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Lee Mansfield, Managing Director/ Publisher

Jon Dawson, Sales

Clare Fermor, Operations Director

Tom Alexander, Web Designer/ Developer

Jess Saunders, Editor

Linda Grace, Subscriptions Manager


Chris Dale, Managing Director, Structured Communications

Sarah Evans, Senior Associate, Construction & Engineering Team at Irwin Mitchell

Paul Healy, Proprietor, Cavendish Financial

Simon Conn, Overseas Property and Finance Specialist

Welcome to our November issue! With the Christmas period just around the corner, the Sussex business community is showing no signs of slowing down… The last few months has seen the build up 2017’s Brighton Business Expo but here in this issue, we take a look back on the annual event, which took Brighton Racecourse by storm back in October. Also, as usual, we hear from Network My Club about their most recent networking events. Our cover feature this month focuses on that of Eastbourne’s most renowned hair salon, Ministry of Hair, which this year is celebrating 20 years in business. We speak to the business owner, Toby Meyer about his growing success and plans for future years. Elsewhere in our November issue, we feed back on the Sussex Innovation Centre’s 21st anniversary party and take a detailed look at solutions to common business challenges. Meanwhile, John Merrigan once again graces our pages and we look into the benefits of digital apprenticeships for our Education section. Alongside all of this, we provide you with our regular Ask the Expert columns and Made in Sussex feature, this month featuring Psydro. Also, for October’s motoring reviews, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheels of the Range Rover Evoque and the Jaguar XE, putting both motors through their paces and reporting back on our findings. Of course, also included in this issue are our lunch review, this month focusing on The Coal Shed in Brighton, plus your usual local, national, motoring and Chamber news sections. Enjoy your November read!

Jess Saunders, Editor 3


Issue 417

Cover: Ministry of Hair

Managing Director/Publisher: Lee Mansfield 01323 819 007 Operations Director: Clare Fermor 01323 819 007 Sales: Jon Dawson 01323 819 007 Barry Koster 01323 819 007 Editorial: Jess Saunders 01323 819 018 Designer: Tom Alexander Subscriptions: Linda Grace 01323 819 015 Accounts: Anne Greenwood 01323 819 007 Published by Life Media Group, Unit1, Swan Barn Business Centre, Swan Barn Road, Hailsham, BN27 2BY Printed by Gemini Print A1, Dolphin Way, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 6NZ 01273 464884

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 2017 ©


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View the latest local and national business headlines.

Spending it

With Secret-Santa season just around the corner take your pick from SBT’s selection of perfect gifts for colleagues.


Sussex Business Times, with help from Clive Hyman of Hyman Capital Services, outlines the ways in which you, as a business owner, can ensure a strong financial structure.

Solutions to Business Challenges

Computer Eyez outline some of the best solutions for some of the most common challenges businesses face.

Living Life Eastbourne

Here, Sussex Business Times takes a look at the charity Living Life Eastbourne.

Education: Digital Apprenticeships

For this month’s Education section, we turn our focus to digital apprenticeships and, for many, the confusion that surrounds them. Here, with help from Creative Process, Sussex Business Times reveals all.

Sussex Innovation Centre

Last month, the Sussex Innovation Centre celebrated its 21st birthday. Here and following on from our cover spot in our last issue, we feed back on their commemorative event.

Cover Feature: Ministry of Hair

Eastbourne’s go-to salon, Ministry of Hair, is celebrating 20 years of business this year. Here we take a look at the company’s success and the brains behind the operation, Toby Meyer.

Tried and Tested in Sussex

For this month’s review, Sussex Business Times enjoyed a lunchtime bite at The Coal Shed in Brighton. Here, we feed back on our thoughts…

Chamber News

For this month’s Chamber News section, Sussex Business Times has partnered with Lewes Chamber of Commerce.


For this month’s motoring reviews, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheels of the Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XE.

Ask the Experts

Local Sussex business experts advise on relevant issues.

Made in Sussex

This month’s home-grown hero is Psydro.


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SBTLocal News Richard Place Dobson Appoints 1st Female Director Richard Place Dobson, Crawleybased Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, is pleased to announce the promotion of Karen Corduff, as the firms first female Director. Karen originally started with the firm in 2011, on a short-term contract as Accounts/Audit Senior. Her skills and experience were quickly recognised and Karen was soon offered a permanent position as Client Manager. In 2015, Karen’s hard work again lead to her being promoted to Senior Manager. Two years on, Karen’s specialist areas are audit compliance, charities and not for profit training and development. Her commitment to the firm and hardworking nature meant Karen was an ideal fit for the role and Richard Place Dobson is thrilled to welcome her onto the Board of Directors. Karen Corduff, the newly appointed Director at Richard Place Dobson, said: “I am delighted to take on this role and am looking forward to the new challenges it will bring. It allows me to realise my long-term career aspirations of growing and developing the audit function, technical expertise within the office and general development of people.”

Sheen Stickland Expand to Petersfield through Merger with Barter Durgan & Muir Sheen Stickland Chartered Accountants have announced that they will be merging with Barter Durgan & Muir to take over their Petersfield office. With offices already in Chichester and Alton, the integration is part of a natural expansion and will ensure a wide range of expertise is available to Petersfield clients, including specialist services for charities and agricultural businesses. Harriet Sergeant, the Sheen Stickland Partner heading up the expansion, stated: “This seemed like a very natural move as we share a lot of the same professional values and standards as Barter Durgan & Muir. The firm has been in Petersfield for over 40 years and has been in excellent hands with

the Managing Partner Chris Elsey. We hope to build on that legacy and continue to support the team here in the excellent work they do.” Chris Elsey has been the Managing Partner at Barter Durgan & Muir for nearly 20 years and will be staying on after his retirement to ensure a smooth transition to working under the new Sheen Stickland banner.

Worthing Business Owner Joins National Push to Improve Online Know-how

A Worthing Marketing Director has joined a national campaign, which aims to help 10,000 small businesses improve their online performance. Rachael Dines, Co-Founder of Shake It Up Creative based in Worthing, is one of twenty trainers who will deliver digital know-how to 10,000 small businesses over the next 12 months including businesses in Sussex. Her work will be part of small business support group Enterprise Nation’s Go and Grow Online campaign, which is being run in conjunction with Microsoft, Curry’s PC World Business and Verisign, and

which launched on October 11. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), despite a dramatic increase in the number of consumers buying products and services online, Britain’s smallest firms – those with nine or fewer employees – are not feeling the benefit. While online sales increased 21% in December 2016 alone, sky rocketing Britain’s e-commerce economy to £130bn, just 9.7% of all sales from UKbased micro firms were e-commerce transactions, compared with almost 56% of sales from larger firms.

PLATF9RM Open at Hove Town Hall Collaborative workspace provider PLATF9RM opened its doors at Hove Town Hall Monday 2nd October 2017. Members including Digifingers, Abordo, ThisIsPublicity and SOL Design Collective were amongst the first to benefit from the large co-working lounge, shared working tables and phone booths for private calls, as well as two kitchens equipped with an array of snacks and drinks. Co-workers ranging from photographers and videographers to healthcare professionals and developers


have already signed up. Private offices for four, six, eight and 20 people are still available, with both two-person, three, eight and twelve-person offices already let. The company’s first location opened at Tower Point on North Road during the autumn of 2016. Since then PLATF9RM has become one of the city’s business success stories, growing from 6,000ft2 to 15,000ft2 of workspace and 0 to 250 members in just six months. With work on the new location firmly on track, the company is confident it will hit 500 members within the next year.

SBTLocal News Lunch Guests Hear About the Work of the Hospice

Businesses in South East Warned After £3m Lost to Mandate Fraud Businesses in the South East are being urged to alert staff to the dangers of mandate fraud after new figures show that companies in the region lost £3m last year. The data, obtained by RSM from Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, revealed that businesses in the region submitted 235 reports about mandate fraud in 2016-17. Mandate fraud occurs when an employee is tricked into changing a regular payment mandate such as a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer and redirecting it into a fraudster’s account.

The fraudsters can contact employees via email purporting to be from a supplier that receives regular payments. These approaches are sometimes plausible as they have correct details of staff members’ names and departments obtained as a result of phishing attacks. The scam will often only come to light when the real supplier chases for payment. Nationally, there were more than 1,500 reports about mandate fraud in 2016-17 costing businesses some £32.2m, 12 per cent of all losses reported to Action Fraud by UK businesses last year.

Degrees by the Seaside at University Centre Hastings

The brand new University Centre Hastings, offering a range of higher education and degree courses, is now open. Building work to develop the fifth floor and engineering wing at Sussex Coast College’s Station Plaza and Ore Valley campuses has now been completed, and

the Centre welcomed the new cohort of students earlier this week. The work has taken just seven months to complete and has increased the two campuses teaching space by over 1,500 square metres. 12 classrooms, 2 lecture rooms, individual study spaces and 2 common rooms have been created across the two sites for higher education students to take advantage of. The Ore Valley campus will be home to brand new BSc Top-up courses in Engineering and Computing and will boast lecture rooms, a common room and a dedicated Electrical and Electronics Lab, complete with a CAD studio, featuring the latest software and technology.

Cooden Beach Hotel hosted a special lunch last month for Chestnut Tree House, helping the charity to raise awareness of the care they offer in East Sussex. Hosted by Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Barry Hinves, the lunch was an opportunity for local dignitaries, businesses and supporters to hear from Chestnut Tree’s CEO Hugh Lowson and Director of Children’s Services Linda Perry. They spoke about the 14 year history of the hospice and its growth from 2 beds and 30 children to 10 beds and 300 children. Linda highlighted the care offered in children’s own homes: “We have a lovely hospice building over near Arundel where children and families can take short breaks and parents can enjoy being parents rather than carers for a while. But, for me, the care that happens in families’ own homes is just as important. This is where our Chestnut Tree Nurses and Care Support Workers build strong relationships with families, where they can understand and support the whole family’s needs, and where they can help families with the day-to-day realities of caring for a child with a life-shortening condition.” 7

SBTNational News Steve Vranakis Announced as this Year’s D&AD President

Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director at Google’s Creative Lab, has started his venture as the new President of D&AD. He will act as a global figurehead for excellence in design and advertising, championing D&AD’s mission to stimulate a fairer, more diverse, properly genderbalanced, and therefore more robust industry, in the pursuit of groundbreaking creativity. Each year D&AD appoints a President from the Board of Trustees to further the organisation’s mission and shape the conversations for the year ahead. Steve, a self-taught, multi award-winning creative, will focus his efforts as President on increasing diversity in the creative industry and creating opportunities for budding creative minds from different backgrounds. He explained: “My goal is to increase diversity and broaden the pool of talent that D&AD encompasses to reflect the strength and expertise of creative minds from around the world, from different disciplines as well as different genders and backgrounds, both cultural and socio-economic.”

UK Businesses areMobile Stifling Employees’ Creativity Shopping On To Top £53bn and Innovation By 2024 A study of 1,000 workplaces conducted by RADA in Business (the commercial subsidiary of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which provides communication skills training for corporate individuals) found that 81% of workplaces have failed to create a culture that encourages new ideas and experimentation, according to their staff. Many employees feel that businesses are suffering as a result, with just under a quarter (24%) saying that their workplace is desperately in need of new ideas and fresh thinking

to overcome current problems. The report found a number of combined factors that are suppressing new ideas and original thinking. Just over 1 in 5 employees (21%) said that they didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear their ideas. A similar number (18%) also said that even when they put their ideas forward, they were rarely implemented. As many as 16% of workers said that any new idea would actually be treated with suspicion and criticism, while 15% of people believed their business leaders actively discouraged innovation.

Substandard Service Costs £28 Billion Per Year in Lost Productivity Brits dealing with customer service issues during office hours cost their employers £28 billion per year in lost productivity, new research reveals today. The poll, released by The Institute of Customer Service, analysed the impact of UK employees having to take time out of their working days to resolve personal issues with customer service staff in the last year. Customer service issues related to house purchases are the most time consuming, and therefore most expensive to organisations, costing an average of £2.5 billion a year. This is followed by resolving tax queries (£2.4 billion) and problems with transport

providers (£2.3 billion). The average cost per employee is £1,194 per year. In terms of instances of poor customer service, Brits are most likely to have to take time out of their day to deal with issues with their utilities provider, with over half (54%) having to make contact to resolve a problem over the past three months. The next biggest culprits are deliveries (44%), house maintenance and repairs (42%) and car problems (42%).

Facial Recognition App Launches to Help Construction Businesses Tackle Modern Slavery With demand outstripping supply in the construction industry, the pressure on recruiters and subcontractors to employ workers from outside of the UK is greater than ever, meaning that right to work checks have to be more stringent to combat modern slavery. Credas is a new app, which has been


created to help those who manage construction recruitment to save time and money and provide peace of mind that their employees and subcontractors are verified to work in the UK. The Cardiff-based company uses real-time facial recognition technology to quickly process and verify over 4000

types ID to help construction companies to recruit ethically. Since the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act in 2015, all companies with an annual turnover of more than £36m must issue a Transparency Statement, detailing what they have done to ensure modern slavery is not present in their business or supply chain. The Credas app is compatible with all mobile devices (iOS and Android).

SBTNational News BTN BikeShare: a Successful First Month

Free IT Skills Support for North East Businesses A package of free IT training has been unveiled to help North East enterprises and people at risk of redundancy to improve their skills and open-up new job opportunities. Go>Grow is a regional skills and enterprise programme, which has been launched in partnership with 30 local training providers, and comes on the back of £15m of funding secured by Gateshead College from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The training is structured around a

programme of courses for start-ups or small businesses looking to widen their skills base or employers who want to upskill or strengthen their workforce. Courses will also be available to support people looking to get back into work through brushing up their skills, or who are at risk of redundancy. Ivan Jepson, Director of Business Development at Gateshead College, said: “Go>Grow provides a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs and companies to gain some really beneficial new skills through a fully funded training programme.”

40% of IT Contractors Earn Above UK Salary Average in 90 Days 40% of independent contractors are able to earn above the national annual average salary of a full-time IT professional in just 90 days, new research from leading independent contractor tax adviser, Qdos Contractor of The Qdos Group has revealed. 4 in 10 independent contractors, the majority of whom work in IT and digital roles, reported day-rates of £500 and above, suggesting that if they were to work five days a week on a contract, it would take just 18 weeks to earn £45,000, above The Office for National Statistics’ average salary for a fulltime professional employee working in IT, which is £44,665. The research revealed the largest proportion (32%) of independent contractors surveyed are paid between £501 and £700 per day, while 8% earn £701 or above for each day on contract. Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO

Seb Maley said: “While these figures represent a select group of highly-skilled, qualified IT contractors, and not the entire freelance market, they do indicate that independent working is career choice which brings with it the opportunity to earn more and the freedom to work how and when people choose.

Launched on 1 September, BTN BikeShare in association with Life Natural Spring Water, has announced encouraging user figures for its first month of operation, suggesting it is set to be a top-performing bike share scheme for the UK. The first 30 days have seen over 9,000 registrations, and an average of 800 journeys on the Life Bikes per day. Users have cycled 50,000 miles so far – almost a quarter of the way to the moon, or more than twice around the world. Tim Caswell, owner of Hourbike, the company operating the scheme, said: “We came in knowing Brighton & Hove is a unique city with a strong cycling culture, but still the usage figures are even better than we could have imagined! None of our other schemes across UK and Europe have had such a strong first month.” Residents and visitors can hire and locate the Life Bikes via the SoBi app. A casual rental plan, priced at 3p per minute (£1 minimum spend), is ideal for occasional riding. More frequent users may prefer an annual membership, which provides an hour of daily cycling for £72. 9

Secret Santa With Secret Santa season just around the corner take your pick from SBT’s selection of perfect gifts for colleagues.

SCARAB MULTI-TOOL This scarab multi-tool from Gadget Co. is a perfect compact portable tool. Crafted from stainless steel, it features pliers, wire strippers, screwdrivers, a knife file and removable key chain. £8.00.



A quirky gift for a gardener or vegetable hater alike - these eight hand-made super-realistic chocolate Brussel sprouts are sure to amuse and delight in equal measure. £9.99.

Henry the veteran vacuum cleaner is famous for keeping carpets clean, and now his adorable offspring has landed to blitz your desk. £12.49.



Ensure your colleagues’ home is scented with five of the best festive fragrances around. Suitable for any room in the house, this gift set contains 5 Everyday Votive Candles. £10.00.

Health and indulgence have always been opposites, but Oppo have made it their mission to find a new way. So they’ve made a decadent ice cream, but without loads of sugar and calories. It’s proof that being healthy doesn’t mean eating a compromise – that’s their ‘sweet spot’. £4.99.

LINDT GOLF BALLS These delicious chocolate Lindt Golf Balls are the ideal gift for golf enthusiasts. Each golden carton contains 3 life-sized chocolate golf balls made from solid Lindt chocolate. £6.99. 10

QUIET REBELLION XMAS SOCKS Ideal for men with a sense of humour who want to look professional for work, Quiet Rebellion Christmas designs feature vibrant festive patterns concealed within the shoe. Put simply, they are socks of two halves: a respectable top with wild and colourful soles. From £12.


DIVINE DARK CHOCOLATE ADVENT CALENDAR Divine is supporting the Woodland Trust this Christmas with a woodland animalthemed Advent Calendar. Behind each window is a unique woodland creature made from 70% dark chocolate. 3p from the sale of each Divine Dark Advent calendar will be donated to the Woodland Trust to help protect, restore and create woodland in the UK. This Dark Advent calendar is suitable for vegans. £5.00.

REXEL HIGH HEEL STAPLER For those who like to have fun and have a quirky sense of humour, then how about a high heel stapler? Available in red and blue there’s a colour for all seasons and at less than £10 it would make a great Secret Santa stocking filler. £6.94.

Rich with dark fruit flavours of blueberry and blackberry, with opulent notes of coffee and chocolate. Apothic Dark is the ultimate blend and makes the perfect gift for those looking to embrace their dark side, providing the perfect accompaniment for richer foods and succulent red meats during a Christmas party. £10.00.

NEWBY HERITAGE TEAS Newby Teas, has unveiled three sumptuous limited-edition gift collections for the holiday season 2017. From perfect stocking fillers to gourmet luxury gift boxes, Newby Teas provides beautifully packaged presents of precious teas to delight friends and family over the winter season. The Collections not only makes gifting simple, it offers a healthy alternative without compromising on luxurious indulgence. From £6.80.

COSTA STACKING GIFT SET This unique Costa Coffee stacking gift set is filled with delicious Costa biscuits and indulgent Costa hot chocolate, complete with a Costa Medio sized cup this will make a perfect Christmas gift for your colleagues who have a sweet tooth. £17.99.

VIRTUAL REALITY GLASSES These immersive virtual reality glasses allow you to watch 3D movies and play games whilst experiencing 360° virtual and augmented realities on your smartphone. £15.00. 11

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Preparing to Raise Finance for your Business Here, with help from Clive Hyman of Hyman Capital Services, Sussex Business Times outlines the ways in which you, as a business owner, can ensure a strong financial structure

Lots of businesses in Sussex want to raise funds – but Finance unfortunately very few are successful. This is because the job of fundraising is poorly understood. And to make matters worse, fund raising is more of an art than a science. So, what do you need to do to increase your chances of attracting the funds your business needs? Identify whether you need equity or debt – or a combination Business owners often think that they have to raise all of the money as equity. But, this has implications for dilution. In many cases debt can be a better option – it avoids dilution and can sometimes can be easier to acquire, enabling you to save time on the project of raising funds,

and get on with running the business. These days there are plenty of debt providers who will assist early stage business providing they have the right management and the right track record. For example, Funding Circle in the UK will consider lending to a company which has a two-year history. A combination of debt and equity is often the ideal solution, as this enables a cheaper cost of capital for the company, as the debt is entitled to interest rather than a dividend, making it less expensive for the company. 30% equity and 70% debt is good ratio and can make the company easier to manage. It can also make the company more likely to attract further equity investment in the future, as the potential shareholders can see that the management has understood that debt needs to be part of the company’s financing strategy.

Create a robust financial model Put all your figures into a spreadsheet and then test them. Prepare some of the more likely scenarios so that they can be shown to potential equity investors and debt providers. This will demonstrate that thought has gone into the financial model and you are prepared for different outcomes. In addition, it must show the different types of returns from the different sources of capital, the cashflow for at least the next 12-18 months, and any dependencies which need to be managed. Be realistic about your valuation Valuations are key to the fundraising process and it is important not to be delusional about the value of your company. To get a sensible, realistic idea of the value of your company, compare the most recent valuations for transactions in the space and ensure 13


you have a balanced perspective. Don’t pick an outlier valuation, see what all the values are and pick something in the middle. This will show potential investors that you are being reasonable rather than fanciful, and make them more likely to invest. Where do you look for the money? Funding a start-up will always be the most challenging – but, depending on the scale of the ambition there are some people who will back raw start-ups with no less than an equity cheque for £100 million. For example, Sola Bank and Baldetton Capital. At the other end of the scale, in the £1 – 5 million area, there are lots of EIS/SEIS funds, VCT funds, and plenty of pools of EIS investors. This is where a firm such as ours can be helpful in providing introductions and knowledge of the market place. For smaller ambition companies there are Angel Investors. A Google search will throw up lots of results of Angel networks and then you need to dig into each one to see if you meet their criteria. There is often an up-front fee for being introduced to the Angels in the network – so be sure the Angels are right for you, and you for them, before you start. In some cases, the Angel Networks are sector specific. Don’t ignore your own connections. Ask your network for recommendations and introductions. Making contact Once you have drawn up your list of people to contact – work through it systematically and methodically – and always follow up. When making contact, preparation is key. Target your funders carefully, do some background


research on them so that you know you are contacting the right people, that your business is in their sphere of interest and at the right stage for them, and that the amount of money you are looking for is appropriate for them. Sometimes deal-flow can be difficult for investors as they may well be very busy and don’t have the resources to deal with all of the deals that are put in front of them. Don’t take it personally – just make sure the prospecting funnel is full with a lot of potential funders.

The information It is essential to prepare a one-page summary of the opportunity. This should include a summary of the opportunity; what investment is being sought and what kind of business is going to be generated as a result, including a potential return if it’s possible to identify that. It must be an accurate summary of the business, be clear, concise and easy to read and understand. Once a potential funder is interested they will then want more information. Think of this as a stand-alone sales document. It needs to answer the following questions: • • • • • • •

What is the business? Who are the management team? What is the market size? What is the opportunity within the market? How much money is needed? What is the money going to be spent on? What kind of business will be created post investment?

By following the steps above, you are more likely to be successful at raising the money you need for your business. Preparation, putting in the necessary time, and perseverance are all key aspects of the funding raising process. Finally, it’s important to remember that fund raising is a combination of a sales project and a numbers game; you’re going to have sell the business to a lot of potential funders before you find the perfect match.




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Stricter Insurance Policies Help to Bump Disaster Recovery up the Priority List Despite the many compelling reasons for needing a disaster Insight recovery (DR) solution, many SMEs across the region continue to ignore the risk and simply keep their fingers crossed that it won’t happen to them. This year has seen the increased incidence of large-scale cyber-attacks and highprofile failures such as air traffic control grinding to a halt due to an engineer’s error. Even these have failed to make business owners ensure they’re not the next business to hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Although the South Coast may have avoided the worst of Hurricane Ophelia and Storm Brian, the winter can bring many dramatic storms which can bring down communications, flood offices and cause power outages which will all impact an SME’s ability to survive in the long term.

Business insurers asking questions about IT provision However, insurers are beginning to wake up to the importance of adequate business continuity plans, which means that ignoring the issue could cost SMEs a lot more than addressing it. DR solutions focus on business continuity and ensure that there are no interruptions to your customer service, communications and logistics functions after the worst


happens. As insurers wake up to the importance of back-up servers and storage within business operations and the essential requirement of connectivity, many are writing the requirement for dual redundancy within IT systems into the contract. If you’re not protecting yourself against possible disasters, then this could impact on whether you receive any insurance pay-outs.

Some costs can’t be recovered without business continuity The advantage of building this redundancy into your IT system goes beyond making sure that you’re meeting the requirements of your insurance policy. Even if your insurance does pay out after your systems go down in a flood, for example, the loss of reputation and customers while you scramble to deliver a solution on the hoof is immeasurable. You may get back some of the costs of the kit, maybe even the time lost, but you may never get those customers back – and you’ve just demonstrated to your insurers that you’re not adequately protected, so that means your premiums are likely to go up in future. Keeping your disaster recovery plan current may reduce premiums The increased awareness of insurers about the scope and possibilities of disaster recovery options and solutions means that it’s incumbent on businesses

to make sure they’re up to date. Just as insurers are looking to reward careful drivers, there may even be options to reduce the premiums of businesses which can clearly demonstrate strong business continuity plans. Developing a disaster recovery strategy and solution with a company certified to ISO27001 standard, for example, might offer some of the same benefits as driving a car with a proven safety record. Building redundancy into your IT provision isn’t just a box to tick to satisfy the insurers, but it’s likely that the interest insurers are paying to the area of disaster recovery is likely to raise both awareness and standards across the board. As the operator of two environmentally friendly, high efficiency secure data centres in Hampshire, as well as high speed connectivity and communication solutions, we double and triple check all our processes and plans to make sure we can support the region’s SMEs to keep going if the worst – from cyber-attacks to bad weather – does happen. Gary Coates is the Manager at Green Co, which operates two low-carbon, ISO27001-certified data centres with high efficiency systems to deliver a range of services including colocation, connectivity and disaster recovery to businesses across the South East. 17

The Best Solutions for Your Business Challenges LinkedIn Business Building

Every business faces challenges throughout its journey, but it’s how these challenges are dealt with that determine the success of a company. Here, Computer Eyez outline some of the best solutions for some of the most common challenges businesses face

Every business differs, and so does the day-toInsight day challenges that come with it. It’s important for business owners and leaders to understand that, for individual businesses, different solutions to challenges. Not only will these solutions increase the productivity of your business, but it will also greatly decrease your spending and make your operations smoother. Compliance Industry regulations such as FCA or PCI can often be tricky to pin down. Failing to comply with PCI can result in fines of up to £50,000. The bank of NY Mellon received a £126


million fine from the FCA for failing to comply with data recording regulations. FCA regulations state that you must have a documented disaster recovery plan in place. Solution Hosted VoIP telephony allows you to pause recording for when you need to. For instance, if a customer is giving you card details to make a payment, you can now be PCI compliant. Hosted VoIP also acts as a disaster recovery solution because each employee can use their phone anywhere in the world, allowing them to work from a different location if the office is unavailable. Disaster recovery solutions includes backup for your data. You can back up all your data to an external data centre; these feature backup batteries,

generators and ultra hi-tech security so your data is always available, safe and secure. Lack of Security & Protection Is your business vulnerable or susceptible to a cyber breach? Do you feel confident that you can adequately protect your business from a cyberattack? How about a virus? The department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport identified that just under half (46%) of all firms in the UK experienced at least one breach or attack in the last year (2017). Nowadays, around 85% of emails are spam. A large amount of these spam emails contain malicious content. In March of 2016 alone, 22,890,956 malicious spam emails were detected by Kaspersky Lab.


Credibility Use your website to drive business? If so there’s a simple and highly effective way to make your website more trustworthy and credible. Solution Simply put, an SSL certificate is installed on a server generally to bind together your server name, domain name or host name and encrypt the services between the user and the server. SSL certificates prove your organisation’s identity on the web and earn the trust of users who visit it. This will add credibility to your website and improve its prevalence in Google Searches. General IT issues You may be losing time due to IT issues. You may be losing money too. You may also be losing sanity! If you feel like your IT issues are getting in the way of your company’s growth, there’s one thing you need. Solution IT Support will take your IT issues off your hands. IT Support differs from company to company, but should include:

Solution Firewalls are designed to keep destructive elements out of a network or specific computer. Firewalls act as a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network. They can massively scale to extend state-of-theart security to growing enterprises and networks. Anti-virus is imperative. The goal of anti-virus is to minimise the risk of infection and ultimately increase the uptime of your computers and network. Web content filters protect your internet activity. With so much unproductive or even illegal content out there, it’s wise to put a filter on your businesses internet experiences. But don’t stop there! Email & spam protection can filter spam & malicious emails so you can communicate safely.

• A helpdesk • Proactive ticket system • 24x7 monitoring for issues • Security patching • Monthly reports • Quarterly Business Reviews • Ownership of supplier management • Onsite support • Hardware and software distribution • Maintenance of hardware & software Businesses with quality IT Support benefit from maximum uptime, lower IT costs, a scalable IT department and peace of mind.

away free IT consultations to businesses in Sussex, Kent & Surrey (England). Productivity, efficiency & time Are you still behind when it comes to collaborative technologies? How about setting and attending meetings digitally? Can you work on the same file on multiple devices? Solution Office 365 is one of the best products for business. It’s simple and easy-to-use, yet highly effective and useful. Once you’ve started using it you’ll wonder how you ever worked before. With Office 365 you can work collaboratively, efficiently and quickly while remaining safe and protected. Printing Did you know that companies tend to underestimate total print costs by as much as 40%? Printing is the single most unaudited business expense, despite the fact the average business spends between 1-3% of their total revenue on printing. I’m sure you identify with the tiresome games the printer plays. When it goes down, it often takes quite a while to fix, or no one even knows how to do so. Those days are changing now though… Solution Managed printers are a revolutionary step for business printing. Managed printers allow you to cut out the middle man on suppliers such as toner and paper, saving you money. You will also know how much you will pay with a fixed price per print. Managed printers are called that for a reason. If there’s ever an issue, or you need some assistance, your managed printer supplier take care of it for you. They also detect when you are running low on toner, and will send out a new toner to you automatically, just when you need it.

Uncertainty or confusion Many businesses are unaware of simple solutions that could prevent big issues. They are going out of their way to work around repeating issues.

Every solution that we offer is fully managed and supported by us. That means whenever you have an issue with your pcs, printer’s website etc., all you must do is contact us and we’ll fix it for you.

Solution IT Consulting can be hugely beneficial for businesses. It establishes the companies goals and challenges and works to find a solution that will best reach those targets. At the moment we are still giving

We specialise in solving IT Issues for businesses in Sussex, Kent & Surrey. If you would like to find out more, give us a call on 01273 806211 or email 19


The Fake Boss Scam Cybercrime has been a hot topic within the pages of Sussex Business Times over the last few months as more and more businesses fall victim to scams. Here, Simon Smyth outlines one of the most common ways in which scammers steal money from businesses – the Fake Boss Scam

As cyber-attacks increase, more and more small Cybercrime businesses are reporting breaches. The types of cyberattacks are evolving. The reason they evolve is because a cyber-attack works best when no one knows what it is. The reason cyber-attacks stop working is because people catch on to common techniques. Having money stolen from your business may be easier than you think… The Fake Boss Scam involves manipulating your employees into sending money to a foreign account by impersonating a company director or senior staff member. It starts with an email to your finance department requesting an urgent payment. The reason for this payment could be ‘to buy a company’ or to ‘secure an important contract’. Many phone calls may also be placed around


this email too, supporting the claims. The goal is to make the employee make a quick decision and transfer the money without thinking. Urgency, pressure, and aggression can be used in the communications to achieve this. An accountant of the small business Etna (which makes industrial equipment) was a victim of this scam. Their accountant received a call around 9am on a Friday morning explaining that she will receive an email from the company’s president, and that she’s going to give instructions to conduct a very confidential transaction. Within an hour, the accountant received 10 emails and a few phone calls, and transferred £372,000.00. Luckily, three of the transfers were held up by their banks. However, one payment of £88,783.00 was successfully transferred. Why is this technique effective? •

It’s easy to find out the hierarchical structure of an organisation due to

websites such as LinkedIn. All they need to do is to impersonate a CEO or senior staff member (or anyone who has the authority to initiate a payment) in an email. Because It is a targeted attack, the persecutors are often knowledgeable about your business. It manipulates the victim to perform an action without thinking by using urgency, pressure and often aggression. Because it doesn’t need attachments carrying malware, it can more easily bypass spam filters and antivirus systems.

The best way to fight scams, hacks and malware is to prevent it. Think about educating your staff and implementing protection and security procedures. If you would like to have a quick consultation about your security and what can be done to strengthen it, call us today on 01273 806211, or visit

LinkedIn Business Building

Living Life Eastbourne: A Gift of Love for Croatia As we approach the Christmas period, as well as festivity and excitement comes a time when the less fortunate should be remembered. Here, Sussex Business Times takes a look at one charity in particular; Living Life Eastbourne Living Life Eastbourne was set up in 2006 with the Charity express purpose of supporting those who are disadvantaged by circumstance of disability, their families and the wider community. The charity boasts an impressive team of trustees and volunteers who continue to work tirelessly to raise awareness and funding to complete their projects. Living Life Eastbourne works in conjunction with agencies local to the

area of need and are guided by their knowledge and expertise in the field. One of their main partners has been the Slatina Red Cross in Croatia. This part of the world suffered very heavily during the confilict there, and continues to feel the devastating effects to this day. Whole communities have been torn apart and still struggle to live a normal life. Mick & Lyn Trott, Founders of the charity, have been taking aid to the most devastated areas since the conflict begun. Historically this charities’ main objective has always been to help those who are willing to help themselves, whilst

living in their own countries, and they have achieved this by giving Christmas shoebox gifts to disadvantaged adults and children; a project known as “A Gift Of Love.� Despite the wonderful generosity of the public, Living Life Eastbourne has never had enough boxes to go around, and there are always some children who do not receive a present. A great team of volunteers dedicate their time and efforts to drive over 1,200 miles to distribute the Christmas gifts directly into the hands of those less fortunate than themselves. The charity has so far been involved in 21


feeding and clothing initiatives, supporting the young and old alike. They have also been heavily involved in supporting families with disabled children, providing practical aids and specialised training to enable this section of society to live their lives to the fullest. Living Life Eastbourne has provided and continues provide all kinds of support based on requests from families through their partner, the Slatina Red Cross. Family food packs are just one of the many contributions made by Living Life Eastbourne, last year paid for by the charity’s volunteers, who raised £2000 to help the Red Cross with their costs. This same money helped to buy 400 family packs, paid for the Red Cross diesel expenses and a lighting system so that the children could have a Christmas party in the premises of the Red Cross after the charity left to return home. Each family pack consisted of all sorts of food including crisps and biscuits, flour, sugar, jam, meat and much more. Another


pack consisted of hygiene goods such as soap, cleaning detergent, shampoo and toothpaste - some of the luxuries the residents of Slatina don’t usually have the ability to enjoy in life. As usual, the bank of Slatina matched Living Life Eastbourne’s contribution to the town and community, helping provide so many more families with a memorable Christmas. The charity’s mission this year involves a grueling journey to the same location, with the same aim in mind. This year, once again they are asking for businesses to sponsor a box for the mere cost of £100, and are hoping to gain enough support from 16 companies so that we can donate 16 boxes of goodies in total. “Whenever we go to Croatia and distribute hundreds of boxes, we’re asked, “Why?” It is because we feel the love that flows from the boxes and compassion fills each of our hearts,” said Bruce Forward, Volunteer and Distributor. He continued: “We witness how grateful

these children are for such a small individual gift, yet without that gift there would be nothing!” Of course, this is an ongoing operation and over the Easter period of 2018, a group of volunteers will head for the Slavonia region of Croatia to a town called Slatina, where the volunteers from Living Life Eastbourne will work together with the Slatina Red Cross to support children with disabilities and their families. The same aim continues; to equip parents with the knowledge and resources that the volunteers themselves have so that families can continue to work together to create better lives for themselves. The important point here though, is that donations are needed to raise enough funds to make a difference. For further information or to take part, contact Living Life Eastbourne via email at or call 01323 769377.

John Merrigan

Early Bird Bookings Now Open for The BIG Futures Show

You can now book online to exhibit at Advertorial the third BIG Futures Show, the largest employability and skills event in East Sussex on Tuesday 24 April 2018. Book early and save 10% on exhibitor rates. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for BIGger space and more publicity. The Show is aimed at students from across East Sussex as well as parents, and anyone looking for work or training. With over 90 exhibitors, all visitors will experience an interactive and inspiring Show to help guide them toward their ‘BIG Future’. Over 1,500 visitors are expected. This annual event is organised by a local charity, the Eastbourne Education Business Partnership, in association with Eastbourne Borough Council. Sussex Downs College, NHS Health Education England, The View Hotel and Helen Owen Marketing Enterprises have all come on board as early sponsors. Visit to discover the benefits of exhibiting and sponsoring, plus more about the Show. For further information/enquiries please email


“The Big Futures Show provided us with a platform to showcase our industry and enabled us to inspire young people to consider a career in Hospitality. We always get a lot of work experience enquiries out of BFS so it pays off. It is also a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to network and develop links for the future in other ways too” - Sarah Hoyle, The Grand Hotel

The 2018 Show is moving to Eastbourne Sports Park, off Cross Levels Way, that provides a convenient out of town location (with parking) whilst the Devonshire Park site undergoes a major development programme.

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed The BIG Futures Show. It was a great event and I felt that we had some meaningful conversations with the young people who attended. It was also a great opportunity for the exhibitors to network, which is always a very useful part of these events” - Jayne Thwaites, Heath Education England, Partner Sponsor BFS 2017 and 2018

“Congratulations on an excellent ‘Big Futures’ show in Eastbourne on Wednesday. It was a terrific occasion and it was so good to see first-hand the massive number of stall holders and so many youngsters showing such an interest” - Peter Field, The Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex 23

Are Digital Apprenticeships the Way Forward?

In the last year alone video marketing and video content for business has seen huge growth. Here in your September issue, we explore BritWeb Education’s upcoming course – set to take place in Horsham later this month – and the benefits of video content marketing for businesses

For this month’s Education section, we turn our focus to digital apprenticeships and, for many, the confusion that surrounds them. What exactly are they? Are they right for all businesses? What are the benefits? Here, with help from Creative Process, Sussex Business Times reveals all According to statistics from Gov. uk in February this Education year, apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level, with almost 510,000 starts in 2016. There were 1,656,680 online apprenticeship applications in 2015 to 2016. 96% of employers with apprentices say their business has benefitted as a result, and


more than 2,600 employers are involved in designing the new apprenticeships standards. It’s clear to see that apprenticeships have proven to be worthwhile, not just for the apprentices themselves, but for business owners too. This creative and digital media sector in particular is growing faster every day and the prospects and apprenticeships available to school leavers are becoming ever more exciting and varied. All

industries are engaged with digital to some extent so any apprenticeship or qualification you gain can be easily tailored to suit. Apprenticeships and similar employment opportunities are becoming easier and easier for young people to access, however the process can be a lot more complicated for business on the ‘application-receiving’ end of the deal… For businesses, there’s a lot more to consider when thinking of hiring an


“It’s clear to see that apprenticeships have proven to be worthwhile, not just for the apprentices themselves, but for business owners too”

apprentice, and of course, employing an apprentice isn’t necessarily the right thing to do for every business – each and every company is different, and therefore employee structures should be too. Keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing digital – and regular – apprenticeship landscape can be time consuming, but of course we’re here to clear all that up for you. The Apprenticeship Levy is – in terms of legalities – the most important element to consider here, and it’s a topic we have covered a fair amount over recent months at that. While we won’t delve too deep into this subject matter, it’s important that all businesses understand the changes made to the Levy earlier this year… The purpose of the Apprenticeship Levy is to fund an increase in the number and quality of apprenticeships. The levy was introduced in May 2017, for businesses with a payroll of £3m+, and set at 0.5% of employers’ pay roll bill. The government believes this equates to “less than 2% of businesses”. It is estimated that the Levy will apply to employers of roughly 110 employees and over – but employers who do not pay the levy will still be able to access government support for apprenticeships. The Government expects the Levy to raise £3bn UK wide – of which £2.5bn would come from England. The levy applies to all large organisations, regardless of whether they already employ apprentices or not. Levy-paying employers in England are able to “get more out than they put in” through a 10% top-up to their digital account. That means for every £1 that enters an employer’s digital account, it will get £1.10 to spend in England on apprenticeship training. Businesses are given 2 years expiry on their monthly Levy payments. So how should I go about finding the right apprentice for my business? Finding the right digital apprentice for your business can be challenging. As employers increasingly need to attract and retain talented digital employees it can be difficult to know how to go about selecting the right apprentice for your business. At Creative Process we have a talent pool of digital savvy candidates ready to go with a no fee recruitment service that will get the best in front of you at no cost to help ease this process. Once an employer is ready to interview

apprentices, asking the interviewee to complete an assignment relevant to the job role and company, such as writing a blog can be an effective way of seeing how they handle the task, as well as getting a preview of their style of writing. In addition, introducing an interviewee to staff they could potentially be working with is a great way for them to demonstrate how they interact with others by illustrating their people and communication skills. What is a digital apprenticeship? A digital apprenticeship is a structured training programme which is work and class based, alongside online-learning. Apprentices work for an employer, receiving on-the-job training to develop their knowledge and skills, while earning money at the same time. At the end of an apprenticeship, the apprentices will achieve nationallyrecognised qualifications, while the employer will have benefitted from an employee who both understands their organisation and has received bespoke training relevant to the role. A Creative Process digital apprenticeship has been developed by leading companies to deliver results driven by 21st century digital skills and techniques, tailored to teach your employee the relevant skills your organisation needs from business support and project management to marketing and digital design. 92% of Creative Process Digital apprentices continue with their employer postapprenticeship. Finally, what are the benefits of digital apprenticeships on businesses? A key benefit of hiring a digital apprentice is that it saves you money. Employer feedback for a Creative Process Apprenticeship is highly cost-effective; the recruitment and talent match service is on a no fee basis and the Government funding to pay for the cost of training is an impressive £12,000 per employee. So it’s of no surprise that 92% of Creative Process apprentices continue with their employer post apprenticeship having become invaluable team members. Moreover, a digital apprenticeship tackles skills shortages. A digital native will help close the digital skills gap which will consequently aid in driving the productivity of the company 25

John Merrigan

Personalising Corporate Governance John Merrigan, Business Consultant at Nestor Advisors returns to our pages this month to speak of the do’s and do not’s of corporate governance within your business Corporate governance is John too easily seen Merrigan as an abstract and impersonal concept. However, in my experience, it is precisely the opposite when well executed and adopted by owners, employees and management. The purpose of this article is to highlight the human side of corporate governance. In my opinion, there has never been a more important time for business leaders to focus on the human side of the corporate equation, ironically, arguably the piece that is most controllable. Successful company boards are consistently shown to engage, direct and support the leadership team in order to retain and motivate executive talent to safeguard the future prosperity of the business. The right governance solution needs to be tailored to suit the individual business needs and leadership culture. The crux of the matter is effective implementation so that good governance becomes part of the everyday operations. Here are some


thoughts to consider as you prepare your plans for 2018.

engage stakeholders both within and outside the business.

The importance of company vision The vision document is the constitution that drives all aspects of the business. It is axiomatic that you cannot expect the team to follow if you don’t effectively express where you are going. The starting point is clear - the owners / board must define what the company does (“mission”), where the future lies (“vision”) and how to get there (“strategy”). Each should be specific, measurable and timebound. For my clients, I adopt a “two-page” rule when drafting the document with them, whereby these statements are written down on no more than two pages of A4. That drives focused thinking, giving sufficient depth and avoids excess text that becomes meaningless. As far as possible, it should be a collaborative effort, working with the key individuals of the business to get their input and utilise their expertise. It is a vital precursor to any business planning process, and probably the most effective ‘go to” document to

Connect values, behaviours and operations Good governance is also about having strong values in terms of “HOW” the organisation conducts its business. It has sometimes been said that company values are written by the marketing department, and the governance code is written by the finance or legal team. Only rarely in my experience, has the time been taken to ensure those key words align, and are effectively communicated across the organisation, coherently connecting vision, business plan and daily operations. In order for this to happen, the owners, the board and the senior team must take the time to explain the real meaning of the governance framework in the organisation, ensure it is understood, and then build this into job descriptions, performance management systems (including incentives) and operational meetings. Culture is notoriously difficult to measure but as a minimum, the topic should be added to the standard

John Merrigan

“One of the key roles for the board includes establishing the culture, values and ethics of the company. It is important that the board sets the correct ‘tone from the top’. The directors should lead by example and ensure that good standards of behaviour permeate throughout all levels of the organization. This will help prevent misconduct, unethical practices and support the delivery of long-term success.” - UK Corporate Governance Code

board agenda and also reviewed at least quarterly by the management in a formal setting. The precise measuring tools will soon emerge and should be consistently followed. Activate and focus the Management Team (Excom) Every business should have a qualified leadership team reporting to the board, comprising the key experienced and skilled executives working “in” the business. This assumes a clear demarcation between daily operations and the strategic / oversight role reserved for of the board who work “on” the business. The precise composition of the Excom will vary but it is essential that they are

a team that meets regularly, with a fixed agenda to properly review the business performance. The Excom should have clear accountabilities both shared collectively, and borne individually for their respective area of operations and the annual company business plan. The members act as the execution lynch-pin between the board and the employees of the company. For the board, the team is a forum to identify and retain talent. I recommend that each member of the Excom has between 8-10 KPIs, clearly linked to the annual business plan comprising a blend of individual, team and personal developmental targets. A range of possible solutions There are a wide range of solutions to engage key staff and employees, and the precise mix will depend on factors such as the maturity and size of the business, and the specific objectives that are defined by the board. Whatever route is finally selected, it should be fully supported by the board, connect to the business vision and be properly assessed in terms of risk, cost and duration. Sometimes, a pilot project

approach should be adopted before wider implementation is contemplated. The following approaches are some examples to highlight the breadth of how employees can be engaged: Performance Incentives: These range from profit share to individual bonus schemes related to KPIs. Share ownership can be difficult to implement and is generally best suited to larger organizations where share ownership structures are usually better defined and administered. The best schemes I have seen in practice are generally very simple to understand and are connected to an annual cycle. Participation in key board committees or advisory boards. These platforms offer excellent opportunities to assess the potential key people operating at senior level over an extended period. In addition, they are often a good path to full board membership. Works best when supported by good mentoring, regular board exposure, and where tasks have a well-defined timeframes and outcomes. 27

John Merrigan

Directorships. Board membership can be hugely motivational to engage key staff. However, all too often, this is implemented without due regard to the legal responsibilities that arise, and the transitional issues associated with moving from an operational focus to a higher role in the business. Typically, such placements are successful after a nominee has shown an extended period of loyalty and sustained strong performance, and where as a new director they have specific relevant expertise and a well-defined role in the board. Employee Owned Trusts. Administered in the UK under legislation codified in 2014, this structure may deliver tax benefits and strong employee engagement as majority ownership of the business is transferred to employees via a trust. A very clear set of circumstances are required but such structures are on the rise. Health Warning: All of the above require expert advice / assessment, and should only be applied after proper consideration that one or more are the right choice for individual organisations. Organisations often point to the fact that they have governance systems in place already but the actual practice can be different and inconsistent. From the board of directors downwards, there are gaps seen in how individuals interpret the “rules of the game” and how they


act (or don’t) in a manner that supports the corporate governance framework. Assess the following issues when it comes to implementation: “Walk the Talk”: Owners and directors must display their own behaviours consistent with the corporate governance framework. If owners, board directors or senior leaders act or talk in a way that is inconsistent with the vision and governance code, then they are sending this signal to all those around them. Leaders and directors need to talk regularly about governance when they interact at all levels - this reinforces awareness and the expected culture in a practical way. Understand Resistance to Change: Owners and directors should ask honestly why there is delay or “stickiness” in implementing good governance. There needs to be an open discussion and trust for this to happen most effectively. They can make the case that good governance

brings transparency and consistency in policies, strengthens controls, and supports sustainability of the business for employees and the shareholders alike. When your team connects personally, then a durable culture will emerge. Be Patient: Psychologists say our actions become consistent habits and behaviours only after they are practiced multiple times. That means a good governance culture only forms after consistently being reinforced over time by you and the senior team. Mistakes are a reality in the process. Commit, advocate and settle-in for the long haul to yield sustainable benefits for your business. Parting Thoughts: A strong governance culture takes time to build and it is a key responsibility of the owners and directors and leadership in organizations of all sizes. It is not abstract, nor is it about generalities on a website or written documents that nobody understands or lives. Effective engagement of your key people is the result of great leadership and a proactive, sincere approach, practiced every day in the business. By advocating and making a start on the steps outlined above, you will be investing in the future sustainability of the business. I’d be delighted to hear from you to discuss any of these topics and good luck! For further information, please contact John Merrigan:


Seven Steps to a Powerful Presentation Business presentations can be daunting and getting to the point is crucial. Steve Campion from Toastmasters International explains seven steps to take to deliver a powerful presentation

Picture the scene... You’re trying to listen to the Insight speaker, but their presentation slides are so distracting that your mind wanders, wondering what’s for lunch, and perhaps slipping gently into a slideinduced coma. It doesn’t need to be like this. As a speaker, you can use visual aids to bring your message to life and to help you connect with your audience. All it takes it a little preparation and seven simple steps. Know your audience Think about the reason you’re being asked to present, the size of the

audience and what they may already know about the topic. Nothing induces boredom more than explaining something that someone already knows, or causes more confusion that assuming they know all the acronyms and jargon that you’re using. The most useful approach is to build a “persona” to help you think about people in the audience, or more than one if it’s a diverse group. Give your persona a name and think about what they’re like, why they’re here, their hopes and fears and how you might solve their problem. Develop an idea Your presentation should have one message. It could be to solve their problem by buying your product, investing in your project or changing a policy. In the 7 habits of highly effective

people, Stephen Covey said: “Begin with the end in mind”, and this is especially true when it comes to presentations. If you’re not sure what the audience should think, feel and believe by the end of your presentation, then grab a few post-it notes and start doodling. I tend to find that the first ideas are rarely the best, but with a few iterations you can come up with something much more compelling. You can turn “buy my market research service” into “hear how XYZ improved results by delighting their customers”. Remember to focus on the benefit to the audience. Plan your presentation Step away from the keyboard.... instead pick up your post-it notes and plan out the key points. Then add a story or 29


anecdote for each. Rather than saying that your taxi company has more drivers than anyone else, share a story of how a client had been able to get to the airport after a last-minute flight change. Although most business presentations need to contain facts and figures, it’s the stories and emotional connection that we remember. Think about how you’re going to share facts and figures. If you’re showing a trend or comparison, then a wellconstructed line graph or bar chart may be all that’s required to make your point. Be cautious when using pie charts though. It’s not easy to make sense of abstract angles and it gets worse if there are lots of segments. Unless your message is “rubber ducks represent a quarter of our sales”, then another method may be better. Always ask “will this chart make it easier for THIS audience to understand THIS message?” If not, try something different. If you do need to provide the detailed data, then make it available through a handout or a follow-up email. Create your visual aids Look for images that support your points and stories. You can find plenty of free-to-use photos by searching online for “Creative Commons”, there are also low-cost photo libraries. Best of all would be to use your own photos. Photos or quotes from your current customers


can help, and video can be particularly powerful. However, avoid using a video at the start of your presentation – the audience will likely switch off before you even start to speak. If you are presenting at an event, make sure that your first and last slides have your name and contact details, and the event hashtag if there is one. Ensure that the images that you use are consistent with your company style and colour scheme, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that every slide needs to contain your logo. If you’re 20 minutes into a presentation and people don’t know who you are, then a logo isn’t the solution. Finally, use text sparingly and use a large, clear font. It can be useful for quotes or to emphasise a point that you’ve just made. Just remember that your audience can’t read and listen to you at the same time, so always pause after revealing something on the screen. Rehearse Although you are not aiming for perfect, practice will make you better. Rehearse what you’re going to say and how you’re going to use your slides. Go back to your persona(s) and imagine their reaction as you make each point. Make any notes that you need, but don’t make the mistake of reading to the audience. The rehearsal process builds confidence and also allows you to practice your

timing. If someone has given you 20 minutes to present, then having an hour-long presentation is no good. In fact, be prepared to do it in 15 minutes if necessary. Prepare to present Always check what equipment you’ll need to use when presenting and pay particular attention to connectors for screens and projectors. Bring spares of everything possible in case something goes wrong and take a power extension cable too. Having your presentation on a USB stick can get you out of trouble in an emergency. Remember that things can change at the last minute, so be prepared to adapt, and try to arrive early so that you can test that everything is working. Deliver your powerful presentation Take a deep breath. Smile at the audience. Then enjoy the experience of delivering your powerful presentation to an audience that will be enthralled, delighted and convinced by your message. Remember Being asked to deliver a talk is a great experience. Whether it’s a sales pitch to a client or an update in a team huddle, the most important thing is to focus on the needs of the audience and make sure your message is useful to them.

21 Years of Building Business Confidence We know that starting a business and growing it can be a rollercoaster. Some days it’s the best feeling in the world, and others you’ll feel like just giving up. That’s why, ever since we opened in 1996, the most essential thing we’ve offered our members is confidence. At the Sussex Innovation Centre you’ll find a supportive environment in the heart of an entrepreneurial community. Our team of dedicated innovation advisors have walked in the same shoes as you. We appreciate that founders sometimes need a sounding board for ideas, and sometimes need someone to share frustrations with. From providing detailed strategic advice and market insight, to on-demand practical support and modern, flexible office space - everything we do is designed to build confidence - in yourself and your business.

“Sussex Innovation is a great environment for startups. They have the perfect combination of friendly advice, great knowledge and professional services to support any growing business. They are always happy to help, make introductions and talk through any stumbling blocks you may face as an early-stage business.” Jason Grima, Founder, Deal Zippy

Find out more: call us on 01273 704 400, email, or visit 31

Cover Feature: Sussex Innovation Centre

A Celebration of Business in Sussex Last month, the Sussex Innovation Centre celebrated its 21st birthday. Here and following on from our cover spot in our last issue, we feed back on their commemorative event The Centre is based on the Falmer campus Sussex of the University of Innovation Sussex, and was one Centre of only a handful of university-affiliated innovation centres in the UK when it opened in 1996. To celebrate its ‘coming of age’, the Centre hosted an open house party, giving guests the opportunity to get hands-on with some of the most interesting ideas its community of startups, scale-ups and academics had to offer. The guest list was made up of investors, business leaders, and dignitaries from local government and academia, as well as members of the Sussex Innovation network from Croydon, where the organisation opened its first sister site in 2015. Guests for the evening could step into the different offices, where Sussex Innovation members presented fun, interactive displays of products, technologies, games and platforms. What is the Sussex Innovation Centre? The Centre was established to encourage


more diversity in the local economy, and to help retain more of the skilled graduates emerging from Brighton’s two universities, which both invested in the project. Funding from the City and County Councils and several private partners, most notably Seeboard (now EDF Energy) raised an initial £2.2m to get it off the ground. It quickly became the go-to place for entrepreneurs and growing companies in the region. In 2008, Sussex Innovation became a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Sussex, and subsequently has taken a more active role in helping to bring academic research into the commercial realm. Mike Herd – who has been the Executive Director for the last 20 years - described its role as “creating a supportive environment and a community that helps people gain the confidence to grow a business”, as he addressed tenants, staff and guests at the end of the night. “I was reflecting on whether I’m prouder of the really big things that have happened over the years – the trade sales, investments, product launches, deals and funding – or all the thousands

of little things, where we’ve been able to make a difference. In the end, it’s those thousands of little things our team do every day that have made the Centre the big thing that we celebrate this evening.”

Sussex Innovation Centre

A visit from the Vice-Chancellor Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Adam Tickell began the evening by visiting the academic commercialisation exhibit in the Centre’s boardroom, where several products of Sussex research were on display. After learning about an innovative electric potential sensor developed in partnership with microchip manufacturer Plessey, he got to trial two applications of the technology – a car seat designed to catch drivers falling asleep at the wheel, and in neighbouring start-up Emteq’s office, a pair of glasses capable of reading the wearer’s facial expression and replicating it in a virtual environment. The Vice-Chancellor was particularly impressed after visiting the offices of Internet of Things agency HARE, founded by Sussex alumnus Chris O’Hare. Chris won the University’s annual StartUp Sussex competition, which is delivered by the Centre’s team, in 2015. In the two years since, he has built a thriving startup turning over more than £500,000 per year. Prof Tickell commended the Centre on its track record of helping alumni to build sustainable businesses, with more than a third of companies across its twenty-one years founded by former Sussex students and staff.

Crystalusion demonstrated how their ‘liquid glass’ nanotech is protecting mobile devices across the world from scratches, water and grease, while INTCAS had an opportunity to present their international student platform to University delegates. Many guests left the room wearing a great conversation starter; a ThriveMap badge announcing their preferred workplace culture. Other exhibitors included eCommerce voucher experts Uniqodo, all-in-onecar parking app Hozah, image curation platform Zegami and virtual environment agency Heads Above the Cloud. Since opening its hub in East Croydon two years ago, Sussex Innovation has worked with more than 100 new businesses in the borough. For some of the organisation’s newest members, the evening was an opportunity to network with their counterparts on the south coast, learn more about the Centre’s history, and its plans to replicate a successful business incubation model back in the capital. Highlights of the party The Centre’s corridors heaved with visitors trying to cram in as many of the forty exhibiting companies as possible, guided by members of the Catalyst team

of graduate interns in “ask me a question” t-shirts. Guests who took a test with the ‘subconscious barman’ in Mindlab International’s room could answer once and for all whether they preferred a rum and coke or a vodka tonic. Meanwhile, adaptive music software company Filmstro demonstrated how to manipulate a film’s soundtrack in real-time. In the boardroom, several displays celebrated the ground-breaking University of Sussex research currently being supported at the Centre. MetaSonics, a spinout collaboration between academics from Sussex and Bristol, demonstrated a way of shaping sound “in the same way a lens shapes light”. They showcased applications for the technology ranging from speakers that can only be heard from a specific location, to ‘haptics’ creating the sensation of a physical object in the air. On a neighbouring table, neuroscientist Dr Sarah Garfinkel from the Brighton & Sussex Medical School tested people’s awareness of their own heart rate – a skill shown to be linked with better intuitive decision making, and a key part of the new HeartRater app. A string quartet in the lobby played in time to the Syncphonia synchronised score-reading app developed at the School of Media, Film and Music, with passers-by joining in to offer percussion. Other attractions ranged from mobile sports games and health food cookery classes, to building a mobile app in 30 minutes. Guests left with smiles on their faces after an evening that celebrated all the fun and excitement of innovation in action.

Welcome to Croydon Several of Sussex Innovation’s members from the UK’s fastest growing tech cluster made the trip down to ‘the mothership’ (as it is affectionately nicknamed) to showcase their ideas. The Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Toni Letts, was among the guests from Croydon’s local government who met with entrepreneurs and discussed plans to support a business community spanning the Coast to Capital LEP region. 33

LinkedIn Business Building

Two Decades in Business with Ministry of Hair

Eastbourne’s go-to salon, Ministry of Hair, is celebrating 20 years of business this year. Here in your November issue, we take a look at the company’s success and the brains behind the operation, Toby Meyer Ministry of Hair is celebrating 20 years of business this year, Ministry a huge achievement of Hair for the company, its employees, and owner, Toby Meyer in particular. “I can’t believe where the time has gone.” explained Toby, “I am extremely grateful and thankful to all our valued and loyal clients who have supported us over the 20 years. I hope they continue to enjoy visiting us for many more years to come. All of this would not have been possible


without the fantastic team at Ministry!” It was Toby’s idea, when setting up the salon in 1997, to create a salon environment that was modern in style, creating a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Of course, the main point of difference – and what sets Ministry of Hair apart from other salons in the area – was the attention to customer care combined with highly trained stylists with a commitment to service, skill and continued education, making sure at all times everyone is kept-up-to date in our ever changing industry. Toby continued: “I have always believed

if you learn more you can offer more.” This was achieved, resulting in the salon expanding and growing another floor in 2009. The concept continues today, within all at Ministry of Hair. From the Apprentices who are our rising stars, reception and front of house team, to all who help behind the scenes, keeping us at the front in technology, advertising and media. With online booking, an online shop and booking app, Ministry of Hair is one of the most pro-active salons in the area, attracting all ages with its interactive social media. “Ministry of Hair is more like a family,

Ministry of Hair

with the most senior of stylists being with me for many years. Lisa was with me from the start, Clive shortly after opening and Alex and Andrea for 18 years. Other amazing stylists and team members have been with me eight, nine and ten years. Continuity of staff makes such a difference to any business, especially for clients, and I am hugely grateful and love them all dearly.” A firm believer in education being the key to change and growth, Toby Meyer has 26 years experience in the world of hairdressing, studying with some of the biggest and best names in the industry. He has put his experience to good use and as the proud owner of a flourishing salon and Manager to a team of 25 – made up of stylists, assistants and salon coordinators – since 1997, is celebrating 20 years of business this year, winning Best in Customer Care Award last year in 2016. Toby has been a Redken Artist since 2000. He has hosted and compared,

along with being a Main Stage Artist at many Redken shows and International Events, including Tribe, Connects, Fashion Shows and Session Work, where he teaches & inspires other Hairdressing professionals. Since 2011, Toby has been part the Redken International Team, which has seen him working with Redken Artists all over the world, including the Euro symposium in Berlin, Main Stage at the UK Symposium in London, Look & Learn Shows in Ireland, Holland, Singapore and other European countries. Toby is a regular Redken facilitator in the UK and is in high demand for his Personal Coach sessions in Creative Design, Mens’ Barbering and Session Hair. This is all down to his creative, passionate and energetic approach. Whilst attending and assisting at International Symposium over numerous years, Toby represented the UK with his class Gentlemen’s Club at the 2015 Redken International Symposium in Las Vegas, along with Client Matters at

the Redken Symposium On Tour in Barcelona 2016. He was the guest artist at Hair Club Live in 2016, showcasing mens’ UpDo’s. In January 2017 he returned to the main stage at the Redken International Symposium in Las Vegas for the Redken Man Show, with the latest looks and techniques, making him Redken’s worldwide Ambassador in men’s hair design. Redken has remained the product range of choice for 20 years with their commitment to premium in-salon colour service, styling and a superior home care range, so guests can continue the luxury feel at home. All of this together has resulted in a very successful Salon Brand, making all who are associated very proud, and long may it last! Toby concludes: “Ministry of Hair invites you all to come and experience our wide range of Hairdressing Services for Men & Women and let our talented team take you on a new Hair Journey.” 35

‘Menstrual-Related Leave’ be a Thing? This month’s Health and Wellbeing section – with help from Mr Faz Pakarian, Gynecologist at the Montefiore Hospital in Hove – focuses on the subject of menstrual-related illness in the workplace and discusses whether or not employers should grant leave for such reasons

As we well know, women now make up almost half of Health & Wellbeing the UK workforce, meaning that losing out on female workers is sure to have an impact on the economy and many businesses across the country. Of course, for females, one very regular problem surrounds that of menstrual pain. For many unlucky women workers, the pain that comes along with periods can often be unbearable, and new survey results released last month highlights the considerable impact and lack of awareness of heavy periods, which affect one in five women. That’s over 4 million people in the UK. Women with heavy periods take 5,581,186 days off work every year due to the impact of the condition, costing over £531 million. Heavy periods are a medical condition which can be treated, yet 73% admit to lying about their reason for taking time off work, with almost half (44%) preferring to cite diarrhoea as the cause. Almost two thirds of women affected (62%) don’t realise that heavy periods are a common medical condition (menorrhagia), with almost half (49%)


of those who haven’t spoken to their GP believing it to be “just part of being a woman”. Heavy periods also have a significant impact on physical health, with 74% of women surveyed experiencing anxiety, 69% depression and almost half (49%) reporting anaemia. The research amongst women with heavy periods also demonstrated how the condition affects wellbeing and quality of life… 58% have felt unable to carry out their daily routine and 86% have bled through their clothes and 85% through their bedding, while 45% feel that their relationship with their partner is affected. Meanwhile, over two thirds have missed out on romantic experiences (67%), almost a third of women (30%) have stopped playing a sport or a hobby for the duration of their period and many are missing out on social events such as meals with friends (43%), family gatherings (31%) and

weekends away or holidays (20%). Last year, Bristol-based company, Coexist announced that it had decided to give its employees menstrual leave and is planning to give employees the right to take time off that would not be regarded as sick leave. Employees would be expected to make up time taken off for period pain, but have the option to stay at home while they were suffering without having to produce a sick note. So our question here is, should UK companies follow suit and allow menstrual-related leave for female workers? Coexist believes so, and held a seminar earlier this year to discuss the idea with other employers and organisations. Other companies have already taken on board a similar approach to employee wellbeing, including Nike who introduced menstrual leave and makes business partners sign a memorandum of understanding to ensure they maintain the company’s standards. While there is not yet a law at UK or

“One in five women suffer with heavy periods and a recent survey showed that time off work due to this condition costs industry over £531m”

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Health and Wellbeing: Should

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Health & Wellbeing

EU level to guarantee female workers this right, other countries across the world host similar principles. Japan enforced a law in 1947 that allowed women to take days off work if they were suffering with pain of this kind, and similar laws now exist in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In English law, according to lawyers, severe period pain could be considered a disability. Lynne Marr, a Partner in the employment team at Brodies LLP said: “Employers should be aware that severe period pain which is impacting on performance or attendance could amount to a physical impairment or be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, which would constitute a disability under the Equality Act 2010.” With this in mind, it seems it might just be a matter of time before such a law is introduced to the UK.

“One in five women suffer with heavy periods and a recent survey showed that time off work due to this condition costs industry over £531m. For the individual, heavy periods can have a significant impact on their physical and mental wellbeing, and affect concentration at work. However there is a lot that can be done to help,” says Mr Faz Pakarian, gynaecologist at The Montefiore Hospital in Hove. He continued: “Excessive menstrual bleeding is known as menorrhagia and causes pain, tiredness, nausea and embarrassing accidents. And due to the amount of blood being lost, many women can also develop anaemia, which exacerbates the fatigue. “Surprisingly, women are reluctant to see their GP about heavy periods believing it to be just `part of being a woman’. But after you have tried the self-

“Almost two thirds of women affected (62%) don’t realise that heavy periods are a common medical condition”

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Health & Wellbeing

help tips below, make an appointment with your doctor who can help. You may be referred to a specialist for assessment to exclude other causes such as hormones, polyps, fibroids or endometriosis - conditions which also cause heavy periods. “Years ago, women with excessively heavy periods would be offered a hysterectomy – a major surgical operation to remove the womb with a recovery time of six weeks to three months. Aside from the health risks such as blood clots, a hysterectomy isn’t a practical option if you are working and have a busy household to manage. There are other options and new procedures that carry less risk and enable you to be back on your feet and back to work sooner. Of course, the best treatment for you will depend on your medical history, your age, and whether you would like to have children.” How to help yourself Try an Over-The-Counter medicine such as Tranexamic acid or Mefenamic acid (also known as Ponstan). These can help to reduce the pain and lessen the bleeding. If you are obese, losing


weight could also help to lighten the periods. If symptoms continue, visit your GP. What your GP can do Your doctor can prescribe stronger medication or may recommend either the combined contraceptive pill or the Mirena coil. Both are used as contraceptives, but can also reduce heavy bleeding. The pill can reduce heavy bleeding by around 40%, and has the benefit of regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing period pain. Referral to a specialist Before any treatment is prescribed a full medical history and examination will take place and blood tests carried out to exclude anaemia and clotting disorders. You will be given an ultrasound scan to rule out fibroids or endometrial polyps. If you are past child-bearing age or have had your children and know you don’t want any more, then you may be offered an endometrial ablation which removes the lining of the womb. Ablation has been around since the 1980s, but a new tool called NovaSure means the procedure can be done

within 20 minutes and under local anaesthetic (although many patients still prefer a general anaesthetic). NovaSure is basically a wand which delivers radiofrequency energy to remove the first layer of the uterus (the womb) and endometrium (the tissue lining the inner cavity of the uterus). Most patients have little pain after surgery and for nine out of 10 women, their periods are dramatically reduced or stop altogether. Some women choose to have a hysterectomy and this can now be done through key hole surgery. A laparoscopic hysterectomy is minimally invasive, allows for quicker recovery after the operation and many patients can go home the next day. They could be back at work within six weeks - and won’t ever have a period again.

Mr Faz Pakarian offers a one stop gynaecology clinic to assess women with heavy periods on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings at The Montefiore Hospital, Montefiore Road, Hove. Visit or phone 01273 828 148.


CLEANING SERVICES Fresh Cleaning Services are a Sussex based, family owned commercial and domestic cleaning company. Fresh Cleaning has been established for over 10 years. We pride ourselves on offering a personal touch to each individual client. Our staff are fully trained and achieve high standards which we expect and maintain for our clients.

WHAT WE OFFER: • Office Cleaning • Stripping and resealing floors • Carpet Cleaning • Consumables provided • Free estimates and advice • Driveways, patios and flagstone jet washed • Washroom services • Fully insured • Competitive rates • Testimonies available • Initial ‘spring clean’ to all new contracts • Visits from management to client sites

Tel: 07976 568241 •


Silverback Studios

Making that Human Connection in a Digital Age Design, digital and brand specialists, Silverback Studios return to our pages again this month to explain how best to connect with your audience through printed media.

Business isn’t what it was 20 years ago, and we’re now Advertorial living in a world dominated by digital media and electronic communications. From a marketing perspective, it can be quite a challenge to create cut-through, gain visibility and stand apart from the digital crowd. That’s not to say that communicating with your audience through digital media isn’t important – it’s crucial – but the digital side is just that; one side to building your brand story. Designing something physical can create more of a personal, human connection and can have more impact. To many people, a tangible and tactile item is synonymous with quality and exclusivity. From a simple, foil-blocked or embossed logo on your business card, to a high-end bespoke and personalised item, it shows that thought and care has gone into creating a piece of communication or packaging. Grays Bookbinders was established back in 1960 and now boasts a rich heritage in luxury binding, printing and box making, unique within their industry. They specialise in handcrafting bespoke books, customised portfolios, menu covers and folders as well as presentation boxes for high-end businesses and customers. The company asked Silverback Studios to help with their rebrand, which needed to reflect the craftsmanship of the company as a whole and appeal to high-end businesses and designers alike. It was important that their printed collateral showcased Grays’ impeccable work and heritage, as well as reflecting the bespoke nature of the jobs and their diverse client base. The brochure presents some of their luxury materials, stitching and embossing techniques, demonstrating their expertise and appealing to their target audience. It was important that the website also mirrored the same high-end qualities.


“We prides ourselves on being traditional, high quality and prestigious. We needed a visual identity to reflect – Silverback did just that through the printed collateral and website design. They have helped us successfully secure clients from exclusive brands to high-end design agencies.” Hussein Ghor Managing Director, Grays Bookbinders

A bit about Silverback Studios As a full service design agency, we pride ourselves on being able to cater to all your brand’s requirements; from brand strategy, naming and logo design to guidelines, print, website design and digital media. Our clients’ aspirations always come first, so we listen to what you need, bring fresh thinking to your brand and help you get the best results.

Christmas Packages

available from 24th November To Include: 4 Course meal and a £20 Lucky Roulette Voucher to get you started on the tables

Sunday- Thursday £22.50 pp Friday & Saturday £32.50 pp to include Live Entertainment

2 Course midweek lunch £18.45pp Create your own party packages:

2 Course Festive Buffet £15.95 pp (min 8 people) Festive platters and drinks packages available to suit all budgets Free bottle of wine per 4 people when make your booking before 31st October.( Sunday to Thursday Bookings ) Grosvenor Casino Brighton, 9 Grand Junction Road, Brighton, BN1 1PP Tel: 01273 326514 Email: F& T’s & C’s apply 41

Strictly over 18’s only- ID may be required if attending the venue for the first time without membership

Working Lunch:

The Coal Shed

For this month’s review, Sussex Business Times enjoyed a lunchtime bite at The Coal Shed in Brighton. Here, we feed back on our thoughts… Born from the love of cooking on fire, Lunch The Coal Shed is a steak restaurant Review with relaxed, elegant surroundings in the heart of Brighton. This isn’t the first time that The Coal Shed has graced our pages, but after such an amazing dining experience the first time around, we saw no harm in divulging in all the seaside restaurant has to offer once again. The Coal Shed has been named as one of the best restaurants in the UK by the prestigious Observer Food Monthly awards, and has also been recommended by The Telegraph, The Guardian, the Brighton & Hove Foodie Awards and many others, proving that it’s not just a hot spot for Brighton residents, but is worth a trip to the seaside town from other areas across the region. The staff at The Coal Shed pride themselves on one simple method; the highest quality


ingredients, sourced as locally as possible and expertly cooked. As well as a seasonal à la carte menu, The Coal Shed also offers daily specials, a great value express lunch and pre-theatre menu, plus Brighton’s favourite Sunday Sharing Roasts. In addition to this, for special occasions, guests can enjoy the Chef’s Library Room, their own private dining room, catering for up to 14 people. The room is serviced by your own personal waiter and offers group dining menus with no hire fees! What more could you possibly ask for? The Coal Shed is deceptively large. From the outside it sits underwhelmingly between other buildings, although the eye-catching grey/teal coloured walls and large front windows allow it to stand out. Inside is a different story – a large space with numerous wooden tables scattered neatly around, a bar overflowing with every kind of drink you could imagine, and unique lights hanging from the ceiling over each table. The aesthetics

Lunch Review are consistent throughout, keeping the exterior colour scheme running through the rest of the building but contrasting it with white-bricked walls. If we could compare it to anything, we would say it represents that of what you would expect your typical wine bar to look like. Of course, being located in the heart of the city of Brighton means The Coal Shed is in the perfect position for a business lunch – within close proximity to the train station and offices, plus just about everything else that surrounds it. We entered the restaurant with a warm welcome from the front of house staff and were shown to our reserved table, where we were served a bottle of Merlot – nothing quite complements a nice meal than a bottle of red. Similarly to our last visit to The Coal Shed, the service was impeccable. Staff were all very friendly and incredibly polite without creating too much of a formal environment. One thing that we always look for in particular with regards to the team of staff, is knowledge on the selection of available food and beverages, and this is something that is included in your dining experience at The Coal Shed. There wasn’t a single instance when we had to ask for anything – salt and pepper was provided, along with sauces and napkins – and it’s clear to see that organisation is important. For our starters, my guest and I opted for the BBQ-glazed Jacob’s ladder, kimchi and sesame, and the Brixham scallops, broad beans, apple and gherkins. Of course, the fact that this was a lunch review meant that after our

starting courses – and plentiful ones at that – our appetites had reduced a fair amount, and so we opted to share a main course between us. After a huge amount of deliberation, we decided on the Shared Bone in prime rib, with creamy spinach and chips. I’d like to start off by emphasising how delicious both starting courses were – succulent and flawlessly presented – almost too attractive to eat! Our shared main course was equally as divine, and I didn’t feel the need to ask where the meat was sourced from, because it was clear from the moment it reached our table that it’s among the

very best. The chips were cooked to perfection; light and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. While we would have loved to devour one of The Coal Shed’s many impressive desserts, we quite simply were just too full… There’s always next time, though! Of course, all in all our dining experience at The Coal Shed in Brighton was one like no other, and succeeded in exceeding our incredibly high expectations after last time. With a unique and cosy ambiance, delicious ingredients cooked to the highest quality, a wide selection of beverages and a professional 43

Lunch Review team of staff, The Coal Shed more than deserves its name as “one of the best restaurants in the UK” and makes for the perfect location for a lunchtime bite. It gets a well-deserved five stars from SBT! Last month, The Coal Shed landed at Berkeley Homes’ new landmark development, One Tower Bridge. The opening of The Coal Shed in one of Central London’s most iconic locations marked the first London outing for restauranteur, Razak Helalat, who has already won diners over with The Coal Shed’s original Brighton outlet and sister restaurant, The Salt Room, which opened in Brighton in February 2015. The Coal Shed in Brighton has been named one of the best places to eat in the UK and is now bringing the restaurant’s approach to cooking the finest steak and seafood to its new branch. Located opposite the iconic Tower of London, One Tower Bridge is a mixeduse development of high-specification apartments, commercial and cultural space. The Coal Shed joins restaurants like The Ivy Brasserie, Tom Simmons and Rosa’s Thai at the riverside destination,


which is quickly becoming a new culinary hotspot in the capital. The Coal Shed at One Tower Bridge will continue to source seasonal, sustainable meat and seafood, including their range of 35-day, dry-aged Scottish steaks from the North Highlands that will be expertly cooked on hot coals. There will also be a specials board featuring some rare breed cuts and for seafoods fans a great selection of fresh fish and crustaceans from the South coast boats that deliver directly to the restaurant everyday. There will also be a range of small plates to encourage people to share dishes, and every Sunday, the restaurant will put on a full sharing roast, complete with all the trimmings, perfect for the family or group gathering. The team behind The Coal Shed & The Salt Rom in Brighton have helped to create the food and drinks menu. Executive Chef Dave Mothersill and Executive Pastry Chef Laura Petersen are the brains behind the restaurant’s food philosophy and menu while Head Bartender Matt Ottley has crafted an impressive drinks list, which includes a

selection of innovative cocktails, wines and Champagnes. Razak will continue to play a handson role, even performing front of house duties and interacting with customers. Commenting on the opening at One Tower Bridge, he said: “Having enjoyed wonderful and humbling success in Brighton with both The Coal Shed and The Salt Room restaurants, we’re incredibly proud to bring The Coal Shed to One Tower Bridge. Since opening nearly six years ago, it feels like a natural progression to be opening to a new audience in London where we’ll remain fully committed to our love for quality ingredients, expertly cooked. It goes without saying that we’re more than excited about what’s in store.” The Coal Shed in Brighton is open seven days a week from 12pm to 4pm for lunch, and 6pm to 10pm for dinner. For further information or to book your table, please visit


The Coal Shed 8 Boyces Street Brighton BN1 1AN 01273 322 998

Don’t let lack of finance hold back your dreams If you have a small to medium-size business (SME) or are a start-up based in East Sussex, we could help you fund a wide range of capital items to help increase sales, improve productivity and boost profitability. Grants of up to £10,000 available. Terms & conditions apply

See for details 45



This month, Sussex Business Times has partnered with Lewes Chamber of Commerce, speaking of the organisation’s ethos and outlining some of its upcoming events

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With quirky independent retailers shopping in Lewes is a delight. It’s also the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat or a drink in one of our historic pubs. The High Street runs from the very top of Lewes Town down to the Cliffe precinct area. There are some great shops scattered along the way and visitors often miss some of the unique shops situated at the very top. Cliffe High Street is packed with great vintage & antiques shops. There’s a regular farmers market in Cliffe Precinct on the 1st Saturday of the month and weekly food market every Friday in the Market Tower. When you join the Lewes Chamber of Commerce you become part of one of the town’s most effective business groups. You increase the opportunities to do business within Lewes. You can share your knowledge and expertise, and in turn you get access to a new business network. The Chamber is the voice of


the Lewes’ business community and we use this voice to help our members build successful businesses. Ultimately, we want what’s in the best interest of the town and what helps to bring business and revenue here. As an organisation we are only as good as our members and their involvement. People used to think we’re just organisers of Lewes Late Night Shopping, but we’re more than that. We are a voice to liaise, consult and lobby Town, District and County Councils on matters that affect business in Lewes. Business Development Manager at Astec Computing commented: “I just wanted to say thanks for yesterday’s meeting. I found it very useful indeed and in pleasant surroundings. I am sure I will come back to you to further the relationships,” while Plumpton College’s Head of Business Development said: “The feedback from the night was very

positive and some great new client interactions were made along with the regular members catch ups. Great food, great drink and great networking.”
 We run regular networking events including breakfasts and lunches. We also hold ad hoc events like Charity Quizzes, Afternoon Teas and Meet & Mingles. People can misunderstand what networking is. It’s about communication, sharing ideas, getting to know and trust people you might want to work with in future. Through our growing programme of activities and through our close links with relevant organisations, we provide a wide range of benefits and opportunities for members that are unavailable to other businesses. The work of the Chamber is undertaken by small group of volunteers who are committed to delivering benefits to the members and use their skills and give their time to achieve this. Upcoming events (all of which can be booked through our website)… • •

Thursday 23rd November – Chamber Lunchtime Networking at Cote Brasserie, Lewes Thursday 7th December - Lewes Late Night Shopping (6pm-9pm)

Membership runs from January 2018 and starts from £60.00. Facebook: /LewesChamber Twitter: @LewesChamber

Lewes Chamber of Commerce


Chamber News

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Test Drive For this month’s motoring reviews, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheels of the Range Rover Evoque and Jaguar XE. Here, we report back on our findings…

Range Rover Evoque Range Rover is a British made, Range full-sized luxury sport utility vehicle Rover (SUV) in the Land Rover marque under Jaguar Land Rover, one of several auto manufacturers owned by Tata Motors, a part of the Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group. Launched in 1970, this flagship model is now in its fourth generation. Jaguar Land Rover has expanded the use of the Land Rover Range Rover sub-brand to include the Range Rover Evoque, the Range Rover Velar and the Range Rover Sport. The Range Rover Evoque is without a doubt one of Land Rover’s most successful models, and it’s clear to see why. It’s not quite a cut-price model, but it does, on the other hand, carry inside a lot of tech, capability and style. The Evoque has been around since 2011 and has only seen minor updates since then, but it still remains smooth to drive, comfortable to sit in and has never been cheaper


to run with thanks to the addition of JLR’s Ingenium diesel engines. Since being introduced in 2011, the Range Rover Evoque has racked up an impressive 170 awards and 6 years later, still has what it takes to turn heads on the street, continuing to make a bold style statement and other cars in the

sector look somewhat desolate parked next to it. Externally, this Range Rover model looks the part, although we’re not too sure about the two tone colour scheme. Up front, the rounded nose features a slender grille and light clusters, while at the back, the tail-lights have a similar


look to the front, while the high-set back bumper and low roof give a sporty stance. As for the interior, the Evoque boasts a classy layout that comes close to matching the Audi Q3 for quality. While the cabin looks good, it’s also pretty well equipped. With it comes heated leather seats as standard, and two-zone climate control is also included. Plus, there are plenty of extras you can add. The dash comes completely in leather, matching well to the expense of the car. Controls on the dash are simple and easy-to-use, AV is outstanding with a 20-inch touchscreen and the panoramic roof made for a nice touch. Other features of this model include dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, Hill Descent Control, Bluetooth telephone connection and rainsensing windscreen wipers. While spaciousness is always an appealing factor, we did find with this model in particular that there might be slightly too much space, which meant that finding a comfortable position for your arms while driving proved to be quite difficult! On another note, the digital radio was a little bit notchy while looking for reception, and when running the fuel down, the percentage of fuel left to the miles left was a long way out. In terms of the drive, the Range Rover Evoque pulls especially well through all gears, and the transition between gears nice and smooth. The car itself boasts a huge amount of power, but of course, with its two litre engine and overall size in mind, we wouldn’t expect anything less. With the size of this motor in mind, we also have to make the point that it handles corners incredibly well. As a conclusion, we found that the Range Rover Evoque was a very comfortable car with smooth driving capabilities – especially over bumps and round corners – and all the controls and specs you could expect. If we’re going to nit pick, then our only problem with this model – if you can even call it that – relates to the fact that there are no arm rests, however this is compensated by comfort in other areas. Other than this, and this only, it’s a great car for both long and short journeys.

Jaguar XE

Jaguar is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Jaguar Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, England, owned by the Indian company Tata Motors since 2008. Of course, as you well know, Sussex Business Times is a huge fan of the Jaguar brand, with many of their most recent models having graced our pages in past issue. On to the XE in particular, though… Introduced in 2015, the Jaguar XE was the first compact executive saloon in the British marque’s line-up since the X-Type. From the outside alone, the XE really is quite a beautiful car – your typical sleek, modern businessman’s car, maybe aimed slightly more at the older demographic. The overall design is very simple, but oozes

sophistication. So with the XE, Jaguar needed to up its game. It set about designing a ‘proper’ Jaguar from the ground up, using its own lightweight aluminium chassis and a rear-wheel drive layout for sharper handling. Moving on to the Jaguar XE’s interior and speaking of the cockpit in particular, it was pretty much perfect in our eyes. Comparing with the Range Rover Evoque, it’s very snug and offers maximum comfort – the driving position is incredibly comfortable, making it the perfect car for long journeys. The dashboard and trim complement each other perfectly, with the dark brown upholstery looking very suave against the black. We found the sloping trim to the sides to be slightly unusual, but definitely quirky at that. The only negative we can really justify mentioning when speaking of the interior of this beautiful motor focuses around that of the size of the 49


cockpit in relation to the positioning of the speakers. Having taken a colleague to a meeting, after a while he was experiencing some discomfort with having his leg rested against the speaker and unfortunately, because the cockpit is so confined and snug, there isn’t really a huge amount of space to move your legs when sitting in the front. With regards to the drive of this car, we really don’t have any complaints. Controls-wise, the Jaguar XE is deceptively powerful, pulling incredibly well for an automatic car. The sat nav, like all other controls included in this motor, is clear and easy-to-use, and reverse cameras and parking sensors are of course, an added bonus. However, this isn’t unexpected, and it’s the norm now for cars to include these features, and so anything less would have been disappointing. On the other hand, if we’re going to be picky, our only minor complaint would be that of the light up display, situated up near the windscreen – it wasn’t as clear as it possibly could’ve been, and other cars with the same feature have suited us slightly more. Also


the driver won’t notice a great deal of difference between normal driving and driving in sport mode, apart from the manual transmission. Handling is good, although it’s not the greatest at cornering fast. All in all, the Jaguar XE is an almost perfect car for the business

OTR Price Engine capacity Transmission 0-60mph Max speed

demographic, perfect for long distance travel and overall, a very enjoyable car to drive. If we had to pick between the two for business travel purposes and with comfort in mind, then the XE would win hands down, but that’s not to say that the famous Range Rover Evoque is any less of a car.

Range Rover Evoque

Jaguar XE

£47,650 2L TD4 Diesel Automatic 9-speed 8.5 seconds 121mph

£31,695 2L Automatic 8-speed 6.7 seconds 148mph

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SBTMotoring News Kia Sportage is the UK’s Fastest Selling Used Car for 2nd Consecutive Month Data from Auto Trader revealed that the 2015 Kia Sportage was the fastest selling used car in September, taking an average of just 15 days to turn. It marked the second consecutive month the Korean SUV has taken the national top spot, after taking the least amount of days to sell in August, as well as taking the title for 2016’s overall fastest selling used car. Last month the Sportage was followed closely into second and third

Renault Announces Q4 Customer Offers

Renault announced a range of offers for the final quarter of 2017 including a three-year 0% APR Selections PCP finance package available on Clio, New Captur, Kadjar, Mégane, Mégane Sport Tourer, All-New Scénic, All-New Grand Scénic and All-New Koleos. Customers can take advantage of these offers now, until 31st December 2017. The stylish Clio with a refreshed exterior and enhanced interior and equipment can be driven away from only £129 per month on the three-year 0% APR PCP Selections package. Buyers in the market for a more family-sized vehicle need look no further than the Kadjar crossover with its seductive, muscular styling available from £199 per month on the same three-year 0% APR PCP Selections offer. Alternatively, the AllNew Scenic with standout features such as 20-inch alloy wheels and Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection as standard can be purchased from just £219 per month using the three-year 0% APR PCP Selections scheme.


place by the 2016 Ford Kuga, and the 2015 Renault Captur, taking a respective 19 days to leave the UK’s forecourts. Paul Philpott, President and Chief Executive of Kia Motors (UK) Limited said: “Once again, this is great news to hear. We know just how fast Sportage continues to sell as a new car, how its residual value makes it a great car for owners and so to see that demand for it as a used car is undimmed comes as no great surprise – and we don’t take that fact for granted!”

Peugeot and Peugeot Sport Reveal Even Sportier L750 R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo Peugeot and Peugeot Sport have combined to deliver the latest concept in performance vehicles of the future, with its sleek L750 R HYbrid Vision Gran Turismo. A year on from revealing the Peugeot L500 R HYbrid Vision Gran Turismo, the L750 R presents an evolution of one of Peugeot’s most innovative projects, delivering even greater performance, and showcasing Peugeot’s new design language. The all-new concept car, which has been launched alongside the release of the latest PlayStation®4 Gran Turismo

Sport video game, features a cuttingedge hybrid design that benefits from Peugeot and Peugeot Sport’s renowned performance credentials and ultra-efficient engine designs. An innovative dual-circuit hydraulic braking system and four ventilated carbon discs, independent front and rear suspensions which vary the ride height according to the car’s speed, and forgedmagnesium wheels, all combine to make the Peugeot L750 R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo as light and aerodynamic as possible.

Record Number of Deliveries for Volkswagen in September The Volkswagen brand delivered 593,700 vehicles worldwide in September 2017, an 8% increase compared with last year. In total, 4.49 million vehicles from the brand were handed over to customers worldwide from January to September. This represents a 3% increase compared to the previous year. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, commented: “September was indeed a record-breaking month for the Volkswagen brand. It was

the strongest month for deliveries in the history of Volkswagen not only worldwide, but for the individual markets of China, Canada, Chile, Poland, Sweden and Slovakia as well. There are also clear signs of an upturn in the home market of Germany; current orders are well above the previous month. The clearly positive dynamic for the brand continues in all regions. Growth in the third quarter was seven percent higher than the previous year.”

Here are some of the organisations we are in partnership with in 2017

For Outstanding Quality & Service

01273 464 884 Gemini Print, Unit A1, Dolphin Way Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex BN43 6NZ 53



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Chris Dale, Managing Director, Structured Communications traditional broadband, increasing download and upload speeds and is more reliable for when it is needed most. This is a huge benefit to any sized company that requires the capacity to smoothly meet deadlines, be as productive as possible with email, browsing, cloud and voice, and as a result, maintain strong client relations. To facilitate these benefits, bonded broadband is incredibly resilient meaning that business owners and employees have peace of mind that the connection won’t fail and that you’ll be saved the stress and disruption of downtime. This resiliency is achieved through bonded broadband utilising up to four broadband lines; should a fault occur in one, the connection will be maintained by the other lines. Bonded broadband is also highly scalable; should your business grow significantly, additional lines can be

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Paul Healy, Proprietor, Cavendish Financial What if the Bank of England increases interest rates in November? There are increasing indications from the Monetary Policy Committee and the Governor of the Bank of England that interest rates will be rising, and that could be as soon as next month. We understand from a recent government survey by YouGov that many households are on variable mortgages that are linked to the Bank of England base rate. This would be the first increase for over a decade, and would push up borrowing costs for millions of borrowers. It’s hard to imagine life without your iPhone, the original iPhone had only just been launched a decade ago and interest rates have not increased since its launch. 54

added as you need them to maintain the same quality of service. For each bonded line added, you can receive up to an 80% speed increase. Investing in high speeds and flexibility is more affordable than it may appear, with our own dedication to keeping entry points within your budget. Financially, bonded broadband is more cost-effective than leased lines if a business is in need of consistent bandwidth as it can provide increased speeds at a fraction of the cost. It is also an ideal solution for temporary sites as it has a shorter lead time and can be removed should a leased line be more appropriate. This is a productive option for construction sites and new offices.

As directly authorised whole of the market (independent) mortgage brokers we can help you to not only lower your monthly instalments, but also consolidate other debts and raise money for those longed-for home improvements. Here at Cavendish Financial Solutions can remove the worry, stress and aggravation of changing mortgage rates so that you can manage your finance more efficiently and protect your disposable income. For local impartial advice with a personal service for mortgage advice, chain break finance, commercial finance projects and buy to let mortgages- call Paul Healy on 01323 412013.

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Sarah Evans, Senior Associate, Construction & Engineering Team at Irwin Mitchell and resolved. Taking time to understand and document these in a formal contract at the start will save time and cost further down the line. Important contractual provisions include: •

What are the best ways of achieving a successful construction project? A ‘successful construction project’ means different things to different parties. For the client, it often means getting the agreed works completed on time and on budget. For contractors and subcontractors it will usually represent meeting the client’s expectations, receiving timely payments and achieving their planned profit margins. So how is success achieved? Through ‘clarity’. Be clear from the outset on the parties’ expectations and obligations and how any challenges are to be managed


Scope: there needs to be a clear definition of the scope of the works and who is responsible for what. How will any changes to scope during the project and associated cost implications be managed? Payment: it should be clear as to what payments are to be made and when. Beware, the Construction Act applies to all contracts for ‘construction operations’ and will impose, through its Scheme, strict payment provisions to contracts (even verbal contracts) that do not comply with the Act. These include provisions relating to interim payments and

service of payment notices. Payment protection: consider at the outset whether it would be appropriate to incorporate protection mechanisms such as bonds, guarantees and warranties into the contract. Dispute avoidance and dispute resolution: the key is to minimise the scope for dispute and to ensure that where disputes do arise they are dealt with as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. For payment disputes, a swift adjudication can keep the project moving.

For more information or to attend the IM Construction & Engineering Seminar 2017 – ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ at IM’s Gatwick office, 8am- 10am on Thursday 23 November, please contact sarah.evans@irwinmitchell. com or call 01293 742 814.

Simon Conn, Overseas Property and Finance Specialist permanent move abroad, or purchase a second home overseas which they can take holidays in but also rent out. The most popular countries at the moment are Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus. Properties are also sought after in the USA, with Florida being my most common area.

I’m retiring soon and have always fancied moving abroad. I’m open minded, so where should I go? I receive many enquiries from people who have retired and want to either make a

I know banks have tightened their belts when it comes to lending. What’s the current situation with loan to values (LTV)? LTV is all about the amount of money a lender will offer you in relation to the value of the property you want to purchase. Lenders are still happy to assist in the most popular countries, but the LTV varies depending on the country. For example, currently you can obtain the highest LTV in France - up to a maximum

of between 80% and 85%. In Portugal, the LTV ranges from 70% to 80% and in Florida it sits at a maximum 75%. In Spain it is 70% and Italy is the lowest with 60% LTV. However, this is all subject to your overall financial profile and the valuation of the property concerned. Is the poor exchange rate affecting mortgages? Yes. A number of my retired clients who thought they would have enough cash to buy an overseas home outright are now having to top up their savings with a small mortgage to enable them to complete the purchase. For more information, contact Simon on or call 07739 033266. Website:

0808 901 9042 55

Events In Sussex

A Sell-Out Success:

Brighton Business Expo 2017 Last month saw Brighton Business Expo take Brighton Racecourse by storm. Here in your November issue, we feed back on the success of the event and hear from some of the day’s visitors and exhibitors

Since the West Sussex Business Expo Sussex took place at Fontwell Park Racecourse last Events May, local businesses – us included, as partner of both – have long anticipated this year’s event at Brighton Racecourse, and last month the wait came to an end. Taking place on 5th October from 10am to 4pm, the Brighton Business Expo, a free-to-attend event aimed to bring together local and regional businesses, took place and was the host of informational seminars from business experts and offered both visitors and exhibitors the chance to network with likeminded people. The show aimed to and succeeded in attracting businessmen and women of all kinds and from a vast


variation of sectors of business, whether they were from an already existing business looking to grow and improve, from a startup in its early stages or simply just exploring the idea of starting up their own company. The day kicked off with breakfast business networking, hosted by Network Albion Business Club, which you can find on the pages that follow. This gave both visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to enjoy breakfast and make valuable new contacts, all pre-expo. Of course, as usual, the event also hosted keynote speakers, kicking off at 11am with Jon Laville with his talk on negotiating great deals with clients. The entrepreneur and business owner has trained thousands of people in the last 15 years in the critical skills of negotiating – principally in sales, business development and procurement.

He covered a number of the most important negotiation principles and strategies, and didn’t fail in engaging with the early audience. Also, back again this year, was Penina Shepherd with her seminar on the business of happiness, plus the Digital Workshop later in the day, which allowed attendees to discover how to attract new customers by optimising their presence on Google. Other speakers during the day included that of Paul Samrah, Richard Newell, Gary Peace and Chris Parsons. The Brighton Business Expo saw 397 ‘unique’ pre-registered visitors and 139 visitors that registered on the day, equalling a total number of 536 visitors. The number of exhibitors seems to be going up year-on-year, as 2017 saw a total of 216, proving that local companies

Events In Sussex

have clearly been spreading the word after seeing major benefits for their own businesses from previous years. One of this year’s exhibitors, Keith Banks, Commercial Sales Manager at Hendy commented: “Here at Hendy ‘Fleet’ we found the Brighton Business Expo very engaging and potentially rewarding too. As automotive solutions providers there were a multitude of potential clients in attendance. We may very well exhibit at either or possibly both venues next year budget allowing. “ “The value of B2B expos is communication and the raising and maintaining of awareness. The Brighton Expo was quite well attended, but the new contacts we made were the punters visiting the show, rather than those taking part in the exhibition, who we have seen at various other expos and networking events,” said Marketing Executive at Kenads Printers. “Of all the marketing tools we have at our disposal, the expos are enjoyable and valuable in seeing what other people are doing, but for the amount of money we spend on booking the space and paying staff who attend, it does not bring back satisfactory revenue. If we attend the B2B expos in future, it will be purely for maintaining awareness.” Organiser of B2B Expos in Sussex and Director of Monk Marketing (one of this year’s exhibiting stands), Mike Monk concluded: “The Expo this year had a great buzz about it! Both the exhibitors and visitors were really enjoying networking and talking together, plus a number of the seminars were well attended,” said the organiser of B2B Expos in Sussex and Director of Monk Marketing, Mike Monk. He continued: “I am planning to expand the expo into two halls next year with 100 plus exhibitors. I plan to put the seminar room and café in the other hall, giving everyone more room with less noise around the seminar room. I will be hoping to get 500 to 600 people at the Brighton Business Expo in 2018.” Clearly there are busy but exciting times to look forward to the business community! The date for the West Sussex Expo is Thursday May 24th 2018 at Fontwell Park Racecourse from 10am to 3pm. We’ll be sure to give you all information starting next year. Keep your eyes peeled!

Partners for Brighton Business Expo:

Sussex Giving for Sussex Children 57 1967 - 2017

Money Matters

Bringing Businesses Together with Network My Club

Yet again, Network Albion and Network Fontwell – in partnership with Network My Club – has been a sell out success in recent months. They return to our pages again in this issue to give us the latest on their most recent events Network Albion Business Club The latest Network Events Albion Business Club event took place at Brighton Racecourse, as Network My Club teamed up with the Brighton Business Expo as the official networking partner to host the pre-expo networking breakfast! The next Network Albion event sees a return to the Amex Stadium, and as always, well over 100 businesses will be there. With the business club expanding month on month – along with the introduction of Premier League football to the city – there hasn’t been a better time to join Brighton & Hove Albion’s official business club. Network Albion members, Engage

Healthcare, said: “I’ve found the business club and excellent way to meet likeminded professionals, and those are often in senior positions!” Local web studio & marketing agency, Nettl Of Hove, also said: “Network Albion is something which I look forward to each month, it’s fantastic seeing old faces along with new members that always provides us with opportunities to help grow”. The next Network Albion event takes place on Thursday 2nd November from 8.30am-10.30am, businesses are welcome to attend an event as a guest before thinking about joining, find more information at Network Fontwell Business Club The next Network Fontwell Business Club

meet is one of the popular networking race days! The event provides an ideal opportunity to spend an afternoon making new contacts over a two-course lunch, before enjoying the excitement of seven races all from a grandstand hospitality lounge at Fontwell Park. Having welcomed over 50 guests to the last race day, another good turnout is expected for what sets to be not only a valuable day of making new contacts, but to enjoy an afternoon of racing, an ideal setting for a team social day out or client entertainment! The race day event takes place on Friday 10th November, 12 noon onwards, and businesses are invited to book at

Learn more about Network My Club at


Benefits • A place at monthly networking events at the Amex Stadium • Company listing in the match day programme at every Albion home match (approx. 9,000 sales per match) • Full company profile page on Network Albion website • Exclusive use of Network Albion logo • Discounted access to attend or join other Network My Club groups throughout the UK


Annual Membership per Company £600+VAT (1 month free) or £55+VAT per month

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Save £60!

Benefits • A place at monthly networking events at Fontwell Park Racecourse • Company listing in the race day programme at each race meeting (approx. 3,000 sales per race day) • Full company profile page on Network Fontwell website • Exclusive use of Network Fontwell logo • 1 x use of corporate box at Fontwell Park for external meeting/conference purposes • 6 x tickets to a Fontwell Park race meeting, for your company to enjoy, entertain clients or reward staff • Discounted access to attend or join other Network My Club groups throughout the UK


Annual Membership per Company £385+VAT (1 month free) or £35+VAT per month or contact them on 01903 898025 59

Networking in Sussex


Society Golden Goal Reached at Rockinghorse Gala Ball

CEO Ryan Heal and the Rockinghorse team

Sarah and Michael Blencowe with MC Danny Pike, present a cheque to Rockinghorse CEO Ryan Heal

For any further information on the charity, please visit

Staff from the Royal Alex and TMBU enjoy the celebrations at the Rockinghorse 50th Anniversary Ball


The Rockinghorse team celebrate the charity’s 50th anniversary

Photography by Stephen Johnson Photography ©

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity smashed through its £500,000 appeal target as they celebrated their Golden Jubilee at The Grand Hotel in Brighton on Saturday night. The Rockinghorse 50th Anniversary Ball played host to over 400 of the charity’s supporters who helped celebrate their milestone year. The charity launched its 50th anniversary appeal ‘Sussex Giving for Sussex Children’ last October with the aim to raise half a million pounds. £112,000 was raised at the Ball, of which every single penny will be going towards the appeal. The total was reached thanks to an additional generous donation by local businessman Michael Blencowe on behalf of the Blencowe family, who presented the charity with a cheque for £45,000 at the gala event. This has enabled Rockinghorse to reach its £500,000 target two months before the end of the year. The Ball was compered by Danny Pike from BBC Sussex, with guests enjoying a sumptuous three-course dinner plus a cheese course provided by La Cave á Fromage. Entertainment came in the form of ‘singing waiters’ Opera on the Run, who surprised guests with their humorous and energetic performance. It was a rush to the dance floor as headline act The Fab Beatles – the UK’s number one Beatles tribute band – took to the stage to perform the bands greatest hits. The event was sponsored by DMH Stallard and the firm marked their own celebrations on the night as Managing Partner, Richard Pollins, also turned 50 this year. Last month Rockinghorse revealed they had already completed five out of 10 beneficiary projects, thanks to funds already raised for their appeal. They are; the introduction of a Paediatric Emergency Airway Trolley for Worthing Hospital’s Bluefin Ward; an ongoing activities programme for young people being treated at Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Unit in Haywards Heath; a new outdoor play area at The Bungalow residential home for young people with learning disabilities in Eastbourne; funding for 20 defibrillators to be placed in schools around Sussex to support The Connor Saunders Foundation, and; a garden log cabin sensory space for young residents with learning disabilities at Tudor House in Brighton.

Networking in Sussex

Sussex Police and Peter James at Chestnut Tree House The Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Giles York, was joined by 25 guests at a private lunch event at Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice on Friday 13 October. Hosted by Giles York, guests included the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard; Assistant Chief Fire Officer of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Kieran Amos; and international bestselling crime writer, Peter James; as well as staff from Sussex Police and Chestnut Tree House care and fundraising teams. At the end of 2016, Chief Constable Giles York announced that he had chosen Chestnut Tree House as his Charity of the Year for 2017. Throughout the year, he and other members of Sussex Police have thrown themselves into raising both funds and awareness for the charity, by organising and taking part in a wide range of activities across East and West Sussex, from ‘Bag it and Give’ and ‘Get Festive’ to volunteering days and events. After Giles York welcomed guests and talked about why he is supporting the charity, Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House thanked Giles for his support. She said: “We were delighted when Chief Constable Giles York chose Chestnut Tree House as his Charity of the Year for 2017, and are extremely grateful for all the work Sussex Police have done since then. In addition to spreading the word about the work we do, they have raised funds by putting on a range of events, and have also organised activity days for the children, which means so much to the families involved. Linda thanked Luella Bubloz at Sussex Police for all her help organising the activity days, and Superintendent James Collis for his work with the charity committee, presenting them with some flowers and a card from the children. Linda also invited guests to attend a tour of the house with some of the fundraising team.

Luella Bubloz Staff Officer to Chief Constable with Chestnut Tree House Linda Perry

Sussex Crime writer Peter James with Sussex Chief Constable Giles York

The guests at Chestnut Tree House 61

Made in Sussex

Made in Sussex: Psydro This month’s Made in Sussex focuses on new business, Psydro, the review site with a difference. Here, we hear their story so far…

Based in Brighton, Psydro is a userBrand friendly and impartial Focus review platform that is dedicated to each and every consumer and business. Free to use, it promises to deliver the same first-class service whether you are a buyer, a sole trader or an international corporation. Ben Page and Tony Ward have put a lot of thought into this new generation review site and they have done a lot of research into other like-minded forums. With the intention of creating an information sharing community with a difference, they have very cleverly used an amalgamation of all the best bits from other review platforms and spiced it up with a generous sprinkling of their own fun and forward-thinking ideas. Obviously, the main objective is to help consumers and businesses alike to make informed decisions, but Psydro offers so much more. The gamification feature is without doubt one of the most appealing differences that makes Psydro stand


out from the crowd. Every time you leave a review, you will be awarded a point that will be added to a score chart. As you work your way up the point scoring ranks, you will improve your chances of winning a prize or experience… in other words, points make prizes! If you live life in the fast lane and you’ve just had an experience (good or bad) that you really need to get off your chest, the fun and engaging Psydro app - available from Google Play and App Store - means you can have your say anytime, anywhere! Even better, you can upload images so that everyone can see the reviewed item with their own eyes. Verified businesses will not only be promoted via Psydro, they will also enjoy SEO benefits created through organic links to their website. To build on reputation, you can learn a great deal about how your brand/services are perceived through the eyes of the customer and this is a really great way to benchmark future selling techniques, customer support and product choices.

Customer feedback is essential, as it educates consumers and gives them confidence in their purchasing decisions. Businesses become more informed about the latest consumer trends, so they are better able to shape their services around a current marketplace. Ben and Tony had a clear vision when they set about this new platform. Marketing strategies can often be misleading and the authenticity and inaccuracy of advertising hype can often mean that customers tread very tentatively around a product/service. To endorse the marketing endeavours of reputable businesses, nothing is more reliable than the real views of real people… and people do like to have their say! So, in a nutshell... For businesses who really put the emphasis on customer satisfaction, this innovative review platform gives you the opportunity to outshine and indeed outperform your less attentive competitors and for anyone who has had an experience that they would like to share, Psydro gives the power to the people! 63

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Sussex Business Times issue 417  
Sussex Business Times issue 417