledgeable and thorough. I completely trust him and his team.

How does CollectMyWheels compare on price? Same - or better really - especially as their service includes collection of my vehicle. It’s the down time that really costs in business.

“ They always give good clear explanations, a great service and speedy turnaround. It’s the collection and delivery service that especially impresses me” If your business needs assistance with ISO accreditation, Rose can be contacted at 029 2002 3239 or 01443 801410 Facebook collectmywheels Twitter @collectmywheels CollectMyWheels operates in Pontyclun and the valleys, Bridgend, The Vale Of Glamorgan and Cardiff.


Russell Scott-Lawson, owner of Hawkes, is no stranger to dressing sports stars and celebrities. So when ex Welsh international rugby player and pundit Jonathan Davies, needs a wardrobe injection, he pays a visit to Hawkes.

A Different League If you appreciate the finer things in life and hate it when clothes fall apart or just don’t think you’ve had your monies worth, give Hawkes a try. We have a vast selection of unique menswear that will set you apart from the crowd. We’re not influenced by labels but by quality and fit.

Next season we will be joined by Nigel Hall and Circle of Gentlemen, both of which are very popular brands in London. Jeffery West shoes will be doing some different colours using their notorious designs and I’m sure last season’s butterfly shirt will be topped! Talking of shirts, Eton are now the “in” ones to wear, combining style and panache, they are as comfortable with a pair of jeans as well as a suit. How long have you been visiting Hawkes?
 I’ve know Russell and have been visiting Hawkes since 1995. There were only two gentlemen’s shops in Cardiff at that time and I liked them both in equal measure but since the demise of Woodies, Hawkes is where I shop now. How often do you shop there?
 Men buy differently to women don’t they. Women seem to want to shop for clothes, shoes and handbags all of the time. Men are different and I’m no exception. I tend to pop if I’ve got something special coming up, like the Six Nations, and Russell sorts me out. Mind you, I do pop in there when I’m not looking for anything in particular and I come away with things. What have you bought there recently?
 I’ve bought jeans, shirts, boots and a coat recently. I bought a Holland Esquire jacket which I wore on the weekend and I got lots of positive comments about it. I’ve also got some great comments from wearing my RH Williams boots. Sometimes Russell will try and put me in something really colourful like red trousers and I’ll say “that’s not for me” but then when I’ve tried things on that he’s suggested, they have looked good. So you never know until you try do you.

Men are notorious for not liking shopping. Can the same be said for you? I do enjoy shopping at Hawkes as there’s always something in there that I’ll like. They have different things in there that you’ll find anywhere else. What’s best about it though is the service. Nothing’s too much trouble and Russell seems to know what will suit me and what won’t. If I’ve got an important event coming up and I need a sharp dinner suit, I know I can go in there and come away with something that fits the bill, something different and unique.

Weddings are our main concern for the spring/summer season, with many bespoke suits already on the production line. We have built, using our own designs, plenty of fantastic three piece suits, along with our flourishing morning wear hire businesses, which we tailor to fit, we should be your first port of call whether you’re the guest or groom. We have also discovered a market for the bigger chest, having put a few suits on Adam Jones, and looked after a lot of other rugby players, we now stock suits up to 54R and up to 50L so if your 6ft 10in, we can help. The reason you don’t find many on the shelves these days is there is often a 30% charge from the wholesaler. Whatever your shape or size, Hawkes can help. We look forward to your next visit. Russell Scott-Lawson Hawkes 
 37-39 Morgan Arcade Cardiff CF10 1AF
 Scan the QR code for more 029 2037 3780 Find us on Facebook

While enjoying a very successful sales career in the automotive industry, Chris Macnamara had always dreamed of opening his own business. In December 2013 - after months of planning and hard work - that dream became reality.

Brogue Trader Usually, when press releases describe someone as dynamic, you can be pretty sure they’re not - at least in my experience, so when I received a release about a new retail venture in Morgan Arcade, I would have been a little sceptical had I not already bumped into Chris at a charity event several weeks earlier. Chris is one of Wales’ most dynamic businessmen - fact. He is one of the most charismatic and enthusiastic entrepreneurs I can honestly say I’ve ever met. Back in the charity event, as he was painting his picture of The Brogue Trader, I believed he could pull off his vision but you never really know until you see the finished article. Some months later, I happened to be chatting to Russell Scott-Lawson of Hawkes Essentials and Russell informed me that Chris was in and feverously transforming what used to be the skateboard shop in Morgan Arcade so I thought I must take a look. At this point, I must say I meet a lot of dreamers in business. Lots of people talk up their plans but, in my experience, for one reason or another, they fall short. The Brogue Trader is certainly not one of those. Chris’ retail dream surpasses everything he described to me at the dinner several months earlier.

What was, a quite a cool skate shop, has been transformed, beautifully, into a shrine to fine footwear. To say it’s elegantly appointed does it a disservice. Hand finished wood panelling showcases the very best gentleman’s shoes including many hand-made items which have received a Royal Warrant. The decor is sublime - the branding is perfectly and professionally executed. If you didn’t know any better, you’d say The Brogue Trader had been established over a hundred years. Honestly, if I had to show someone an excellent example of how to start a retail business, The Brogue Trader would be it.

As we go to press, Chris is launching The Brogue Trader website - an ecommerce operation with a mobile element offering customers the opportunity to have an expert fitting service and to purchase prestige shoes at their office or home. Chris tells me The Brogue Trader has exceeded all sales expectations since opening and I’m not in the least bit surprised.

Chris’ enthusiasm is infectious. He’s passionate about every aspect of the business - from the British hand-made shoes he sells to the quality coffee he proudly serves you as you browse. Nothing about this business is second rate. I ask him if he intends to open more shops - knowing the answer before he replies. “Of course,” he replies with a big smile. “We want to get the offering absolutely right then we’ll think about expanding around the country.”

“Chris is one of Wales’ most dynamic businessmen - fact.” 22

The Brogue Trader 27a Morgan Arcade Cardiff CF10 1AF Tel/Fax 029 2037 2036 07811 111 311

Luke Bater established PLB Ecowood Ltd two years ago. Since then, partly due to the economic downturn, but mostly due to hard graft, the business has grown significantly. InBusiness popped on its wellies for a tour of the farm.

Cut & Dried

Have you been affected by the economic downturn? We have been very fortunate as we have seen the demand for quality seasoned firewood grow year on year. We are investing in new equipment so that we can continue to meet the growing demand for firewood as people turn from gas to more eco-friendly wood burning stoves. We are investing in a Bio Mass Kiln so that we can supply locally-sourced and kiln-dried firewood. It’s hard work in all weathers so we don’t get a huge amount of competition. What advice would you give to someone starting out in business? If you have a good idea that you are passionate about, go for it - but be prepared for hard work and blood sweat and tears. To be in business you have to be prepared for problems which you have to find a solution for. You have to be flexible but also very singleminded, and extremely hard working. In business there is no starting or finishing time you have to live and sleep the business.

What’s your role in the business? I do a bit of everything: from extracting timber from the forestry and woodlands, processing the firewood into logs, delivering the logs and repairs and maintenance of our machinery and buildings. I like to be very hands-on and involved with aspects of the business, especially looking after customers. I like to ensure that our logs are good quality and that the customer is happy with the product and our service. Who is involved in the business? We are very much a family business with everyone contributing something to the smooth running of the business. My mother helps with anything from paperwork, sorting and delivering logs, anything really - other than driving machines which she hates. My grandfather is a retired engineer in his eighties and also likes to be involved - he’s always on hand to help with machinery breakdowns. We also have two part-time workers who help with tree felling.

What services or products do you offer? We sell quality seasoned hardwood and softwood. We also sell kindling. We manage woodland for clients and also perform domestic and local authority tree surgery. We also clear wood from sites and recycle wood. All our wood is sourced locally and sustainably. What do you enjoy most about your work? I love the whole process. I enjoy working with the machines and also meeting suppliers and customers. You really have to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle - I love being outside in the country whatever the weather. What geographical areas do you cover? We cover the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. We have customers in Porthcawl, Penarth, Pentyrch, Taffs Well, Bridgend, Pyle, Port Talbot, Sully, Barry, Dinas Powys, Caerphilly and as far east as Marshfield. 24

PLB Ecowood Ltd Stable Cottage, Treguff, St Mary Church Vale of Glamorgan CF71 7LT 01446 751620 07999 804391 or 07933 114801


With a plethora of dental practices filling the pages of glossy magazines, how does one choose the best one for them? We chatted to successful property developer, Paul Bailey, on why he chose The Parade Specialist Dental Centre, Cardiff.

When Only The Best Will DO Would you recommend The Parade Dental Centre to others? I would most definitely recommend this practice as the treatment I received was of exceptional quality and I found all the staff to be professional, considerate and caring. I visit the practice on a regular basis for my routine examinations with Gareth and visit the hygienist every six to eight weeks.

The Parade Specialist Dental Centre 23 The Parade, Roath Cardiff CF24 3AB 029 2048 1486 Opening Hours Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm Follow on Facebook

Why did you choose The Parade for your dental treatment? My dentist informed me that there was a good chance that I was going to lose my teeth. He explained that I could have dentures, a bridge or dental implants. My worst nightmare was the thought of removable dentures, therefore, I asked him to recommend a good dental practice that had the experience and professionalism for this type of dental implant treatment. Did you go to any other dental practice? No – Gareth Jenkins at The Parade Specialist Dental Centre was recommended to me by my dentist. A few friends of mine had similar treatments carried out by Gareth and they could not speak more highly of his dental work.

What dental treatment did Gareth carry out? I was recommended to have ten dental implants. Due to my busy life, as I run my own property development company and could not afford the extra time for appointments, I had these placed on a single visit. After several weeks, I had fixed teeth How long ago did this take place? It was about twenty two years ago but that goes to show how good Gareth’s work is as they are still going strong to this day! How did you find the treatment? Excellent. Gareth was thorough and extremely professional. I am as pleased with my teeth now as I was back then. Whilst implants aren’t cheap, I have found them extremely good value for money.

“ I would most definitely recommend this practice as the treatment I received was of exceptional quality...” 27

The Parade offers:

n Dental Implants (to replace missing teeth) n Periodontics (gum disease) n Endodontics (root canal treatment) n Orthodontics (teeth straightening) n Invisalign (teeth straightening with nearly invisible braces – free consultations) n Denture retaining implants (free consultations) n All areas of cosmetic treatments (crowns, fixed bridges, veneers and inlays) n Full hygiene services including Periowave™ (no appointment required with a dentist) The Parade are mindful of the current economic climate and are happy to offer clients interest free credit (subject to status).

Cheryl Bass, founder of I AM WOMAN shares with us her thought provoking views on women looking to become ‘necessity entrepreneurs’.

New Year

Cheryl Bass and Margaret Carter

New R esolve! There is evidence that shows that their male counterparts take themselves and their businesses more seriously also are far more confident within themselves and in pulling down the capital they need to get their business ideas funded.

“It’s critical that as women step into the New Year they start taking themselves and their business ideas and ventures seriously. Women need to surround themselves with strong, experienced and talented women who are willing to support other women” says Cheryl Bass Founder and MD of I AM WOMAN. “Women get so far and then get stuck in their careers and businesses and then end up going backwards when they lose sight of what’s next!”

The New Year will see an increasing amount of women looking to become ‘necessity entrepreneurs’. They will be setting up businesses not because that have a leading edge technology idea they want to take into the global marketplace, but out of ‘necessity’. It could be they are juggling childcare, looking after an elderly relative, can’t find a job or just feel they have reached that stage in their lives where they feel they are unemployable. Could this be you? Women are an emerging force and dominate the consumer market, being responsible for 85% of all consumer spend. They are natural social networks and therefore find it easier than their male counterparts to gently start a business from home around their other responsibilities. However the problem is that they and others don’t take them that seriously.

There is a growing trend of ‘mumpreneurs’ in the UK who contribute over £7.4 billion a year into the economy by inventing solutions to problems in and around their homes. Women are quitting their jobs due to rising childcare costs and innovating and problem solving daily house hold problems for profit, with 16% of our emerging mumpreneurs patenting and making some serious money from their inventions. I AM WOMAN Patron Margaret Carter started her business with £9.00 from her kitchen table and went on to establish a multimillion pound business Patchwork Traditional Foods Ltd, based in Wales that now supplies Harrods, Selfridges and BA First Class. Women however come from a cultural bias towards men when it comes to starting up and developing a successful business. Naturally they hold themselves back from stepping into the limelight. 28

Sara Tye has taken up the gauntlet in I AM WOMAN to become its Chair. Sara was the late Dame Anita Roddick’s PR at The Body Shop International, one of the largest global franchises, alongside driving brand development of Green & Black’s through PR. Cardiff I AM WOMAN Business Club is a powerful group of 100 women who meet monthly, enjoy Master Classing together, developing business together, contributing towards anthology publications together and who share and create a whole lot of business opportunities. This awesome group of women meet at their sponsor’s hotel The Mercure Holland House, Newport Road, Cardiff on a monthly basis. They network over cocktails and canapés, get introduced to people they are wanting to be introduced to, speed network, hear from 3 really talented women in business and then get to know, like and trust one another over bowls of chips and a glass of something soothing in the bar. I AM WOMAN helps women overcome their challenges, but many of our women are also challenging one another.

Sara Tye

Linda Davies Carr throws down the challenge to women in Cardiff in 2014. Four years ago she wasn’t looking for another job, even it was part time, but she did love their products and what they did to her skin. She was busy, a single mum of two and not interested! She is committed to helping and supporting women in Cardiff in 2014 and wants them to have choice. A great career which she loves and a fantastic role with Arbonne International.

Maxine Cook wants to clean up in Cardiff in the New Year. Darlings Who Do Limited is Cardiff ’s newest domestic cleaning company. Owner/Director Maxine Cook has recently started the business in the UK, after developing and proving the concept in New Zealand. The business uses a customised, complex weave of technologies to match customers and staff by geography, availability and service provision, and offers chemical-free domestic services.

Linda is throwing down the gauntlet to women in Cardiff. She wants to “know who is going to rise to the challenge and drive the FIRST FREE WHITE Mercedes away in Cardiff?” Linda is eagerly sourcing women who are hardworking, ambitious and who want more, to have some fun, build a business and recession proof their lives! She can show you how to earn an allexpenses paid FREE trip to Mexico and earn a FREE white Mercedes. Linda will be holding a weekly business meeting at the Mercure in Cardiff if you want find out more.

“As life gets busier and quality time becomes ever more precious, people are beginning to recognise the true value of domestic support,” says Maxine. “We’ve identified a real need in Cardiff for the sort of high quality, environmentally and health friendly services we offer. We look forward to supporting the people of Cardiff from the start of 2014.”

“Women are an emerging force and dominate the consumer market.” 29

Sue Worrell wants us to clean up the City in the New Year with a 3-6 week detox which will help you eliminate all the foods you eat that steal years from your life, zap your energy and increase your risk of developing cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. This is a detox with a difference! Sue says, “It is combined with a short course I have designed specifically for I AM WOMAN called Understanding Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing. It carries on after the initial detox has been completed and empowers you to have health and wellbeing for life.” Sue’s daily plan goes beyond an apple a day to 26 whole fruits and vegetables in a simple practical formula. Our next Cardiff I AM WOMAN Event will be How to Accelerate Your Business Footprint! Held on Tuesday February 25th 2014 6.30pm at The Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff. So if you are a woman who wants to explore if you would like to run your own business or if you are already in business and want to advance your career or business profits then this is the event to be seen at.

I AM WOMAN 029 2035 1533

Being in business doesn’t just take skill and dedication. It takes passion, drive and a real desire for giving customers what they want. Spiros The Fine Dining Caterers have been running their successful business for thirty years. We chat to Spiro Borg, Director on how he, together with his wife and his team, have achieved this.

The R ight Ingredients

How is business? Business is really good. 2013 has been a special year for us as we celebrated our thirtieth anniversary in business, became catering partners at the Cardiff Blues and Cottrell Park Golf Resort, as well as setting up Café Unite in Cardiff City Centre. This has been accompanied by a steady expansion of the company and our team, so it has been a very busy time and a great year for business. Have you always had a passion for food? My parents are both from the Mediterranean where good food and cooking is an important part of life. Their influence on me ignited my passion for cooking, and it has stayed with me my whole life. When did you first know that you wanted to be in business for yourself? I was actually quite young. I started leasing a small unit in the city centre and running it as a café when I was 18. The banqueting and event catering side of the business really started to take off. The rest, as they say, is history! When was Spiros established? Spiros was established thirty years ago in 1983. 30

How has the business grown over the years? Since the very start, word of mouth has played a major part in the success of the business. We provide delicious, high quality food and a warm and efficient service for a very reasonable price. The majority of our customers have previously attended one of our events, be it a wedding we have catered at or one of the nights we put on at St Peter’s Hall, so they have experienced first-hand what we can offer. Long may it continue!

“ We provide delicious, high quality food and a warm and efficient service for a very reasonable price.” Who are your customers? We cater for everyone, and offer anything from a bacon breakfast sandwich to a full fine dining experience. We are well known for our wedding catering, as well as for our work for the media and corporate clients. We work in all venues, from the traditional to the unusual, and also benefit from our own mobile kitchen, so can reach customers in even the most remote locations!

What geographical areas do you cover? We would consider anywhere, but normally work as far as London one way and West Wales the other. We have catered at outside locations in some very far-flung places, so people should feel free to approach us with any request. How many staff do you employ? We have a management team of seven, a chef team of seven and another forty five full and part time staff. So there are nearly sixty of us in total. Why do you think customers choose you over your competitors? We offer a bespoke and personal service, and I think what sets us apart from the competition is that we genuinely love making people happy, no matter what the job is. Lisa and I work with the customer to develop an event that is just that extra bit special, and I think this is what gives us the edge. In hindsight, what would you not have done over your career and what would you have done if given a second chance? If I hadn’t become a caterer, I would have loved to have studied Law. Some people I know might say that it is because I love a good argument!

You’re currently working with Cottrell Park. How did that come about and what will you be offering? We have been involved with Cottrell Park for a long time now, providing advice on their functions business. However Spiros Fine Dining Caterers has recently been appointed as in-house caterers there to spearhead a new era of cuisine for their members and visitors. We are really excited to be introducing a new dining experience to this historic Welsh estate and are looking forward to playing a key role in Cottrell Park’s future as it further develops and expands as a leading regional leisure attraction. If you could give someone starting out in business three pieces of advice, what would they be? My first piece of advice would be to believe in what you are doing and don’t let anyone put you off. I would say that it is important not to just be in your line of business for financial gain. This would be my second piece of advice. It helps to have a real passion for what you’re doing as you have to put a lot of time and effort in to make it a success! My last piece of advice is to be the best at what you do and give the customer what they want. A happy customer will do wonders for your business. 31

Who would you like to work with? It would be great to work with some more sporting venues and a function room in a city centre location would be fantastic. Watch this space! Where do you see yourself in five years? Running a successful catering business in its 35th year! What is your greatest achievement so far? Well, I’d say achieving thirty years in business in an industry I absolutely love is one of my greatest achievements. I am also very proud of the work we do with young people to develop their culinary and personal skills. Seeing someone’s cooking skills and confidence grow under our tuition is a great achievement. Spiros - The Fine Dining Caterers St Peters Hall, St Peters Street Cardiff CF23 3BA 029 2049 4425 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Cottrell Park Golf Resort St Nicholas, Cardiff CF5 6SJ 01446 781781

There’s a revolution happening. Everyone’s talking about the cloud and doing business in the cloud but what about your bookkeeping and accounts. Is there any reason why that can’t be cloud based too? You may recall Monty Python’s accountancy sketch which basically made accountants, and the profession, sound really boring. That may, or may not, be true but with new software hitting the market, accounts is about to become, dare I say, sexy.

The problem I have with accounts packages is that they’re not user-friendly and, unless you have a good knowledge of accounts, getting any useful reporting is difficult and time consuming which means you’re back to your accountant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking accountants - we need them, but wouldn’t it be great if you could access your accounts any time, anywhere.

Enter Xero, originally conceived in July 2006 in New Zealand and whose mission is ‘to materially improve GDP globally by making small businesses more productive’, the cloud based software is taking the business world by storm.

A bsolute

b rid g end

DWA Chartered Certified Accountants

The dashboard is the first thing you see when you log in to Xero. It gives the client, and us, a snap shot of the company’s financial information in real-time. We currently have ten clients using Xero, with another sixteen due to come aboard within the next few months. The main benefits for our clients would be the simplicity of keeping their records and the bookkeeping time saved just by changing to Xero. For us, as client advisers, it’s the increased interaction that we have with our clients, as we are able to log into the system at the same time and see what the client is seeing. Many clients do not like doing bank cardiff

Business Bright We have ten clients on Xero - it is very easy to use. We’ve used it for two years. It’s online so my clients and I can access it anywhere in the world. We offer a virtual FD service to small companies so they too can have ‘big company’ regular financial information to help them grow their business. We like its transparency, lots of useful add ons, such as stock control, receipt bank. We recommend it all the time, it’s innovative – constantly coming up with new features - it really is so easy to use. It’s the Apple of online accounting. Ally O’Meally Watson 029 2039 4466 The Big Yellow Offices, 65 Penarth Road Cardiff CF10 5DL

Continued on page 35

reconciliations, but the beauty with Xero is once your bank statements are in the system, Xero will automatically start matching up payments and receipts to invoices via the reference or amount. If Xero is used purely as a cashbook, bank rules can be created. So, if there is a monthly direct debit Xero will know where to post this every time it appears on the bank statement.

Cloud accounting is most definitely the way forward. Xero requires no installation, manual backups, maintenance or additional software, as it is all cloud based. All updates and new features are available to you when you next login. It is everything you want in an accounting system. We offer free demos of Xero to show clients at


BPU Chartered Accountants Why do you recommend Xero? We have been impressed with Xero. It is cloud based and accessible, which means our clients can access it from anywhere. It is very easy to use and has a lot of impressive features; clients can import spreadsheets, set up a direct feed to import the bank statements and the software also has an auto suggest capability which matches bank payments/ receipts to invoices. You can also attach a copy of your invoice to the transaction. Alan Jones 029 2073 4100 Radnor House, Greenwood Close Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8AA 32

Jessica Halse 01656 646444 1st Floor Nathaniel House, David Street Bridgend Ind Estate, Bridgend CF31 3SA

We have had great feedback on the Xero mobile app that enables clients to check balances, upload receipts and invoice customers while they are on the go. Clients also like that we can access their Xero account remotely from anywhere and work together on-line, which is particularly useful if something needs urgent attention.


“ I looked at many providers but Xero stood head and shoulders above the rest.� How many clients do you have using Xero? I have ten clients using it at the moment.


Cog Accountancy How many years experience do you have? I have been working in accountancy for twenty years. This has mostly been dealing with owner-managed businesses. What do you like about Xero? I like the fact that it is very easy to learn, it is intuitive. I like the fact you can automate aspects of the process. For instance, it can automatically send out invoices to customers who are billed on a regular basis. The best part though with cloud applications like Xero is that both the client and I can both log in and see the same information from anywhere and at the same time.

This is so much better than a desktop program like Sage where I would need to go to the client or get the client to email me a Sage backup to be able to sort any issues. This makes things so much more efficient.

Would you recommend cloud accounting to clients who use conventional accountancy? Absolutely. There is no doubt that it is the future as far as accountancy is concerned. I run Cog Accountancy on Xero and increased efficiency. I have many clients who pay on monthly standing order and these are all set up automatically on the recurring invoice feature without me having to do anything. My own monthly management accounts are done in about half an hour including emailing statements.

How long have you worked with Xero? I have been using it now for about four years. I looked at many online providers but Xero stood head and shoulders above the rest (some of those alternatives aren’t even around anymore).

Why would you recommend Xero? It is simple, effective, powerful and efficient. It is constantly being updated with new features which are all driven by demand. It also has many partners that can link in to Xero. For instance if your business needs a stock control feature, a CRM or a payroll integrated then Xero have partnered with many other software providers to allow integration with Xero.

What benefits do you think Xero brings to your clients? Files are always backed up so you never have to take any manual back-ups, you are always on the latest version because it gets updated automatically. It also has the ability to directly import bank statements to save time with inputting.

Nick Steed ACA Managing Director Cog Accountancy 8 Cwrt Ty Mawr, Penarth Vale Of Glamorgan CF64 3PZ 029 2070 6761 07813 940383


A bsolute



Xero is user-friendly - same as I am! I’ve worked with Xero for two years and have several clients using it they found it the easiest and most flexible of the cloud options.

I love that you can download bank statement details into Xero. This makes it much quicker than manually entering bank payments and receipts into an accounting package.

They say it’s like having a financial director on board. At any time I can look into my clients books and accounts and advise accordingly. I would certainly recommend Xero. Tessa Finch FMAAT 01554 890247 20 Bridge Street, Kidwelly Carmarthenshire SA17 4UU

I can have access to a client’s information in real-time. This means that I can see potential problems and provide help much more quickly. It’s also great that we can both work on the same accounts at the same time. It is always a worry that a client may lose accounting records. It could take days or even weeks to re-input the information, losing valuable time and money. Some information may be lost permanently. With Xero your accounts are backed up securely online giving you peace of mind.


cwm b ran

We have used Xero from day one and have 35 clients on Xero.

Griffiths & James believe that cloud computing is the future and have become Xero Certified Advisors to allow our clients to benefit from Xero’s features.

Finch Accountancy Ltd

FullStop Accounts We love Xero’s real-time business information, live bank feeds, easy bank reconciliation and it makes the tracking of customer billing so easy. Accounts can literally be updated at the click of a button anywhere in the world if you have internet access. Lauren Harvey 029 2035 1551 The Maltings East Tyndall Street Cardiff CF24 5EZ

PH Accounting

Phillip Holliday 029 2043 2831 The Gatehouse Edward House Business Centre Dowlais Road, Ocean Park, Cardiff CF24 5TW

Griffiths and James

Xero offers easy import of bank statements, and even automatic feeds from your bank, so that your bank reconciliations are quick and simple. It’s available anywhere that you have an internet connection, and even on your smartphone! David Griffiths 01633 877900 6 New Street, Pontnewydd Cwmbran NP44 1EE 34

C eredi g ion

DS Small Business Help Ltd We’ve worked with Xero for six years and have fifteen clients working with it. It’s so easy to use - we highly recommend it. We have Fifteen clients working with Xero and five more currently in the process to switch. Dionne Sherwood 07977 169206 Cnwc Y Cneuen, Llangeitho, Tregaron Ceredigion SY25 6SU


N S Accounting Services Ltd

Access your finance anywhere Xero allows you the flexibility to access your data and information from anywhere at any time. Bookkeeping All work is carried out in our offices by qualified staff. We can take the worry out of keeping your accounts. By using Xero accounting we can complete all your processing while allowing you instant access to your data. Training We can offer training and can cover Southern England, the South West and Wales. Whether your staff are beginners, intermediate or advanced level users, our software-accredited trainer can develop the course to help you get the best out of your team. Nikki Shefferd 029 2081 0668 or 07900 950796 7 Banc-yr-Afon, Gwaelod-y-Garth Cardiff CF15 9TU

“ N S Accounting has the skills to ensure using Xero will make your life a lot easier.”

For more information, visit or contact one of the accountants in our feature who are familiar with the software. Other accounting software is available.

As the emerging leader in online accounting software (200,000 plus customers to date can’t be wrong) the software connects small businesses to their advisors and a myriad of other connected services. Xero provides business owners with real-time visibility of their financial position in a way that’s simple, smart and secure. For advisors such as accountants and bookkeepers, Xero helps build relationships with their clients because both parties have access which is, inevitably, more empowering. Xero will tell you they aim to make accounting fun and, having already dipped my toe in the water, it is! So what are the benefits? Every small businesses needs effective financial planning and accounting to achieve growth and profitability. Xero is based on the principle that small businesses are highly sensitive to shifts in their balance sheet and cash-flow. Their ability to monitor financial performance in real-time and plan ahead is crucial. At its core, Xero is an easy-to-use but powerful platform that provides a growing family of connected solutions: n Client accounting for small business available anywhere, at any time and on mobile devices n Accountant tools for management reporting and final accounts production n Personal financial management. Is Xero expensive? Not at all. Even better, you can try Xero for free. The Xero software as a service business model - users pay a relatively small monthly subscription and all data is protected behind an extremely secure firewall and backed-up regularly. Is Xero easy to use? Yes. The great thing about Xero is the online support. There’s an excellent range of video tutorials so getting to grips shouldn’t be too, excuse the pun, taxing. Bottom line (oops, there I go again), Xero will change the way you look at your accounts, and probably how you see your business - and for the better. We’ll all still need accountants but, perhaps, it’ll feel a little less mysterious.


If you’ve an event or occasion you would like to share, call InBusiness 0845 180 2345


spacefittin g furniture host fa b ulous coo k ery e v ent



Introbiz Business Show If there was one event to go to this year, it was the Introbiz Business Show, held at Cardiff City Stadium. Over two floors, the event drew in huge crowds with guest speakers Hilary Devey CBE, Kevin Green and Daniel Priestley playing a big part in drawing the crowds. A glittering champagne reception and five course dinner was then held at the impressive Vale Hotel, with all monies from auction going to the Stroke Association. Next year’s event plans to be bigger and better so we hear. 11 Windsor Road, Penarth CF64 1JB


spacefittingfurniture host fabulous Miele Cookery Event Miele’s highly skilled cookery experts demonstrated the fantastic new display of the innovative Miele M Touch products at spacefittingfurniture’s Cardiff store. Claire and Steve Bloom of spacefittingfurniture had a lot to celebrate including being in business over 40 years; their inspirational new kitchen with Siemens appliances and bedroom concepts; their partnership with Greenbank property developers and Kier Construction for the exciting new development in Cardiff Pointe; becoming a Silestone Elite dealer; the first showroom in Wales to display Vzug Swiss appliances; the only showroom in Wales to display the striking Berbel extractors; their new stunning resin floor; the only showroom in Britain displaying Cosentino’s beautiful Prexury, in amethyst and being able to see Smarta’s home automation in action. Phew! spacefittingfurniture The Design Quarter 145 Colchester Avenue Penylan Cardiff CF23 9XE 02920 455 778 36


and Shakers

E v ent at mercure holland house hotel

share your e v ents with in b usiness call 0 8 4 5 1 8 0 2 3 4 5


I AM WOMAN event at Mercure Holland House Hotel Embracing and Releasing the Celebrity in You was the theme of the evening at the new banqueting rooms at the Mercure Hotel. Over 200 women enjoyed cocktails and canapĂŠs and fascinating talks by founder of I AM WOMAN Cheryl Bass, Top Marketing Consultant Marianne Pettifor, Margaret Carter of Patchwork Pates and Sara Tye of one of the top 500 PR companies in the UK. For more information on I AM WOMAN please visit Images courtesy of Lis McDermott Photography


If you’ve an event or occasion you would like to share, call InBusiness 0845 180 2345


v enture philantrhopy e v ent at capital law

hwyl launch e v ent at welsh ice , caerphilly b usiness


HWYL launch event at Welsh Ice, Caerphilly Business Park A new business consultancy, HWYL, focuses on improving customer experience as the driving force to help client businesses to grow. Principal Consultant and ex-HSBC Manager, Simon MA Jones brings with him 30 years experience from working with hundreds of businesses. At the December launch to over 50 business people at Welsh ICE, Simon described how he chose HWYL to convey his passion to help business owners to re-ignite their emotion, motivation and energy. This renewed energy and enthusiasm transfers to their team and benefits their customers. Business owners can email for a business overview that takes advantage of the HWYL intuition and experience.

HWYL helps businesses to re-ignite their emotion, motivation and energy.


Trade Street Cafe unlocks it’s doors for Opening night What better way to celebrate twenty five years in business for Cardiff ’s Trade Stree Cafe. than with a birthday celebrations event at City Hall for all staff members and their partners. As these pictures will testify, the evening was a huge success. Contact Duncan Culley Trade Street Cafe 07733 015552 @TSCardiff 38

and Shakers

usiness par k

intro b iz and faw ma k e a g reat team

trade street cafe unloc k s its doors


Venture Philanthropy event at Capital Law Community Foundation in Wales recently held an event attended by philanthropists from across Wales and the UK, as well as investment managers, politicians, solicitors and business leaders. The stars of the night were the social enterprises who ‘pitched’ their charities to the Community Foundation’s team, Dragon’s Denstyle. From the event a total of £12,500 was raised for the Micro Venture Philanthropy Fund – with each of the social entrepreneurs receiving a cheque for £2,000 on the night. The 4 social enterprises were ‘Vi-Ability’, ‘Bullies-Out’, ‘Factory Books’ and ‘Pinkspiration’. The event was one of many that we held as part of ‘Philanthropy Week Wales’ which is run by the Community Foundation in Wales. Wales is the only country in the world to have its own philanthropy week – showing the passion and desire of Welsh people to help and care for their communities. Community Foundation in Wales


Introbiz and FAW make a great team Wales manager Chris Coleman was on hand to help launch a new networking partnership between the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and south Wales’ rising stars of the networking world, Introbiz.

During the launch event, which was attended by NUMBER at the FAW’s new £5m Football Development Centre at Dragons Park, Newport, Mr Coleman took part in a special Q&A session, while the delegates had a chance to network with FAW corporate sponsors For more information on Introbiz, please visit

The FAW has teamed up with Introbiz, one of South Wales’ leading networking companies, to establish the Football Association of Wales Business Club, which will give businesses with interests in the sport sector and those who may want to be associated with the Wales football team, the chance to build relationships. 39

Let’s face it, it’s hard to watch what you eat when you’re in business. You may eat in a canteen or on the go and, without you knowing it, your weight can creep up. Here Dr. Helen McCarthy tells us more about her approach to permanent weight loss without dieting.

Positively Hungry

Here Dr. McCarthy identifies the weaknesses and then gives us the solutions. Are you: n Successful and focused in work? n Unhappy with your weight? If you have the ability to succeed in business, you have what it takes to lose weight.

Dieting usually fails because 1. The way you eat on a particular diet is very different from the way you normally eat. This demands effort and energy which you may not have time for. 2. All diets work against the systems in the body which regulate appetite and eating and therefore put physiological and psychological pressure on the dieter to eat. 3. People have natural inbuilt blocks to changing established habits, even if they are adept at dealing with external challenges. This is recognised in many diets but is not effectively addressed. You can lose weight without major changes to your lifestyle Permanent weight loss requires permanent changes in eating habits. But these changes don’t have to be drastic.

In fact, changing habits is easier when done in manageable steps. Also, with Positively Hungry© there is no change to the types of foods you eat. If your diet is unbalanced, you improve the balance. Work with, not against, your body’s systems for regulating eating and appetite Weight loss is much easier when you work with rather than against your biology. When you do this, you minimise the physiological pressure involved. Tuning in to what your gut is telling you about how hungry or full you are allows your eating to be governed naturally. When you wait to eat until you are definitely hungry and stop eating as soon as you are just full, you can lose weight. Deal with internal barriers to success from the start Psychological factors which don’t cause a problem in other areas of life can stubbornly hamper efforts to lose weight. If you find that the simple steps below don’t work for you, Positively Hungry© can help with simple techniques to overcome these “saboteurs” permanently.

“Weight loss is easier when you work with your biology.”

Steps to achieving permanent weight loss

Step 1: Use the Positive Hunger (PH) Scale© printed below whenever you think of eating. For a free credit card sized copy of the scale, email info@ with your name and postal address. Step 2: Wait until you are -3 (definitely hungry) on the scale before eating. This will mean tolerating mild, gentle hunger. When you are -3, it is time to eat. Step 3: When you eat a meal, keep an eye on your PH number. Stop eating when you reach +3 and do something else. Positively Hungry was developed by Dr Helen McCarthy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society who has 25 years’ experience working as a Clinical Psychologist. She has a B.Sc. Honours degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Durham and a Doctorate in the Psychology of eating disorders from the University of Oxford. Dr McCarthy trained as a Clinical Psychologist within the British National Health Service. She now works in private practice and offers individual Positively Hungry consultations in Cardiff, Harley Street and Bristol. Visit where you can book a consultation with Dr McCarthy in person or via Skype and read more about the approach. Positively Hungry© is a trademark of Dr. Helen McCarthy and is copyright. Positively Hungry


Cardiff Bathroom Centre is old school - a family business under third generation management. We chat to director David Ryall about his role in the business and aspirations for the future.

Centre of Excellence What sets Cardiff Bathroom Centre apart? We are completely service driven and customer focussed. Yes we carry a fantastic range of products but it’s the expertise and friendliness of our staff that keeps customers coming back. We’re a family business. We care about our customers and our reputation matters. We never stop listening to our customers. None of our staff are on commission - all we ask is they offer customers the right advice and the right product.

How do you see the future? We have no aspirations to expand. I think we’re perfect as we are. I’d worry that if we got bigger we would lose that special connection we have with customers. We’re always looking for great new products so there will be developments there. When was the business established? Clifford Ryall started the business in Canton in 1955. His sons Keith and Anthony took over the business when Clifford retired. The company was Clifford Ryall and Sons and more of a trade counter but they wanted a showroom, so moved here to Hadfield Road in 1984. This used to be the site of the old Schweppes building. What is your role in the business? In my management role I oversee the showroom - planning our displays, looking after stock control, meeting with suppliers, it’s a varied role which I thoroughly enjoy. Who else is involved? Claire Horgan (Anthony’s daughter) is my co-director. Claire looks after the accounts, human resources, payroll and finances. It’s a really good partnership as we’re both very capable in our own areas. What does the company offer? Basically we supply everything bathroom: baths, showers, washbasins, brassware, radiators and tiles. Whether it’s a bathroom, a cloakroom, wet-room or en-suite we can pretty much supply everything our customers require. We offer budget ranges right through to very high-end products so we can cater for most customers’ budgets and tastes.

Do you provide a design service? We offer the very latest 3D computer aided design service, coupled with superb advice and vast product offering.If a customer has an idea for their bathroom, we can bring it to life using our design software. If required, once a design and product have been selected, we can put our customer in touch with one of our recommended installers who we have worked with for many years.

How do you market the business? A large proportion of our advertising budget is spent on glossy lifestyle magazines and local newspapers and we also invest in social media. A lot of our business comes through personal recommendation and we are very proud to have such a good reputation with both customers and installers, but we do also invest in marketing to help ensure future sales and keep the Cardiff Bathroom Centre name alive.

What ranges do you offer? We carry a great range of bathrooms: Heritage, Keuco, Kohler, Villeroy & Boch and, new to us recently, Imperial. Imperial is a British company and we’re really proud to showcase their products. We also carry an excellent range of tiles including some beautiful British and Spanish ranges. We have a stunning selection from Ceramicas Aparici.

Describe your perfect day... It’s usually a Saturday. We’re very busy on Saturdays and usually have a full team in. It’s a great buzz.

What do you enjoy about your role? The atmosphere, definitely. Our great team of people make Cardiff Bathroom Centre the success it is. There’s thirteen of us in total and Keith and Anthony occasionally pop their heads around the door. Many of them were here before Claire and I joined the company. They’re incredibly loyal and full of knowledge and customers like that. 42

Cardiff Bathroom Centre Hadfield Road Cardiff CF11 8PW 029 2034 0861 Facebook BathroomCentreCardiff Twitter @CardiffBathCen

The word lose is not something Cardiff City fan, Allan Gardiner, enjoys hearing, but mention loos or bathrooms and you’ll get an altogether more positive response.

Flushed with Pride Allan owns and manages Thomas Gardiner Interiors, near Culverhouse Cross, which specialises in designing and building high-end bathrooms, wet rooms, loos and interiors. Allan’s also a passionate Cardiff City fan so the opportunity to design something for his beloved club was not one he was going to pass up.

Was it an easy job? Relatively speaking, yes, but the rooms are much smaller than I would have hoped for, so creating a design that had real impact was a little bit of a challenge. Also, I wanted something that reinforced the club’s brand. We have embraced the red so it made sense that we echoed that in the designs.

Tell us about the project... I was chatting with a friend who happens to be involved with the club and he mentioned that the Director’s loos were looking a little tired and would I take a look at them. I think they just thought, loos are loos, so just wanted them tidied up a little.

It looks very clean and hi-tech, is it? Absolutely, everything is controlled with a remote so you don’t need to touch any of the furniture. For example, the furniture/sinks are by Burgbad and are all activated without touching anything. The toilet is by Duravit, Senowash and has a heated seat and controllable wash/dry features.The infra red taps by Hansgrohe.

When I saw them I was quite gobsmacked really. They were just basic and I thought that the Director’s (and especially their wives and partners) deserved something a little more in keeping with the club’s Premier League pedigree so I offered to put some designs together which they subsequently chose.

Is the club pleased with the results? Yes, definitely. I’m not sure even they realised how good the design would turn out and I’m over the moon. It’s not every day you get to create such a striking project for your favourite football club. 44

And what happens if a Cardiff City fan wants the same in their home? Not a problem, I’d love to design a whole bathroom in this style. It’s a striking colour and the chrome really pings against the red. Bring it on I say.

Thomas Gardiner 029 2067 9815


It’s now two years since Cyfoes Healthcare of Talbot Green opened its doors. Vale Life chats to director Andrea Evans to find out how business has been two years on.


made through Smiles. They are a very professional company and we are very happy to have this opertunity to work alongside them. They even have the same colour green in their branding so it was definitely a match made to happen! Do you offer the same treatments there? Yes all except the laser treatments due to the manoeuvrability of the machines and HIW regulations. I guess with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, clients are booking to make sure they look good for the big day? Yes, we are seeing an increase in calls both from clients and from loved ones looking to buy vouchers as a special gift! As we all know, it does cost to look good but to help with the cost, we’re offering a free £25 MDA treatment with any product or gift set bought through Feburary and then ready for Mothers Day we have 25% off Dermal fillers and Anti wrinkle treatments through March. in both the Talbot Green and Cardiff Bay offices. If clients can’t get to us during those months, they can use the offer at a later date as there’s no use by date.

How’s business? Very Good, Even though people are being careful with their money, my clients are realising it’s not just about looking good but giving themselves that precious little bit of time out from their busy schedules. We have built some good relationships with our clients and word of mouth as had a massive effect, helping to build our business, and we are very grateful to them for spreading the word. It’s a sad but true fact that it only takes three seconds for people to get a good impression of you and if you’re confident in your skin, then this shows on the outside. What treatments are proving popular? The favourites are the Micro dermabrasion and Murad Facials alongside the wrinkle relaxants, dermal fillers and laser treatments.

These address problems such as frown lines, wrinkles, dull aging skin, plus removal of bothersome skin tags, warts and moles. One treatment I would recommend this time of year is the hair removal. If you’re considering ridding yourself of unsightly or unwanted hair I would start that treatment now as it can take between 4-6 mobths to complete the treatment. So you would be smooth and hair free for summer. Have you seen a rise in client numbers? Yes, word of mouth from satisfied clients helps enormously as does advertising in quality publications such as Vale Life and its sister publication InBusiness magazine. In fact, it was following a feature in InBusiness that we secured a presence in one of Cardiff ’s leading dental practices, Smiles Dental in Cardiff Bay. Our clinic in the Bay is open every Monday from 10am until 8pm and appointments are 46

Why do you think more and more clients are coming to Cyfoes? My clients tell me that we’re friendly, honest, approachable, professional and interested in people and building relationships. We’re not about charging exorbitant prices and giving clients treatments that we feel they don’t need. Sometimes little and often is best for a more natural look.

Cyfoes Healthcare First Floor, 35-37 Talbot Road, Talbot Green Rhondda Cynon Taff CF72 8AD 01443 223352 Follow on Facebook Also at Smiles Dental 11a Unit, 17a Mermaid Quay, Cardiff 029 2048 1212

We recently needed a new PC and wondered if it was possible to locate a Welsh manufacturer. No such luck. However, we did find that there are still excellent British companies designing and building great systems. After much research and comparison, we found Chillblast based in Poole. We talk to Louise Blain, Marketing and Communications Officer.

Blast Furnace How long has Chillblast been established? Chillblast started out in 2001 as a specialist importer of niche overclocking products before moving into the more exciting field of building fully custom PCs in 2011. We are now proud to be the UK’s most awarded manufacturer and four time winner of PC Pro’s Excellence Awards. How many people do you employ? We currently employ thirty people. Are all the computers British made? While many retailers outsource their PC building to other firms rather than test and build them in house, all our PCs are built at our manufacturing facility in Poole. Every Chillblast PC is built by a highly qualified system engineer and goes through a series of strenuous testing procedures to ensure quality. Why would customers buy from Chillblast? Chillblast strive to deliver an excellent PC buying experience. This is a shopping experience that’s not known for its simplicity. There are so many components and numbers to choose from and this can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t feel particularly tech savvy.

“We’re big fans of the Shop Local and Buy Local ethos but, when it comes to buying computers, can you buy British? Is that even possible anymore?” We always want to support customers through this and discuss what the PC is going to be used for and find the right one for those needs. We are exceptionally competitive in our market and all our PCs come with lifetime telephone support to ensure that even once you have your Chillblast machine you always have the support you need for it. We are exceptionally proud of our awards from the PC press but especially those voted for by the readers themselves and we constantly strive to deliver the best possible online retail experience. What sets you apart from other computer manufacturers? Our focus has always been on the customer experience. We always want to make sure people get the right computer for them. That might be a behemoth of a gaming machine for late night LAN sessions, a specialist photo-editing workstation or a home or office PC. 47

Our range is fully customisable to make sure that customers can choose exactly what they need and we have an exceptional sales team to answer any questions when it comes down to components choices. We are also very proud of our award-winning warranty that delivers lifetime telephone support and has now been extended to cover a five year period. Buy Welsh, Buy British Next time you’re looking for a desktop computer or laptop for your office or home, try buying British. We still have some great manufacturers in the UK and Chillblast is an excellent example. 0845 45678 31

Citywing, which provides a vital air link between Anglesey and Cardiff is seeing continued growth. Managing Director David Buck tells us more.

Citywing Managing Director David Buck

Flying High Further growth on a vital business link between the north and south of Wales is expected in 2014. Citywing Aviation Services Ltd – “Citywing” – launched the air link between Anglesey and Cardiff this year for the Welsh Government. Throughout 2013 it has proved a valuable route for passengers, offering a quick and convenient link between the capital and the north. With twice daily Monday to Friday flights, the service offers an alternative to long road and rail journeys. It has been confirmed the link will continue into next year, and Citywing expects to see further growth on the route. Managing Director David Buck said: ‘Citywing’s ethos is about linking communities and providing vitallyneeded transport for business people and leisure travellers alike. This can be seen across our network, which provides city-to-city links and routes between communities throughout England, as well as in the Isle of Man and Jersey.

‘We were honoured to provide the connection between Anglesey and Cardiff for the Welsh Government, and have been delighted to see the strong growth it has enjoyed throughout the year. We are committed to this route in 2014, and expect to see numbers rise even further. ‘The feedback we have received from our business travellers is that they have been delighted by the quick and convenient link between the regions, which helps cut down on time away from the office, and the highly competitive prices, which is such an important factor at the moment.’

He added: ‘We are also pleased to see the route has become popular among leisure travellers for similar reasons. In addition in 2013, we were able to add summer trips to the Isle of Man, including the worldfamous TT motorcycle races, which proved extremely popular and created another important link between communities. ‘In 2014 I expect to see this route grow, bringing benefits to both the north and south, and for businesses throughout Wales.’ 48

From its Isle of Man base, Citywing operates routes throughout the British Isles, carrying around 80,000 passengers every year to destinations like Blackpool, Belfast, Gloucester, Newcastle and Jersey. Each route is selected to reflect the company’s ambition of supporting and promoting local economies, including increasing access to events, such as watching Wales take on Italy at the Millennium Stadium as the RBS Six Nations gets under way in February, or taking in the plays at the Anglesey Drama Festival in March. Prices start from £19.95. Visit our website for full information and to keep up to date with our latest news.

“ From its Isle of Man base, Citywing operates routes throughout the British Isles...” City Wing Aviation

Did you know it only takes one hour to fly from Cardiff to Anglesey and that prices start from only ÂŁ29.95 one way including all taxes and charges? Neither did he.

Isle of Man Blackpool Belfast Newcastle Gloucester / Jersey Anglesey / Cardiff Reservations: 0871 200 0440 Cymru: 01248 370107

If you didn’t get the opportunity of visiting the Introbiz Business Show at Cardiff City Stadium this September, then you missed a great networking opportunity. Husband and wife team Paul and Tracey Smolinski and their team worked around the clock to create what is now officially Wales’ biggest business show and they didn’t disappoint. We chat to the couple to find out more.

Introbiz Business SHOW

How many companies exhibited at the show? We were delighted in that over 130 booked space. We oversold which meant that we had to take up two floors at the Cardiff City Stadium to accommodate everyone. We actually sold out in June, three months prior to the show on September 26th. How many visitors attended? We had over 1000 visitors attending. Both floors were buzzing and the feedback from both exhibitors and visitors was extremely positive. How did the day begin? We started the day with a Networking Breakfast which turned out to be a bit of a record breaker with over 400 attended.

We understand that you had celebrity speakers. Tell us more. We were very fortunate to have three of UK’s top entrepreneurs, ex Dragon’s Den, Hilary Devey CBE, Daniel Priestley, bestselling author and International speaker. Daniel, who wrote “Become a Key Person of Influence” and “The Entrepreneur Revolution”, became a millionaire at age 25, and Kevin Green, self-made multi-millionaire and social entrepreneur and one of the UK’s largest and most successful residential property landlords. Was the show televised? Yes, it was filmed by SkyTV, S4C and BBC Radio Wales.


Did you manage to get sponsorship? We were very lucky to be sponsored by Spiros Caterers, Chapel 1877, Asset Assured and Ricoh Wales. How was the Celebrity VIP Charity Dinner event at The Vale Hotel? It was superb! We had a fabulous evening of entertainment, compered by Stifyn Parri, entertained by XFactor singer James Williams and The Voice’s Jaz Ellington. There was a beautiful five course dinner and great auction prizes. Over 250 people were in attended which raised over £15,000 for The Stroke Association, whose patron is Hilary Devey CBE. The event was sponsored by Asset Assured www.

What plans generally for Introbiz in 2014? We will be expanding our events over the month to a Breakfast Club on Fridays 7:30am-9:30am to give our members more diversity and options to network, along with social networking events. We will also be collaborating with sporting business clubs networking with corporate sponsors. The Football Association of Wales will begin in February 2014 at Dragons Park, Newport from 4pm-6pm and the Chepstow Racecourse clubs will start from March 2014.

I guess plans are afoot for Introbiz Business Show 2014? Absolutely! We have secured over 50 companies already for next year’s event due to this year’s success alone. We have secured a new venue for the show in 2014, the House of Sport, next to Cardiff City Stadium. All exhibitors will be accommodated on one floor which is 30,000sq ft. It also has access to over 2000 free car parking spaces. We are aiming to get over 200-250 companies exhibiting at next year’s show, making it the biggest ever business exhibition in Welsh history.

“We have secured over 50 companies already for next year’s event...”

How are you envisioning next year’s show? It will be a one day spectacular event, with a host of UK top entrepreneurs as key note speakers, seminars and workshops, speed networking, a fashion show, a massive food hall section, headed by Spiros Caterers, a cocktail bar, a business lounge and an advice station plus many more ideas to entertain everyone on the day. We are just finalising plans at a stunning hotel in the heart of Cardiff for our 2014 Celebrity Dinner and are looking at attract over 500 people at this once in a lifetime event and also planning an after event party following the business show for entrepreneurs, sponsors and exhibitors. 51

How many members does Introbiz currently have? We have in excess of 175 companies in the network. They include entrepreneurs, corporate companies, company directors and SME’s, all networking together on a weekly basis. Come and Join us at one of our vibrant networking events and see what everyone is talking about. Introbiz Business Shows 02920 291002 Follow on Facebook and Twitter Paul Smolinski 07920 772707 Tracey Smolinski 07581 564371 @paulintrobiz @introbiz @CardiffBizShow @WalesNo1BizShow

A year ago Mike Morgan and Joe Offside started iAppManager because they wanted to make a difference and, more importantly, because they believed in themselves. Fortunately, so did their first client. InBusiness caught up with Mike and Simon Barry for a coffee and a chat in Côte in Cardiff Bay.

Simon Barry and Mike Morgan

The Pursuit of Who’s involved in the business? Joe and I are Directors and Simon looks after sales and marketing. Simon is probably the first person prospective customers would have contact with. My key role is design and Joe looks after development. We both code. What services or products do you offer? We provide a complete digital solution for growing businesses. We design apps and integrated websites, but it’s much more than that. People’s idea of apps is something that just pops up on their phone. We design tools basically - in the form of apps (or applications) that run on phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Our solutions can streamline ordering, manage sales – for example, we’re working on an application for a company at the moment that will cut out three stages at the order point - that’s three hours saved on every sale!

Joe Offside 52

“We provide a complete digital solutions for growing businesses.”

H A ppiness Is it expensive? Extremely affordable - gone are the days of telephone number invoices for creating apps. The world has moved on. We recently quoted £6k for an app that a London company had quoted £60k for. We regularly create apps for under £3,000. Do you create games? Yes we can design and create games. So if anyone out there has the next Angry Birds we could help them realise that. Who is your ideal client? They have to be forward thinking, creative businesses that are looking to establish themselves on a digital platform. It can be hard for businesses because they’re not sure what an app can do for them. We love the opportunity to talk to businesses and create solutions with them. We know we can make a difference. What do you like most about your business? We have a very strong ethical philosophy that believes strongly in businesses of all sizes having the right to the latest technology in order to develop. We love the light bulb moments we get working with clients.

What geographic areas do you cover? The Globe! We have clients mainly in the UK. However, our latest client, a zoo, is on the other side of the planet in Australia. Has your business been affected by the economic downturn? Not at all, we are blessed with clients who understand that advertising and marketing in a time of economic pressure is the very last element to hold back on. In many cases, we’re helping clients cut overhead using clever technology. We recently completed a project for the Scarlets and we’re working more and more with estate agents. Who inspires you? We are all inspired by people and places that are extraordinary and are not afraid to challenge or be challenged. I suppose Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Sir Tim Berners-Lee - those are the kind of people we admire - the game changers. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? There’s really nothing else I would do. 53

“We design tools basically - in the form of apps.” Where do you see the business in the future? Expanding further into international countries and establishing iAppManager as a leading development company in the UK. I’d be very proud if we could do that. Three words that describe you… Creative, unique, honest. What advice would you give someone starting out in business? Work as hard as you can at sticking to your vision - the rest will fall in to place. How do you promote iAppManager? Majority of our promotion is online. We network and use PR and social media. Describe your best day in business? Signing our first major client. He had complete faith in us. iAppManager 127-129 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay Cardiff CF10 5LE To discuss a potential project, please call Simon Barry on 07540 997430 or email

Something ‘big is happening’ at The Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa Cardiff. Positive changes and investment is set to place this property on the map, UK wide…

Size M atters

In 2009, that figure had risen to more than 14.6 million foreign visitors, with French and Irish rugby fans leading the way. Today Cardiff is classed amongst one of the top 10 cities in the UK for international visitors and as it stands it is estimated that tourism supports 206,000 jobs across Wales, worth nearly 15% of total employment, which will grow by 30,000 by 2025. In addition to leisure tourism, corporate hospitality plays a major role in the success of many city centre hotels, business conferences are essential to any region in order to encourage thriving commerce and no city can expect to flourish if it doesn’t provide the necessary facilities.

Established in 2004 Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa Cardiff offers 165 bedrooms, a luxury spa and 15 fully equipped meeting and conference rooms. The property is part of the Accor Hotel Group, the world’s leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, with more than 3,500 hotels in its portfolio worldwide. A ‘big fish’ some may say… Calon the largest conference and event hotel space in the city was recently subject to a £250,000 refurbishment. Calon, formally known as the Balmoral Suite can hold up to 700 guests theatre style and 550 banquet. The room boasts opulent chandeliers, a first class lighting system and luxurious fixtures and fittings.

John Charles suite

In a little over a decade the number of tourists visiting Cardiff has increased by more than 50 percent. When the Millennium Stadium, home of the Welsh national rugby union team and the Welsh national football team, opened in 1999, the city welcomed approximately 9 million foreign visitors.

General Manager, Marisa Morteo

So what set’s one hotel apart from the other, what does the corporate traveller, event manager and leisure guest take into consideration when making that all-important booking? Introducing the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa Cardiff. The Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa Cardiff has long been considered one of the key hotels for corporate and leisure guests alike. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year the hotel has arguably made an impact on the city, ‘anyone and everyone’ living and working in Cardiff over the last 10 years is likely to have heard of the hotel and perhaps attended a glittering award ceremony or a conference at the property. Resturant

“One of the key hotels for corporate and leisure guests alike.” 54

Director of Sales, Sharon Adams said: “The refurbishment has had an extremely positive impact on the business leading to a considerable increase on year-on-year revenue. Having the largest meeting, conference and event space within a city centre hotel is a major USP for us, especially as we now ‘boast the product’ to back this up. I feel we’re in a position to place the hotel on the map and give a platform to the city generally as we look to secure nationwide conferences and bookings for 2014 – 2015.”

“For large scale events and conferences the hotel is perfect.”


“ In today’s economic climate organisations and individuals are looking for flexibility and value for money and we offer both.” Bedroom

Reflecting on what sets them apart, General Manager, Marisa Morteo said: “I think it’s our facilities, service and commercial awareness. In terms of hospitality we can offer it all under one-roof, from large scale conference facilities, to smaller meeting and conference rooms, luxury spa and gym, a first class restaurant and bar, larger than average modern bedrooms, friendly, professional and efficient staff…The list really does go on!” In today’s economic climate organisations and individuals are looking for flexibility and value for money and we offer both. We study the market closely to get an understanding for what our client may expect and we ensure we tailor our offering to resonate accordingly.”

They say size matters… The hotel’s bedrooms are the largest in the city and are currently being refurbished to ensure luxury four-star standards are maintained. Nestled on the 15th floor the hotel’s hidden gem, The John Charles Suite, offers two double bedrooms, a stylish living room, dining area, private kitchen and breathtaking views of the city. The suite is the ultimate in decadent luxury and can also be transformed into an open space to host intimate networking events or a private dinner party, perfect if you want to treat client’s or friends. The Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa offers a one-stop luxury hotel experience to organisations and individuals, no budget is too small or request too ‘outlandish’… 55

The Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa For more information on corporate and leisure packages contact 02920 435000 24-26 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 0DD

If you listen to most media (we don’t include our-selves in this category), the future of the high street is doomed. Luckily, there are bustling enclaves that are bucking the trend. Birchgrove in Cardiff is a good example.

Birchgrove THE NEW PONTCANNA? It has been said that Birchgrove resembles another thriving Cardiff shopping haunt, Pontcanna. Both have a mix of independent shops, both have a Brains pub (Pontcanna has its Halfway, while Birchgrove has, well, The Birchgrove!). Birchgrove has its fair share of celebrity sons and daughters too, with both Colin Jackson CBE and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson attending Birchgrove Primary School. Things are definitely on the up in Birchgrove with new businesses opening and hardly any empty premises, which tends to blight other high streets. Only recently a licensing application for Mojo’s Lounge on Caerphilly Road has been received by Cardiff Council. What has Birchgrove got above the internet and out of town shopping outlets I hear you ask? Well, we paid Birchgrove a visit to find out more. The overwhelming response from local customers is that shopping on their local high street gives them the personal level of customer service and a good range of produce, without getting in their cars and burning petrol. Local people, of all ages, told us buying from their local butcher, grocer, boutique and baker is an enjoyable experience, it builds relationships, gets you chatting with neighbours and, they found, on average, is up to a third cheaper!

If you’re lucky enough to live in or around Birchgrove, then you’ll know the gems it has to offer. If you’ve not yet visited, you might like to. Birchgrove is a good example of what a vibrant high street looks like.


Lazarou Hair Designers Flora and Barri offer both ladies and gents pamper and beautiful hair treatments. Try our traditional Shave and MAN-LI-CURE or even our Indian head massage or manicure. Just pop in and speak to one of our stylists. 121 Caerphilly Road CF14 5QA 029 2025 5121 F - Lazarou Brothers Birchgrove


Recovery & Beyond A leading independent physiotherapy clinic providing expert musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy. They offer a range of services that assist in injury prevention, rehabilitation and conditioning, these include sports massage, pilates, pre-ski assessment and conditioning classes. 104 Caerphilly Road, Cardiff CF14 4AG Follow us on Facebook

F ish & C hips with a twist


Youngers Fish Bar is proud to be the best fish and chip shop in South Wales (Echo food & drinks awards) 2014. Bringing you innovative and fresh fish like monkfish, steamed haddock and grilled hake fillets. We only use sustainably sourced cod. 73 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AE 02920 620678 Like us on Facebook

Specialising in the wonderful tastes of Malta. Catering for all occasions including outside catering and parties. Specialising in homemade cakes and pastries. Also offers Maltese groceries by order

Youngers Fish Bar


A Taste of Malta

125 Caerphilly Road CF14 4QA Facebook - Taste of Malta Ltd 0787 7424576


Devonshire Pantry

Ian offers you a warm welcome to Devonshire Pantry. Established in 1997, everything freshly made to order, eat in or takeaway. The best sandwiches, rolls, baps, baguette, toasties, jacket potatoes, pasta bowls and salad bowls. Catering for events, businesses. 117a Caerphilly Road CF14 4QA 02920 615800 Follow us on Facebook

C ardiff ’ s P R E M I E R D R Y C L E A N in g ser v ice

I N D E P E N D E N T co b b ler for 5 0 Y E A R S

Tired of travelling to the dry cleaners and not getting the standard of finish you expect? Why not give us a quick call and arrange a ‘FREE’ collection from home or work and let us take care of the rest.

More than just a Cobbler. Family run business, established over 50 years. Specialising in shoe repairs (gents leather soles stitched), key cutting, trophies, retail sales of gents Loake shoes, ladies leather bags, belts and sundries.

Clean Freaks

71 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AE 02920 522798

DW Morgan and Sons

Rear 65 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AD 02920 216222



Aqua Hair Design Skin Deep Beauty


Established in Birchgrove for over 17 years. Featuring ‘My Aga I’ll Cook When I Want To”. On when you need it, off when you don’t. Made in Great Britain. A warm welcome home. Take total control today.

Hair & Beauty in one. Aqua Hair Design offering ladies and gents cutting and styling, colouring, foils and wedding packages. Skin Deep Beauty, waxing, nails, eye treatments, massage, tanning, facials and make-up.

Richard Parish qualified at Cardiff University in the 1980s, He established the practice in 1986. With continued investment and constant development. He provides High Street offers with independent personal care.

81 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AE 02920 521277

79 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AE 02920 616525 Follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

101 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AE 02920 615739


G O F R E S H , G O H E A LT H Y


Wok&Go, a new generation of takeaways. Authentic oriental healthy food, cooked in the traditional method of a searing hot wok. Door2door delivery. Order online. Join us on Facebook, Twitter or by Just Eat App. 110 Caerphilly Road CF14 4QG 02920 691118

Established in Birchgrove 75 years ago and with two experienced Business Managers present in the branch, we are pleased to support the local communities of Birchgrove and Heath. Just contact Alyson or Sharon. 2/4 Heathwood Road CF14 4XE 0845 6052345

The Bathroom and Tiling Specialists Ltd

A one-stop independent business. Call or pop in for a free, no obligation quote. Can supply your dream bathroom with the wow factor. Offers the personal touch, professional team, quality products and after sales service. 104 Caerphilly Road CF14 4AG 02920 615788 Follow us on Facebook



Parish Opticians

Barclays Bank

When your son tells you you live to work rather than the other way around, it’s time to re-evaluate your work life balance. We chat to Alan Jones of the Infinite Group about how he has achieved his work life balance. Who are you and what do you do? I am known as “Big Al” to my friends, which I like to think is a reference to my personality rather than my weight. I help business owners to grow and build value in their businesses – build successful businesses and have a better work life balance. How is business? Business is thriving and it has been a cracking start to 2014 with new clients coming onboard; some great partnerships formed; and most importantly, happy clients. I surround myself with successful business owners that have a positive outlook. We see lots of opportunities despite the slow growth economy. Tell us about your role with The Infinite Group? I am so lucky as I absolutely love what I do. I get to regularly meet with some wonderful people, and see them prosper and grow. We believe that business owners want an action plan, not a business plan so we have an excellent diagnostic tool that identifies all the actions that need to be taken. We then teach them the tools that they need to be able to implement the improvements and hold them accountable.

We are available 24/7 for mentoring support and advice and as a sounding board. Indeed I am always eager to hear about all the successes as soon as they happen. What services does The Infinite Group offer? We have four main services that we offer our clients :- Growth, Exit Planning, Acquisition Targeting, Franchise Development. In addition I run an Entrepreneurs Club, Masterclasses and Workshops on topics such as Business Growth, Customer Service, Sales, Franchising and Exit Planning. Please tell us about your career prior to The Infinite Group I had a very successful corporate career with large companies such as Racal Electronics (Vodafone was a subsidiary of theirs) and Rank Hovis McDougall. I had twenty three wonderfully happy years with Golley Slater where I ended up as Group Financial Director. I was involved with numerous acquisitions, start ups and disposals and grew the group to nineteen companies based at eleven locations all over the UK. However, I had a sobering conversation with the youngest of my four sons when he said to me “dad, you are supposed to work to live, rather than live to work”. 58

When I countered that I was looking after his future he stumped me with “but I never see you dad”. That prompted the journey to where I am now and why I am so passionate about helping business owners that are working far too many hours. What qualities do you feel you bring to the companies and individuals you work with? As well as having the experience of having been there and done it, I am a business owner like my clients and can empathise with what they are experiencing. With my help they will grow their businesses quicker and not make so many mistakes. I have some fantastic testimonials from my clients on my LinkedIn profile. As well as technical ability, I bring energy, enthusiasm, integrity, commitment and above all I really care about my clients. I help my clients to put processes in that produce results, and we have some fun doing it.

“My youngest son said to me, “dad, you are supposed to work to live, rather than live to work.”

Infinitely Better What clients do you work for? I work with successful business owners that are good at the technical side of their business. I help to be better at running the business so that the business doesn’t have to rely on them to deliver in the business on a day to day basis. The types of people that I work with recognise that everybody needs some help to become a champion. I also only work with people that I can become friends with.

Who’s your ideal client? People that are keen to grow their business but recognise that they need some help to do it. What does every Olympic gold medal winner say? What did Andy Murray say when he won Wimbledon? “It has been a lot of hard work but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my team”. Also some business owners feel like quitting their business because they are fed up with the long hours they have to work. I can really help those. What type of projects do you enjoy? I love building value in businesses. Building a scalable business that works without the day to day involvement of the business owner. That leads to so many opportunities to grow, to buy other companies and to sell the company without an “earn out” period.

Is there a sector that you have particular expertise in? Franchising is a very powerful way to grow a business and it is very underutilised in this country. We advise franchisee led franchise development because happy franchisees will make the franchisor more successful.

“ I hope to be able to help more business owners grow their businesses whilst enjoying a better work life balance.”

What are your hopes for the year ahead? I hope to be able to help more business owners to grow their businesses whilst being able to have a better work life balance. I plan to practice what I preach and take my lovely wife on regular holidays and weekend breaks and in particular pay another visit to our son in Hong Kong. What do you do to relax? I am a veteran amateur sportsman. I am chairman of Lisvane and Thornhill Old Gits Football Society, and still play. I also play badminton weekly and enjoy watching rugby with my sons. I am an avid reader, particularly business related books.

“ I get to regularly meet with some wonderful people, and see them prosper and grow.” 59

Alan Jones Partner The Infinite Group 07817 379793

There are plenty of people who dream about running their own business but when it comes start-up, how can you ensure you reduce the risk of failure for your new enterprise?

Virtual Reality The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd, situated on the outskirts of Barry provides flexible serviced office space, virtual office services and conference and meeting room hire. It is owned and operated by the owners of long established moving and storage company Masons Moving Group Ltd. Masons have over 105 years of business experience so they really understand what businesses need to function professionally. James Mason, The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd.’s Manager says, “The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd is the only fully serviced office accommodation in the Vale of Glamorgan and since opening in January 2007 we have revitalised the modern, competitive office accommodation industry within the area.

The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd is independent and has a reputation for providing a personal service of the highest standard in a professional but convivial environment. We are committed to delivering a five star service for our clients.”

At The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd we provide modern serviced office suites with a set monthly office rental which includes business rates and utility bills right through to cleaning services and professional receptionists answering calls in their business name.”

I asked James how the company was trading given the challenging conditions?

With trading conditions being extremely challenging at present, The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd is offering new clients up to 50%* off their first month’s fee which, they believe, will encourage new and established businesses to locate their businesses to the centre.

“We currently operate businesses in the hardest economic downturn of modern times and, along with all businesses, we look to make savings wherever possible. It’s not always easy when the service we provide has to be of the highest standard but the more efficient we are, means less unwelcome increases in overheads for clients.

“We are committed to delivering a five star service...” 60

James is realistic about what makes The Business Centre an attractive prospect, “With our licence agreements ranging between three, six and twelve months and a mere one month notice period, businesses can operate with no long term leases and, reassuringly, reduce the uncertainty of the what if it doesn’t work out.”

The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd provides: n Flexible serviced office suites for one to twelve people n One monthly transparent invoice no hidden charges) n No long term leases (3 month minimum agreement) n One month notice period to cancel* n Top of the range IT and telecoms n FREE parking n FREE on-site gym n In-house café Serviced office fee includes: n Monthly office rental including office furniture n General and environmental rates n Building insurance and maintenance costs n Heating, lighting and power charges n Full telephony and IT infrastructure n 24 hour automated access with CCTV cameras and monitoring Virtual Office fee includes: n Calls answered in your business name n Professional and friendly receptionists n Message forwarding via email or seamless transfer n Use of company address n Postal and parcel services n Use of the on-site cafe and break-out areas Conference and meeting rooms: n Rooms to accommodate 2 to 60 people n Designated conference co-ordinator n Beverages available n In house catering facilities n Overhead projectors and screens n IT training suite available

Shared office space at The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd are proud to offer the exciting new concept of shared office space in the Vale of Glamorgan. Clients can now operate their businesses from a shared office environment at a reduced monthly rental but with all the benefits of flexible serviced office facilities. The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd provides individual workstations in a shared office environment whether clients are looking to setup a new business or for more established companies that are looking for dedicated space within a certain area. The shared office environment includes four workstations with state-of-the-art IT and telecoms infrastructure, fully furnished office space, and sectioned workspace for privacy. The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd can have your business up and running within 24 hours with minimal disruption to your working hours - they take care of you while you take care of your business. With customer service of the highest level, professional on-site conference and meeting room hire and competitive prices, that first impression will be a lasting one for all clients, visitors and associates.

“The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd is offering new clients up to 50%* off their first month’s fee. ” 61

The benefits of operating from shared office space at The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd: n No long-term commitments or liabilities - one monthly rolling agreement n Immediate setup - high-speed internet connection and telecoms infrastructure n Fully furnished n One monthly transparent invoice - no hidden charges n Benefits of serviced office space - Use of the onsite café, break-out areas and business support services n FREE parking n FREE gymnasium n 24 hour access - 7 days a week.

The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd Contact James Mason Cardiff House, Cardiff Road, Barry Vale of Glamorgan CF63 2AW 0800 6349920 *Terms & conditions apply, contact a member of the team for further information.


Castell Polo Ltd plans to present the ‘Sport of King’s’ on 8th June within the historic grounds of Fonmon Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Sponsorship and hospitality packages are available. Visit for details.

Polo at Fonmon Castle Castell Polo presents Polo at Fonmon Castle, will take place on Sunday 8th June within a specially created polo village and will see some of the country’s finest players battle it out to win the trophy in a day of professional fast-faced polo matches. Castell Polo has launched in response to the growing popularity of the sport, which has seen audiences in the UK grow by a third over in the past two years. Fonmon Castle’s, Sir Brooke Boothby says: “We’re delighted that Castell Polo has selected our grounds to play host to such a prestigious event. We have the necessary experience to run this large-scale operation having been the home to the St David’s Polo Club for many years. We’re proud to be able to provide a platform for the sport in Cardiff and the Vale.”

Castell Polo has appointed, PR, Marketing and Events specialists, Seren7 Ltd to deliver the exclusive event. PR Director of Seren7 Ltd, Shakira Obaid said: “We’re honoured to be involved with delivering this major sporting event, synonymous with class and prestige.

The wheels are in motion to present a first class day. Expect a modern and stylish twist to the quintessentially British sport.” Appealing to both men and women in the corporate and leisure market Polo is the ideal option for organisations and individuals looking for a sophisticated day out this summer.

In Wales there are approximately 8,000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital each year. Where a defibrillator is used, the survival rate is 47%.

Wales Wide

Welsh Hearts - The Dai Fib Appeal Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton was pictured with ‘Dai Fib’ to spearhead a campaign for the widespread provision of defibrillators across Wales. Dai Fibrillator, or Dai Fib for short, is the mascot of a new heart charity in Wales, Welsh Hearts.

The Welsh Rugby Union has linked up with the charity Welsh Hearts with the aim of providing live-saving defibrillator devices to as many of its 320-member clubs as possible.

Shocking statistics state that the survival rate after a sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital is only 3%. Where a defibrillator is used, the survival rate is 47%. In Wales there are approximately 8,000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital each year.

WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, patron of the Welsh Hearts charity, said: “In this special initiative Welsh Hearts are teaming up with the WRU with the aim of providing a defibrillator to the hundreds of rugby clubs throughout Wales. We need our clubs to get involved with fundraising for this worthwhile cause and in return the charity will provide the life-saving equipment.”

Welsh Hearts want to raise funds across Wales in rural communities, work place and schools in so that a defibrillator is positioned next to every fire extinguisher in Wales.

Welsh Hearts Charity Director Sharon Owen said “At present there are only 450 defibrillators in Wales compared to 9000 in England! We hope that Welsh Hearts will change that! 63

“This can only be made possible through donations of time and money and there are so many ways that people can fundraise for us from organising a coffee morning, Balls, Zumba Challenge, Concert, golf days - in fact just about anything goes! Please get in touch if you can help! Welsh Hearts Fundraising Office Temple Court 13a Cathedral Road Cardiff CF11 9HA 02920 786521 Please make donations to Dai Fib Appeal

Just the business this New Year

Our 2014 resolution is to provide all our conference and meeting clients with the most professional service, finest facilities and competitive prices in South Wales. Choose from 10 multi-functional conference suites that cater perfectly for meetings from 10 persons to conferences of up to 700 delegates. A choice of award winning dining and one of the most experienced conference teams in Wales, combine to ensure stress free meetings, conferences and events in 2014.

Tel: 01443 665803 |

Vale Resort, Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY *Applies to like-for-like quotes. †Applies to Jan/Feb bookings only.







Price match guarantee* Free parking Free Wi-Fi Free LCD projector Free tea/coffee on arrival† Free use of our Health & Racquet Club facilities†

In a perfect world charities shouldn’t have to ask for money. We all recognise and appreciate their good work, but in the current economic climate local charities are suffering more than most and one charity in particular is reaching out to local businesses to come forward now and show their much needed support.

Local Support Needed

to meet Local Needs

Chief Executive for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale*, Jeff Hawkins explains “competition in the charitable sector is fierce. National Charities have huge infrastructures and spend significant money on marketing and fundraising. Unfortunately, this often means that smaller charities operating in your local area struggle to compete and can be overlooked when businesses are deciding where to place their support. Local charities are vital in providing valuable, practical help to those living in their communities. Many of these charities are finding it very difficult to raise money and with increasing demand for services it is so important they get financial support to allow them to keep responding to growing local needs”.

Every one of us is getting older, and regardless of circumstance it is something that we will all have to face. Hopefully, we will have the benefit of friends and family to help us along life’s journey. However, many older people living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan do not have this security and are all alone facing the uncertainty that old age can often bring. This is where local charity, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale can offer a lifeline. If your organisation believes in the concept of supporting the local community at grassroots level and wants to increase it’s profile in the local community, increase staff morale and engage in volunteering activities... Please contact Age Connects today to discuss potential ways of working together. Tel: 029 2068 3604.

“Every one of us is getting older, and regardless of circumstance it’s something that we will all have to face.” 65

In return for your support, our longstanding and reputable charity pledges open and regular communication and feedback, consistent publicity coverage, branding where possible and a strong partnership. Every penny raised will go towards helping the many thousands of older people who desperately need our help in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale 4 Cleeve House, Lambourne Crescent, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GP 02920 683 604 *Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale is the operating title of Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The L ast Word People generally go into businesses that they feel passionate about. This can certainly be said for Ruth Benjamin Green, owner of Benjamin’s Interiors, on Penarth Road, Cardiff. We managed a quick chat with Ruth to find out more.

Where do your customers come from? Far and wide - we have many loyal local customers, the M4 corridor, west Wales and Swansea. We also sell online and these orders come from all over the uk. Where do you shop in the Vale? I love The Queen B in Penarth and also trust Ben at Nolton Shoes for our Hunter wellies! What makes you happy? Knowing that my family are happy and safe. I am also very lucky to have found my soul mate in Andrew - he’s my rock and my best friend and of course my business is my life’s blood. Seeing it go from strength to strength just makes me feel so proud. When you love what you do with passion it’s a pleasure to come to work. I have a wonderful team around me who help make Benjamin’s Interiors the best furniture shop around. What is Benjamin’s Interiors? We are an unusual and quirky interior shop offering a diverse range of furniture and interior products. You can find something here to suit all tastes, whether that’s country, shabby chic, ultra modern high gloss, venetian, pine or oak. There’s also a huge range of lighting, mirrors and accessories. We also offer a bespoke furniture service which includes free standing kitchens, lounge and dining furniture all of which can be painted in your favourite Farrow & Ball paint finishes. Benjamin’s Interiors has everything to make your house a home. Who is at home? Myself, my husband Andrew and my daughter Naomi, although she is away a lot as she is studying at Birmingham university. Two German Shepherds, a cat, horses, chickens, ducks... oh and don’t forget the parrot Coco! We live in a converted coach house on a farm. Describe your home? I love a home that is glamorous and chic and our home reflects that. Our home is furnished with items mostly bought from Benjamin’s, of course!

What makes Benjamin’s different to other furniture showrooms? Maybe it’s the great selection we have here. We source our items from Sweden, China, India and Thailand.

Sum yourself up in three words... Driven, passionate, loyal. You may not know this but... We are open seven days a week and offer free interior design advice, but shhh don’t tell everyone!

We’re also proud that we source many of our products locally - our bespoke carpenters live locally and some of our sofas are from a family business in the UK. Or maybe it’s that customers feel happy to spend all morning or afternoon here browsing, given that it’s a very informal and relaxed environment. We even offer tea and biscuits! You were based at the Pumping Station - why the move? Yes, we were there for about twenty years and we had some really good times there but we basically outgrew it. We couldn’t find the right spot to relocate but then this unit came up and we went for it. It was a big gamble though, given that we increased our square footage by 400% but, if the demand is there, you have to supply it. 66

Benjamin’s Interiors Unit 2 Freemans Park, Penarth Road Cardiff CF11 8EQ 02920 343055 Follow on Facebook and Twitter

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benjamin’s interiors

Check out our virtual tour 029 2034 3055 Unit 2 Freemans Park, Penarth Road, Cardiff CF11 8EQ

Who said office food has to be boring?

Board Room Lunches | Breakfasts | Buffets for Meetings | Off-Site Catering

029 2049 4425 @SpirosCaterers


Thank You Thanks for taking the time to read the spring edition of InBusiness magazine. InBusiness is Wales’ premier independent business magazine. We print 10,000 copies of each edition and cut no corners on design, production and the quality of our print. Talking about printing, we source pretty much everything locally, and over 95% of InBusiness magazine’s turnover is reinvested back into the community of south Wales. If you have a business and are interested in promoting your goods or services to an aspirational audience in south Wales then InBusiness magazine is almost certainly right for you. Mark Roberts Creative Director

“Follow your heart, not your head.” Kevin Green, Wealth Coach

P romoting Your Business We value our advertisers. We appreciate the trust they place in us by promoting their businesses in our magazines. With our local partners, we currently publish a range of high quality quarterly titles across Wales. You can advertise your business from as little as £35 per season in this magazine. Pick-up-ability! Our magazines aren’t like other magazines. They have real pick-up appeal - in fact, they really do go like hot cakes. Quality comes first... along with the environment. We’re passionate about quality. The magazines are beautifully written and designed, and printed locally in South Wales on high quality paper (and no nasty varnishes or lamination we’re as green as green can be). Quality distribution to an affluent, aspirational audience... We distribute our magazines to over 1,000 carefully selected outlets across South Wales. We’d love to have your business on board. If you’d like to promote your business or service in our magazines, please get in touch, we’d love the opportunity to work with you.

Our Titles We proudly publish four Life-style magazines and one business to business title. Vale Life (our first magazine). This covers the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan - the most southerly county in Wales and deemed to be the most affluent. Vale Life was the first magazine we published. City Life The premier lifestyle magazine for Cardiff, Wales’ capital city. The magazine is delivered to all areas of Cardiff. Valleys Life At the heart of the South Wales Valleys. From the Neath Valley in the West to Blaenau Gwent and Pontypool in the East. West Life Covering Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and coastal Ceredigion, West Life is in touch with the relaxed lifestyle of this very special part of Wales. In Business Wales’ premier magazine for people in business. This is the kind of publication people in business want to read; interesting, inspirational and aspirational.

What A dvertisers Say “The best advertising we’ve ever done!” Andy Bradshaw, Partner, Hamptons, Penarth. “Honestly, the best response I’ve ever had.” Matt Mullooly, Owner, Northern Star, Penarth. “At last, advertising that really delivers.” Ann Bryl, Owner, Bryl’s Boutique, Barry. “A truly astonishing response.” Russell Scott-Lawson, Owner, Hawkes, Cardiff. “The experience I have had with this magazine has restored my faith in advertising. Gauci Organic Candles is a small business with an equally small advertising budget. We have to make every pound count and that’s what we get with Vale Life, City Life and Valleys Life. It’s refreshing to find a magazine that really understands my business. They are never short of ideas. I recommend them whenever I can.” Spiro Gauci, Owner, Gauci Organic Candles, Cardiff “These are beautiful publications. We love working with people who are passionate about what they do.” Spiro Borg, Spiros Caterers, We’d love the opportunity to show you what a truly effective campaign in our publications can achieve.

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