SBT SUSSEX BUSINESS TIMES
ISSUE ISSUE 378 378FREE FREE
Review of the new seat leon
Technology in business conferences in sussex
Finance: Banking and Technology
Breaking out of the office We speak with Jason Fry, MD of PAV IT about why agile working is the future of business
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SBT Welcome MEET THE TEAM
Lee Mansfield, Managing Director/ Publisher
Graham Carn, Financial Editor
Zoe Thomas, Editorial
Lewis Reed, Commercial Business Manager
Jon Goodwin, Lottie Dowdeswell, Business Sales Development Manager
Harriet Weston, Production Manager
Simon Skinner, Motoring Correspondent
Alessandro Mancini Legal Expert
Jason Fry Technology Expert
Whether they’re tweeting, posting, commenting, liking, favouriting, Instagramming, sharing, or following – it’s highly likely that your customers are partaking in some form of activity online. The Internet is now the core meeting point of the world, and having an online presence is a requisite for businesses wanting to stay fresh and future-focused. In this tech special of SBT, we look at how businesses all over Sussex are utilising Internet-based technologies to expand their reach and improve their efficiency – and we show you how you can do the same. There’s no denying we’d all like to mimic the success of multi-million pound apps such as Instagram and Whatsap, and in fact 2,371 new apps are launched every day. But hitting the spot and producing an app people actually want to download is the real challenge, and as we discover on page 28, the only way to succeed is to prepare yourself as much as possible before you invest. While the Internet provides a great platform for communicating with customers, it can also completely change the way we work and interact with colleagues within our companies. On page 12, our featured cover star PAV IT explains how Internet-based cloud computing could revolutionise how and where we work, allowing us to break free from the office and share data, files and documents securely from anywhere in the world. But with new technologies on the rise, it’s now even more important that we try to live and work as selfsustainably as possible. On page 34 we interview Nicola Gunstone to find out more about this year’s Eco Show, which will showcase some of the most innovative and eco-friendly companies in the country, hosted in the ‘green’ city of Brighton.With all of our gadgets and devices distracting us from real life, it can be a relief to relax and get away from our screens every once in a while. So why not find a sunny spot in your garden, put your feet up and enjoy this feature-packed issue of SBT…and don’t forget your G&T! Zoe Thomas Editor
Contents SBT Issue 378
SBT SUSSEX BUSINESS TIMES
ISSUE ISSUE 378 378FREE FREE
REVIEW oF thE nEW SEat lEon
tEchnology In BUSInESS conFEREncES In SUSSEx
FInancE: BankIng anD tEchnology
BREakIng oUt thE oFFIcE We speak with Jason Fry, MD of PaV It about why agile working is the future of business
PAV IT www.pav.co.uk Managing Director/Publisher: Lee Mansfield email@example.com Commercial Director: Simon Skinner firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Director: Clare Fermor email@example.com Business Development Manager: Jon Goodwin firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Business Manager: Lewis Reed email@example.com Sales: Lottie Dowdeswell firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: Zoe Thomas email@example.com Financial Editor: Graham Carn firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Harriet Weston email@example.com Design Assistant: Amy Watson firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: Linda Grace email@example.com Accounts: Amelia Wellings firstname.lastname@example.org Published by LMG SE LTD Park View House 19 The Avenue, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3YD 01323 411 601 Printed by Gemini Press, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6NZ All material in this publication is strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The views expressed in Sussex Business Times Magazine do not necessarily represent the view of Life Media Group LTD. Every care is taken in compiling the contents but the publishers of Sussex Business Times Magazine assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from the participation in any offers, competitions or advertisement contained within Sussex Business Times Magazine. All prices featured in Sussex Business Times Magazine are correct at the time of going to press. Copyright Life Media Group LTD 2014 ÂŠ
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We have chosen a selection of all the latest gadgets that are great for business
Company Profile Jason Fry, MD of PAV IT, explains why agile working is the future of business
Interview Incaweb, explains why building an effective, fresh and future-proof site is vital for business success
Finance Graham Carn talks about Technology and Banking
Technology Chris Palk, Managing Director of Dab Apps, outlines 10 things to consider before jumping into an app
Tried and Tested SBT reviews Ballifscourt Hotel and The May Garland in Sussex
Eco Show Founder and Commercial Director of The Eco Technology Show Nicola Gunstone explains why being eco-minded is the way forward for businesses today
Invoice Financing Innovation Finance offers an immediate, low-risk way for SMEs to free up cash and grow their businesses
Conferences From luxury hotels to historic buildings - discover the countyâ€™s top conference venues Motoring Simon Skinner test drives the new Seat Leon Q&As Check a Professional and Mancini Legal gives readers their professional advice
Made In Susex We talk to Brighton-based CGI expert and self professed geek Tom Painter
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SBTNews Business Gone Wild – New Corporate Packages At Chessington Gone are the days of boring conferences in bland hotels. Chessington World of Adventures, the resort best known as a top destination for safari-loving children, is now launching a series of packages for corporate clients. Chessington Safari Hotel’s Corporate packages include: Zufari Package Delegates get an exclusive taste of Africa without having to go further than the M25. This mini safari package includes VIP fast track entrance to the ZUFARI ride, as well as a ZUFARI Tool Kit, which includes a few freebies including a branded mug, pen, notepad
and all-important pick and mix. No doubt you’ll be getting the creative juices flowing after this fun safari. Wild Asia Package See Asia at its wildest (at least, at its wildest in Surrey), with VIP fast track entrance to the Kobra ride and a visit to Lorikeet Lagoon. All delegates will get their own Tool Kit, including a Kobra mug, pen and notepad plus some pick and mix to keep employees going during the meetings. www.chessington.com/resorthotels/corporate-business-gonewild.aspx
Rights to Request Flexible Working Extended Nina Robinson, Head of Legal Services at HR Legal Services, explains exactly what changes have been made under the Children and Families Act 2014: “Following the government’s ‘Consultaton on Modern Workplaces’, a number of changes will be made to the statutory procedure for handling flexible working requests. If you have an existing written policy or procedure on flexible working, then this will become out of date on 30 June 2014. The right to request flexible working is currently linked to carer responsibilities,
including parents of young children, disabled children and adults in need of care. For those who are not familiar with the principle of flexible working requests, this is simply the right for employees to request changes to their working hours, working times or location and if granted such changes become permanent changes to their terms and conditions of employment. This is often associated with requests to work part-time following return to work after maternity leave, but is certainly not limited to that scenario. The current regime
Healthy Eastbourne Eastbourne’s Strategic Partnership has launched a new campaign to promote healthy activities and lifestyles across the town. ‘Healthy Eastbourne’ is about making the most of our naturally refreshing environment to boost the health and wellbeing of those lucky enough to live here. A new website has been launched providing advice and tips on how to stay fit and active around Eastbourne. Here visitors can read about cycling around the town, local healthy cooking classes, tips on growing your own food and much more. The site will also provide an upto-date diary of events, clubs and organisations offering advice about healthy living in and around the town, including breast-feeding, diet, exercise, smoking, drugs and alcohol. To find out more, please visit www.healthyeastbourne.org.uk
includes a highly prescriptive and much criticised statutory procedure, which employers must follow when handling the request, including strict timescales for meetings and appeals. www.acas.org.uk
Local Men Capitalise on Overpriced Rio Hotels For those with limited funds, finding an affordable hotel in Rio during the FIFA World Cup is essentially impossible. Two men from Sussex – Andy Allan from Seaford and Stephen Pike from Arundel, have found an enterprising solution to this problem. They have developed a temporary campsite in Rio to allow ordinary football supporters to follow their teams and participate in the World Cup – without paying extortionate prices for hotel rooms.
Andy has been living in Rio since 2007 where he manages small property developments. The official website reads: “Through our extensive network of local and international partners, suppliers and contacts, we have the experience and the resources needed to deliver a purpose built camping facility for football supporters travelling to the World Cup in 2014.” They have already had bookings from football supporters from all over the
world. The campsite opened on Sunday 8th June. www.worldcupcampingrio.com
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SBTNews Billingshurst Bid to Improve Opportunities for Job Seekers Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce will work alongside Horsham District Council’s recently appointed Rural Employment Development Officer (REDO) to engage with local employers and increase job opportunities. Geoff Averill will be looking at ways to improve access to employment by working with employers to create work experience and apprentiship places, in addition to the launch of job clubs and sector based work academies designed to help job seekers develop employment skills. Geoff will spend considerable time in the rural areas engaging with employers, community groups and parish councils to gain an understanding of local employment requirements to help match, where possible, local employment opportunities with local job seekers. To find out more or discuss informally what opportunities you may be able to provide Geoff can be contacted on 01403 215262 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Art of Business The Starr Hub is hosting BN Artist in Brighton, an event for young entrepreneurs and enthusiastic business professionals who live within the BN postcode. The event is one of a number held by family-run charity throughout the year to encourage dynamic networking and give talks to inspire a generation of business people. BN Artist will follow on from the charity’s first hub event, Starr Hub: Be a Social Entrepreneur, which took place in March. Starr Hub, based in Hove, supports people aged 10-18 to help them achieve their goals in sports, arts and education. Speaking about the upcoming event, a spokesperson for the charity said: “We are excited to present a fantastic line up of BN speakers from the worlds of opera, circus, literature and film, along with a few surprises, as we turn the space into a promenade performance of conversations, talks and delicious food. Come and join us!”
Speakers at the event will include: Lizzie Overton – inspiring teacher and adult educator who has developed a unique approach to teaching led by the collective curiosity and imagination of the group Indiana Danahar and Karoki Mahmoodi – young aerialists trained at Bandbazi, the award winning, Brighton based multicultural and inclusive performing arts company which uses circus and theatre skills to give a voice to marginalised groups through professional productions and education programmes Edward Hogan – author of Blackmoor, The Hunger Trace, The Messengers and Daylight Saving WeAreThePeopleToo – young film makers talking about their latest project In Transition Nadine Mortimer Smith – opera / jazz singer, high performance coach and mentor Tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.uk
Conflict, Resolution…and Wine Martin Searle Solicitors is celebrating its 10th birthday with a fundraising party hosted at the Latest Music Bar in Brighton on Thursday 17 July. After offering specialist employment and community care law services to the people of Sussex for a decade, founders Fiona Martin and Cate Searle now want to celebrate their continuing success with a party open to the public. As you might expect from a party hosted by a law firm, this is no average birthday celebration. The night will be based on the theme ‘Conflict and Resolution’, in line with its aim to raise money for the Brighton & Hove Citizens Advice Bureau. It will even feature wine tasting accompanied by stories of turf wars, family feuds and resolution – hosted by Henry Butler of Butler’s Wine Cellar. If that wasn’t enough, acclaimed indie rock singer/songwriter Chris T-T and all female doo-wop punk and new wave act New York Dollies will be performing
live on the night. Fiona Martin, Head of Employment Law at Martin Searle Solicitors is keen to raise the profile of the work Brighton and Hove CAB carry out and to raise as much money as possible. She said: “The recent cuts to public funding and legal aid have left many of the most vulnerable people in our city with nowhere to turn to for legal and welfare rights advice. It’s absolutely vital that we help the CAB continue to provide their valuable services to local residents. Our 10th birthday party is a great opportunity to ask all our clients, friends and supporters to join us to celebrate our success as a community law firm whilst raising money for the CAB.” In addition to wine tasting with a twist, the event will also include a session with DJ Mark Walker, who will be spinning ‘conflict and resolution’ requests, with prizes awarded for the best suggested tracks.
A fundraising raffle will also be held, with prizes donated by local companies including Badger, Infinity Foods, North Laine Hair Company and Ten Green Bottles, with the star prize being a one week stay at an apartment in the Algarve. Doors open at 7.00pm on Thursday 17 July and all guests are encouraged to bring along their Conflict and Resolution themed tracks on vinyl, or contribute to the Spotify playlist at http://spoti. fi/1lOHC4R. Tickets are available online at www.wegottickets.com/event/275185 or by contacting Martin Searle Solicitors on 01273 609911 / email@example.com
6 & 7, Orchard Industrial Estate Christen Way, Maidstone Kent, ME15 9YE firstname.lastname@example.org
0333 600 1234
Moore House - Brighton
Commercial Services - Kent
“Our office move was a very important occasion in the Company’s history and RAP have created an amazing space with a vibrant, fresh atmosphere. The change internally has been emphatic already!!”
“We have been very impressed with the attention to detail from the team at RAP. You all have exceeded our expectations as a contractor and added value to the project before its even began.”
Alex Sinclair - Director Globetec
Facilities - Commercial Services
Whilst the workplace should reflect the brand of the company, it is imperative that it provides an environment where employees want to come and work, and be highly productive, and stay healthy. RAP Interiors understands your business and undertaking creative space planning, we make the workplace environment better, increase productivity and maximise your businesses results. Generating inspiration through workspace design positively influences the performance of the people. For 25 years we have strived for perfection in all aspects of our project management and we continue to deliver on time. Contact us to discuss your Commercial refurbishment and we will be delighted to offer advice, our experience and cost saving ideas which will ensure your budget is maximised.
The Smart Life
We pick some of the the latest technology that will benefit your business 5 4
16 1. Iphone 5S, from £549, store.apple.com/uk 2. Magic Trackpad, £59, store. apple.com/uk, 3. Bose Bluetooth Headset Series 2, £129.95, www.bose.co.uk 4. Macbook Pro, from £1099, store.apple.com/uk 5. Blackberry Q10, £479, store. shopblackberry.com 6. Toshiba EXCITE AT10LE-A-108, from £349, www.toshiba. co.uk 7. Gear 2 Neo, £169, www.samsung.com 8. HotSquash CoolFresh dress with hidden technology, £75, www.hotsquash.com 9. Galaxy NotePro 12.2, £649, www. samsung.com 10. pocket cell duo, £99, www.myinnergie.com 11. Nokia Universal Portable USB Charger, from £34.99, www.nokia.com 12. Galaxy S5, £569, www. samsung.com 13. Galaxy Note 3, £579, www.samsung.com 14. BlackBerry P’9982 Porsche, £1,400, store.shopblackberry.com 15. Mac Mini, from £499, store. apple.com/uk 16. Nokia Lumia 1320, £259.95, www.nokia.com
Breaking Out of the Office Remote working or working from home is certainly not a new Focus concept, however until recently it has typically involved convoluted ways of connecting a laptop to the office and often an unreliable or inconsistent experience. With recent advances in technology and access to more reliable, faster communications, it is now possible to truly break away from the office and work collaboratively and efficiently. There has been a lot of hype over the last few years about ‘the cloud’, the trouble is this means different things to different people. The question is how can using these technologies and ‘the cloud’ really benefit a business? Here at PAV, we understand how IT can enable a business to be successful. We have been helping businesses in and around Sussex for over 25 years make the right decisions about their IT and supporting them afterwards. We can help you understand and evaluate how this new era in operating your IT can support your business and not be a restriction or burden. Through our pavTRANSFORM
service, we are able to engage with a company and help them understand exactly what they need from IT and how best to go about it. For example, one service we can provide is a cloud readiness assessment where we analyse what you have at the moment and produce a report with options on how you can benefit from moving some or all of your IT off-premise. We can then support you during a migration and beyond ensuring that these benefits are realised. I want to show businesses how they can benefit from using this approach to boost productivity and allow greater flexibility with a more agile workforce. Reducing unnecessary trips to the office for example can result in more time to be in front of customers as well as reducing travel costs and the impact on the environment. Several studies have shown that home working can lead to greater productivity. Enabling employees to interact with others, share information and collaborate on activities without having to be in the same room, can lead to more efficient outcomes. Running a business myself, I am well aware of the associated overheads that come with office space such as heating, light, power and of course rent. I am always on the lookout for ways that I can minimise this overhead and spend the savings in more productive areas. The tools to enable this agile working method are out there and have been for some time, it’s just a case of knowing which ones to use and how best to implement them. Firstly, a business has to be able to recognise the benefits of agile working and communicate this clearly with everyone involved. From an employee perspective, it can be a big change from the way in which they are used to working. If they are used to spending a lot of time in the office interacting
Technology in Business
Jason Fry, MD of PAV IT, explains why agile working is the future of business
and socialising with others, it may be a difficult transition for them to adapt to. However, there are many tools and utilities to support collaboration and remote and flexible working can yield high productivity in a supportive environment – and it should be encouraged. So how does a business start to empower its workforce and take advantage of agile working? Well, it all starts with requirements. There is no point spending money on a bunch of technology if it does not meet a business need. There are a number of different companies that have products that can help, but choosing which one to use should not be rushed in to. Often these are subscription based and once you are signed up they are difficult or costly to move away from, so it’s important to get it right at the start. In my opinion the most important thing when working away from the office is having a consistent experience. No matter where I am working from and what device I am using, it should look, feel and operate the same. It can be frustrating to anyone using an IT system when one day things work in a particular way but then change the next or look completely different. Like many people out there, I have several gadgets and bits of tech in my life: a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop… and these change from time to time when something new comes out or I get bored of the old one. This may also be the case for others, and some of them may be owned by the company, some by the employee. We are seeing a growing adoption of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) but some businesses may not want to allow employees to access company information using their personal devices. The challenge to the business is to provide access to applications and data across a multitude of different devices in a secure and controlled way. With improved and more reliable connectivity now available including the 4G network and public Wi-Fi, it is now possible to get connected pretty much anywhere at any time. Managing this array of different devices has always been a challenge, especially as each has had their own unique way of working and being
Google and of course Microsoft, names that most will have heard of. Both of these companies come from completely different backgrounds themselves, Google started as an Internet Search engine and Microsoft in computer software. Outside of these, there are many other organisations, including PAV, who are reselling or providing their own cloud and agile working platforms. To best demonstrate how agile working can be adopted, I am going to concentrate on the products from Google and Microsoft and how these can be used to support a business adopting agile working.
So, let’s talk about how to go about this. If you are a small business, Google Apps for Business will probably give you everything you need. If I were setting up a new company or operating a small business of up to 25 people I would seriously consider using this. For a monthly fee you are able to store all your files and emails centrally with Google and use their applications to access them. You pay for the number of users that you have and there are add-ons to give you more features if required. As part of the service, Google offers a word processer, spread sheet and presentation application, which although not as feature-rich as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, do a very good job. For most small businesses these applications have all the functionality required and even allow multiple people to work on the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. Files can be easily shared with other colleagues and even those outside the company. Email is core to every business and Google Apps for Business uses its Gmail platform to deliver this. Each employee will have their own email address using the company domain name and shared mailboxes, together with group resources, can be set up to support collaborative working. Who can access what information is controlled via a central administration console that’s easy to use. Access to the data, email and applications all stored at Google is achieved through an Internet connected
“With improved and more reliable connectivity now available including the 4G network and public Wi-Fi it is now possible to get connected pretty much anywhere at any time”
managed. There are now technologies that can help by registering and enabling all of these devices in a single interface and controlling how they access company information. This has helped companies to keep track of all the mobile devices, register new ones, disable lost or stolen ones and encrypt and control what is held on them. Once a business has the army of mobile devices under control, how do they enable them to access the applications and data needed? The traditional way of achieving this was to have the device connect back to the office over the Internet or a dedicated link. This required costly and complex technology at the office to accommodate the incoming connections and secure them. An alternative approach now is to move some or all of the data and applications into the cloud. By doing
so, the business can take advantage of the security and access systems that are naturally provided as part of such a service. They are also removing the need to operate their IT systems from the office and the associated overheads. Not only does this benefit a more agile workforce but it can also help a business manage its costs by reducing capital expenditure (capex) and move towards a utility (opex) model for IT. Two of the major players in this area are
device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. It is also possible to hold copies of the data on the device for editing and viewing if an Internet connection is not available. Once the device is online again, the changes are synchronised back up to Google. In addition to this, Google Hangouts is also included in the service. This is an online meeting place where people can meet, chat and collaborate. It supports group video and voice chatting for multiple participants where a conversation can also be recalled at a later stage and continued. In my opinion, Google Apps for Business really does offer a small business a cost effective IT service that will allow its users to access and share information and collaborate without the need for costly IT infrastructure or even an office.
For larger businesses or for those with more demanding IT needs, an option is Microsoft Office 365. Many will be familiar with Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel and Outlook, as they are widely used in business and at home. There have been many different versions of the Microsoft Office suite over the years and it has often been costly keeping up to date and ensuring correct licenses are in place. Microsoft has now released the next version, which is called Office 365, offering a completely new way to pay for and operate their software. In the past a company would have to purchase a license enabling them to run a copy of Office on a PC or laptop. Office 365 is a subscription-based model, which provides access to the latest version of the software without having to constantly upgrade. The latest office applications are always available as part of the subscription and a company only pays for what it uses. If a business grows and take on more staff, they increase the subscription and if they reduce the amount, the cost comes down. Office 365 enables access to the full
versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint as well as Outlook for email and others such as Lync and OneNote, all of which can be run as online or desktop versions. The online versions require a permanent Internet connection to access the application and data where the desktop versions are installed locally on a PC or Laptop. By moving their email in to Office 365, a company can remove the burden of operating their own email server in house and benefit from all the features offered in conjunction with online conferencing through the Lync application. As with Google Apps for Business, the Office 365
some services to be left on-premise and some in the cloud, without additional management overhead. The reality is that moving your IT in to the cloud may not be right for every business for a number of reasons. It may be that there have been recent investments in IT infrastructure that would be costly to discard, or that some of the applications being used today will simply not work in this manner. In order to understand how a business can benefit from moving its IT in to the cloud while supporting a more agile workforce, careful consideration needs to be given. Choosing the right technology and service is key and critical to the effectiveness of IT and the efficiency that can be gained. Understanding and assessing what is available, how this can be of advantage and planning the journey to moving on to such a platform is the key to success. There is obviously a lot more to this subject and every company’s needs will be different to a certain degree. If you feel that a more agile working environment could benefit your company, or you are looking to enhance your IT systems without increasing capital costs, then PAV would welcome the opportunity to talk with you further.
“By moving their email in to Office 365 a company can remove the burden of operating their own email server in house and benefit from all the features offered” service also comes with online storage so the files and email are stored securely with Microsoft. Again, the subscription is based upon the number of users but Office 365 will scale up to 300 users and beyond for Enterprise customers. The main difference between the Google and Microsoft offerings is their functionality. Office 365 provides a much more feature rich set of tools, which can scale up to any size of business. Google Apps for Business is less feature rich but will likely suit the needs of most small businesses with up to 25 staff. Microsoft Office 365 will also integrate with an existing IT network, allowing
For more information contact Jason Fry on: 01273 834 000 or Jason.Fry@pav.co.uk www.pav.co.uk
Helping employers take global perspective
Employees increasingly need to be able to work on a global stage, not just in their own local environment, a human resources expert told an international technology conference. To succeed globally companies increasingly need to attract and retain the best talent available worldwide, but problems can arise when people speak different ‘cultural languages’. Dr Liza Howe-Walsh, from the University of Portsmouth, discussed global competencies and how to foster the softer skills needed for business at the International Conference on Technology and Business Management in Dubai. She was the keynote speaker. She a key indicator of global competitiveness was the development of soft skills. She said: “People began to lose relationship skills when they do everything
online, especially if you work in IT and have offices around the globe. You need to work out how other people are communicating and come to a common ground – you need to learn to not take offence when none was intended. Skills like this propel you to become more globally competent. “You could be dealing with 80 per cent of your customers coming from different countries and cultures but it’s difficult to judge if your soft skills or a lack of them are getting in the way of business.” She cited, as an example, how in some cultures it is acceptable to send emails in capital letters while in others that is seen as highly offensive. “People need to be culturally aware and self-aware, they need to know how they appear to others, if business is to succeed internationally.”
Breaking new ground in Middle East: Dr Liza Howe-Walsh
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The Web Design Business Building Future-Proof Sites Ian Cairns, Director of Brighton-based Incaweb, explains why building an effective, fresh and future-proof site is vital for business success
What’s your story? When/why was Incaweb started? Insight Our main company, Incamedia, has been providing technical IT services for over 15 years. We started Incaweb, our specialist digital design agency, last year as a response to our customers asking where they could find a reliable website design company. When we looked at the market for our clients we found that too many web design companies were overcomplicating the process, not always using the latest technologies and, frankly, charging too much! What makes Incaweb unique and why should customers choose you over any other website design company? Our aim is to provide clients with a realistically-priced website that works well on desktops, smartphones and tablets, that is genuinely easy for them to update themselves and is future-proofed, in the sense that the design can easily be changed without needing to re-input the underlying data – a bit like keeping your number and all your contacts when you change mobiles. We spend time with our clients before we start, working out a digital strategy, their priorities for the site and the best ways to present their business for their customers in a clear and logical way. All the content on the site goes into a database so it is easy to change the site’s layout and look, so clients can comment and change the site as it is being built. Before we hand over, we give you full
training in managing the site yourself so you can easily upload new content and products, which is so essential in keeping the site fresh for your customers. Then, once the site is built, we offer free support as well. Finally, we use open-source technologies so, if you do want to take your site to another design company in the future, it’s completely portable – although that hasn’t happened yet! Why is it so important for businesses to have a digital presence? Even if you don’t sell on the web, your digital presence is vital for the success of your business. Your website is often the first thing about your company that potential customers see. The idea that you spend a lot of money on a flashy website and then leave it alone for a couple of years until the next update has completely gone out the window. Nowadays, it’s all about keeping your content fresh and making sure your online presence grows continuously alongside your company. Your website is only one element of your digital presence of course – posting news items and linking to social media like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is important for developing relationships with your customers and also can help make you more visible on search engines like Google. We help clients set up and maintain social media as part of their overall digital strategy. What is ‘responsive web design’ and why should this term be on all business people’s radars? Responsive design is the present of web
design! All ‘responsive design’ means is that your website automatically adjusts to whatever device is being used, whether it’s a desktop, tablet or mobile. We’re finding currently that about 25% of visitors to our clients’ websites are using a mobile device and that’s forecast to rise to 50% over the next year. So it’s absolutely essential for your company to have a responsive site – if you use a smartphone or tablet to surf the web you’ll know just how frustrating it is when a site doesn’t work or is too small to see and what do you do then?... You go to a competitor’s site! Building a responsive site is not difficult and it shouldn’t cost extra, but it is amazing to see how many companies, even some of the large ones, are turning customers away by not being responsive.
Find out more at www.incaweb.co.uk
Fitness, Health and Tennis Stars at City Gym City Gym is a hive of activity in the trendy ‘Little Chelsea’ area of Eastbourne, attracting everyone from gym-beginners, right up to championship tennis players
City Gym is a small, family-run gym located at the heart Insight of Little Chelsea. It’s run by a team of six friendly, qualified staff who work with their members to help them achieve their fitness goals in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Here, we speak to Harry Holder, City Gym’s resident personal trainer to find out more. “City Gym is very different to the big chains,” he told us. “It’s unique because of the atmosphere – everybody here is very warm and friendly. There is a really relaxed feel and nobody judges anybody else, regardless of their fitness level, shape, size or experience. All of our members are approachable and friendly, so it takes the edge off coming in for the first time.” Despite being a relatively small business, City Gym takes every chance to get involved with events in and around the town. As anybody local to the area will know, tennis fans from all over the world descend on Eastbourne every year in June, as the AEGON Tennis International kicks off at Devonshire Park. For the last four years, tennis stars have come in to the nearby City Gym to use the equipment throughout their stay. “Players use our equipment while they’re in town for the ten days, so we see loads of tennis stars here. We’ve done it now for four years,” Harry added. Despite the potentially intimidating presence of world-class sports stars (at least for two weeks of the year), a lot of City Gym members are beginners. Harry told us: “People of all fitness levels are more than welcome here – even if they have never stepped inside a gym
before in their lives. We offer inductions to teach people how to use the equipment correctly, and to familiarise themselves with new machines and exercises. Our aim is to give them the confidence they need to be happier and more successful in the things they do. “We also offer personal training – at a competitive price, for those who want to take their fitness a notch higher,” he added. “There are so many benefits to being a regular gym-goer – you get fitter, you feel better in your body and the better you feel, the better you perform in life and the more successful you’re likely to be. “If you’re not a fan of treadmills, you can always come along to one of our daily circuit training classes where your endurance, strength and fitness will be challenged.”
As well as helping members achieve their own personal goals, the team at City Gym also like to contribute to the community on a wider scale. “We like to get involved in the local community and always donate to local raffles. We sponsor Andy from NCCA UK, who does a lot of runs to raise money for the charity, which helps children with cancer.” Thanks to the team’s continued dedication, and their willingness to step out of the gym and out into the community, City Gym continues to prosper year on year. “The gym is doing better and better,” Harry said. “We‘re doing really well, we’re going from strength to strength – just like our clients!” www.city-gym.co.uk
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Technology Banking Regulators open investigation into banks’ failing technology
The quality of the IT systems Finance that underpin Britain’s banks will Insight be reviewed by regulators after a series of technology problems at Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland left millions of customers without access to cash. The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority will lead the investigation and report back to the Bank of England, which will issue its conclusions next year. More than a million RBS customers were hit by a computer glitch in December leaving them unable to access cash or make transactions. Ross McEwan, who took over as chief executive of the bank in October, said at the time that it had failed to invest properly in its systems for ‘decades’. Analysts said the bank’s systems were ‘held together by string or rubber bands’. Many thousands of customers at Lloyds, TSB and Halifax were also helpless in January this year when a glitch took down systems. Clive Adamson, the Director of Supervision at the FCA, said: “We want to make sure that the banks have resilient IT systems so customers aren’t financially stranded or disadvantaged.” Richard Lloyd, Executive Director for consumer group Which? said in response to the failures: “Improvements are desperately needed so that people
can be confident that their money is safe, and accessible, at all times. For too long the banks have not invested enough in their infrastructure, which is now not fit for modern banking purposes.” What technological improvements have the bank’s introduced to date? When the financial crisis shook the world six years ago it was a catalyst for positive change in the world of banking where it sparked intense scrutiny of
what banks do and the role they play in society. The high street banks had become synonymous with poor service and mis-selling. Not all the criticism that was levelled at the banks was justified but the perception was very strong and therefore damaging. They have been scrambling to clean up their act and convince customers that they have their interests at heart. Innovative new products and technologies have been introduced as banks and building
believe that their bank helps them get the best deal; only 49% trusted their current bank, and more than half think that banks generally should do more to help build a better society. It is clear that more innovation is needed to make banking slicker, more efficient and to keep customers onside. Technology is changing the way banks operate and how branches of the future might look (because many of us still value popping into a branch). The survey revealed a high level of cynicism about banks, but most developments in recent years have benefited the customer, making it easier to keep on top of one’s finances from anywhere in the world. Where do we go next? The speed at which technology is developing makes it difficult to predict how we will use banks in future but mobile banking is one sector ripe for growth, given the explosion in the use of smartphones. Experts believe that the mobile phone could ultimately kill off plastic cards and even traditional cash. Making branches more interactive and enabling customers to talk to specialists best placed to deal with their demands, is an area that is also being explored. Even biometric technology, where we are identified through fingerprints, iris or full-face scans, is being investigated as a way to make banking safer. As we all know, what one day sounds like science fiction can quickly become science fact.
societies have recognised that if they are going to win the battle for customers in the future they need to offer accounts and services that stand out from the crowd. The crisis also led to the introduction in September 2013 of the seven-day current account switching service, which has made it easier and quicker to switch banks. The new service is based on a recommendation from the Independent Commission on Banking, which voiced concerns that people switch bank accounts on average only
once every 26 years! Much more work than simply easier switching processes needs to be done before banks win back our trust, however. A survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of The Times newspaper revealed a unique insight into the habits, views and wishes of banking customers across the nation. A total of 2,264 respondents took part in the online poll and there was one underlying message - that banks must do better. Generally only 20% of customers
Call centre decline? One area which customers tend to hate is the call centre, however maybe technology will be part of the answer for many of them to disappear. Lloyds has recently announced it is to close a call centre in Cheshire as part of a plan to cut 645 jobs nationwide as its customers go online rather than phone their bank. “Telephone banking call volumes are falling as digital banking usage continues to grow, and we are refocusing the business to reflect these changes in our customers’ habits,” the bank said. It added that call volumes had fallen by 11% in the past year and were down by a quarter since 2011, and that it had spent £536 million on technology in the past three years. Why banks must be technologically smart – what will the future look like?
Many of us will have not set foot in our local branch for some time, or at least do not venture in nearly so much as we used to. Due to the technological revolution of going online using a PC, phone or tablet to make payments, track spending or move money between different accounts has become the norm. Technology has also enabled non-bank players to provide services that muscle in on the sector’s traditional markets. PayPal is the number one payments platform on the web and more people are turning to peer-topeer lending websites for cheap loans or savings returns. To keep customers it is clear that banks need to improve at being virtual and digital repositories of their clients’ money, allowing access to that money anywhere at any time. They also need to be great service organisations because third-party challengers will nip at their heels and offer faster, more adaptable products, possibly more in tune with their customers’ needs. This means that banks must deliver constant innovation and find new ways and means to engage customers in order to survive. Analysts at Ernst & Young are confident that banks will step up, to everyone’s benefit. In a report entitled Building the Bank of 2030 and Beyond, they say: “The next two decades should represent a renaissance in the relationship between banks and their customers, through a combination of rich data, smart analytics and innovation” A large part of that means focusing more closely on customers, including using internal bank data and external information from companies such as mobile phone providers and social networks to tailor services and tools to individual customers, and to offer them closely-targeted products and promotions. Ernst & Young predict that people will expect banks to know their physical location and respond accordingly – something that comes naturally as part of the greater use of mobile banking.
For example, your bank might text to offer foreign currency when you arrive at an airport. All this might sound invasive, but the research indicates that seven out of ten people would be happy to give their bank more information in order to receive a more personalised service. This personalisation should also bring
Cash machines, or ATMs, have also become more advanced and multifunctional. It is likely that customers will soon be able to send cash overseas, receive money transfers, purchase foreign currency, donate to charities and carry out transactions such as applying for small loans — all from a high-street cashpoint. Banks will also have to get better at exploiting social media — an HSBC executive recently admitted that the sector is years behind. That means listening to customers and creating conversations on networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also gives bank users the opportunity to make their views clear. The new rules introduced making it significantly faster and easier to switch current accounts are only a start. Improving technology and regulatory pressure mean it will become even easier to switch in future, and technology provides a great incentive for banks to excel in all aspects of their service. Overall, the future is looking brighter!
“The next two decades should represent a renaissance in the relationship between banks and their customers, through a combination of rich data, smart analytics and innovation” better, more immediate rewards for loyalty: it is a big bugbear today that a bank’s most loyal customers are often stuck on its worst deals. Some banks have been slow to embrace technology. However experts insist that the days when a bank’s tablet app can be lifted straight from its website are numbered. Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank, said last year that the reasons banks have so far been slow on the uptake compared with other companies are their risk-averse nature (“contrary to what many people believe”); regulation, which sees financial innovation that can create big winners and losers as dangerous; and concerns around cyber-security and privacy. But like it or not, he says, they will have to adapt. Futurologists see smartphones becoming mobile wallets, enabling you to use your phone to make contactless payments from a nominated bank account. They could include the ability to use discount vouchers and earn cashback on many transactions, thanks to integrated apps from third-party providers.
Graham Carn, SBT Financial Editor Graham Carn is also the Managing Director of Blackstones Consulting Limited – any comments or questions on this article please email email@example.com
Finance Round-Up Real Pay and Productivity Finally on the Rise
Real wages appear poised to rise for the first time in four years, boosting families hit by the cost of living crisis. This increase in spending power is politically sensitive as it would dent Labour’s general election strategy, which is focused on the squeeze on household finances. Official figures currently show an annual growth of 1.8% is broadly the same as the CPI inflation numbers. On present trends real income growth will outstrip inflation in the next set of figures which will be the first time since early 2010.
Exporting - More Confidence Being Seen by Small Businesses Increasing number of smaller businesses are showing more of an appetite to export than ever before, claims research released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) last month. Their quarterly business index found that 24 per cent of its members expect exports to rise in the next three months. FSB chief John Allan said: “Small businesses will have a major part to play if the Government is to meet its challenging targets for 100,000 new exporters and to double the value of exports by 2020.”
Mergers & Acquisitions to Increase Almost a Third in Next 3 Years A Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) reveals that global Merger & Acquisition activity has risen from this time last year, with dynamic businesses leading the way. The results confirm that leaders of the world’s most progressive businesses view acquisitions as an important means to supplement and boost their existing operations.
Review - UK Economy Q2, 2014 The UK recovery appears to continue. Although some of the forward-looking surveys have dropped from last year’s highs, they remain consistent with a strong and more balanced expansion. Having risen by 1.7% in 2013, GDP is forecast to grow by 2.5% to 3.0% both this year and 2015. On that basis, the UK is likely to rival the US for the strongest performing economy in the G10. Moreover, with GDP projected to rise by around 0.6% - 0.8% in both Q1 and Q2, the UK is on course to have surpassed its pre-recession peak by mid-year – around the time of the next general election. As real income growth picks up it should ensure that household spending continues to drive the recovery. There are some encouraging signs also however
that the expansion is becoming more balanced. Investment - both residential and business - has picked up noticeably, boosted by the recovery in housing demand and the sharp rise in business confidence. Recent focus on the housing bubble is leading to some ‘cooling down’ measures, with London and the south-east generally under the spotlight. Net exports have also recently accelerated. Rising global trade bodes well for a steady recovery in exports, although the prospects of a material external rebalancing are likely to remain limited by the current strength of the exchange rate, the subdued growth of the euro area and a cyclical pickup in UK imports. From a sector standpoint, there are welcome signs that the recovery is broadening.
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Mortgage Lenders Become Tighter as Concern for Housing Bubble Grows Those looking to move or switch their existing mortgage products may find it harder to be approved for mortgages as lenders apply the brakes on approvals of new mortgages as a result of recent tougher rules that came into force in May. As many businesses directly or indirectly depend on property transactions this is a potential significant concern. Nearly six in ten lenders believe more borrowers could be refused a mortgage following the recent Mortgage Market Review (MMR) shake-up which necessitates lenders now having to carry out more stringent income checks. Mortgage approvals actually started falling in March, in anticipation, down by 7% according to e.surv, Britain’s largest
chartered surveyor. It was the second consecutive month in which approvals fell, reversing 11 months of gains. “New regulations have played a part in the lending slowdown. Lenders trialled their systems, and house purchase lending dipped as a result,” said Richard Sexton, director of e.surv. The latest survey of lenders carried out by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) identified these concerns directly linked to the more stringent checks necessary on applicants’ income and spending before advancing a loan. Additionally the stress testing calculations have been increased so borrowers will need to prove they could afford repayments at interest rates much higher than before the regulations came into force.
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The Crystal 13/02/2014 12:29
6 Ways to Fall in Love Steve Cropper of Gemini Print Group takes Miss Money Penny into the world of print
“Take off those thick rimmed glasses, carefully undo the pussycat bow and ... woooooww there’s far more to her than meets the eye”
If I said I was going to write about falling in love with the world of print – brochures, leaflets, catalogues, annual reports, look books, magazines, (I can already sense the eye rolls) you will probably think that I’m about to drone on about ‘cost per thousand’, litho, print runs and flat presses. But, if I asked you to think about print in a totally different way – you might actually find it quite interesting. Honestly! Picture the realms of the print world just as you might picture Miss Money Penny in the James Bond films. Take off those thick rimmed glasses, carefully undo the pussycat bow and ... woooooww there’s far more to her than meets the eye – you are instantly transported to an incredibly sensuous and fantastically creative world. Well, this is what print can do for your business – it may sound straightforward – some might even say old-fashioned, but who are you kidding? There is far, far, FAR more to print than meets the eye at first glance. Here at Gemini, we loooove print with a passion, and so will you when we give you…….
6 REASONS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH IT: Print has a LICENCE TO THRILL. It’s flexible and highly creative – there is many a sexy trick that can be played – some little moves you wouldn’t have dreamed even existed! Firstly, there’s spot UV providing that added, often unexpected gloss, and don’t get me going on the foil blocking – ahhh, I’m on Cloud 9 just at the thought of it. The added metallic sheen glistens and is simply indulgence. The possibilities are endless: logos, invitations, business cards, magazines, annual report front covers….it’s ecstasy! An email is an email, a tweet is a soon forgotten 140 character micro blog – but with print you can create something beyond your dreams that lasts….a work of art, something beautiful to look at, something eye catching and with more dimensions to it than you first imagine.
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and yes, print can really sparkle and amaze. It is incredibly
touchable – really feel it beneath your fingers, stroke it, run your cheeks against it! Embossing and debossing ups the anti, while the cut and the finishing gives a whole new polished look. You just don’t get that looking at a screen, or a virtual imitation. TOMORROW NEVER DIES as print never disappears off the page for you to be presented with ‘this page does not exist anymore’! Here today and tomorrow, print is a permanent entity. This is not some cheap date that will be gone as soon as the champagne dries up. Print hangs around and you can keep it forever if you so choose.
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE or perhaps your print can have many more lives. It can offer twice the benefits of other marketing activity. Stay with me here…think about it, it has the added benefits of profiling your QR codes, twitter handles, social media logos providing you with the sexy link between reality and virtual. And it instantly takes you to a different dimension – giving you a second life in the real world: blending real and virtual perfectly.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY because printed matter is far easier to read than words on a screen. They say it’s better for your eyes too! It’s also generally seen as more trustworthy, and we feel, emotionally available. It’s the real deal – not just something to flirt with, but
“This is not some cheap date that will be gone as soon as the champagne dries up” something to walk down the aisle with. People tend to feel a real emotional connection with it – I don’t mean it will move you to tears but you connect with it on a level you just don’t with other mediums. For business, print should be a key part of your identity and profile. It helps drive online results by making your brand and your company tangible first. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and neither is saying to your customers “All the information is on our website”. This doesn’t really cut the mustard for the majority of customers. They want to leave with the information in their hand or leaf through the options available – right now. So if you want to know anything about Miss Money Penny or the real love of our life – the world of print, in all its various guises and finishes call Gemini Print 01273 464884 and ask for our brochure (its beautiful!). We’ll send it FROM RUSSIA (read: BRIGHTON) WITH LOVE!
Gemini Print is at the hub of the Gemini Group, that consists of four printing companies making it the largest and most capable print operators in the southern half of England.
For more information visit: www.gemini-print.co.uk www.sussexbusinesstimes.co.uk 27
Chris Palk, Managing Director of Dab Apps, outlines 10 things to consider before jumping into an app The big startup news story of 2014 so far has been Focus the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook – for an astonishing $19 billion (surely a drop in the water for the social media giant?) One Silicon Valley source said he believed WhatsApp employed fewer than 100 people. “Probably five people are going to be rich beyond belief, the rest are going to be rich and there’s an admin assistant who right now is picking out the colour of her Lamborghini,” he said. The question on the lips of every startup founder in the world since then is: how can I reproduce that kind of success? It would be good to be able to give a definitive answer but, sadly, nothing is that simple! Big ideas are great, but before parting with your cash, it’s important to tease out all the details.
So here are 10 things to consider before jumping in with both feet. 1. Be very clear on the purpose of your app It seems like a basic point, but you should be able to define the app’s purpose in two sentences or less. Some people call this the ‘elevator pitch’. If you can’t, it’s probably confusing and possibly not targeted enough to find its own market. 2. Understand your target user Will the app effectively provide a solution for your customers’ problems or needs within a set amount of time to make it worthwhile to them? By looking at your customers’ needs and behaviour, as well as consumer patterns in general, you will be able to fill in the gaps and maximise potential revenue. 3. Do I need an app? All too often entrepreneurs are seduced by the idea of a native mobile app that’s
available from the app store (sometimes for a small payment). But a web-based application is often cheaper to develop, can still look good and work brilliantly on a mobile phone, and can offer good returns without any money going into Apple’s pocket. 4. Identify the simplest and most cost effective solution first Resist trying to find every solution at once. Instead look at a minimally viable solution first and proceed from there. If you can look at getting a basic but functional app as a great place to start you can always upgrade aspects of it at a later date. 5. How is the app going to self-finance or make you money? Are your customers willing to pay for the solution your app will be providing? This is a crucial part of validating the app idea. Pricing models that access revenue
range from “freemium” (a free app with paid feature upgrades), one-off paid-for apps, paid apps with added paid features, and free apps with an advertising-based revenue model. All offer associated pros and cons. Make sure you have a finance plan that will show how and when you will pay back the often not inconsiderable development costs.
“By looking at your customers’ needs and behaviour, as well as consumer patterns in general, you will be able to fill in the gaps and maximise potential revenue.”
6. Pick your developer Make sure the design and build partner you pick has experience in the market place you wish to enter. It can be a technical challenge to fit your company’s backend business processes to a digital solution that works on a broad range of devices. Also delivery, API management, security, scalability, content aggregation, device optimization and several other aspects need to be considered. 7. Decide on the technology An important decision to make is which operating system to develop your application for – Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. These two combined own more than 90% market share in the smartphone category making them the preferred platforms. What you choose will really be determined by what you want to achieve. For example, if your goal is to reach as many users as possible across all platforms, you will probably go down the HTML framework route, with little hardware integration. But if you need to provide deep hardware integration (for example, for a high-performance game)
then you will probably choose a native application. Your decision here can directly affect your app’s functionality. A good development partner should be able to advise you on this. 8. Maintenance Once your app is launched that’s not the end of the project. Remember there will be hosting costs, maintenance, management and updates to the platforms occasionally. There will also be refinements required as people start to leave feedback. If you launch an app showcasing products or case studies and you get lots of negative feedback (e.g. “don’t buy this app, it’s worthless!”) what are you going to do?
9. Marketing You’ve released your dream product, but how are people going to find out about it? Again, there is no surefire way to do this, but one thing is for sure: hundreds of apps are released every day, and you need to ensure yours doesn’t just get lost in the noise. Make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place before you even think about launching your product. 10 Have a conversation Talk to app developers to get a better idea of what will work and what won’t. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas – they will be able to tell you what is possible within your budget, and what isn’t. www.dabapps.com
Sussex IT Companies Combine
Weald Professional IT Services want to be the most empowering IT services provider to all businesses, with a serious desire to have an efficient, effective, smart and above all secure & reliable IT system 2014 has, so far, been a great year for Weald Professional Spot Light IT Services. As well as being a highly significant year financially, Weald has acquired G2 Support, the highly reputable Managed Services Provider based in Brighton. The combination of these events has made it necessary for both organisations to move to much larger premises in Uckfield. Weald Professional IT Services, who have over 25 years experience in the professional services sector in and around Sussex, have invested in G2 Support, in part, to access their Managed Services experience, in particular in a market sector where clients have 200 plus employees. Weald is looking to help G2 develop their market share and
grow their business substantially over the coming years. G2 Support, in turn, has gained access to the larger resources and skillsets of Weald Professional IT Services, including their data centre expertise and onsite support team. This will bring a greater range of knowledge and proven service offerings to G2â€™s clients. Some of the combined team of Weald Professional IT Services and G2 Support Both sides of the amalgamated businesses are greatly excited about the event, the impact of which will undoubtedly benefit both sets of clients. Another crossover positive ensures that new products and services will be immediately available across the combined client base. Going forward clients will notice a number of minor changes as systems and processes are integrated between
both companies. However clientsâ€™ day to day contact and support provision will remain the same. The new team combination will remain focused on providing cutting edge support in both their Professional and managed IT Services throughout Sussex, Kent and the south coast.
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Bailiffscourt Hotel SBT finds Medieval luxury in the West Sussex countryside
Baliffscourt Hotel & Spa Climping, West Sussex Address: Climping St Climping West Sussex BN17 5RW Tel: 01903 723511
We arrived at Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa on a Review beautiful, sunny spring afternoon. Driving through the 30 acres of private parkland, we arrived at the charming Medieval-style Manor house but were informed that, although the house may look historic, it was actually designed and built for The Guinness family in the 1920s. The hotel offers a variety of rooms full of character and available for drinks, dining, meetings and family events. We were lucky enough to stay in Baylies, the Master Suite. Of the highest standard of luxury, it would be perfect as a Bridal suite or for a special occasion. It has a four poster bed, open fire, sitting room, a stunning palatial bathroom with walk-in shower and twin roll top baths, complete with complementary toiletries from the spa. Our suite also had a Nespresso coffee machine which was a great addition. There was a true feeling of relaxation in the rooms with lots of extras to make our stay more comfortable. The beach
at Climping is only a short 6 minute walk away, perfect for crisp winter walks or summer sunbathing. We dined in The Tapestry Restaurant where the Head Chef Russell Williams and his team provide an excellent service with a delicious menu. The highlight for me was certainly the Lemon Tart served with a gin & tonic sorbet. During the summer months you can dine in the beautiful Courtyard, where the tables are draped with white linen, creating a very Mediterranean feel perfect for alfresco lunches and afternoon teas. We ordered lunch the following day in the relaxation area of the spa and enjoyed a healthy superfood salad, although other tasty items such as sandwiches and paninis were also on offer. The spa is in a separate timber barn-style building a short walk along a lavender-lined path. It has a light and airy feel and the reception area includes plenty of comfortable places to sit and enjoy a drink, while you wait for your treatment. All the staff we encountered in the spa were professional, but very friendly and knowledgeable about the treatments and facilities. The spa facilities include a fully equipped gym, indoor and an outdoor pool, steam room, sauna, bubbly Jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub. There is also a cosy relaxation room for regrouping with your partner or friends post treatment. We were lucky enough to enjoy a sunny spring day at the spa and swimming and relaxing with a view of the spring flowers out of the full-length windows will not be forgotten easily, they certainly have beautiful
surroundings to aid your relaxation! We were booked in for the Soul Retreat – a 60 minute treatment comprising of a Foot ritual, back massage, face mask and scalp massage using aromatherapy preparations, noted for their ability to help soothe frazzled nerves. Both of our therapists were highly trained and we were both made to feel thoroughly relaxed and pampered. The treatments take place in a very calm room complete with a very comfortable water bed. The products used during the treatments are by Temple Spa and I was given a full consultation of the products used and some recommendations to take home with me. These are all available to purchase from the spa and some were available to use in the changing rooms and showers, all smelt amazing! The Baliffscourt Hotel & Spa offers the perfect locations for all occasions, a romantic getaway, catch up with friends and family or a business conference with a difference! Just ensure you make time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and opportunity to spoil yourself in the spa too.
Tried & Tested in Sussex
Simon Skinner and Lewis Reed enjoy a lunchtime jaunt to the May Garland
The May Garland Inn
Horam, East Sussex Address: Horam Heathfield East Sussex TN21 0LJ
Bar & Restaurant and Functions: 01435 812249 Accommodation and Reservation: 01435 205204 www.maygarlandinn.co.uk
Upon hearing whispers that the May Garland has Review significantly improved its menu and is in the middle of some major developments, we took the trip out into the sunny Sussex countryside to see for ourselves. This establishment has been in operation since 1887, when it was converted from four cottages to the long bar that you see today. The barn at the rear was once a church. It’s seen its ups and downs through the years but since the new management took the reigns in January of this year, the energy and enthusiasm driving the business is instantly apparent. There’s a lot happening here, further development of the accommodation (currently five beds, soon to be seven). The old barn at the rear is being developed to host up to fifty people (seated, up to 80 standing), for weddings, corporate events and has the benefit of its own bar, there’s a marquee being lined up in the space that’s been nothing but scrub for the last few decades and there are a host of outdoor events lined up through the summer months.
The May Garland is a real treat. They have considered their model carefully and whilst it works as a family pub with a huge car park and kids playground in the sizeable garden, it also offers a huge amount for professional people. You couldn’t pick a better spot to put up a client, exceptional accommodation at real value, great food, friendly and engaging staff and what’s more, you have Wellshurst Golf Club (almost) walking distance down the road. Current B&B rates are £79 for the first night, with a rate of just £59 on weekdays. You can see all available deals on their website www.maygarlandinn.co.uk Our menu choices... Lewis ate To start - Chicken liver pate with red onion marmalade and a salad garnish - £5 Main - 8oz rump steak served with steak cut chips, topped with garlic mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes and a salad garnish - £14 Simon ate To start - whitebait accompanied with a salad garnish and home made tartare sauce - £5 Main - home made 8oz beef burger topped with egg, bacon, cheese. Served with a side salad and fries - £10 Both Lewis and Simon were very good and didn’t sample any of the excellent range of ales on offer behind the bar and opted instead for sparkling water. (All red meat at the May Garland is sourced locally, from Tottingham Farm which is less than three miles away. It’s hung for a minimum of 21 days and cooked to order on a char grill). Unbelievable value, exceptional food and the perfect stop off for the business traveller (five stars).
Discover the Future of Business at The Eco Technology Show
Founder and Commercial Director of The Eco Technology Show Nicola Gunstone explains why being eco-minded is the way forward for businesses today Nicola Gunstone has 11 years of senior management in Insight global conference and exhibition organisation under her belt, equipping her with the knowledge, contacts and experience to organise one of the biggest eco shows in the country. Alongside other commitments, Nicola works year-round with a team of eight to prepare for the two-day show, which aims to highlight how businesses, cities and communities can genuinely benefit from investing in eco technology and low carbon solutions. “A show cycle is a full year so we will have a couple of weeks break and then start all over again in mid July,” explained Nicola. “There are eight of us in the Eco Technology Show team, although we work across other shows as well and not everyone is full time.”
The show, now in its third year and undoubtedly gathering momentum, started as a response to two clear gaps in the market. “One of our business partners also runs another business within the environmental industries based in Sussex, and he was frustrated at the lack of marketing channels for these businesses at the time,” Nicola told us. “Plus there was a lack of education around eco technologies. We wanted to solve both of these issues by providing a show that focused on education, whilst at the same time showcased the different technologies available for people to choose from.” Last year, over 140 eco-minded businesses stormed the Brighton Dome’s exhibition floor to give talks, network with other businesses, demonstrate their products and sell their wares to 4,000 visitors. This year, Nicola hopes to create even more
of a buzz around the show with new exhibition ‘zones’ and talks from key decision makers, including Greg Barker Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Nicola explained how, like last year, they will be dividing the talks and networking by themes, including renewable energy, building and energy efficiency, sustainable transport, future cities, waste reduction, sustainable water use and business innovation. Alongside these, three more themes will be added to the 2014 show: future cities, business innovation and the DECC RHI Roadshow. The roadshow is organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to show homeowners and landlords how they can reap financial rewards from installing renewable heating systems in their properties. Nicola identifies sustainable heating as an increasingly important technology
“Last year, over 140 eco-minded businesses stormed the Brighton Dome’s exhibition floor to give talks, network with other businesses, demonstrate their products and sell their wares to 4,000 visitors” that she believes will become a key focus for both individuals and businesses in the near future. She added: “Air source and ground source heat pumps are taking over from traditional oil and gas based heating systems with the introduction of the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI).” She also believes electrical vehicles will soon take over from the mainstream combustion engines, something that will be explored in the Transport Zone, where visitors can take a look at some
over the UK, with some even crossing from Europe to find out more about sustainable technological innovations. This reiterates just how important eco technology is becoming to businesses all over the world. Nicola is passionate about the benefits ecological innovations can bring to businesses. She said: “It’s not just cleaner but it is also the cheaper option in the long term. Spiraling fuel costs are pushing the prices up so it makes sense to choose something that will push them back down with the added bonus of less pollution all at the same time once you have the knowledge it becomes common sense.” Visiting the Eco Technology Show can, for many business people, start the eco ball rolling – opening their eyes to the possibilities and enabling them to weigh up the different options available. “The show provides Continual Professional Development for visitors through the large variety of talks and workshops we hold,” Natasha continued. “They will come away with knowledge that will ultimately help to grow their bottom line. An opportunity to network with regional and national businesses, professional organisations, trade bodies as well as local authorities and Government will also help visitors build profitable relationships. Plus it is an opportunity for the local environmental industries to showcase their services or products at the show to a regional and national audience of potential customers providing direct sales.” The Eco Technology Show runs from Thursday 26 to Friday 27 2014 at the Brighton Dome. Register for free at www.ecotechnologyshow.co.uk
of the latest models, including the ‘ground-breaking’ Tesla Model S. As the ‘third most sustainable city’ in the UK, (according to the Sustainable Cities Index) Brighton serves as the ideal host for an international show about environmentally smart technology. Nicola said: “Brighton has an extremely Green populace and focused local authority plus it is our home town so it just made sense to host the show here.” However, visitors come from all
Innovators Converge on South Coast for Eco Technology Show This week, eco innovators from across the UK will converge at the Brighton Centre for the annual Eco Technology Show on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 June. The Show will demonstrate how businesses cut costs and reduce their impact on the environment through sustainable working practices and energy efficiency. From the latest electric vehicles, such as BMW’s i8 hybrid supercar, to renewable energy heating systems and the latest lighting solutions, the Show will combine new product launches with the opportunity for visitors to see and try out many of these exciting innovations. The show has over 130 exhibitors, including EDF Energy, providing advice on eligibility and funding options for energy saving solutions. Newform Energy will showcase the latest carboncutting hybrid heating solutions, Fleetdrive Electric’s new smart app for electric vehicle drivers will be launched at the Show and HD Services will exhibit ground source heat pumps that can slash energy bills by over 50%. An action packed day out, the Eco Technology Show also features a powerful speaker programme with over 70 big debates, panels and talks that will be of interest to anybody working in the property trade, or responsible for fleet management, energy management, facilities or public services, kicking off with Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change on how to unlock low carbon solutions. The Communication Hub offers the opportunity to meet with new and existing contacts at one of the networking sessions held in this area over the two days around a range of topics and the transport zone will showcase a whole floor of concept cars and vehicles. These include the Mitsubishi Outlander, the world’s first plug-in SUV. Visitors will also be able to test a range of low emission cars and electric bikes along Brighton’s seafront. Nicola Gunstone, commercial director at The Eco Technology Show comments: “The show is only a week away now and we are all incredibly excited. Eco tech is now at the top of everyone’s agenda; it is no longer on the margin. What’s more, it can deliver
genuine cost savings and make a practical difference to the way we live and work. “The Eco Technology Show is packed full of the latest ideas and FREE to enter, I urge anybody responsible for energy management in their organisation to check it out.” The Eco Technology Show will be open from 9.30am-5pm on Thursday 26 June and 9.30am-4.30pm on Friday 27 June. Beat the queues and register for FREE today at www. ecotechnologyshow.co.uk.
01273 957 726 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.ecotechnologyshow.co.uk 36 www.sussexbusinesstimes.co.uk
Bridging the Cash Flow Gap Innovation Finance offers an immediate, lowrisk way for SMEs to free up cash and grow their businesses
Cash Flow: The Problem Cash is the lifeblood Focus of all small-to-medium sized businesses. It is the number one key to growth, enabling businesses to acquire assets, borrow money for expansion and pay direct expenses. For many small companies, that all-important cash is often tied up in outstanding invoices and customer bills, making it difficult to borrow money and ultimately causing business to stagnate.
Innovation Finance may typically release up to four times more than conventional bank funding by providing businesses with an immediate cash injection against their outstanding invoices. This fast and personal service means that businesses could have cash in their bank account within hours. The type of funding provided includes: Factoring Factoring is the process of turning unpaid invoices into upfront cash in return for a small percentage of the bill. Innovation Finance (IF) offers this service amongst others to inject life into stagnating businesses. IFâ€™s factoring service is transparent and uses the latest systems to offer clients the most up to date information. Disclosed Invoice Discounting This allows a business to manage its own credit collections with disclosure of IFâ€™s involvement. Ultimately this will enable the client to retain control of their relationships with their customers. Confidential Invoice Discounting This provides clients with a commercial finance service that provides fast access
to cash tied up in unpaid invoices. Invoice discounting differs from Factoring as the business manages its debt collection and credit control. Export Factoring IF can offer overseas funding against invoices for businesses that are based in the UK. In addition, IF has connections with a number of overseas factoring houses. IF also has strategic links with third party companies including a credit insurer broker, trade finance houses and leasing companies. As a small business owner, you have to be an expert in all kinds of issues, wearing different hats all of the time. By allowing Innovation Finance to take away the strains and stresses of running the sales ledger and the credit function, IF enables you to concentrate on growing your business.
Meet the team David Wright Sales Director Innovation Finance Ltd David has 24 years of experience in finance covering credit control, credit underwriting, senior client management and more for top organisations including HSBC. David is married with young twins and is a keen mountain biker and runner.
Benefits of Factoring Save time and effort IF will chase up unpaid invoices for you, giving you more time and energy to work on building your business up with marketing and sales. Grow your business An instant boost to your cash flow will generate growth, enabling you to invest in ways to expand your customer base e.g. another employee, or new technologies to speed up your processes. No collateral damage Factoring comes without the risks associated with bank loans, such as repossession of your assets and personal belongings. How does IF work? As banks tighten their lending requirements, IF can provide a helping hand with convenient and straightforward financing solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises. From day one, IF can release up to 85% of the value of your outstanding invoices and help reduce your waiting time for outstanding invoices to be paid.
Nigel Simkins Chief Operating Officer at Innovation Finance Ltd Nigel has over 30 years business experience â€“ 10 years in Banking and 25 years in factoring and invoice discounting. He has a good understanding of most business needs, particularly relating to credit management and funding requirements. Nigel is married with three daughters and is also a keen sports fan, especially motorsport.
A Brief History of Innovation Finance Innovation Finance is a family owned company that has been going now for four years. The company’s MD and one of the founding Directors Roger Taylor recently left the business along with his two sons, but the shareholders remain the Chandaria family, whose prime business is based in Finchley running a Trade Finance operation dating back through several generations. As a specialist financial services niche player servicing small to medium-sized SMEs they have a good reputation for integrity and prompt personalised service. The IF business was established to broaden this empire and provide funding to SME businesses throughout London and the South East, with the aim to grow the business further afield as time goes by and the client base increases.
IF’s target market remains the new start or embryonic small businesses who need additional cash to bridge the funding gap, allowing them to trade at higher levels by benefitting from improved cash flow and credit management.
Innovation Finance Services
IF offers a number of services including confidential and disclosed facilities, invoice discounting, credit management (credit control), debt collection and other services.
Innovation Finance Values
When it comes to hiring a company to deal with your finances, you will inevitably want to choose someone you can trust. IF operates according to a number of core values to protect customers and provide assurance.
Temporary Recruitment for the Healthcare Industry Full Factoring £200K Facility
Personalised Service – The dedicated management team provides on-going support to maintain communication with all clients.
A healthcare agency, providing staffing solutions to the social care, healthcare domiciliary and childcare sectors were looking for an invoice finance provider that understood their market and could offer a friendly and professional service. This business, based in the West Midlands, offer services to the UK Healthcare market specializing in both part-time & full-time staff and provide an extensive list of accredited training courses. Innovation Finance were able to structure a facility that enabled the business to blossom by freeing up much needed cash flow. The Directors were impressed with the way the IFL team managed the relationship with both the business and its client base. The client: “We have enjoyed a great working relationship with the Innovation team since October 2010. We have seen growth in terms of both existing and new business. Innovation’s responsive and flexible approach has meant that our cash flows have immediately benefitted from this growth - I am impressed with the prevailing mindset which is to make the facility work for both parties.”
Technology – IF invests in all the latest streamlined systems to ensure no clients are left behind. These facilities give clients the confidence, time and technology to make good decision
Salad and Fruit Pickers Temporary Recruitment Disclosed Invoice Discounting £300K Facility Restrictive Bank Funding
Flexibility – IF aims to give your business more flexibility. The funding provided will naturally grow as your business does so the more successful you become, the more funding you can get. Transparency – While some companies within the industry conceal hidden fees within the small print, IF aim to remain as transparent as possible. All clients will receive a consultation drawing on team’s many years of experience to look at all the options and work out the best solution. It is important that clients understand the true cost of each service, allowing them to make an informed decision.
Innovation Finance Past Clients
“Innovation Finance aims to give your business more flexibility. The funding provided will naturally grow as your business does so the more successful you become, the more funding you can get”
A business providing temporary workers for major cooperatives approached its bank requesting a facility increase due to its expanding customer base. A number of complexities in the deal meant that the clearing bank was unable to provide an appropriate facility. Innovation found the right solution with a structured working capital facility that has enabled the business to go from strength to strength. The client: “Innovation Finance’s industry knowledge has been invaluable and their level of service has ensured that I am not just another number.” Manufacturers and Wholesaler Disclosed Invoice Discounting £100K Facility Phoenix A well-known brand based in Kent that specialises in the manufacture and supply of premium meat products. Expensive bank facility charges were restricting the growth of the business. IF were able to offer the right facility at the right price enabling the business to retain its margins. The business has been able to improve its situation thanks to both the clients and IFLTDs hard work and expertise. The client: “IFLTDs personal service has made me feel part of the team from day one.”
West Midlands Warehousing Business Disclosed Invoice Discounting £100K Pre-Pack This established warehousing business required an appropriate funding partner when unforeseen changes occurred in its client base. IF structured a facility with a sliding fee scale giving the business time to expand in a structured and successful way.
0142 485 8285 email@example.com www.ifltd.org
Conferences in Sussex With Gatwick Airport at its heart, London a few miles to the north and the rising media hub of Brighton pulsing on its picturesque south coast, Sussex provides the perfect meeting place for both UK and international businesses
With hundreds of hotels, golf courses, racecourses and Focus business centres scattered liberally across the county, there really is no end of choice when it comes to organising a business conference, meeting, or team building day in Sussex.
Why choose Sussex? Excellent transport Links Sussex is equipped with an excellent network of transport routes linking even the most rural parts of the county with major ports and cities, including Southampton, Portsmouth and London. The Gatwick Express train runs from Victoria every 15 minutes, and will take passengers from London to Gatwick Airport in just 30 minutes, making this an ideal place for London-based businesses to meet international clients.
How to choose a conference venue Sussex offers so much choice – but where do you start? With so many excellent conference venues to choose from in Sussex, it can be difficult knowing where to start. While it might only seem like a backdrop to the conference itself, the venue you choose can make a big impact on how things go. Grasping a good understanding of who the delegates are and what you want to achieve at the meeting is vital. It is important that the surroundings
match the purpose and nature of the conference, while adding a little extra something to ignite people’s interest and get ideas flowing. Here are five things to consider before booking a venue for your business conference: 1. Business image First off, think about the business or businesses attending the conference. What kind of corporate images do they embody? It can be a good idea to keep your target audience in mind when choosing a venue – will they expect a formal atmosphere, or something more stimulating to foster creativity? Tailoring the venue to the nature of the conference never fails to create a good impression. 2. Where is it? Where are delegates travelling from? If people are travelling in from different parts of the country, or from overseas, then it may be necessary to find somewhere with good travel links close to main airports and train stations. You might also want to consider whether the venue has overnight accommodation for delegates who need to stop over, or if there are suitable hotels nearby. If people are driving in, make sure there is suitable parking and request instructions to pass on to delegates. 3. Size matters It goes without saying that the venue needs to be large enough to seat those attending – but is it going to provide a comfortable experience? Are people going to be able to see the speaker
with obstructions? Are walkways and exits big enough to prevent queuing and resulting delays as people arrive and leave? Considering the layout prior to the big event will help things to move more smoothly on the day. 4. Gadgets and refreshments While a country house might seem like a unique and atmospheric setting for a business meeting, check that it has all of the mod cons you need, such as projectors, electronic white boards, WiFi, access to laptops and so on. Often for bigger conferences, having a number of smaller rooms nearby for breakaway meetings can be useful. Also consider whether refreshments such as tea, coffee, snacks and meals will be provided, and
ensure vegetarians, vegans and people with other dietary requirements are provided for. It might also be worth checking whether the venue has a restaurant, bar or café for any post-conference networking and entertainment 5. Cost To keep costs down, find out about what kind of rates they offer, whether there are any special delegate packages, if there are any discounts or if the price can be negotiated. Do some research into similar venues to see if they compare favourably. Make sure you’re aware of hidden costs, find out when payment is required and if there is a cancellation policy.
Great choice of venues More and more now, businesses are looking outside the box when it comes to conference venues. Sussex is home to a range of unique venues, including castles, country houses and even adventure parks. Getting away from the stuffy office environment and taking business issues to a new, fresh environment can be an excellent way to strengthen relationships and come up with creative ideas.
Unique Sussex conference venues include: Anne of Cleves House Anne of Cleves House is a 15th-century timber-framed house on Southover High Street in Lewes, East Sussex, England. The East Room and garden can be hired for private parties and corporate events.
Please contact Isobel Roberts for further information. Phone: 01273 474610 Michelham Priory This beautiful country house set in the glorious Sussex countryside dates back to 1229. Businesses can hire The Great Barn at Michelham Priory for private parties and corporate events. What’s more, in the summer months you can also use the moat terrace behind the barn for outdoor events. A fully functioning kitchen is attached to the barn, and substantial free parking is available. Phone: 01323 844224 The American Express Community Stadium Add a touch of excitement to your conference at the AMEX stadium, home to the Brighton & Hove Albion. Newly built conference facilities include nine lounges and 14 executive boxes all with WiFi, PA systems and air conditioning. The executive boxes can seat up to 12 guests and offer great views over the pitch or the picturesque South Downs. If you’re looking to put on a bigger exhibition, you can make use of the stadium’s five concourses – great for outdoor team building activities. With first class catering and a stylish, modern setting, the AMEX Stadium can get your business meeting kicked off to a great start. Phone: 01273 878272 Sofitel London Gatwick This luxury hotel is located at the airport’s
North Terminal and provides 11 wellequipped meeting rooms spread over three floors, able to accommodate a maximum of 300 people. WiFi and cutting-edge audiovisual equipment is standard, offering an excellent environment for relaxed business events. Enjoy a business lunch in a La Brasseries Private Dining Salon, or take the edge off business matters with a cocktail party at Kua Bar. Phone: 01293/567070 Sandman Signature London Gatwick Hotel Whether you’re looking to book a business meeting or a glamorous awards ceremony, Sandman Signature has the facilities and space to accommodate you and your guests. All meeting rooms have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, wheelchair access, and complimentary parking with the option of adding projectors, refreshments, accommodation, and entertainment. Phone: 01293 561186 The Europa Gatwick Hotel The Europa offers firs class facilities for training courses, conferences, exhibitions and private dinner parties. Rooms are equipped with technology for board meetings and presentations, with the larger rooms holding a capacity of 200 people. In beautiful surroundings with high timber ceilings, you can entertain your guests in style and discuss business comfortably. Phone: 0871 222 0041
Meet, Eat and Sleep in Style Hilton Brighton Metropole: the South East’s biggest residential conference venue
Chandeliers, plush furnishings, stunning sea views and first Focus class service certainly take the edge off going to a business meeting. The Hilton Brighton Metropole boasts in incredible 33 meeting rooms and three large exhibition halls, making it the South East’s biggest residential conference venue. The hotel also happens to be at the heart of Brighton’s famous Kings Road, which runs along the seafront and
provides easy access to all the city’s vibrant areas, from the trendy North Laine area, to the upmarket South Lanes and up towards the main High Street shopping area and Churchill Square. Brighton itself, being something of an economic success story, is an excellent place to conduct business. Thanks to a fast-growing private sector, the city’s economy is now worth 5.3 billion – almost double what it was in 1997. With the Hilton nestled on the outskirts of Brighton’s buzz, the location is ideal for that perfect mix of business and
leisure. As well as its state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, which include video-conferencing equipment and audio visual hire, the hotel also boasts plenty of amenities to make life that little bit easier. Any bad hairdays can be rectified at the hotel’s Cover Hairdressers, where qualified hairdressers will smarten you up. You can even go a few steps further and ease tense muscles with a rejuvenating massage at the spa. After a hard day’s work, what better way to refresh yourself than to slide into the tranquil waters of a luxury swimming pool? And, if you’re
“With the Hilton nestled on the outskirts of Brighton’s buzz, the location is ideal for that perfect mix of business and leisure. Not to mention its state-ofthe-art conferencing facilities”
Three Reasons to Attend Face-to-Face Conferences Thanks to new technologies, many meetings and discussions can now take place long-distance using Skype or video-conference facilities. While it does require effort and time to travel to a conference venue, meeting in person still has its perks, as we are about to reveal… 1. Networking When you physically attend a business conference, you expose yourself to a variety of new people you may otherwise never have met. This can open up opportunities for your business such as deals, partnerships and referrals. 2. Communication Often, discussing business matters over the phone or through a video link can make proceeding stilted and unnatural. Meeting face to face enables people to bounce ideas off each other, clear up communication lines and strengthen relationships. feeling energetic after a long day in the conference room, head to the LivingWell Health Club and work up a healthy sweat on the cardio machines and free weights. If you’re too exhausted to venture out into Brighton’s vibrant nightlife, you’ll be able to choose from two elegant dining options at the hotel itself – the Waterhouse, offering modern British and European cuisine in a luxurious setting with ornate ceilings and chandeliers – and
the Waterhouse Bar & Terrace – perfect for balmy summer evenings where you can watch the sunset with a chilled glass of champagne in your hand. If you’re available at tea-time, why not treat yourself to a three tier cream tea with an indulgent selection of petit fours and scones with thick cream and jam. After all, who said business had to be taxing? www.placeshilton.com/brightonmet
3. Perks Often, business conferences come with their perks. This could be a free lunch, an overnight stay at a nice hotel where you can enjoy its spa facilities, or time to explore the local area and discover a place you might otherwise never have visited.
Motoring Editor Simon Skinner takes this little bundle of fun through its paces and offers the question, â€˜what kind of professional person would this car suitâ€™?
Seat Leon FR Stepping into the new Seat Leon FR, you instantly feel like you are set for an enjoyable drive. It’s loaded with gadgets and a serious hi-fi (comprising of no less than eight speakers), which would divert any need to upgrade anytime soon. It’s comfortable and has an intentionally racy feel to it with both sports suspension and a sports option in the drive mode. The pitted leather steering wheel isn’t round, which at first I found a little unsettling, but actually, five minutes in, all was well with the odd shaped thing. The seats are comfortable and low slung, which only adds to the feeling of being in a sporty number. After driving the Leon for a week, I had the opportunity to get a real feel for it – and very enjoyable it was too. My job here is to define the kind of business person who might be drawn to this type of car, and it’s here that I struggle slightly. Perhaps the young part time sales guy who, when not pumping out deals on his latest smartphone, or window shopping on google in work time, might be buzzing around town, being the envy of all his mates. Maybe someone in accounts, human resources and almost certainly someone from IT. Point is – I think it’s unlikely that anyone in senior management or a traveling rep will select the Seat Leon as their car of choice. On the face of it, this car delivers everything that you’d expect from a hot hatch. It’s squat, nimble and hungry for the road. It’s begging to get in front of you at the traffic lights and it wants to take on tight corners whenever possible. However, taking it as I did, on a longer run which included a lengthy jaunt on a motorway, I began to realise a couple of minor shortcomings. Hitting the motorway, the Leon demonstrates all of its torque as you head up to (ahem) the speed limit, thrusting through the gears at a rapid rate of knots. It’s only when you arrive at said speed limit that you start to realise that there’s not much left for quick bursts of overtaking. Essential for anyone bouncing from
“It’s begging to get in front of you at the traffic lights and it wants to take on tight corners whenever possible”
town to town, county to county and meeting to meeting. As I said, minor, but it demonstrates the fact that this wouldn’t be terribly practical for a long distance rep (for example). No, this car is built for shorter bursts of FUN and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI 150 PS Average fuel economy – 68.9mpg CO@ emissions – 106 g/km VED band – B 0 – 62mph – 8.3 seconds Top speed – 134 mph Total price (inc optional upgrades of the test model) £22,710 Technology Pack was free of charge at the time of our review, RRP £1,075. Includes LED headlight pack, Nav and DAB radio tuner.
The Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex Each month, Sussex Business Times provides a platform for Sussex Chambers to share their latest news and discuss current issues. This month, we focus on the Alliance Chambers of East Sussex (ACES) to find out about their recent activities and key goals for the future
ACES Business Activity - Past and Future Coming Events:
business growth, procurement and international trade. It is also a great opportunity to find out what the South East Local Enterprise Partnership can do for your business. ACES Activity 2013/2014:
8th October 2014 - Buxted Park Hotel Uckfield ACES is planning a major Business Conference with its partners, East Sussex County Council and SBT, the business magazine for East Sussex. The Conference will start at 1pm with a networking lunch followed by keynote speakers and break out seminars and will culminate in a Question Time style event in the evening. There will be an opportunity to meet public sector buyers and gain advice on planning, funding,
April 2014 – Patrick Mcloughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, visited Eastbourne to meet local business people and examine the A27 from Polegate to Lewes first hand. March 2014 - ACES Members Networking Evening - held at the Cooden Beach Hotel where over 165 ACES members attended to network and listen to business speakers from Northern France and the UK speaking about
Business Events and Networking ACES events give local businesses the opportunity to meet with other successful business people from right across East Sussex. Along with a chance to build wide networks at ACES events, business leaders also share best practice, gain export advice, focus on growth and have the opportunity to meet and influence policy makers from local authorities and central government. Any Member of an ACES Chamber, the FSB or the IoD is automatically a Member of ACES; there is no additional cost. If you would like to join ACES, just join your local Chamber (choose from Battle, Bexhill, Eastbourne, the FSB, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, the Institute of Directors, Lewes, Newhaven,
Peacehaven, Seaford or Uckfield). ACES events are held all over East Sussex and offer a great opportunity to make new business contacts and find new customers. For more information see the ACES website at www.acesalliance.org
international trade, apprenticeships and graduate interns. March 2014 - ACES Steering Group Meeting to track the East Sussex Broadband rollout and closing mobile “not spots”. Locate East Sussex presented business funding, the work they are doing to promote the County as a successful business location and their work to help local companies relocate and redevelop. February 2014 – ACES met with Patrick Mcloughlin, Secretary of State for Transport to present surveys from over 800 people clamouring for improvements to the A27 between Lewes and Polegate. February 2014 - ACES, UKTI, the Sussex International Trade Forum and Sussex Enterprise held a networking evening at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. Over 80 local business people learned how valued Brand British is worldwide
and that you can export expertise and creativity without necessarily manufacturing anything. November 2013 - ACES Steering Group Meeting – to discuss Skills and Workforce Development with Colleges, MPs and Matthew Hancock, Minister for Business Innovation and Skills. The Institute of Directors (IoD) joined forces with ACES at this event. November 2013 - ACES met with Robert Goodwill the Under Parliamentary Secretary of State for Transport to discuss the A27 and Gatwick second runway. ACES pushed for the A27 from Lewes to Polgate to be included on the 2014 Strategic Roads Review. November 2013 - The First ACES Members Networking Evening at Chandlers BMW in Hailsham. 185 business people attended the event sponsored by BMW and Ross & Co Surveyors. September 2013 - ACES Networking Dinner with Spencer Dale the Chief Economist of the Bank of England to discuss interest rates and the economy in East Sussex and the UK. As you can see, ACES gets involved with many different activities and concerns designed to improve the business environment in East Sussex. If you would like to get involved, join your local Chamber or email your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi-Tech East Sussex
“Britain is still a manufacturing economy and East Sussex is leading the way” - Christina Ewbank, Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex
Is this a statement you would recognise? Surprisingly, it would seem that manufacturing does not have to take place in William Blake’s dark satanic mills in the Black Country, it is just as likely to take place in the beautiful Sussex countryside in villages like Laughton near
Hailsham, or in elegant Eastbourne, that attractive seaside town. There has long been a ‘cluster’ of world class pump manufacturers in Eastbourne making and exporting the highest quality, cutting edge pumps all over the world and bringing valuable income into East Sussex. Employing many hundreds of staff, this cluster has been important to the local economy for years, so it is encouraging to find that East Sussex has attracted more hi-tech manufacturing ‘clusters’ whose products are highly valued across the globe.
Local Authorities Promote Positive Enterprise Culture East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne and Hastings Borough Councils and Wealden District Council are all working closely with the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex and Locate East Sussex to promote the County as an excellent business location with an active enterprise culture. Christina Ewbank of ACES feels positive about the local economy and said “It’s great to be able to pick up the phone to the senior team in all the local
authorities to discuss a project idea or a barrier to business. It’s clear from the positive reaction you get that there really is a strong enterprise culture in the County Britain is still a manufacturing economy and East Sussex is leading the way.” UHV Design - Laughton “Planning departments are keen to work with local business people to develop the economy and create good jobs in East Sussex, so we were delighted when UHV approached us to talk about their expansion plans in Laughton” said Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District Council. UHV Design, founded in 1993, specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of high precision instruments for use in the high and ultra-high vacuum markets for materials research. The company operates from a brand new state-of-the-art facility, completed in August 2013, which is set in the village of Laughton, East Sussex - an attractive
rural location on the edge of the South Downs National Park, complete with a modern production area, ISO clean room and enhanced working environment for all employees. Particular attention is given to recruiting from the local population with specialist skills in addition to sourcing from Sussex based supply chains and subcontractors. Products are sold and supported globally via an extensive distribution network to the R&D sector including synchrotrons, universities and
government laboratories; OEMs (vacuum system integrators) and to the Semiconductor and Industrial markets. Applications include Deposition and a vast array of Surface Analysis techniques. In 2006, the company was acquired by the Judges Scientific group, an AIMlisted company specialising in the design and production of scientific instruments, which has since seen the workforce treble and enable significant investment in new technologies, state-of-the-art
equipment and expansion to their site in Laughton with the support of Wealden District Council. In 2011, UHV Design were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade, for achieving rapid export growth which now accounts for seventy five percent of trade. UHV Design’s success is based on the unique approach of combining scientific expertise with engineering excellence to provide cutting-edge solutions along with unrivalled customer service.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
It appears that if you are within an hour of Gatwick or near a port like Newhaven or Folkestone you can set up your Hi-Tech manufacturing operation far away from the stresses of the rush hour in amongst the rolling hills of East Sussex. Here are some of the Hi-Tech companies who are thriving in East Sussex and have built their expansion with funding and support from Locate East Sussex.
Ctec Energy – Investing in a Better Future
Newhaven-based Ctec Energy is a UK leader in heat recovery systems that generates electrical power from wasted engine exhaust gas. The company, which operates in the fast growing renewable energy generation market, was founded in 2010 following a research and development phase of four years. Working with Locate East Sussex, Ctec Energy has successfully secured a loan of £200,000 through the Regional Growth Fund to facilitate a move to a new 15,000 sq. ft. factory, also in Newhaven. Ctec Energy has forecast revenues of £15 million by end of 2015. A further £450,000 from private investors will be used for fit-out, vehicles, machinery and tooling and computer systems. The new manufacturing plant will create up to 60 new jobs by 2015, and will allow the firm to develop closer links with customers in Europe via the gateway of Newhaven Port.
Mike Burns, Managing Director of Ctec, said: “There is strong demand for our product and our new premises will better allow us to meet this demand. Our new factory is affordable and good transport links mean we can receive parts from our suppliers and distribute our product to clients in Europe and the UK. “The support we are receiving from Locate East Sussex has enabled us to move into our new factory unit, employ staff and purchase equipment. Without Locate East Sussex we would not be here now. “Importantly for East Sussex, we will train people locally in order to service the systems, and then they will go out and train people in the north of the UK, in Ireland, in France and in Italy.” Ctec Energy has developed a sophisticated heat exchanger which is placed into the exhaust stream of a large engine. It then produces super-heated steam which powers a piston engine and
creates energy which is fed that back to the national grid. The firm is a pioneer in its field and the only company in Europe producing units in the same way.
proximity to the sea provide a healthier and stress relieving work location. East Sussex has a high density of vacuum technology companies which is what attracted us here. We were involved in the first ever UHV industry conference and exhibition, TEC66, which was held in Hastings in September.”
Surrey NanoSystems – Now in East Sussex
With sales increasing by £700k in the last five years, Torr Scientific Limited had to expand floor space by 2500 sq ft. Previously located in Brighton, Torr Scientific Limited (TSL) moved their business to Bexhill-on-Sea with the help of Locate East Sussex to match high demand. Recently highly commended at the 1066 Business Awards, the company works in research institutes, pharmaceutical and environmental industries as well as contributing to space satellite applications. Torr Scientific’s sales have grown from £300k to £1million in the last five years which required them to relocate to a 6,700 sq ft factory in Bexhill due to little room for expansion in Brighton. Working closely with The University of Surrey, TSL has filed a patent application for an innovative, high performance X–ray source and monochromator for which the company is attracting partnership opportunities to maximise the full potential of the product. They have also worked with Sussex Coast College to set up a vacuum training course. The company aims to increase sales to over £2 - Barry million in the next three years and with the help Locate East Sussex has been able to continue to expand, introduce new state of the art technology and help ambitious people around the county. Managing Director, David Bates said: “The rural location of East Sussex and its
on easy access to Gatwick airport for distribution of large freight items abroad and road infrastructure in East Sussex. Chief Technical Officer and founder Ben Jensen said: “Fantastic lifestyle is really important to us; it’s one of the reasons we moved to East Sussex. I like the fact that I can enjoy the leisure of life in a beautiful area whilst remaining close to the great nightlife in Brighton and London.” With plans to expand in the market, the workforce and possibly relocate to a bigger facility in East Sussex, Surrey NanoSystems Ltd will continue to grow now and into the future. Ben Jensen added: “We never have a problem getting people to move here as the region has a lot to offer.”
Surrey NanoSystems moved to Newhaven from the University of Surrey to benefit from its excellent infrastructure. Surrey NanoSystems develop commercial applications for nanomaterials related to carbon, such as carbon nanotubes. This class of nanomaterial has tremendous potential to solve real world challenges in microelectronics, clean technology and aerospace applications. Design and innovation is very important to the company’s success and with Venture capital funding of over £9 million as well as funding from TSB for their “Space for Growth” project, the firm has developed its own reactors and process to create the materials it investigates. Recently the team has designed a new super black material, which is used in the calibration of satellite imaging Godfrey systems. Surrey NanoSystems is the only company in Europe producing a material with this performance on space qualified components and it is a national first. Working mainly with businesses in the aerospace and electronics sectors, the company trade internationally. They rely
“There is no doubt that we are able to attract the best people because the area is such a great place to live, work and study, which is crucial as many”
Alfa Laval is a world leader in heat transfer, separation and fluid handling technology and employs a highly skilled workforce at its Eastbourne 5,000 sq m plant. Alfa Laval’s manufacturing and engineering base in Eastbourne uses cutting edge machinery to produce high specification rotary pumps for the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and environmental sectors. The workforce at the 5,000 sq m plant is constantly developing new techniques and procedures to improve efficiency and productivity while also remaining at the leading edge of pump production. As a global technology company, Alfa Laval has invested heavily in new equipment to support future growth and to remain a market leader despite strong competition. Two new machining centres have been installed in Eastbourne in 2013 to produce key stainless steel components. High levels of automation, including robotic technology, allows Alfa Laval to provide bespoke pumps for a variety of uses to customers in Europe, the US and
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Bexhill Chamber of Commerce 01424 842892 www.bexhillchamber.co.uk
Bexhill Chamber of Commerce
01424 Bexhill842892 Chamber of Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk 01424 842892 Bexhill Chamber of Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Crowborough Chamber of 01424 Bexhill842892 Chamber of Commerce Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Crowborough 01424 842892 Chamber of www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Bexhill Chamber of Commerce Crowborough Chamber of www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of 01424 842892 Commerce Commerce Crowborough Chamber of www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Bexhill Chamber of Commerce Commerce 01323 641144 Commerce www.eastbournechamber.co.uk 01424 842892 www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Crowborough Chamber of of Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber 01323 641144 www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Bexhill Chamber of Commerce Commerce Commerce www.eastbournechamber.co.uk Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber East Sussex County Council of 01424 842892 www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk 01323 641144 Bexhill Chamber of Commerce Commerce Crowborough Chamber of www.bexhillchamber.co.uk 01273 481570County www.eastbournechamber.co.uk East Sussex Council 01424 842892 Commerce 01323 641144 www.eastsussex.gov.uk Eastbourne UnLtd of Chamber of Bexhill Chamber Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk 01273 481570 www.eastbournechamber.co.uk www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Commerce Crowborough Chamber of 01424 842892 East Sussex County Council www.eastsussex.gov.uk Commerce Federation of Small Businesses 01323 641144 www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Bexhill Chamber of Commerce 01273 481570 Crowborough Chamber of of East Sussex County Council Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber www.eastbournechamber.co.uk www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk 01424 754686 01424 842892 Bexhill Chamber Commerce www.eastsussex.gov.uk Federation of and SmallofBusinesses Commerce Commerce 01273 481570 Regional Office 01323 482018 www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Crowborough Chamber of 01424 842892 01424 754686 and Commerce www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk www.eastsussex.gov.uk 01323 641144 Bexhill Chamber www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Eastbourne UnLtd of Chamber East Sussex County Council of Commerce www.bexhillchamber.co.uk Federation of Small Businesses Regional Office 01323 482018 www.eastbournechamber.co.uk Commerce 01424481570 842892 01273 www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Crowborough Chamber of of www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Eastbourne UnLtd 01424 754686 and Chamber Federation ofm Small Businesses www.bexhillchamber.co.uk CChamber C mm Hailsham of 01323 641144 www.eastsussex.gov.uk Commerce Commerce Regional Office Chamber 01323 482018 Crowborough of East Sussex Council Commerce www.eastbournechamber.co.uk 01424 754686County and Chamber Eastbourne UnLtd www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Hailsham Chamber ofC mm of Commerce 01323 641144 COffice m amb Regional 01323 482018 01273 481570 www b 01323 310531 Crowborough Chamber of Commerce Federation of Small Businesses Commerce www.eastbournechamber.co.uk www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex www.eastsussex.gov.uk www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Commerce East Sussex County Council of 01323 641144 Eastbourne UnLtd 01424 754686 and Chamber Hailsham 01323 m www310531 bCChamber ambofC mm www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk www.eastbournechamber.co.uk C w C m Commerce 01273 481570 Regional Office 01323 482018 Commerce www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber East SussexofCounty Council of Federation Small Businesses Hailsham Chamber C mm641144 Hastings Chamber ofof www.eastsussex.gov.uk www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex 01323 Commerce 01323 310531 www b481570 C ambm 01273 Commerce Commerce C wSussex Eastbourne UnLtd of 01424 754686 and Chamber www w County m www.eastbournechamber.co.uk East Council www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Hastings Chamber of 01323 641144 www.eastsussex.gov.uk C mm Commerce Regional Office 01323 01323 310531 01424 205500 Federation of Small Businesses Hailsham Chamber of 482018 01273 481570 Commerce www.eastbournechamber.co.uk C w C m www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk www.hastingschamber.co.uk wwwSussex w County m 01323 641144 Commerce CCouncil m www.eastsussex.gov.uk East 01424 754686 and of Hastings Chamber 01424 205500 Federation of Small Businesses C mm www.eastbournechamber.co.uk C mm Regional Office 01323 482018 01323 310531 Commerce www.hastingschamber.co.uk 01273 481570 East County Council 01424 754686 andof wwwSussex wChamber Cof m Hailsham Chamber of m Hastings Chamber www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Heathfield www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk www.eastsussex.gov.uk Federation of Small Businesses 01424 205500 01273 481570 Regional Office 01323 C mm Commerce Commerce Commerce www m 482018 East Sussex County Council www.hastingschamber.co.uk 01424 754686 and Cof m Heathfield Chamber www.eastsussex.gov.uk www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex 01323 310531 01424 205500 01435 865858 Hailsham Chamber of 01273 481570 Hastings Chamber of Regional 01323 482018 Federation of Small Businesses Commerce C mm Office www m www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk www.hastingschamber.co.uk www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce www.eastsussex.gov.uk C C www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Heathfield Chamber 01424 754686 and of 01435 865858 Federation of Small Businesses Hailsham Chamber of 01323 310531 01424 205500 Commerce Regional Office 01323 482018 www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce www m 01424 754686 C and C Hastings Chamber ofof Heathfield Chamber www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Lewes of Commerce www.hastingschamber.co.uk wwwChamber Federation of Small Businesses www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Hailsham Chamber of 482018 865858 01435 Regional Office 01323 01323 310531 Commerce Commerce Commerce 07917 382316 01424 754686 and www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Lewes Chamber www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk C of Commerce C www865858 01424 205500 01435 Hastings Chamber ofof www.leweschamber.org.uk Regional Office Heathfield Chamber of 482018 m01323 01323 310531 Hailsham Chamber 07917 382316 www.hastingschamber.co.uk www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Commerce a ofdCommerce Lewes www.leweschamber.org.uk Hailsham Chamber of Hastings Chamber of www Chamber m of Newhaven 01424 01435 865858 g 205500 a Chamber O 01323 310531 Commerce 07917 382316 Heathfield Chamber of Lewes Commerce www.hastingschamber.co.uk www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk www Chamber Hailsham Chamber a ofdCommerce www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk Hastings Chamber ofof Newhaven Chamber of www.leweschamber.org.uk 01323 310531 01424 205500 Commerce m Commerce g107 a O 07917 382316 0800 0709 Commerce Commerce www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk www.hastingschamber.co.uk www 01435 865858 a d Commerce www.leweschamber.org.uk www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Heathfield Chamber of 01323 Chamber 310531 Lewes H mChamber C mof 01424 Hastings Newhaven Chamberofof 0800 107205500 www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk g a0709 O Commerce www.hailshamchamberofcommerce.co.uk C mm www.hastingschamber.co.uk Commerce 07917 382316 Commerce www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Hastings Heathfield Chamber of www mChamber H C m ofof Newhaven Chamber Peacehaven Chamber of 01435 865858 www.leweschamber.org.uk 01424 205500 Commerce 0800 107 0709 C mm Lewes Chamber Commerce Commerce www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk mChamber m of Commerce mm Hastings Chamber ofof www.hastingschamber.co.uk Heathfield www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Peacehaven Chamber of 01424 205500 01435 865858 H m C m Commerce 07917 382316 0800 107 0709 Newhaven Chamber of 01273 586222 Commerce Commerce www.hastingschamber.co.uk www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk C mm m m mm www.leweschamber.org.uk www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Commerce www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Lewes 01424 Chamber 205500 H C Chamber m of Commerce 01435 865858 Heathfield of Peacehaven 01273 586222 Chamber of www.hastingschamber.co.uk C mm 0709 0800 107 www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce 07917 382316 Commerce www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Heathfield Chamber of Lewes Chamber mChamber m of Commerce mm Newhaven of H C m Peacehaven Chamber of www.newhavenchamber.co.uk www.leweschamber.org.uk Seaford Chamber of Commerce 01435586222 865858 Commerce 01273 Commerce 07917 C mm382316 Commerce www m Heathfield Chamber of www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk Lewes Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 5331 www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Seaford Chamber of Commerce 01435 865858 www.leweschamber.org.uk H C m 0800 107 0709 Commerce 01273 586222 Newhaven Chamber of of Peacehaven Chamber www.seafordchamber.co.uk 07917 www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk C mm 0800 881382316 5331 www.newhavenchamber.co.uk www www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Commerce 01435 865858 H C mm www.leweschamber.org.uk Lewes Chamber of Newhaven Chamber of Seaford Chamber of Commerce Commerce www.seafordchamber.co.uk www.heathfieldchamber.co.uk C mm 0800 107 0709 01273 586222 South East Local Enterprise Commerce 07917 382316 Lewes of Commerce www 0800 881Chamber 5331 Peacehaven of H C Chamber mm Seaford Chamber of Commerce www.newhavenchamber.co.uk www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Partnership Newhaven Chamber of www.leweschamber.org.uk 0800 107 0709 www.seafordchamber.co.uk Commerce 07917 382316 South East Local Enterprise C mm www Lewes Chamber ofmCommerce 0800 881 5331 Commerce 01245 431469 www.newhavenchamber.co.uk www.leweschamber.org.uk Partnership H C m 01273 586222 www.seafordchamber.co.uk Peacehaven Chamber Seaford Chamber of Commerce 07917107 382316 www.southeastlep.com 0800 0709 Newhaven Chamber ofof C mm www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk South East Local Enterprise 01245 431469 www mC mm Commerce www.leweschamber.org.uk w 881 C 5331 m www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Commerce 0800 Newhaven Chamber of of Peacehaven Chamber Partnership www.southeastlep.com 01273 586222 South East Local Enterprise www.seafordchamber.co.uk Uckfield Chamber of 0800 107 0709 Commerce www m mm 01245 Seaford w 431469 C m www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Partnership Newhaven Chamber ofof www wChamber m ofCCommerce Commerce www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Peacehaven Chamber 0800 107 0709 01273 586222 www.southeastlep.com Uckfield Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 Commerce 01245 431469 South East5331 Local Enterprise 01825 722607 www.newhavenchamber.co.uk www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Commerce w 107 C m m ofCCommerce mm www.seafordchamber.co.uk www wChamber www.southeastlep.com Seaford 0800 0709 Partnership N w 586222 C Chamber m www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk 01273 Peacehaven of Uckfield Chamber of 01825 722607 www.newhavenchamber.co.uk C mm www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Commerce 0800 881 5331 01245 431469 Peacehaven Chamber of Seaford Chamber of Commerce Commerce www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk www w Local N w East C mm South Enterprise www.seafordchamber.co.uk Uckfield Chamber of www.southeastlep.com Wealden District Council 01273 586222 Commerce 0800 881w5331Chamber C mm Partnership 01825 722607 Commerce www mCommerce Peacehaven of www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Seaford Chamber of 01323 01273 586222 www.seafordchamber.co.uk www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Wealden District N w443322 C Council m Commerce 01245 431469 South East Local Enterprise 01825 722607 Uckfield Chamber of www.wealden.gov.uk 0800 881 5331 www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk C mm www w m www.southeastlep.com 01323 443322 Partnership 01273 586222 www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce C m www.seafordchamber.co.uk Seaford Chamber of Commerce South East LocalCouncil Enterprise Wealden District www.wealden.gov.uk www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk C mm 01245 431469 01825 722607 0800 881 5331 Seaford Chamber of Partnership www443322 w mCommerce C m Uckfield Chamber of 01323 www.southeastlep.com www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Wealden District www.seafordchamber.co.uk South East LocalCouncil Enterprise 0800 881 5331 01245 C mm431469 Commerce www.wealden.gov.uk www m Seaford Chamber of Commerce Partnership 01323 443322 www.seafordchamber.co.uk www.southeastlep.com C m 01825 722607 Uckfield Chamber of 0800 881 5331 Wealden District www.wealden.gov.uk 01245 431469 South LocalCouncil Enterprise C mmEast www m mm www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce www.seafordchamber.co.uk C m C www.southeastlep.com Partnership 01323 443322 South East Local Enterprise Uckfield Chamber of 01825 722607 www.wealden.gov.uk 01245 Partnership Commerce www 431469 m mm C m C Wealden District Council www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk www East South LocalmEnterprise www.southeastlep.com Uckfield Chamber of 01245 431469 01825 722607 Partnership 01323 443322 Commerce www.southeastlep.com www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk C m C mm www 431469 www.wealden.gov.uk Wealden District m Council 01245 01825 722607 Uckfield Chamber of www.southeastlep.com www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Commerce 01323 443322 Uckfield Chamber of Wealden Districtm Council www www.wealden.gov.uk 01825 722607 Commerce 01323 www 443322 Uckfield Chamber ofm www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk Wealden District Council 01825 722607 www.wealden.gov.uk Commerce 01323 443322 www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk www 722607 m 01825 C m www.wealden.gov.uk Wealden District Council www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk C mm 01323 Wealden www 443322 m CDistrict m Council www.wealden.gov.uk 01323 C mm443322 www Wealden Districtm Council www.wealden.gov.uk C m 01323 443322 C mm www m www.wealden.gov.uk W D C
Crowborough Chamber of Commerce www.crowboroughchamber.co.uk Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce 01323 641144 www.eastbournechamber.co.uk East Sussex County Council 01273 481570 www.eastsussex.gov.uk Federation of Small Businesses 01424 754686 and Regional Office 01323 482018 www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex Hailsham Chamber of Commerce 01323 310531 www.hailshamchamberof commerce.co.uk Hastings Chamber of Commerce 01424 205500 www.hastingschamber.co.uk Heathfield Chamber of Commerce 01435 865858 www.heathfieldchamber.co.u Lewes Chamber of Commerce 07917 382316 www.leweschamber.org.uk Newhaven Chamber of Commerce 0800 107 0709 www.newhavenchamber.co.uk Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce 01273 586222 www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk Seaford Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 5331 www.seafordchamber.co.uk South East Local Enterprise Partnership 01245 431469 www.southeastlep.com Uckfield Chamber of Commerce 01825 722607 www.uckfieldchamber.co.uk
www W www w
Wealden District Council W C www w D 01323 443322 www w www.wealden.gov.uk
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We ask the experts to give you the answers you need
Alessandro Mancini , CEO/Director of Mancini Legal law firm, explains how a he turned a personal project into a thriving, tech-savvy business
What first drew you to pursue a career in law? Many factors made me pursue law as a career, mainly I’d always had an interest in working in a challenging, high octane environment and law is a perfect example of this, because every day we see different clients with different factors to consider and different issues. The problem solving aspect of law is what drives me as a solicitor to getting the most out of my role and job satisfaction. I also obviously enjoy the fact that I am assisting someone in need of assistance, and getting a successful result for them. When and why did you decide to set up Mancini Legal? Mancini Legal was always a project of mine and I decided to set up and establish the business on the 3rd August 2012. However, the blueprints for the law firm were always at the back of my mind as I always wanted to work for myself to build my own business and offer clients an optimum level of legal services within a boutique law firm, which specialises in a variety of areas. The main factor that I considered when opening Mancini Legal was the fact that I am unique. The firm as it stands is open for business 24/7 365 days a year and we are always here to cater for all clients whatever their needs are. We are friendly, approachable and available out of hours, any time on our own personal mobiles, and this is what makes us different.
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Can you describe how your business has grown over the years? Mancini Legal has grown dramatically. We started in a very small scale business, and we now have almost eight consultant solicitors along with three offices in Horsham, one in Milnwood House and 1 The Carfax, as well as our recently new restructured office at 6 Mitre Passage just adjacent to the 02 Arena in London. The success of the Firm is really a true statement that we are serious lawyers offering the best possible customer care and client care around. The heart and the focus of Mancini Legal is to ensure that clients come first in all cases and that we work to our clients’ best interests and put them at the heart of our business. Do you specialise in any particular area of law? My areas of law are mainstream dispute resolution work. However, I do also specialise in private client as well as conveyancing. I have a very broad discipline, including professional negligence. My main background has been predominantly dispute resolution work as well as high value civil litigation work. I have worked for Legal 500 firms in the city specialising in dispute resolution as well as complex catastrophic injury claims. Can you describe the process clients take when they start working with you? The main process is that clients initially can choose to either attend a face to face meeting or a telephone conference if they are located a long way from the office and we would basically provide them with an initial advice as to what their next steps should be and we take instructions fully at that initial meeting. We would then cost budget the case and provide our clients with a full estimate going forward as to how the costs in the case would be construed. As we offer our services nationwide, we do get many clients who
benefit from telephone conferences. We even do advise british clients who are based overseas on property transfers within the UK. What kind of new technologies have you invested in? Mancini Legal has invested in a variety of technologies, covering encrypted point to point email as well as the latest CRM systems which allow clients to track the progress of their case from home, allows us to keep them fully up to date on how their conveyancing or litigation case is progressing, and allows them to interact with solicitors 24/7 with enquiries and updates, ultimately removing the need for the old postal system and focusing more on the new electronic e services which we offer as a law firm. How important is a good website for law firms? A website for law firms is obviously imperative to ensure that clients are fully aware of the areas of law that we practice and it’s ultimately the firms corperate image. The important point with any legal website is to ensure that it allows interaction between client and solicitor and as such we have designed our systems in such a way that it allows clients to become fully aware of the areas of law we handle and also allows them to track the progress of their cases and interact with their solicitor. Why should clients chose us over other firms? We are a law firm that offers a personal touch and a high standard of legal services, to ensure the client stays at the heart of the business. We work to meet our clients’ needs and best interests at all times and with this in mind, we work incredibly hard to meet the expectations of every client we see, day in and day out. Find out more at www.mancinilegal.com
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New Mortgage Rules that will affect you
The 26th of April will stand as a landmark date in the mortgage world as the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) is to be introduced. As lenders adjust to making significant changes within their branch networks to accommodate this new regulation, now may be the time to utilise the services of your broker. Although MMR will undoubtedly have a positive effect on lending it could certainly cause some initial frustrations. One significant change will be the requirement that the vast majority of mortgage sales must be ’advised’. This key change will certainly test the lenders resources and have an impact on the perception that a direct application may be quicker than applying through an intermediary. Although it may seem that applying for a mortgage is now more complex, the implementation of MMR is ultimately meant to rectify and resolve questions surrounding affordability. The response from the lenders has been to develop a series of questions to ascertain detailed spending habits. As a result you may be faced with a smaller market of prospective lenders than initially thought so your broker will guide you through the process of applying for a mortgage and a product that best suits your circumstances.
How long will it take to arrange a mortgage? This depends on the lenders service standards, however, by choosing the right lender suitable to your needs and circumstances will save time, one lend does not fit all client circumstances.
How much can I borrow? This will depend on a number of factors, credit score, credit history, income and expenditure. First time buyers normally have a low credit score as lenders have little credit history to check. Moving home or remortgage how will this affect me? What was once affordable under old rules may not now be the case as your mortgage is stress tested and lenders will apply a higher interest rate than the initial rate you have on your mortgage product and this coupled with the new budget planner will reduce affordability. Also clients in their 50’s will find that a shorter term also affects affordability, However, all lenders have different criteria so that is where a good mortgage broker can help find the suitable lender that meets all your needs.
How much will advice cost? This will vary between lenders and the lowest initial interest rate is not always the best deal as lenders charge higher arrangement and product fee’s. The broker may charge a fee but this will be disclosed at the very first meeting and in some circumstances there will be no fee. Your Home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage. www.checkaprofessional.com/mls
Check-a-Professional Membership Benefits reviews from satisfied clients and this has helps promote my business giving new clients confidence that they will receive a quality service.
Mortgage & Lifetime Solutions are proud members of Check a professional. Since joining I have received many
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Society Review Great Brazil 14 Launches with Celebrations at the Rendezvous
Rendezvous Casino Red Lounge Hostesses, Mary, Amy, Sulema and Vanessa
What a big night it was at the Rendezvous Casino in Brighton Marina Village as Brazil 14 kicked off with celebrations at the Launch Opening Party for the World Cup. Over 200 people from different parts of the world turned up for the special event . The Club was also decked out with flags from all the competing countries around the Red Lounge with 7 big Surround TV Screens to watch all the matches. For more information on Brazil 14 and to find out more details please call the Rendezvous on 01273 605 602 or email Karen Birks KBirks@lciclubs.com
Brazilian dancers Marta and Sam Gemma and Robin King with Tracey Butler
Natalie and Mark Stuart
Chris Sweeting and Lynn James
Photography Graham Franks ÂŠ
In party mood, Rendezvous Carolina Sousa and Kirstie Prodger
Oksana and Stuart
Pele lookalike, Ambrose Harcourt
Steve Woolgar and Vince McFarlane
Chestnut Tree House at Goodwood Hotel
Chestnut Tree House Patron and former Welsh international football goalkeeper, Paul Jones, and his wife Annette, organised their 11th Charity Golf Day to raise funds for the children’s hospice.
Former footballers Des Walker and Dave Jones with their partners
Steve Brookstein winner of X Factor 2004 with Chestnut Tree House Terrina Barnes
From Chestnut Tree House Sarah Arnold with Claire Poke a CTH parent who gave a presentation on the evening
Waiting staff Bethany Lee and team from Goodwood Hotel
Photography Graham Franks ©
From Britain’s Got Talent 2013 ventriloquist Steve Hewlett with Simon Cowell and a reminder of Chestnut Tree House
Home Grown Hero
Made In Sussex:
Self Professed Geek Tom Painter He’s worked on the Harry Potter films, designed characters in top selling PS2 and PS3 games, and he’s worked with the likes of Disneytoon Studios, Sony and Pixar. Now, CGI expert and self-professed geek Tom Painter is working from Brighton to help all sized businesses bring their brands to life “I’ve always been passionate about Brand art and maths, or Focus more specifically the crossover bit in the middle, where algorithms and processes create beautiful imagery,” Tom explained. “In the ‘80s our school got the BBC home computer and I was immediately hooked. My mum and dad got me a ZX Spectrum and I used to program simple little games and pictures from the age of eight.” Tom left his home in Yorkshire when he was 19 to travel the world, and it was during this time wandering the globe that he met his future wife and decided to move to London with her. “London is perhaps the creative capital of the world, and in the CGI industry it is second only to California in terms of the amount of artists. I worked at MPC in London on the Harry Potter films but, being
a Yorkshire lad, I found London life a little bit too rude and impersonal and I missed having easy access to large green spaces.” In 2010, Tom and his business partner Rob Anderson decided to leave the big smog and set up their own boutique CGI studio in Brighton. “I had a great time travelling the world moving between games and movie studios when I was younger, but after a while it became apparent that those industries are inherently unstable, and that I could expect to constantly move around throughout my life. I wanted to
“We can inject humour or fun into otherwise dry or boring subject matter so that your audience is engaged” have a family and to be able to settle in one place without fear of having to move to the next job, so my solution was to work for myself. “For us, Brighton is a perfect combination of all the things we love. We have the South Downs National Park so close, a cosmopolitan and bohemian culture, a sense of community, we are close enough to London to visit for inspiration and to have clients there – and of course there’s the beach! “We decided to name the company Bigman. We wanted a name that was simple and unpretentious without any high concept. Something bold, punchy and easy to remember.” Tom and Rob began offering their services to companies of all
sizes, creating a range of concepts, characters and 3D designs for big-name brands such as M&S and Vodafone, as well as smaller ventures like Gadget Buddy and Systagenix. “We tailor your illustrations and animation to distill everything that is important about the clients’ brand into simple and clear images,” Tom explained. “We can inject humour or fun into otherwise dry or boring subject matter so that your audience is engaged. We can visualise things that would be impossible to show with photography, like products that haven’t been manufactured yet, or cells inside the human body, and we can idealise concepts to remove any clutter or offputting elements. “Having a more diversified client base across many industries such as medical, financial, games, advertsing, makes things a less bumpy as the economy has its ups and downs, having lots of smaller jobs rather than one large film or game allows me to put my eggs in more baskets.” You can find out more about what Tom and Rob do at www.bigmancgi.com
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