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The independent business magazine for Sussex Issue 3. 2014

Sir Richard

Branson TALks ExCLusIvELy TO ABM


the Chairman’s best friend

UniveRSity Challenge


Plus: NatWest Funding Guide Personal Finance Guide Legal Issues Accountancy Marketing Commercial Property Business Travel Editorial Opinion Expert Panel Networking Guide Business Motoring International Trade Local & National News

Issue 3. 2014

For all enquiries please contact:

Ian Trevett – Managing Editor

Maarten Hoffmann – Features Editor

Lynne Edwards - Sales Director Commercial & Residential Property

Daniel White – Deputy Editor

Frida Clementz - Senior Designer

Alan Prior - Publisher

ABSOLUTE LIFESTYLE LIMITED Premier House 11 Marlborough Place Brighton BN1 1UB Tel: 0870 005 2211 Fax: 08700 052 082 Absolute Business Magazine would like to thank the advertisers that appear in this publication for their support, and wish them every business success. The contents of this publication are believed to be correct at the time of printing; nevertheless, we cannot endorse, and readers should not rely solely upon, the accuracy of any statements or claims contained herein, without prior consultation with the service provider.

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12. Richard Branson

When Richard Branson first created his own record label, an employee at the time commented on how they were all virgins to the business world. That throwaway line was the inspiration for a global brand. Read our extended interview, which is a fascinating read for experienced businesspeople as well as virgins to the world of commerce.

At A Glance 6 NEWS 12 Richard Branson 20 Finance 26 Gatwick Obviously 29 Institute of Directors

32 Legal 36 Lewes Awards 40 Guy Hilton 50 Expert Panel 56 Education 64 Motoring 78 Eco Tech 80 Peter James 90 Wise words


40. Guy Hilton “With a name like mine you have got to work for the leading hotel group in the world at some point in your career!” Was Guy Hilton always destined to be a General Manager at one of the flagship Hilton hotels? Or is it just a happy co-incidence? Find out in our interview with the GM of Hilton London Gatwick Airport.


56. Graduate Skills Gap? A common complaint among employers is that graduates aren’t properly prepared for the workplace and there is a worrying skills gap. Is this really the case? We talk to the University of Brighton and the HR Director of Hastings Direct, the region’s largest employer.

welcome .

You could fill a library with the books offering self-help or business advice. Some can be thought-provoking and help promote a positive outlook, some predictable and dull. Personally, I find the most inspirational books are the autobiographies of people who have been successful and innovative people like Sir Richard Branson. After interviewing James Caan and Karren Brady in the first two issues of Absolute Business Magazine, we bring you an extended interview with the man behind one of the most iconic brands of the modern era. The Virgin empire embraces air travel, trains, telecoms, entertainment, finance and much more. All this from a man who started out flogging records after leaving school without any indication of academic success. Having achieved so much in his business career, Sir Richard Branson is a man worth learning from and the interview is packed with words of advice from the great entrepreneur. Some are fairly obvious, such as when he says, “I promised myself that I would never again do anything that would cause me to be imprisoned.” I think few would argue with such a sentiment! I also firmly agree when he says, “I get involved with things that interest me. The interest always has to be there, and it has to go beyond a desire just to make money. I don’t think I’ve ever launched a brand that hasn’t excited me as a product or service.” I feel the same way about the business magazine we have created. As usual, we bring you a magazine packed with invaluable information and relevant business features. I am sure you will find the magazine both useful and enjoyable.

Ian Ian Trevett – Managing Editor

QUOTE OF THE month: “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

FAMILY FIRST Family run businesses will contribute £218bn a year to the British economy by 2018, new research has revealed. The number of first generation SME’s run by families has hit 2.4m according to Barclays Business report. The value of family SME’s across all industries to the British economy is forecast to be £180bn this year, greater than that of the overall manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors. Barclays Director Rachel McNeil said: “We believe the end of the recession is paving the way for dynamic family firms who want to run a business that they are passionate about.”

K.I.S.S. A golden rule of cooking is to keep it simple or as the Yanks likes to say KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Ignoring this maxim, restaurateurs are taking it to extremes in their attempt to fill any niche available. How else do you explain Bubbledogs in London who serve hot dogs and Champagne, a more ghastly combo l have yet to encounter – until now. Brace yourself for When Mac Met Cheese, an outlet that is dedicated to macaroni and cheese. Please make it stop!

HOLIDAY MILLIONS Small firms could be whacked by huge claims from workers on how holiday pay is calculated, as the UK falls into line with European regulations. Industry could face a bill totalling hundreds of millions of pounds as Britain looks likely to harmonise with EU law over how much staff should be paid when they are on leave. Tim Thomas, Head of employment policy at the manufacturer’s organisation EEF said: “The European Working Time directive states that workers should get four weeks of paid holiday a year. The problem is the directive contains no detail on how holiday pay should be calculated. It’s easier if the employee is paid a fixed salary, but calculating holiday pay is a major issue for workers who are paid a fixed basic salary but who then get commission or bonuses or regularly do lots of overtime.” The issue is only now coming to the attention of employers as it is only two months before the start of an appeal case which is likely to lead to a binding decision. The case concerns a worker who regularly did more than his contracted hours and is arguing that this should be reflected in his holiday pay. Another drum for Farage to beat, me thinks.

PARACHUTING BANKER RBS has parachuted its top corporate troubleshooter into the Co-operative Group amid mounting concerns about losses and boardroom squabbles in the mutual. Bob Hedger, a veteran banker who has saved dozens of companies including travel agent Thomas Cook, was recently put in charge of RBS’s loans to the Co-op. Hedger has been known to lock company directors into a room for up to 72 hours at a stretch to hammer out rescue deals. Explaining to your wife why you are somewhat late home could be one of the biggest problems.


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CHALLENGER BANKS Challenger banks such as Metro and M&S are struggling to attract new current account customers as switchers continue to be lured by the larger, more established rivals. A survey by the market analyst TNS, to be published mid-June, will show that the established banks had average net gains of 5% whilst the smaller providers that are relatively new entrants to the market, gained 0.7%. The Figures highlight the continuing dominance of the larger banks despite the government having launched its seven-day switching guarantee scheme last September in an attempt to boost competition. TNS surveyed 12,000 current account customers with the biggest losers being HSBC down 7%, Barclays down 3% and the troubled Co-op Bank down 5%. Ignorance or laziness?

THE TAMED WOLF Jordan Belfort, the US stockbroker whose hedonistic life was turned into the film The Wolf of Wall Street, is no longer lured by the multi-billion dollar deals and prefers to invest in small, unlisted companies because he believes they offer the best growth potential. Belfort conned investors out of $200m with the now defunct Stratton Oakmont and was jailed in 2003 and ordered to pay £100m to the investors. As the cash poured into Stratton, he and his team became legendary for the notorious wild parties and extreme drug use. During his two years incarcerated, he wrote his autobiography on which the film was based starring Leonardo DiCaprio. With the partying shown on the screen, my only question would be: how the hell is he still alive?


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Ethical savers will soon have more options to provide funding to charities and make a return on their investment with the launch of a new bond platform. Retail Charity Bonds launched in June on the London Stock Exchange, giving private investors the opportunity to lend money to UK charities for fixed returns. Charities that may list on the platform include Age UK, Oxfam and Christian Aid and bonds will typically have a fixed term of 5-10 years and could pay an annual return of 4%.





Cities with the most Billionaires

All figures based on £ sterling values

Britain has more billionaires per capita than any other country and london more than any other city.

Paris 18

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san FranCisCo 42


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£5 MILLION FUNDING INITIATIVE QUOTE OF THE month: I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” Warren Buffett

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Southwick-based Focus Group, a leader in business communications, announces today it is celebrating its tenth year of trading. Ten years ago Focus Group entered the telecoms industry and quickly became known for its dynamic growth. Over the decade they have successfully built on their product portfolio, paying particular attention to developing a strong staff force and dedication to customer service, resulting in over 7,000 satisfied clients. Cofounder of the company Chris Goodman said - “From our original vision of selling calls and lines and being an organisation based around telecommunications, Focus Group has evolved and grown into one of the industry’s most trusted providers. It’s exhilarating and extremely rewarding to see what was once just an idea develop into a vibrant company that services thousands of businesses. I’m proud of the team, who with hard work and innovative technology, have made the group what it is today”. 8│

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A new £5 million funding initiative has been launched to help local companies in the Gatwick Diamond and its surrounding areas access the finance they need to grow and create jobs. The Coast to Capital [C2C] Funding Escalator comprises an equity fund and a loan scheme which can provide equity investments up to £125,000 and loans up to £200,000, to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Managed by The FSE Group on behalf of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, the £5 million of funding will be split as follows: £4 million Expansion Loan Scheme providing between £50,000 and £200,000 to established SMEs; £1 million Growth Equity Fund providing between £50,000 and £125,000 as an equity investment to earlier stage SMEs; (Equity investments must be matched with an equal amount of private investment.) Loans and investments will be made for a variety of growth and expansion activities including marketing and sales team development, operational scaling up and new product or service enhancement. With its primary purpose of generating economic prosperity and job creation, the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator will only consider opportunities that can demonstrate growth impact. C2C funding is available to businesses based in the Coast to Capital area which includes: Horsham, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead, Epsom & Ewell and Tandridge. Ron Crank, Coast to Capital chief executive said: “Despite the improved economic situation, local companies tell us they are struggling to secure the finance they need. We are keen to ensure that they have access to the right finance so they can fulfil their growth potential and add extra momentum to the local economy.” Contact

COMMERCE CASH It’s not too late to bag your business £10,000 in awards cash at the British Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards. How can you get involved? I hear you shout. Well the answer is easy, you just have to enter! In the last three years SE have been very proud of their Sussex-based regional heat winners, beating competition all over the South East and London, so if you are ambitious for your business then look no further! Join the select band of businesses including Kittiwake Developments, Acumen Business Law and ETI and go through to the national finals by entering at If you’re a member it’s free to enter but if you’re not a member you can still enter; it will cost £195 plus VAT (for just £4 more you could join Sussex Enterprise, enter the Chamber Awards and get all the benefits from joining one of the largest business groups in the Country and some vibrant local networking!). Sounds like a cracking deal to me. Words by Wendy Bell - Business|news -


EMC takes on two more finance professionals

Manor Royal to Milan 2014 Charity Challenge!

Two more experienced finance professionals have joined EMC Management Consultants Ltd.

On Friday 9th May at 4am, 32 business professionals from across the Gatwick Diamond came together to raise over £9,000 for charities across Sussex by setting off from the Arora Hotel Crawley/Gatwick. The Worshipful the Mayor of Crawley Councillor Bob Burgess wished the teams well on their mammoth non-stop journey to Milan.

Debbie Argent and Ross Christie add further strength to EMC’s ‘mobile boardroom’ of senior business and corporate finance advisers who operate out of five offices in Sussex and Kent. Debbie is a highly experienced CIMA Accountant with an Institute of Directors Diploma in Company Direction. She has spent her whole working life in accounting, mostly in a manufacturing environment. Immediately before joining EMC she spent 11 years with Applied Kilovolts Group in Worthing, firstly as a Financial Controller and then as Financial Director. During her time there the company grew fourfold and in 2012 was sold to Exelis Inc, a multibillion dollar American corporation. Ross is another highly qualified finance professional with extensive commercial experience who has worked at senior management and director level in a variety of companies from listed PLCs to owner-managed enterprises. Earlier in his career he spent 10 years working in a Big Four accounting practice in London, New York and New Zealand. He subsequently spent eight years working as a Finance Director with companies in the property development, investment and management sector and five years with a £300m group involved in engineering and construction. ‘

Seven cars were provided by Europcar in Lowfield Heath and driven by business individuals, all in fancy dress, from Creative Pod, Elekta, Extech, Gatwick Diamond Business, Clearwater People Solutions, Club Class Chauffeurs, Transvalair, Acumen Business Law, Computer Eyez and Permanent Solutions headed towards the Alps against partners from local leading accountants Reeves (sponsored by Roband) who had to do the entire journey on public transport. There was an optimum journey time of 12 hours and 53 minutes matched with a shopping list of items which gave the teams bonus time, such as a French tart or a team photo with the Italian Police. The team closest to the optimum time was Extech, based in Haywards Heath. “It was an extremely gruelling yet fun challenge and we were all very tired. We are chuffed to have come first and very proud to support so many wonderful charities,” stated Andrew Hookway, Managing Director of Extech. Last in was Clearwater People Solutions, taking them over 19 hours to complete the journey! Charities who have benefited from the challenge include Chestnut Tree House, Golden Lion Children’s Trust, Home Start, Outreach 3Way, NSPCC, The Olive Tree, Rockinghorse, St Catherine’s Hospice, Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance, Sussex Community Foundation, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Young Enterprise and Young Epilepsy. You can still donate to the challenge at:

Members of the teams gather with the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Bob Burgess before embarking on their journey.

Debbie Argent Ross Christie

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Issue 3 � 2014


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It’s not rocket scIence! By Jonathan Dolding, Head of Marketing & Events, Let’s Do Business Group Easy mistakes to make Don’t judge too early Engage with people as equals and you’ll quickly understand what sort of prospect they are. But you never really know who people are or more importantly who they know.

Having worked in event management and exhibitions for almost a decade, I’ve learnt about exhibiting over the years, points that are as relevant to familiar brands as they are to a new, start-up business exhibiting at a small local event. Taking a stand at an exhibition is a great way for a company to wave their flag, promote itself and gain new customers – but the basics need to be put in place.

sitting down does not show you in a good light. Staff sat down on a stand just looks wrong and it really puts people off coming onto the stand. If you really have to (on the stand), then make sure your stand is designed so you can sit on bar stools, rather than anything at normal ‘chair’ height. If you’re sat down, the unconscious message you’re sending to prospects is that they have to disturb you to speak to you. So they probably won’t bother!

The Theme

The visitor

Some stands I’ve seen over the years stick in my mind - In terms of attempts to attract and engage passers-by, I’ve seen everything from 1970s lounges,The Stig, Scalextric, jugglers, magicians, caricaturists, barrels of Harveys, bouncing tennis balls into a toilet – the lot. But I’ve also seen my fair share of generic, insipid stands that fail to inspire and draw visitors in, often because there’s been little planning and there is an assumption that a banner, a couple of chairs and a table with a few leaflets scattered on it, is enough to get through the day.

The Stand

Your stand – the way it’s set out and what’s on it - is critical in making a first impression that determines whether visitors want to talk to you or not, so give your messaging some clear thought. The message should tell visitors in an instance what it is you do and how you can be of help to them.

We’re all pushed for time and exhibition visitors are no different. And like true Brits many are shy at coming forward. Some prospects aren’t necessarily confident to march right up to you on the stand and ask for details of your latest product or service! They’ll linger a little off the stand, trying to work out what you do and if they want to engage or not. Think about how you greet them and can make them feel at ease within a couple of seconds.


Everybody loves a freebie at a show; most people hoover up pens, sweets and anything else that they can easily snaffle. You can brand pretty much everything nowadays, but please be creative and try and tie it in with your theme for the day!

Not being welcoming enough At one of our exhibitions last year, I watched two visitors walk on to a stand, pick up a number of leaflets, take two pens each. The staff on the stand never looked up from their iPads. The visitors were from a business with 120 staff. You’ll never guess who moaned that they didn’t get much out of the show! Eating on the stand It’s amazing how many times I see people eating lunch on their stand! I’m not sure I would go to a meeting at a prospective client’s office and pull out a sandwich, so why do it an exhibition! Technology “I’m more important than you because I’m on my mobile phone. And the person I’m talking to is more important than you and everyone else here”. There’s no excuse to ignore prospects while chatting on the phone or sending an email. If you were in a client meeting, you’d turn it off or put it on silent wouldn’t you? And if you really do HAVE to make or take a call, step off the stand to make it. Exhibitions aren’t exactly rocket science and none of the observations above are particularly difficult – but they’ll be the difference between an average show and having a great exhibition.

It’s called a stand for a reason. Now, I know exhibitions can be tiring but

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SCREW IT, JUST DO IT Interview by Maarten Hoffmann, Features Editor

Named as 24th most wealthy billionaire in this year’s Sunday Times list, it’s fair to say that Sir Richard Branson, the man behind the all-encompassing Virgin brand, didn’t get to where he is today without tenacity and clear business accruement. It is also interesting to note that his most visible business, Virgin Airways, was created, and continues to operate, from Sussex and is a major employer in the region.

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“If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.”

At 63 years old, the entrepreneur, activist, philanthropist and some might say, incorrigible show off, spreads his Virgin moniker across copious commercial arms. Yet despite the success of Virgin Airways, plus media, fitness, drinks and train line offshoots to oversee – and that’s just four of many – the tycoon remains refreshingly grounded. Based on Necker Island, a 74-acre luxurious base he owns in the British Virgin Islands, it may seem Branson lives a rather charmed existence. “Yes I’ve got a big house on a paradise island and I’ve got a big boat, but I’d rather make it a sailing boat rather than a motor boat make it that little bit more tasteful,” he laughs. “Ultimately, I don’t feel comfortable with ‘flash’. If somebody comes up to my house in a Rolls Royce and offers me a drive around, it doesn’t strike a very relevant chord for me.”

Flashy wheels may not suit the temperament of this mass money operator, but he clearly sits easy with social media, acknowledging its capacity for immediate, truly global communication in a modern world that craves immediacy. With the online world representing an ever-accessible virtual community, Branson has collected over four million Twitter followers, in a period of digital innovation at stark contrast from when the entrepreneur set up his first business at just 16 years of age. “It’s interesting because I didn’t get that involved with my Twitter site until I realised that I had over a million people following me!” the tycoon laughs. “So I now take a personal interest in it and make sure everything that goes up I’m involved with or write myself; I think that’s incredibly important. You can get immediate feedback about what people - Business|interview -

think about a speech you’ve made or a product you’ve launched. That’s so powerful in modern business.” Ambitious self-starters make up a considerable proportion of Branson’s online following. With his career trajectory an obvious inspiration, the London-born entrepreneur is a torrent of advice for those looking to set up shop. “My slogan is ‘Screw it, just do it’ and if you get great people around you, a small team of really committed people that you can work with on whatever you’re doing, then you’ve got a good chance of achieving something special. “Of course, you also need to try to stand out from the crowd, and to offer things that are slightly different from other people. And although we’ve now climbed out of recession, perhaps still think about offering something that’s slightly better value for money Issue 3 � 2014 │13

“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had every day I’m learning something new.” compared to the opposition, even if that just means charging less during various hours of the day and more in others. You’ve just got to be smart when it comes to marketing your proposition in a unique way.” One to walk the talk, Branson has clearly followed this ethos within his own working life.The son of a solicitor and an air hostess, Branson’s less-thanperfect educational performance at school only increased his determination to succeed outside of the classroom. Leaving school with little other than the words of frustrated teachers in his ears, he set his sights on the music industry, determining to sell vinyl records by mail order for a fraction of the price of high street retailers. It didn’t take long for Branson to cut the ribbon on his first music store in London’s Oxford Street, and within time, his turnover allowed him to create his own record label. The iconic moniker ‘Virgin’ came about when a colleague commented on how they were all virgins to the business world. Fast forward to the 1980s, and economic downturn threatened many livelihoods. But while other businesses crumbled, the decade became one of Branson’s most lucrative, and he feels there may be similarities between this period and the current crisis we still seek to climb out of. “We’ve been through a dreadful time of late, and it’s not just Britain, but the whole global market. It’s one of those passages whereby it seems as if we’re moving out of danger only to be sucked back in, and you know, it might not be over yet, although I must say all the signs are positive. “But it’s during these quiet periods, if you want to call them that, that the opportunity comes to really make a difference. The business that now trundles along breaking even may well be the business that goes global when people rediscover they have money in their pockets – and I believe they are doing that now.” As living proof that “for tunes are made out of recessions”, Branson insists we can emulate these conditions for success within the present climate.

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“Above all, you want to create something you are proud of. That’s always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.” “As long as businesses can keep their heads above water, and as long as managers and directors can inspire and involve staff, most industries have the chance to do something great. I think the move now is to treat staff as stakeholders, not employees. There are some fantastic businesses in the UK who do exactly this. Empowering people creates better output – immeasurably so.”

that commodity stops exciting me, that’s normally the time to move it on.”

Perhaps it was through empowering people that Branson continued to reap profits through the recession-hit early 1990s too, making waves with his fitness and communications businesses.

That’s not to say it’s always been smooth sailing. In his early years, to pay off Virgin Records’ overdraft, 20-year-old Branson pretended to buy records for export to escape an excise tax on sales within Britain, but sold them in the UK nevertheless. Discovered and put behind bars for the night, he was only released when his mother secured his bail by pledging her home as collateral. Branson’s plea bargain called for him to pay a hefty £60,000 or face a criminal record. What did he learn from this?

“I get involved with things that interest me,” he insists. “The interest always has to be there, and it has to go beyond a desire just to make money. I don’t think I’ve ever launched a brand that hasn’t excited me as a product or service. And, you know, when

“I promised myself that I would never again do anything that would cause me to be imprisoned or, indeed, do any kind of business deal that would shame me again,” he explains. “My parents had always drummed into me that all you have in life is your name. You

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may be very rich, but if you lose your good reputation, then you’ll never be happy. Having said that, as a 22-year-old it is important to have an absolute blast. You are only 22 once! Make sure you have the time of your life, stay up for plenty of sunrises and meet all kinds of people in as many places as possible. If you get the opportunity to travel, grab it with both hands and don’t forget your toothbrush (and these days, condoms)! Get out there, dance and play as well as working hard and creating things. I never looked 40 years ahead. It was one step at a time, building block upon block and sometimes finding those blocks fell to the ground on the way. But I’ve been extraordinarily lucky, have a wonderful family and friends, and would change very, very little. I absolutely love being in a position to make a positive difference in the world – I am going to do my best not to waste that position. I don’t have any regrets about my decisions

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aged 22, and would try to live with the same zest for life whether I was under 20 or over 100. Age isn’t important so long as you are surrounded by people you love, doing things you passionately believe in.” As well as hard commercial interests, the charitable sector remains a constant area of interest for Branson, and he is an essential component in the philanthropy club Giving Pledge, an elite assembly of a dozen billionaires who are publicly committing to give away more than half of their fortunes to charitable causes. “Entrepreneurial approaches to help make a difference in the world, and l will give half my wealth when l liberate my asset out of Virgin’s airline, media and other holdings. “Stuff ’ really is not what brings happiness. Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters. Happily our children, who will be our principal heirs, agree with me on this. I want the value created by the Virgin Group to be used to invest in new collaborative approaches to addressing issues, where business, governments and not-forprofits join forces to create a healthy, equitable and peaceful world for future generations to enjoy.” Members of the Giving Pledge commit to give away at least half their wealth to charitable organisations and philanthropic causes. The pledge was established three years ago by Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, his wife Melinda and Warren Buffett. Gates said: “Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organisation and getting the resources

out to the poorest in the world.” Co-founder Warren Buffett is the fourth richest person on the planet with a reported worth of $53.5bn while Mr Gates has a fortune of $66.2bn. According to Forbes, Sir Richard has a net worth of $4.2bn. Other billionaires to sign up to the pledge include Russian nickel and media mogul Vladimir Potanin and India’s software magnate Azim Premji. A total of 105 families from nine countries have now signed the pledge. With the Virgin Group now an empire of more than 200 diverse enterprises that run independently, with different shareholders and boards, Branson still relies of one integral business component: brand recognition. He has never been shy in promoting his brands. We all recall the madcap ballooning adventure with Per Lindstrand that so nearly ended in disaster, the Virgin Atlantic Challenger’s attempt to take the famous Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing and the endless publicity stunts he has pulled to promote his brands - the most recent of which saw him kite surfing with a naked model on his back! It would also be difficult to ignore his recent attempt to put people into space aboard the Virgin Galactic although that is already years behind schedule. A show off or a canny selfpromoter? He is also well known for his sense of humour. In 2010, Branson entered the ruinously expensive world of Formula 1 with the Virgin Racing Team and made a bet with Tony Fernandes, the owner of Air Asia and rival

racing team Lotus that the Virgin team would finish ahead of the Lotus team at the end of the season. The wager would see the loser don air hostess drag and serve drinks on the winner’s airline. Branson said: ‘It’s true we both had Grand Prix teams and I was absolutely certain that I was going to win, and I thought it would look very fetching for Tony to be in a Virgin Atlantic stewardess outfit. Something went wrong.’ Not only did Branson honour the bet and duly turn up in full drag aboard an Air Asia flight but then had the last laugh by ‘accidently’ spilling an entire drinks tray over Fernandes mid-flight. ‘As Tony said we had a fun day, glad to have got his bet over and done with, and I’m looking forward to getting back into my own clothes. This has been a real first for me but I have enjoyed the experience and I have nothing but respect for what our fabulous flight attendants do every day to keep us safe,” said Branson after the flight. He also revealed the stunt raised over $300,000 for the charity Starlight Foundation, which both Virgin Australia and Air Asia support. With Gatwick being integral to the past, present and future of Virgin Airways, we asked what advice he might have for the countless startups and SME’s across Sussex. “When you’re planning a start-up or preparing to launch a small business, it’s hard to know which tasks to delegate, which to delay, and which to tackle right away. One area where you should do a lot of the work yourself is hiring. If you get the right mix of people working for your company, it will have a far greater chance of success.

“You don’t learn how to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” 16│ Issue 3 � 2014

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To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula. “While the founder of a company usually wears many hats during the first few years - I handled everything from the secretarial work to the company accounts at my first businesses - you’ll have to delegate those duties as your business grows. It might be hard to even imagine this right now, but you should be hiring with an eye to the day when you’re going to delegate even your CEO position and step back from the business’s day-to-day operations so that you can focus on making sure that your company is prepared for what’s next. It was partly due to my dyslexia that I learned early on to delegate as there were some tasks that I struggled with. When we were getting ready to launch Virgin Atlantic, I realised how important the ability to delegate was going to be, since I had no experience in the airline industry. Within weeks we had assembled a team of aviation experts to blend with our experienced Virgin managers. Together they worked on creating and delivering the level of service that I had hoped for.

A resume is just a piece of paper “Next, the person’s CV can come into play. One good question to ask a candidate is what he didn’t include. While you may need to hire specialists for some positions, take a close look at people who have thrived in different industries and jobs - they are versatile, with transferable skills, and can tackle problems creatively. Above all, don’t get hung up on qualifications. A person who has multiple degrees in your field isn’t always better than someone who has broad experience and a great personality.

“Hiring the right people is a skill, and you get better at it with practice, but there are some good shortcuts that can help you learn quickly.

Take chances on people “When you’re interviewing, it’s possible that a candidate may say something so interesting about your industry or business that you’ll want to keep talking after the interview is over. Her CV may not be quite right, and she may be a little different than everyone else ON your team, but this might be a good time to take a risk and hire her anyway. Such people can seem like oddballs at first, but in my experience, they can become indispensable. A maverick that sees opportunities where others see problems can energize your entire group.

A great personality goes a long way “During the job interview, you need to find ways to decide whether a candidate fits with your company culture. One great way to test this may be to ask two or three of the employees who would work with this person to join you at some point in the interview and to come prepared with a few of their own questions. When your employees start talking to the candidate, it’s time for you to listen. How is everyone getting along? While a little awkwardness and nervousness can be expected, look for someone who is fun, friendly and caring, because that is a person who likely understands teamwork and will help others.

Whenever possible, promote from within “If you’ve been hiring great people all along, when an executive or manager does leave, you should fill that job from within if possible. The key is to keep up a constant stream of strong candidates into all positions, especially the entry-level ones that your competitors might ignore. At Virgin Active South Africa, we have made a point of hiring talented young people who may manage one of our businesses someday. Xiki Baloyi, for example, began her career at Virgin Active in 2003 as a receptionist - she had trained in sports management but couldn’t find a position on that career path. But Xiki’s people skills attracted attention and she was soon promoted to the job of

- Business|interview -

fitness instructor, where she demonstrated her commitment to getting members fit and motivated to train. In the last seven years she has been promoted several times; in 2013 she was named the assistant general manager of our new Alice Lane Health Club. When to consider bringing someone new in “If you’re in a situation where your business is becoming stale or stuck on a problem, it may be time for you to bring in talented people from outside the company. Two of the Virgin Group’s higher-profile hires were John Borghetti, now the CEO of Virgin Australia, and Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO. John had worked at Quantas Airlines and Craig had worked at American Airlines, so they knew our competition well, and were able to give us a fresh take on our business “Great hiring takes time and a healthy dose of curiosity.You need to meet a lot of people, ask them about themselves and their careers, and tell them about yourself and your company in turn. So relax and be yourself - the people you eventually choose are, after all, going to play big parts in your shared adventure of building a business. “It’s a person taking an interest in you and your products that makes all the difference in the world. For a business to achieve that is colossal. And that’s the next challenge for businesses – to be content relevant as well as product relevant. One is beginning to feed into another, and if consumers believe they are being spoken to as well as being sold to, that’s an extremely powerful subconscious message and remember – screw it, just do it.”

Issue 3 � 2014 │17

Sussex-based Skerritts received the coveted Citywire award for a record fourth successive year from comedian Ed Byrne at the awards ceremony at the Park Plaza in Westminster.

“A good attitude doesn’t come from having the best of everything in life, it comes from making the best of everything in life” Joyce Meyer

Attitude, good or bad will either enhance or damage our business. Some years ago I heard Marks and Spencer were running an on-line recruitment process. It was all-electronic; with a proper person at the end of the phone. Whether they still use the system now I don’t know, but back then I decided to call up to see what selection of words were being used. Nearly every question was testing, and assessing attitude. The listener was given a scenario, choosing their multiple-choice answer. Arguably, we callers were not applying for a management role or to be a pilot – but-never-the-less, I felt there was full recognition that attitude matters! Each and every member of staff ’s attitude counts; one attitude affects the whole. Whilst serving five years on the gdb (CADIA) Executive Council I remember a particular conversation with an MD concerning recruitment. He openly said that once a year he flew a small team abroad to recruit potential ‘future stars’ from a university. “Compared to UK students, overseas grades are on-par with the UK market – but we have lost business, impacting our P & L, through bad attitudes displayed by UK students.” I knew this business owner well enough to see he was not happy with the situation either, but as he said, “I’m in business, I’m not a charity,” meaning his experience had led him to recruit abroad. As an ex-teacher I am passionate about supporting education as a whole. Many students leaving education have a good, even exemplar attitude, inspiring many to aim

high and give their all. But there is a gap. Well established in the business world, I am highly motivated to support where I can - rooted in the importance of attitude. Over the last six months I have been working closely with educators and at times, the council supporting the Apprenticeship Scheme. During this tenure, I have been blown away by the dedication of most staff coupled with the quality of candidates walking through the door. Conversely I have sometimes felt dismayed by what I have seen in the eyes of some candidates. In 2013 we took the family to Poland. Some may say an odd trip to celebrate our anniversary, but for years I have wanted to know more about Auschwitz and Schindler’s Factory. I heard so much about our eyes. On our return I read Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning”. What a book! Again, what stood out for me, continuing from the tour of Auschwitz, was the commentary on eyes. Looking into some of the student’s eyes I saw what the tour guides and Frankl were referring to. It’s all about HOPE. Please don’t think for one moment I am drawing a parallel between the abhorrent treatment of the Jews and our students – no, I am referring to the importance of Hope. When there is loss of hope it affects our attitude. The eyes can reflect this loss – they stop shining becoming dull and opaque. Whilst speaking at the Apprenticeship meetings, my internal dialogue kept saying, “If this was running in India there would be thousands queuing before the doors opened – yet why are we struggling to get a proper response from students here?” Numbers in the room were dwindling. I do wonder if the answer lies around hope – or more poignantly, lack of it. Finger pointing is not the way forward. As a parent, I include myself when saying we have to take responsibility for what we - Business|Ethics -

Sarah Hopwood

Business Consultant, International Speaker, TV Presenter, Voiceover Artist & Cruise Lecturer have helped perpetuate in the UK. I am, of course, speaking about a minority, but I can remember myself having low confidence and low sense of hope. My attitude was very different to now. I am a nicer person now than I was then! So what, or who, helped me? Howard Gardner, an American psychologist has written prolifically about multiple intelligences. His work is known in education – I regularly bring his thinking into my presentations and workshops. Gardner identifies eight Attributes – I always refer to them as intelligences. For me, once I understood them it changed my life. I started to understand EQ (emotional intelligence). Managing my relationship with others and myself changed my thinking; which in-turn filled me with hope. This sense of hope empowered me to have a better attitude. The most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. We can’t get away or hide. So to leave you with the familiar words of Zig Zigler, “It is our Attitude, not Aptitude, that determines our Altitude.”

Issue 3 � 2014 │19


An AlternAtive form of lending to businesses is on the rise

As the uK economy recovers and business confidence returns, I am definitely seeing an increase in business investment and requests for appropriate funding. In the first half of 2014 I have seen good growth in net lending from NatWest to SMEs across sussex and i hope that this is replicated at the other banks. Economic recovery does though bring its own risks and it is a well told tale that more businesses fail coming out of recession than in it. A key risk is ‘over trading’ driven by a desire to grow the order book quickly without recognising the impact on working capital which can become constrained depending on the working capital cycle of a business. Appropriate working capital funding can be a good answer and during my time in banking the prominence and flexibility of receivables or invoice finance has changed dramatically. With the UK economic recovery continuing, now seems a good time to look at invoice finance in a little more detail. The “great recession” may almost be over according to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), with the economy on the verge of resuming its pre-crisis power. However, recent research undertaken by RBS Invoice Finance reveals that many UK firms are still struggling with late payment and cash flow management. 20│ Issue 3 � 2014

The findings show that 68% of those surveyed were seeking payment within 44 days but, in reality, only 34% are actually getting paid within this timescale. Such results suggest that there still remains a large gap between contracted terms and real payment time. Even if payment terms are extended to within 60 days, there are still 13% that push payment beyond those terms. Having access to sufficient working capital is vital for companies operating in a recovering economy. It can have a significant effect on an organisation’s success; providing the liquidity needed to grow, adapt and make acquisitions or to simply help to manage day-to-day trading requirements. The answer to this problem? Predictably there is no simple resolution, however, survey results showed there are two standout choices for businesses suffering such fate. 94% of those surveyed by RBS Invoice Finance recognised that Invoice Finance can help businesses grow and support cash management, while 79% of UK businesses have already spoken to their business advisor about invoice Finance solutions. Invoice finance can solve the problems of slow paying customers, shor tage of working capital and protection against bad debts. Simply, it involves a business assigning its customer sales invoices to a finance provider that can

typically advance up to 90% of the sales value; as they keep close to the asset and establish and protect its value. Invoice finance can also be used as a flexible way to raise funds. Invoice finance as a finance solution allows a business to immediately realise the cash benefit of its sales. Given that the level of finance available is directly propor tional to sales, funding should automatically increase as a business expands. This flexibility links into the attractiveness of invoice finance, which is becoming more prevalent in today’s market. Another answer for growing businesses may be Asset Based Lending. ABL releases the value tied up in such assets within businesses, freeing it up in the form of a cash advance that can be put to work in the business. Designed for businesses with an annual turnover in excess of £10 million, ABL enables businesses to borrow against the value of their trade receivables and inventory to finance the working capital they need.

- Finance|funding -

Over the coming issues, Robert Clare, NatWest Regional Director for Sussex and Surrey & South West London, will present a comprehensive guide to sourcing funds for businesses of all sizes.


Healthcare agency  work   The  Story   Judy  Wacha  a  highly  regarded  business  woman  known  to  RBS   Invoice  Finance  and  NatWest  through  her  previous  business   Synergy  Personnel  Ltd.    Judy  is  now  out  of  her  non  compete   contract  and  was  very  keen  to  set  up  again  working  with  the   team  she  knows  well.  Judy  has  bought  in  an  experienced   management  team  to  start  this  partnership  and  they  have   already  secured  new  contracts.   Ambi?on   Healthcare  support  for  the  elderly  and  mentally  ill  is  a   growing  sector  and  has  provided  Judy  with  an  opportunity  to   approach  new  customers  along  with  businesses  coming  to   her  based  on  her  reputa<on.  She  plans  to  grow  this  to  £2m   turnover  in  the  first  year  and  the  sky’s  the  limit.  

Ageing na<on   needing   care  


New start   business  


So what are the real benefits to companies of ABL and Invoice Finance?

Providing confidence to make fast buying decisions and act on growth opportunities

Effective management of day-to-day working capital Invoice finance can help to free up cash using a company’s sales ledger. ABL unlocks the value ‘trapped’ in company assets which means firms can redraw on it based on availability generated by trade receivables and inventory. By freeing up the additional value in businesses, ABL and Invoice Finance can provide a valuable capital cushion and offer firms greater control over their cash conversion cycle.

ABL and Invoice Finance bring forward the credit cycle of businesses, providing cash when it is needed. This ability to take swift action when buying gives firms the freedom to take advantage of deals decisively and the ability to negotiate discounts on the basis of early payment too.

Enable growth Invoice finance is an accelerator for businesses looking to grow and stabilise cash flow, with benefits including the freeing up of employees tied up with credit control. ABL can provide the working capital to keep day-to-day business strong whilst businesses invest in increasing capacity and growth. Giving the confidence to expand at any speed, because it is linked to assets, funding can be increased as the business grows and while the facility is there for you, if you don’t need it, you don’t have to draw from it. Support cash flow through seasonal or market fluctuations Manufacturing, distribution and wholesale firms all experience extreme seasonal fluctuations in orders and payment which can present real cash flow challenges as they still have to run plant, upgrade technology and collateral and invest in raw materials and inventory all year round. ABL’s flexible repayment schedule brings stability to this cycle.

Business restructuring Market and economic volatility are key factors that can affect many businesses, no matter what their size – presenting challenges for some and oppor tunities for growth to others. ABL can be used to refinance traditional forms of bank funding, which can be seen as more covenant restrictive. There are a number of options available when it comes to Invoice Finance, however, we are proud to say that RBS Invoice Finance was voted UK Invoice Finance Bank of the Year for the third consecutive year and UK Large Asset Based Lender of the Year for the second consecutive year in 2014 by readers of ACQ Magazine. There is no doubt that the industry will continue to grow, with a surge in demand from Britain’s SMEs bound to follow the EU legislation which will mandate that government must use electronic invoicing from 2016. For more information on NatWest or RBS Invoice Finance call 0800 210 0235. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Calls may be recorded.

- Finance|funding -

Issue 3 � 2014 │21

Time to sell What tax rate will you pay if you sell your business? Currently most business owners will qualify for Entrepreneurs Relief when they sell their business, reducing the tax they pay on gains up to £10m to just 10%.

and rewarded the risk that entrepreneurs take when starting and growing a business by offering them potentially significant tax savings when disposing of it.

But with the next General Election now less than 12 months away, could this ‘almost-too-goodto-be-true’ tax rate be under threat if there is a change of government in 2015?

Initially it allowed business owners to pay CGT at 10% on the first £1 million of business sale proceeds. This lifetime limit has subsequently been extended in various Budgets, first to £2m, then to £5m and, most recently in 2011, to £10m where it still stands. To qualify, individuals need to have a minimum 5% shareholding and voting rights.

That certainly is the view of business law firm Fox Williams who are so worried about the possibility of an attack on Entrepreneurs’ Relief that, in a recent article which you can read in full on the EMC website ( or at www., they issued the following warning. “Entrepreneurs thinking about selling their company within the next 18-24 months may be wise to consider accelerating this process and aiming to complete the disposal before the next General Election. By delaying...sellers may be affected by a higher tax bill for capital gains than previously was the case.” Could they be right? Well, let’s have a look at it. Entrepreneurs’ Relief was introduced by the then Labour government in 2008 at the same time as it brought in a flat rate of 18% Capital Gains Tax. It recognised


Issue 3 � 2014

All political parties have recognised that SMEs are the country’s economic lifeblood and that entrepreneurialism needs to be encouraged if the country is to grow. Only a few weeks ago, a cross-party group of MPs were involved in the launch of ‘An Entrepreneurs’ Manifesto’ produced by the Entrepreneurs’ Network to champion entrepreneurs in British politics.

‘For many business owners, even the outside possibility of a harsher Capital Gains Tax regime is concentrating the mind more than somewhat. We’ve already spoken to several who are thinking of getting out while the going is still relatively good.’

The Manifesto comprises 17 papers by business leaders, politicians and civil society representatives each suggesting one way to support and promote high growth start-up businesses in Britain. Tax reform, including the extension of Entrepreneurs’ Relief, is mentioned along with other measures such as the introduction of business advice vouchers, the provision of tax relief for small businesses and business rate reform.

- Selling a Business -

Entrepreneurs’ Relief has certainly played its part in encouraging entrepreneurial investment. But as we all know, what one Chancellor gives, another can easily take away. Without being too political, it’s unlikely that the Lib Dems will win enough seats at the General Election to form a government on their own. But it’s possible that they could once again hold the balance of power and be offered places in a coalition. So it’s worth paying heed to what they have to say about Entrepreneurs’ Relief. At their Autumn Conference last year they endorsed a policy paper that talked about increasing the qualifying shareholding requirement from 5% to 25% in order to “focus entrepreneurs’ relief to better service the purpose for which it was intended; incentivising entrepreneurs and start-up business owners, and prevent it from simply being used as a way for wealthy investors to reduce their tax bills.” It remains to be seen whether this makes it into their manifesto. And even if it were to, there is no certainty that the policy would be adopted by any future coalition partner. Nonetheless, it shows how some politicians’ minds work. And what of Labour? They have already said that they will increase income tax for those earning more than £150,000

FOR SALE from 45% to 50%.That has led many to fear that Entrepreneurs’ Relief could be next in the firing line despite their Small Business Taskforce last year recommending that the benefit should be extended beyond capital gains to dividends as a way of incentivising owners and investors to grow their businesses rather than sell them. They also suggested reducing the 5% restriction. So far, neither Ed Miliband nor Ed Balls has made any commitment either way...a case, perhaps, of two Eds not being better than one! Business owners’ nerves always start jangling ahead of a General Election and, having just recovered from the bloodiest recession in a generation, this one will be no different. For many business owners, even the outside possibility of a harsher Capital Gains Tax regime is concentrating the mind more than somewhat. We’ve already spoken to several who are thinking of getting out while the going is still relatively good – i.e. while the qualifying cap for Entrepreneurs’ Relief is still at £10m. As it can often take six to nine months to sell a business, those who are contemplating getting out in the not-too-distant future may consider adjusting their timescales to avoid any possibility of missing out on the advantageous rate. That may not be such a bad thing anyway because there is virtual unanimity

in the Corporate Finance industry that the next 12 months will see a big upsurge in M&A activity even without some owners deciding to exit ahead of any possible change to the CGT rules. That is good news in particular for those at the lower end of the market who suffered worse than most in the recession. Not only was acquisition finance hard to obtain, with the virtual withdrawal of our banking system from anything other than secure asset lending, but valuations also fell through the floor.

Nik AskAroff, CEo EMC Corporate finance, rochester House, 48 rochester Gardens, Hove BN3 3AW Tel: 01273 945984

We saw things begin to turn around last year with both volumes and values strengthening as the year went on. The small value sector of the UK M&A market (deals between £500,000 and £10m) rose by more than 20% in the final quarter of 2013. We ourselves completed 11 good transactions. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2014. Most businesses with sustainable profits over £500,000 are finding good buyers. As global markets hopefully continue to prosper, I expect to see further increases in activity and value through 2014 and into 2015. Even so, I’ll still be keeping an ear open for any whispers about changes to Entrepreneurs’ Relief. It’s one of the few things that could put the brakes back on the market.

- Selling a Business -

Issue 3 � 2014


It’s all about the food

Are you If the law is an ass feeling confident? Asks Wendy Bell, General Manager of Sussex Enterprise

S O L I C I TO R S A N D N OTA R I ES Says Julia Chanteray, president of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce


It’s all about the food.

You may’ve heard on the radio the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) say “Business Confidence has increased by 2%” and then the programme will often go on to discuss some of the reasons why this is but have you (like me) wondered how the BCC know that this is what businesses are feeling?


The answer is simple! The Quarterly Economic Survey is collated (see infographic on the left); spookily enough; every quarter by Accredited Chambers of Commerce up and down the country, where we ask all our members to get involved and have their say. It’s been running for 24 years now and is an invaluable tool, providing a real barometer of business’ views across Britain. Your views are important so if you’d like to be part of Britain’s biggest and most influential business survey then contact:


To kick some you’ll need a good lawyer

Sussex Enterprise are taking this one step further this year and we’re delighted to announce the formation of Policy Committees in local areas. Working with town chambers and our Premier Members we are looking to really get to grips with the issues that businesses face daily; as part of the British Chambers of Commerce we are able to feed your Westminster. S O L Iviews C I T O Rdirectly S A N D to NO TA R I ES The businesses of Sussex contribute massively to the economy of the UK and we believe that you have a right to be heard! We are looking for volunteers who have something to say about business so do get in touch if you’d01903 like to be involved. 229999

You might have noticed something about all the networking events we run at Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce. 2 A little thing they all have in common.

One of the best decisions we ever made was to hold our breakfasts at Carluccio’s. At most breakfast networking events, the food is pretty terrible. That’s okay, because you’re not there for a delicious breakfast, you’re there for the networking. Or is it? We think that our networking meetings are the best in town and, in part, that’s because 4 we care about the food. Our members appreciate that they can get a tasty healthy alternative at Carluccio’s or go for their fancy Italian version of a fry-up. That must be why everyone leaves the breakfast events with a spring in their step, all ready to attack their desks. Actually, the attacking the desk bit might be the Carluccio’s coffee and the free refills but I’m sure that the yummy breakfast helps as well. 6 And of course, there’s Business in the City lunch at Drakes Theour Law. Hotel. I’m sure that there’s a lot of business going on at that lunch but, if you’re going to go networking, you might as well eat a to meal know deliciousGood three course at theyou same time. Especially when it’s grand masters at onehave of the best restaurants in the city, and it’s tax deductible.

on your side.


There’s only coffee and biscuits at our Bite Size Learning sessions. But we’re lucky enough to have them sponsored by the Sussex Cricket Ground, which, you might be surprised to learn, have a brilliant catering team to look after us. Even the biscuits are scrumptious. 8 And then there’s the slightly strange food. Once a quarter, we run a brunch at Terre a Terre. It’s pretty much the same as the breakfast, but it’s good for people who either don’t like to get up too early, or the people who have been up since dawn taking the children to school. I’ll let you into a secret. Try the tofu. The guys at Terre a Terre put in some secret ingredient and it tastes amazing. Become a member and join the debate call today on

If all of this is making you feel a bit peckish, then head over to and book yourself a little snack. You might want to have some networking with that.

0845 37 595 50


Julia Chanteray runs the business advice consultancy, the Joy of Business, and is the President of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce.

Business Scene Are you If the law is an ass feeling confident? Another hugely successful meeting of the premier networking forum, The Platinum Club, held at the Grand Hotel and the first event under the Grand’s new ownership


Asks Wendy Bell, General ManagerFor of Sussex Enterprise more details of joining the Club, e-mail Maarten Hoffmann on

You may’ve heard on the radio the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) say “Business Confidence has increased by 2%” and then the programme will often go on to discuss some of the reasons why this Sarah Hopwood (Business Consultant andknow that this is is but have you 1. (like me) wondered how the BCC Professional Speaker) and Clarence Mitchell what businesses(Conservative are feeling?candidate for Brighton Pavilion) 2. Naomi Kenning (Callisto Economic Associates), Survey is collated The answer is simple! The Quarterly Studd (Clear Cut Franchise) and (see infographicSimon on the left); spookily enough; every quarter by Sophia Lee Spencer (Callisto Associates) Accredited Chambers of Commerce up and down the country, 3. Nigel Ilsley (Iron Mountain), where we ask all our members to get involved and have their Chris Taylor (Target Executive Search), say. It’s been running for 24 years now and is an invaluable tool, Sophia Lee Spencer (Callisto Associates) and providing a realMaarten barometer of business’ views across Britain. Your Hoffmann (The Platinum Club) views are important so if you’d like to be part of Britain’s biggest 4. Robbie Watt (Allied Irish Bank), Mikki Harris and most influential business survey thenand contact: (Momentum Business Support) Craig Walden (Big Beach Marketing)

To kick some you’ll need a good lawyer

5. Christian Goodman (Mercedes-Benz), Sussex Enterprise are taking this one step further this year and Gemma King (BeCreative), Natalie Page (Page we’re delighted Marketing) to announce the formation of Policy Committees Keith Jackman (Mercedes-Benz) and Simonwith Gregg (IT First) in local areas. Working town chambers and our Premier Members we are looking to really get to grips with the issues 6. Lisa Henning (Beautiful Ink), James Dempster that businesses (Cobb face daily; asJeremy part Woolwich of the British Chambers of Digital), (Independent Troy your Belliereviews (BSW Services) to Westminster. Commerce we Perspective) are able toandfeed S O L I C I T O Rdirectly S A N D N OTA R I ES The businesses 7.ofMaarten SussexHoffmann contribute to the (Themassively Platinum Club) and economy of Skerritt Wealth the UK and we Heidi believe that(Skerritt you have a Management) right to be heard! We are pointing to the latest member of the looking for volunteers who have something to say about business Platinum Club (following birth of course) so do get in touch if you’d like to be involved. and congratulations to Richard and 01903 229999 Heidi on their great news. 8. Paul Sheffield (TC Digital), Naomi Kenning (Callisto Associates), and

Become a member and join theOne debate call today on Nick Jenner (Square Financial) 0845 37 595 509. Dan Montagnani (Groundsure),

Andy Percival (PSG Southern), Becky Sharp (Harvey John Recruitment), Rob Fawcett (Bennett Griffin), Alan Trace (Extech)

The Law. Good to know you have grand masters on your side.

GATWICK OBVIOUSLY HEATHROW NOW WANTS A 14-LANE HIGHWAY With an eye to the long awaited outcome of the battle of the runways between Gatwick and Heathrow, the former announces a considerable spike in traffic. Passengers flying to European destinations such as Stockholm and Copenhagen helped Gatwick post a 5.1% rise in traveller numbers in March alone, with more than 2.7m passengers passing through its doors making the 12 months to March 31st a record year of growth. Much of this growth is down to business traffic with destinations such as Istanbul and Moscow at the top of the list. At the same time, Heathrow saw a fall in numbers down 2.8% to 5.8m. LGW CEO Stuart Wingate said: “This has been a successful and


Issue 3 � 2014

exciting year for Gatwick that has seen steady growth, the completion of spending over £1bn on improving the passenger experience and offering new routes that satisfy the demands of business and leisure travellers” The Heathrow plans are gargantuan and include tunnelling a 14-lane stretch of the M25 motorway under a new third runway and increasing compensation for homeowners if its expansion proposals are approved. Heathrow unveiled a revised £15.6bn plan for the future shape of Britain’s biggest airport on the deadline for submission to the government’s Airports Commission, which will choose between Heathrow and Gatwick for an extra runway in south-east England. Gatwick said its £7.8bn scheme for

“One startling fact is that as opposed to the £1.2bn needed from the taxpayer for Heathrow; Gatwick will return £3.5 surplus cash to the taxpayer.”

- Airport|Expansion -

a second runway and new terminal was the only politically deliverable option. Under the Heathrow plan, a 600-metre, 14-lane tunnel would be built to replace an existing section of the M25, passing under the runway. The taxpayer would have to stump up £1.2bn towards improved transport links and the decade long disruption to the M25 would be incalculable. At a recent meeting of the Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum that we attended at the Arora Hotel, speakers from National Rail, Express Coaches, Gatwick and Farrells, the architect planning firm, the case was well presented that all surface connectivity is ready to make Gatwick one of the world’s leading airports creating 22,000 jobs in the area and trains to London every 2


minutes. One startling fact is that as opposed to the £1.2bn needed from the taxpayer for Heathrow; Gatwick will return £3.5 surplus cash to the taxpayer. A clearer cut decision l have yet to encounter. Stuart Wingate said: “Heathrow just can’t be delivered. As the mayor says, politically Heathrow is just too toxic. Why would you choose to fly a quarter of a million more planes every year over one of the world’s most densely populated cities when instead you can fly them mostly over fields? Why tunnel part of the busiest motorway in Europe – the M25 – causing serious traffic disruption, when you can build on land already set aside for expansion? The choice is an obvious one.”

In an earnest attempt to give all sides a voice, Clive Lawrence, Campaign Director, DRINK (Demand Regeneration In North Kent) has a view on where the new runway capacity should come from: “A final recommendation on Britain’s next runway will be made after the 2015 general election, although no party has pledged to implement Davies’s findings.Yes, it does look like the clash of the titans, this battle between Heathrow and Gatwick for the right to build an extra runway (Absolute Business issue 2). But despite the showers of barbed comment flying both ways and heavily armed PR shock troops confronting each other, it’s the wrong war.The key issue is not another runway, but another hub airport. Hubs, as we all know, are special places. A country our size can only have one, just as we have only one head of state. They’re places where a significant

- Airport|Expansion -

number of passengers get off one plane and get on another. At Heathrow, nearly 4 out of every 10 passengers are in transit. At Gatwick, it’s barely 5%. There are two big benefits - airports make extra cash from their presence and airlines are encouraged to put on new services to satisfy demand. Gatwick a contender? Never mind about one new runway, it’ll need three more. Meanwhile, over in West London, Heathrow is full to bursting so another runway? Look at the place; built piecemeal over decades, the project would be like taking a Mondeo saloon and welding on the rear half of a Transit to create more room. Sure, it would cost less than the Thames estuary idea but surely much better to spend a bit more and get a new, purpose designed, people carrier. Who said ‘it’s never about price but always about value’? They’re right!”

Issue 3 � 2014 │27

We believe that effective networking is all about relationship building in a relaxed and informal environment and The Platinum Club provides the ideal platform for companies both large and small, to come together for an enjoyable evening in the luxurious surroundings of The Grand Hotel Brighton.

“ ”

Don’t just take our word for it, here is what some of our club member’s have to say

Let me tell you that the Platinum Club “ is no ordinary networking club. For anyone who is tired of run-of-the-mill networking events I would suggest you try the Platinum Club. John Healy – Healy’s LLP

I would recommend the Platinum Club “ as a fantastic way to meet new contacts in a relaxed evening of networking with a great location! Good spread of Companies and make you feel at home! Tony Rice – Coulsdon Audi

The Platinum Club is all that I expect from a networking club, “ informal, full of interesting people and well run. I look forward to each meeting and have found that I have made new friends and met new clients. Richard Kendall Tobias - Blue Diamond Security

We have recently become members of The Platinum Club where we have met great people and even gained new clients already. I would highly recommend The Platinum Club if you are looking to meet new businesses, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Becky Sharp – Harvey John Recruitment

The Platinum Club is undoubtedly one “ of the most prestigious networking groups I have attended. The meetings are vibrant and positive and we leave the events with a spring in our step, pleased we made the commitment to attend. Denise Buchan – Classic Consulting

Platinum events are always so well “ organised and attended by the right people.” Keith Jackman – Mercedes-Benz

Call: 07966 244046 • e-mail: • web:

Dean Orgill

InstItute of DIreCtors Are you too busy to be successful ? Or rather, are you too busy to be as successful as you could be? Forgive me for making assumptions about Absolute Business readers, but I think it fairly likely that at some stage you will have come across someone, or read something, promoting the wisdom of spending time working on your businesses and not just in it. I do not disagree with that advice. Whenever I have heard it I nodded in agreement, much like I am sure that you have. Frequently I have then made a mental resolution to take the point on board and adapt my behaviour. Initially I did make some adjustment. Then gradually I slipped back into my old habits. Does that sound familiar to you too? A lot of businesses in this country are SMEs built up by people who retain a significant degree of control. Success has therefore often come as a result of the hard work and skill of those in senior positions. It can be very hard for those people to stop and assess how they achieved their success and, more impor tantly, whether they need to be doing things differently going forward to improve on that success. Sir Kenneth Clark, an insolvency guru who had plenty of oppor tunities to analyse what caused businesses to succeed or to fail, is attributed as saying that senior management are “not paid to be busy, they’re paid to think”.

We all know that we can fill our days with essential issues like compliance, risk assessment, impor tant staff issues and so on. They are indeed impor tant points and must be dealt with, but must they be dealt with by you? Do you have competent senior staff? Should you not allow those senior people to deal with issues, and develop their skills, so that in time they can take the business forward without you? I would venture that most of us want to see our businesses survive us, even if it is sold in an exit strategy, so developing senior staff is a positive in most businesses in any event. One way or another, owners and senior executives need to make sure that they have time to think about their business. It may be that the best way to do this is to schedule a specific time and then protect that ‘appointment’, recognising its value. So do not be afraid to put thinking time into your diary. Even if you do not have staff to deal with the sor t of issues I mentioned above, we can probably all agree about the benefit of thinking time. Perhaps this time round we can make sure we take positive action and avoid slipping back into our old habits once more.

- Institute of directors -

Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter

Just a thought ... When talking recently about hiring into a business, Lord Bilimoria, founder of the Cobra beer business, said he looks for “will” rather than “skill”. He reasons that if people are determined and want to learn then the skills will come.

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GrowinG pains results from the Carpenter Box sME Manufacturing survey - 93% of sME manufacturers in the south have a growth strategy, but skills shortage highlighted as ‘a national scandal’ The results from the latest annual SME Manufacturing Survey from West Sussex-based chartered accountants and tax advisers, Carpenter Box LLP, in conjunction with MHA, the UK-wide group of accountancy and business advisory firms, paints a picture of growing optimism among manufacturers on the South Coast and in the Gatwick Diamond. This optimism is supported by continuing investment in R&D and capital expenditure and an increase in recruitment, including a 13% rise in the number of businesses due to take on apprentices. That said, a shortage of recruits at every level, is harming future prospects and has been described by Chris Coopey, Head of the Manufacturing Sector at Carpenter Box and Head of the Manufacturing Group at MHA, as “a national scandal.” Interestingly, despite nine in every 10 small and mediumsized manufacturers in the south predicting growth in 2014, more than half of these businesses still feel unable to pass on any increased costs to customers. The Survey also highlights that 36% of the same businesses are unsure how they will meet the upcoming cost of pension auto-enrolment. Unsurprisingly, given the level of administration involved in auto-enrolment, almost six in 10 also say that ‘red-tape’ is getting worse, despite government pledges to reduce regulation. Energy costs also remain a major issue.

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Survey highlights: • Optimism among manufacturers in the south is high, with 93% predicting growth over the next 12 months – almost half of these anticipate an increase of over 10%. • Almost six in 10 companies feel unable to pass on cost increases to customers, reflecting a cautious approach to economic recovery and continuing concern over pricing. • 83% expect to see an increase in staff numbers in 2014 and 62% of companies intend to take on apprentices or trainees. However, there are calls for an ‘Industry to Education’ interface to address the predicted shortage of engineering graduates.

“We need to get to grips once and for all with signposting our young people to consider a career in engineering and manufacturing.”

• 85% of companies intend to invest in R&D this year. Of those who applied for the R&D Tax Credit Scheme in the last 12 months, no respondents reported an unsuccessful outcome to their claim. • 71% of respondents on the South Coast and Gatwick Diamond currently export, with assistance received predominantly from UKTI and Sussex Enterprise. • Africa is growing in popularity as a destination for export and trade, increasing from 23% last year to 33% in 2014, but there are worries over sourcing local distributors and managing the regulatory and tax environment. • 36% of respondents are concerned about meeting the future cost of pension auto-enrolment and its impact on their competitiveness. - Business|Survey -

Chris Coopey, Partner at Carpenter Box LLP

Other survey results: • Support from banks for the sector is improving, with 72% reporting adequate funding arrangements and almost nine in 10 gaining approval for their funding requests. • Around 20% of manufacturers are still unaware of the workings and benefits of the R&D Tax Credit scheme which itself has improved following the budget. Says Coopey: “While the trading environment is showing positive improvement – with welcome Budget increases to R&D support, the £7bn package to cut energy bills and the increases in the Annual Investment Allowance – there are still many immediate challenges for our SME manufacturers in the south, particularly around energy prices, increasing regulation, despite government commitments to the contrary, and the costs associated with auto-enrolment.

Africa is growing in popularity as a destination for export and trade, increasing from 23% last year to 33% in 2014

Chris Coopey commented: “The underlying trend is very positive for those SMEs in the south operating in the manufacturing sector. It’s possible that many had to restructure during the economic downturn and are now reaping the benefits of improved productivity. For the time being most are looking to absorb any cost increases rather than passing them on, however, this is unlikely to be a sustainable option for the long term.” One area of increasing concern is the availability of motivated recruits, skilled engineers and graduates. While apprentice recruitment is due to increase among 62% of companies, the shortage of skilled and experienced engineers, and graduates, is becoming an increasing

We also need to get to grips once and for all with signposting our young people to consider a career in engineering and manufacturing, which has to start with Government target setting at secondary school level which pump primes the whole system. Failing to grasp this nettle will mean that the manufacturing renaissance the UK needs will be strangled at birth and the competitive ability of UK manufacturers looking to trade around the world will be seriously compromised.”

challenge, with 65% of companies experiencing problems. “The government is committed to rebalancing the economy through manufacturing, yet the sector continues to suffer from a shortage of capable and motivated recruits and skilled engineers, including graduate engineers, which is a national scandal” says Coopey. “This will become a real barrier to growth. One suggestion among the survey respondents is to create a ‘Industry to Education’ interface that will support the education system in developing young people with the right skills set for industry.”

- Business|Survey -

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ADR & MeDiAtion Those who have been involved in litigation through the court system will know that it can sometimes be an unpleasant experience. No matter how good you may think your case is, there is in every case some risk to be considered if it goes to trial and, win or lose, it can be very costly. If one said that, as a rule of thumb, there is an average recovery of around 70% of your costs when assessed by the court if you win the case, that means you will still have paid 30% to your lawyers to get there. A cost benefit analysis is always a good idea but in order to do this properly, you really need to understand what other options are available to you to resolve your dispute before coming to a decision. There are many forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Perhaps the most common forms are round table meetings, where the parties get together, normally with their solicitors, and attempt to settle their dispute without incurring further costs through the court, or mediation, where an independent person (called the ‘mediator’) is appointed by the parties to assist them in resolving the dispute. The attraction with mediation is that the parties decide the outcome as opposed to the uncertainty of a decision by a judge. All discussions should be confidential to the parties until a formal agreement is reached and recorded in writing, signed by or on behalf of the parties.


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Don’t ignore a request to mediate Do not ignore requests to mediate or participate in ADR – even if your response is ‘no’ – you should say so and explain why. A decision made late last year by the Court of Appeal confirms just how important it is for the parties to consider ADR and not to ignore requests to attempt to resolve disputes in this way. The leading case in this area has always been Halsey v Milton Keynes General, where the Court of Appeal held that the court should use its powers to encourage civil litigants to settle their disputes. This included depriving a successful party of all or part of its costs if it unreasonably refused to agree to ADR at any point in the proceedings. The Court of Appeal has now extended this principle to include silence or a failure to respond to an invitation to participate in ADR. In PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Limited [2013] EWCA Civ 1288 the Claimant had twice written to the Defendant asking if it was prepared to mediate the dispute or to say why if it was not. The Defendant failed to respond and the Court of Appeal held that the Defendant had unreasonably refused to mediate and it was penalised with a costs sanction. In my view there is a time and a place for mediation and ADR and the skill as a lawyer is knowing when to use it. Sometimes it may not be appropriate, for example, where the parties are so far apart that there is simply no prospect of resolving - LEGAL -

“in my view there is a time and a place for mediation and ADR and the skill as a lawyer is knowing when to use it.”

Mark James Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution 01273 225601 Brighton & Hove

Rix & Kay is a leading regional law firm with offices in Brighton & Hove, Seaford, Sevenoaks and Uckfield. The firm has grown significantly over the last decade which bears testament to the strength of our client relationships and progressive attitude. Recognised in the latest editions of The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in thirteen and eight practice areas respectively, the firm also boasts eleven Leaders in their Field. We serve individuals, organisations and businesses across the South East and further afield.



the dispute through ADR. In other instances mediation may not be the most economical option and the parties may think that a different form of ADR, such as a neutral evaluation by an independent expert, is more appropriate. It is rare though, in my experience, to reject ADR outright without good reason and in most cases it will be in your client’s best interests to at least consider the same. This latest authority could therefore be said to be setting a precedent of what should be no more than the ‘norm’ in most cases and for most lawyers. Indeed, the court in this judgment made it clear that the parties should not wait for encouragement from the court before engaging in ADR. Briggs LJ stating that there is: “…call for an ever increasing focus upon means of ensuring that court time, both for trial and for case management, is proportionately directed towards those disputes which really need it, with an ever increasing responsibility thrown upon the parties to civil litigation to engage in ADR, wherever that offers a reasonable

prospect of producing a just settlement at proportionate cost. Just as it risks a waste of the court’s resources to have the tried case which could have been justly settled earlier and at a fraction of the cost by ADR, so it is a waste of its resources to have to manage the parties towards ADR by robust encouragement, where they could and should have engaged with each other in considering its suitability, without the need for the court’s active intervention.” Settlement usually feels good Very often, you will get to a settlement meeting or mediation early, spend much of the day toing and froing in discussions with the opponent and/or a mediator and the actual settlement itself happens in a hurry, right at the very end, in the last hour of the day. This can often be the result of tactics adopted by one party to wear the other down, or parties waiting until the other party threatens to walk out before actually putting forward a realistic settlement proposal. When parties do manage to settle their differences it is usually because

“The Defendant failed to respond and the Court of Appeal held that the Defendant had unreasonably refused to mediate and it was penalised with a costs sanction.”

both parties have compromised part of their case in order to get the settlement over the line. As a result, it is not uncommon for both parties initially to feel uncomfortable with the end result. However, when they reflect on it, the feeling is usually one of relief that the whole dispute is over, any risk and uncertainty has been eliminated and usually considerable legal costs have been saved. As I have indicated above, there are times when it can be justified to reject mediation, but to reject mediation is in itself a risk because you can be sure that your opponent will bring this to the attention of the court at the conclusion of the case when the question of costs falls to be considered, often involving argument over the unreasonable conduct of the parties. I will continue to send my opponents an invitation to participate in ADR or mediation where it is appropriate and they would be wise not to ignore my correspondence.

Recent posts - Twitter - @RixandKayLaw LinkedIn -


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What you need to knoW about Buying & Selling a Business are you thinking of retiring and selling your business? or perhaps you are looking to expand and buy out a competitor? either way, if you have not done it before, there are numerous traps and pitfalls which can catch you unaware, this is why legal advice in any transaction is essential. When considering selling or purchasing a business, there are some basic points you must consider. The first is, why do you want to do it and is it right for you? Do not make an impulse decision, ensure that you think it through carefully. I would also recommend speaking to your Accountant for tax advice so as to ensure that the timing is right. Lastly, is your house in order and is your business ready for the change? You need to make sure you’ve prepared adequately, for example, that your accounts and company books are up to date and any licenses are in place.

Business. However, for taxation purposes, the purchase price will need to be apportioned between the various assets of the Business that are to be transferred to the Buyer (e.g. goodwill, premises, equipment and fixtures and fittings).

Based on my many years of experience in buying and selling businesses, here are some key points and terms that you need to be aware of:

STOck ANd WORk IN PROgRESS It is standard practice for a stock valuation to take place on the date of completion and for the Buyer to pay for the stock at cost price on that date. A mechanism for valuing the stock will need to be agreed at the Contract negotiation stage.

APPORTIONMENT The purchase price will be the full amount payable by the Buyer to the Seller for the purchase of the


Issue 3 � 2014

As the tax payable by both parties resulting from the transaction will vary depending on how the purchase price is apportioned between these assets we strongly advise that both parties seek the advice of their Accountant at an early stage of the transaction.

“A mechanism for valuing the stock will need to be agreed at the Contract negotiation stage.”

- Commercial|Property -

Rob Fawcett is a Partner and Head of Property at Bennett Griffin LLP

EquipmEnt, plant and machinEry It is important for the parties to agree which items of equipment used by the Business are to be transferred to the Buyer. It is also important to consider, in relation to the assets to be transferred, whether they benefit from any manufacturer’s warranty and/or whether they are the subject of a finance agreement. In either case, consideration will need to be given as to whether the warranty/finance agreement needs to be formally transferred to the Buyer and if so, what the consequences of such transfer are to each party. Book dEBts The parties must agree whether the book debts which exist at completion are to be transferred to the Buyer or retained by the Seller. If the former, the Seller may require an additional payment in respect of these. If they are to be

retained by the Seller, there will need to be a mechanism for the payment of any invoices received by the Buyer post-completion to be accounted to the Seller. Vat Generally speaking, if the whole of the Seller’s Business is transferred to the Buyer as a going concern, the purchase price will be exempt from VAT. However, there are circumstances in which the exemption will not apply. You will need to seek expert advice as to whether VAT will be chargeable on the purchase price. Financing thE dEal The Buyer will need to consider how the purchase price, stock and fees will be financed. If the Buyer is considering obtaining a loan facility from a Bank, an application should be made at the earliest opportunity. The Buyer should also be clear, when dealing with the Bank, exactly

“Generally speaking, if the whole of the Seller’s Business is transferred to the Buyer as a going concern, the purchase price will be exempt from VAT.”

- Commercial|Property -

what forms of security the Bank will require in order to offer the loan (e.g. charge on the premises or assets of the Business, personal guarantee, etc.) The amount of work involved in complying with the Bank’s requirements may vary greatly, depending on the form of security required in each case. It is essential to seek proper legal advice at an early stage in any major transaction so as to protect your investment, or the proceeds of your sale, against unexpected liabilities and to ensure it is very clear exactly what you are buying or selling. Let a professional guide you through the transaction, so that you can focus on running your business.

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Pride of Lewes

Lewes District Business awarDs winners Around 150 people from across the Lewes and District’s business community gathered together to celebrate the success of its business talent and achievements. Amongst them, twenty six company finalists, each hoping to win one or more of the ten trophies. Cllr Rob Blackman, Leader of Lewes District Council said “These awards, celebrating excellence amongst the District’s diverse business community, have created a fantastic opportunity for many different types of business to come together and celebrate the immense success of the District’s business talent and achievement. It’s been a great occasion for businesses to network and I look forward to building on the success of this first awards event in the future.” Hugh Burnett OBE DL FCA, chairman of the judges, said: “We have been delighted with the response to this inaugural award scheme. The wide variety of categories has ensured that a diverse range of organisations have participated. “From family run businesses to national organisations, the finalists represent businesses that are excelling across all areas of customer service, community work, retail, sustainability, innovation and tourism. “Our congratulations go to all the finalists and our thanks to the sponsors who supported us this year.” This year’s sponsors included The Santon Group, Knill James, Veolia Environmental Services, Wave Leisure, Basepoint Business Centres, LEAP, Harvey & Son Ltd, The Aldridge Foundation, Lewes District Council and media partner Viva Lewes.











1. Dan Valovin, Nick Ludford, Dan Karlson and Sally Evans 2. Leader of Lewes District Council Rob Blackman with Duncan Kerr of Wave Leisure 3. LEAP group Jennifer Porteous, Sharon Lloyd, Isabelle Fauchet, Jodie Deacon, Jason Edge, Wes Game, Mark Beaumont and Rob Blackman 4. Nicholas Owen 5. Jo Hathaway, Alexis Dove, Justin Small, Clare Hunt, Mauro and Charlotte Lazzati 6. Cllr Rob Blackman, Leader of Lewes District Council 7. LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year - Jen Porteous, The Tiny Vineyard Co 8. Lizzie Chapman, Richard Scott-Clark and Jackie Titley 9. Sharon Lloyd, Kevin Kingston and Jane Vaughan 10. Midnight Communications Team


ISSUE 3 � 2014

- Lewes District Business Awards -

Company of the Year Sponsored by The Santon Group

Winner: Cash Bases Limited

Small Business of the Year Sponsored by Knill James

Businessperson of the Year Winner: Terry Nitman and Steve Hayman, Cheesmur Building Contractors Sponsored by The Santon Group

LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year The Tiny Vineyard Co

Award for Business Innovation Sponsored by Lewes District Council

Award for Business in the Community Sponsored by LEAP

Award for Best Place to Visit Sponsored by Viva Lewes

Winner: Cash Bases Limited

Winner: The Charleston Trust

Award for Social Enterprise Winner: National Lifesaving Academy Sponsored by The Aldridge Foundation

Award for Best Independent Retailer Sponsored by Wave Leisure

Winner: Badger Inks Ltd

Winner: Jen Porteous, Sponsored by LEAP

Winner: Screen Solutions Ltd

Winner: Mill Laine Farm

Lewes District Award for Clean, Green & Marine Winner: Screen Solutions Ltd Sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services

- Lewes District Business Awards -

ISSUE 3 ďż˝ 2014 â&#x201D;&#x201A;37

Don’t mention the football No Mention Of The World Cup:

It’s June 2014 and I’ve promised not to mention the World Cup at all in this month’s bulletin. FAIL. In promising not to mention it I’ve immediately broken that promise by mentioning it, albeit with the best of intentions. Having broken the promise, let’s hope that England’s performances allow me to mention it again, in a triumphant way. I could make similar promises about not mentioning the ECB and their expected loosening of policy this month; the soggy equity performance this year so far; Japan and whether Abenomics has run out of steam; the question of how emerging markets can be expected to keep rallying in the face of a slowing China; or the prospects of bond yields going lower still; but if I did this would make this the shortest newsletter on record as no content would remain. Against this list of delights, talking about the World Cup, or even this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, may sound preferable.

The Widow Maker:

Not given to over-dramatising a phrase, my eye was drawn to a report issued by BCA Research entitled “The Widow Maker”. Was this referring to Scotland’s failure to qualify for Brazil (again) or perhaps conjecture on England failing to negotiate the group stage [You’ve mentioned it again]? 38│

Issue 3 � 2014

Neither, as it turns out. It is of course the name by which the trade goes of shorting Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs). An over-dramatised phrase if ever there’s been one but what does it mean? It’s relevant to much of today’s thinking about European bonds. The act of shorting JGBs has been a fruitless one for 20 years and more, but it is a trade to which some hapless investors have been drawn on a regular basis as yields have fallen over this period from 3% to 2%, from 2% to 1% and all the way through to their 0.6% yield today. A similar fate has befallen shorters of Swiss Government bonds too, whether they chose to short when they were 3%, 2% or 1% all the way through to their 0.75% yield today.

“The consensus is that China is an accident waiting to happen, yet emerging markets are still seen as the source of endless growth.”

What is the relevance?

There could not be a wider difference between the fortunes of the Japanese and Swiss economies over the past 20 years. Switzerland has thrived about as much as Japan has suffered, yet their bonds mirror one another. Why is this? The reason must lie in their shared experience of seeing low to no inflation in this time. And what is the fear underlying the calls to Mario Draghi to begin to do whatever it takes instead of simply saying he’ll do whatever it takes to save the - Business|Finance -

Andrew Merricks Head of Investments, Skerrits

Eurozone? It is the fear of deflation and the morphing of a European-style period of disinflation into a Japanesestyle period of disinflation. In the same way that those who shorted JGBs and Swiss bonds were expecting a “normalisation” of yields, so we hear today numerous comments about European and UK bond yields being close to the tipping point at which “normal” yields will be seen again. But what is normal? As a species we benchmark our expectations of normality against that which we recognise through our own experience, finding it hard to understand or grasp situations that we have had no knowledge of previously. In most of our lifetimes, and particularly our professional lifetimes, “normal” has been a multi-decade period of inflation, consequential high interest rates and a credit boom the likes of which has never been seen before. BCA refer to the period as the Great Aberration. As we can’t think of a better name, that’s what we’ll refer to it by as well. The 400 years preceding 1965 were typified by “credit growing broadly in line with the economy’s productive potential and (apart from during wars) structural inflation was nonexistent. And the lesson from Japan

and Switzerland – and other major economies now – is clear; if credit growth is not much higher than the growth in the economy’s productive potential, it is very difficult to get structural inflation, in which case, bond yields in the major economies are more likely to follow the Swiss template.” All of which means that the Widow Maker lurks in the shadows waiting for all who think that shorting European bonds at these levels is a good looking trade. We maintain our overweight position towards European equities as we are fairly confident that Draghi will do something to appease the growing murmur of unrest as there have been a few signs of the impetus slowing on the Continent. We believe in a continued recovery and retain our aggressive stance towards the periphery. Greece sold off sharply on political troubles but has recovered quite sharply and we like the BCA reminder that “stock markets in crisis-stricken countries usually go up somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400% from crisis lows to recovery highs over a four year period”. The main problem everywhere is that markets have moved from being cheap to being no longer cheap, although they generally

stop short of being over-valued. This leads us to the question that we are often asked about why we are out of emerging markets. True, emerging markets have rallied quite strongly this calendar year so, as we always do, we have questioned our stance. In short, we find it very hard to envisage a sustainable recovery in emerging markets, and in natural resources and mining stocks, against the backdrop of a slowing China.

“We expect the Bank of Japan to turn on the QE taps again if recovery is threatened.”

The consensus is that China is an accident waiting to happen, yet emerging markets are still seen as the source of endless growth. Strangely, despite our view on emerging markets, we do not necessarily feel quite as bearish on China as others, so we await the right opportunities to take an interest once more. The soggy equity performance to which we alluded is nowhere more evident than in Japan. Having been one of the top performers in the previous year, it has outperformed only Iran and Venezuela this year to date, yet we cautiously maintain our optimism towards it. Admittedly our patience is being tested, but the fact that Prime Minister Abe remains more popular at this stage of his mandate than any other Japanese Prime Minister in the last 15 years suggests that he has still got the - Business|Finance -

backing to continue to bring Japan out of its ever-so-long slump and into the heady heights of inflation at 2%. This won’t happen unless the Yen weakens and remains weak, and this is one of the reasons why the market has disappointed as the Yen remains a safe haven in turbulent times. We expect the Bank of Japan to turn on the QE taps again if recovery is threatened, while if the BoJ does not act it suggests that the 2% inflationary target is likely to be achieved without help. Both these scenarios are tentatively bullish for Japanese equities, although nothing is logical about the Japanese market, let alone predictable or reliable. Much like the England football team - but we promised not to mention them didn’t we? These are our views and are for professional use.

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The hilTon Guy Guy Hilton has more than just the perfect name to be General Manager of the Hilton London Gatwick Airport hotel Sometimes it is best to get the blindingly obvious question out of the way. When you are the GM of one of the flagship Hilton hotels and your name is Guy Hilton, the obvious question must be fairly tiresome. But I will ask it anyway. Are you part of the Hilton dynasty? Is Paris your sister / cousin / daughter? At this point, Guy could have made up some outlandish stories, but thankfully he had the decency to tell it as it really is: “No! It’s pure coincidence. But I guess with a name like this you have got to work for the leading hotel group in the world at some point in your career!” How did you get into the hospitality industry? It’s strange because at the school’s careers fair I wanted to be a fireman, estate agent or chartered surveyor. A friend of my mum found me a summer job in an Irish bar in Italy and I soon gained enthusiasm for the industry. Another friend of my mother’s also helped me on my way. She introduced me to Brian Ball who was running Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds, where I was offered the chance of work experience over Christmas and New Year. It gave me the bug and I was hooked. I liked it 40│ Issue 3 � 2014

and so worked in Italy for two more summers. I then took a BSc Honours degree in Catering Systems - which was a more systematic approach to hospitality including management. I graduated with a 2:1. I got my first job with Crown and Raven Hotels (owned by Wolverhampton and Dudley Brewers) I moved on to open the first ever Howard Johnson hotel in the UK and followed this by opening the The Park Plaza in Nottingham. Then a friend advised me of an opening in Hilton Hotels where there were greater opportunities. My first position with Hilton was Director of Operations at Hilton Leeds on maternity cover, but the lady I was covering decided to not come back. This was eleven years ago.

“With a name like this you have got to work for the leading hotel group in the world at some point in your career!”

areas as my children were young but when I moved to Hilton Brighton, the children had reached important ages for school and so we decided that we would stay in the area.They are at the age where they don’t want to break up friendship groups. What’s the main difference between Hilton Brighton and Hilton London Gatwick Airport? Brighton is very much driven by seasonality, with peaks and troughs which means you can be flexible on rates during the quieter winter months, but it also had extensive conference space, which means you can get out and drive more business into the hotel.

I was promoted to hotel manager followed by a move to the Edinburgh Grosvenor as General Manager, where I oversaw a £3.5m upgrade. Since then I have moved three times: first to Newcastle, then Brighton and finally to Gatwick.

With an airport hotel, I think there is a view, especially from the outside, that it is totally transient. However, an airport also generates a lot of activity on its periphery and attracts industry to the locality, so there is a good chunk of corporate business out there. We have 21 conference and meeting rooms and a large ballroom, so corporate business is vital.

How has working in the hospitality industry impacted on your family? I was able to move around various Hilton hotels in various

What about the size of the hotel and how does it compare to Brighton? With transport links as excellent as they are here , it is a

- Business|Interview -

great venue. Another difference is that Brighton is very much about local networking but that is a different type of networking to here. Hilton London Gatwick Airport has a presence in the local economy and so it is important to have an opinion on what is going on in all the surrounding areas.The positioning of this hotel and the Gatwick Diamond means that this is a good area for business. What skills are required for your job? It’s a long list! it includes driving and leading the team, finding and closing business opportunities, being a salesman, a leader, an administrator, a financier and, not forgetting, a hotelier. In your time at Hilton, have you noticed any new trends in business, meetings or hospitality? People are definitely looking for more value for money. People are looking for more in general. Customers are more aware of what ‘good’ looks like and people also look for more fun. Delegates want healthy options in meetings, more taste and flavour - there is a vast choice out there. Now that children are receiving so much more education about food, it filters through. We also see trends with video conferencing. With modern technology such as Skype, iPhones for example, there is more flexibility to provide the customer with what they want and it means we can meet fixed prices. What are your ambitions for the hotel? We have recently completed the refurbishment of over 400 rooms including all of our family rooms, which provide us with an excellent bedroom product now. We will soon be redeveloping our Front Door and arrival experience. The ambitions are to continue to affirm it as the hotel of choice at the airport and then work hard at defending this status. However, overriding all of this it is most important to ensure our guests are made to feel valued, cared for and respected.

Guy Hilton

Do tourists use the hotel as a base for London? Yes - it’s the ease of journey from here to central London and all the entertainment and sports venues that appeals. We want to create the awareness and provide the flexibility, reminding visitors how quick the journey is to London. What was the best decision you have made? I introduced an added-value package with features such as early check in, late check out, wi-fi, wine and more benefits, which resulted in increased sales. It has been a well-received business package that won the ‘Business Development Initiative of the Year’ in Hilton’s Metro Awards.

“An airport generates a lot of activity on its periphery and attracts industry to the locality, so there is a good chunk of corporate business out there.”

Your worst decision? I don’t think I’ve made any bad decisions! And long may it continue...

- Business|interview -

Issue 3 � 2014 │41

SmellyMail – Direct Mail Innovation Nova Direct MD, Andy Fry

Nova Direct, a leader in direct marketing services, has created scented direct mailers to stimulate the senses. Smellymail combines the latest personalised direct mail techniques using variable data and digital printing, with fragrance applied to create a unique and impactful direct mail product. Established in 1991, Nova Direct has an outstanding record as an innovator in direct mail. The company has a high level of expertise in data acquisition and cleansing, graphic design and fulfilment. Smellymail is just the latest in a series of trend setting developments offered by the company. Personalised direct mailers created using the latest digital variable data output can be fragranced with over 50 different scents to create a mail piece that demands attention. Smellymail can be combined with unique web microsite landing page so that recipients can go online to see an offer tailored directly for them. Commenting on Smellymail, Andy Fry, Managing Director of Nova Direct said, “Our customers want direct mail campaigns that


Issue 3 � 2014

work and produce results. Smellymail delivers that with maximum personalised impact. We have a lot of customers in the travel industry and the possibilities that Smellymail opens for them are only limited by the imagination. Smellymail is going to be a huge success.” Enjoy the sweet smell of success by adding a fragrance to your next direct marketing campaign. With a wide range of aromas which stimulate the brain to revive positive memories or thoughts, Smellymail brings your advertising to life. Nova Direct is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital print and for more information call 01444 231400 or visit

- Direct Mail -

Business Scene

The Crawley & Gatwick Business Lunch Club organised by Cobb PR


The lunch was held at the Hilton London Gatwick Airport


1. Paul Samrah (Kingston Smith) and Geoff Loader (Southern Water) 2. Tim Cobb, Sue Cobb (Cobb PR) and Peter Sudworth (Vail Williams) 3. Nik Askaroff (EMC) Nicky Binning ( and Andrew Rutherford (Centric Commercial Finance)


4. Will Walsh (Rawlison Butler), Avent Bezuidenhoudt (The FSE Group) and James Dempster (Cobb Digital)


5. Eric Webb (Knighthood Corporate), Daniel Sibley (NatWest) and Rick Keley (BM Advisory) 6. Colin Graham (Boxbuild Ltd), Abigail Owen (Rawlison Butler) and Alastair Watkinson (NatWest)


7. Terry Rainback (EMC), Jeremy McCarthy (Newman Business Solutions), Andrew Hookway (Extech Ltd) and David Montgomery (Kingston Smith)



- Business|scene -

ISSUE 3 � 2014


Do you want to be part of a winning team? Hastings Direct is a multi-award winning business and one of the UK’s fastest growing insurance providers with over 1.5 million customers. We have ambitious plans and we’re seeking talented professionals to join our winning team based in Bexhill-on Sea. As a company that’s going places and yet still small enough to feel like you can make a difference, we can offer genuine development and career progression. We have many exciting career opportunities;

Customer Facing /Contact Centre roles available;

Senior Pricing Analyst - This role represents a unique and exciting opportunity to take the lead in development of Hastings pricing strategy for Household Products.

Customer Representatives Customer Representatives earn up to £18,000 (including basic salary and bonus)

Project Managers - Establish and maintain portfolio projects to support our PMO office implementation of major business, tactical and strategic change in operational areas.

We provide our customers with a refreshingly straightforward service and we’d like to hear from you if you enjoy talking to customers and love working in a fast paced, busy office.

Call Centre Manager - Successfully lead and develop the contact centre to deliver excellent customer service to Hastings Direct customers.

As a customer representative you will be talking to our customers over the phone, providing straightforward service, whilst working in a supportive team that recognises and rewards hard work. We provide first class training in order for you to succeed in your role.

Commercial Analyst - The Commercial Analyst will have responsibility for supporting the delivery of our household product strategy. Underwriting Pricing Manager - Private Car Help us define and deliver market leading analytics and risk pricing strategies. Information Security Manager - Provide leadership and strategic direction to Hastings Insurance Group, to bring the group IS risks under control via the design and implementation of policy standards.

Are you: • Self motivated? • Adaptable? • Dedicated to delivering great customer service? • Flexible to working 37.5 hours per week within the hours below? Mon – Fri 8am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 5.30pm & Sun 10am to 5pm.

Retention Manager - Define and implement a market leading renewals and in-life customer journey to drive business performance.

To learn more about each of the above vacancies please contact us:

01424 735735 ext 8924.

2013 and 2014 Car Insurance Provider of the Year, Consumer Moneyfacts Awards 2013 Insurance Times Awards, Personal Lines Broker of the Year 2013 UK Broker Awards, Personal Lines Broker of the Year.

A quick guide to

Leasing Business Premises Thinking of expanding and getting larger offices? Or perhaps you’re starting up a new business? Whatever your reason for leasing new business premises, you need to plan your move carefully so as to avoid any of the pitfalls. A lease is a legally binding contract between the legal owner (Landlord) and the occupier (Tenant). But negotiating one can often be a daunting and lengthy process for both parties, which can result in high legal costs. It is important, therefore, to have a clear understanding of how this works before either a lease or renewal is granted. Following the Code for Leasing Business Premises in England & Wales 2007, we have put together our ten top tips for occupiers, we hope you find them helpful: 1. Lease Negotiations When negotiating the lease, request written responses from the landlord where you expect to need to rely on them. Check that all the things which are important to you and your business have been accurately written down in the Heads of Terms and documented in the lease. 2. Length of Term, Break Clauses & Renewal Rights Take professional advice at least six months before the end of the lease and on receipt of any notice from the landlord under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. 3. Rent Deposits & Guarantees Think of any guarantee as if it will be called on the first day of the lease i.e. what would be the personal consequences for you? And could you afford it? 4. Rent Review Check that you understand the basis on which the rent can be changed. Can the rent go down as well as up? You should see if the landlord is prepared to allow upward or downward rent reviews and if not, you should consider asking for a break option exercisable only by the tenant.

5. Assignment & Subletting Try to make sure the only precondition of the assignment is obtaining the landlord’s consent in writing; in that the landlord may not unreasonably withhold or delay giving his consent.

steve Berrett Commercial manager

6. Repairs It is worthwhile getting a formal photographic Schedule of Condition carried out by a professional in order to record the condition of the property at the beginning of the lease. 7. Alterations & Changes of Use Make sure your lease allows you to make non-structural alterations except where the landlord can demonstrate it would affect the operation of the building. Remember that you should notify the landlord of any nonstructural alterations that you do make. 8. Service Charges Make sure the landlord cannot charge you a greater proportion of cost when they have other space vacant on the estate or building. 9. Insurance Remember to inform the landlord and his insurer if you intend to change the way you use the property, let them know if you are storing any hazardous chemicals, or if you propose to leave the property vacant and unattended at any time. 10. On-going Management Try to stay on good terms with the landlord and or managing agent. This should help make any situation easier to handle and should allow you to run your business without unnecessary interruptions

01903 213 281

- Commercial|Property -

Issue 3 � 2014 │45

Your Commercial Agent across Sussex

5,000 sq ft Industrial / Warehouse for sale

Pre-let enquiries invited for a high quality modern unit

Industrial units to let on premier industrial estate




• Open plan warehouse with front reception area • Situated on popular Rustington Trading Estate • Suit variety of commercial uses (STPC) • Rare freehold opportunity

• Potential new 8,000 sq ft business unit on light industrial business park • 3 phase power, concrete flooring, roller shutter loading door, shared cafeteria • Estimated timeframe of 6 months from signed contract to construction

• Open plan warehouses, some with offices, and allocated parking • Units available from 1,114 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft • New lease terms available

Guide price £290,000

Rent £52,000 per annum + VAT

Annual Rent from £5 per sq ft

Prime retail premises to let in busy thoroughfare

Prominent offices close to town centre to let

Long established restaurant franchise for sale




• Situated on Montague Street with nearby occupiers including Thomson, Greggs, Marks & Spencers and Next • Approx 1,384 sq ft on ground floor (possible upper parts available) • New lease terms to be agreed

• Ground and first floor offices of approx 5,654 sq ft • Parking in separate nearby yard for approx 30 vehicles • GCH, air con, suspended ceilings, kitchen and WCs to both floors

• Town centre 50 seater, air conditioned, licensed restaurant • Fully equipped and recently refurbished • 3 storey premises to include 1 bed flat • Available on new lease at £24,000 per annum rent

Price £39,000 per annum

Rent Upon Application

Business Price £164,000


01903 228602 8 Chapel Road, Worthing Steve Berrett / Jon Justice


| offices | industrial | investment Exclusive Town Centre Offices Argyll House, Liverpool Gardens, Worthing Annual Rent from £11,400 Five newly refurbished office suites, set within an impressive regency property in the heart of Worthing Town Centre. The offices range in size from 880 to 1,322 sq ft and have been renovated to an extremely high standard. Each suite benefits from solid oak flooring, private bathroom and kitchen facilities, on-site allocated parking and large period windows providing an abundance of natural light. Michael Jones Commercial Negotiator, Jon Justice, says, “These offices are truly exceptional and rare to the local market. They would suit businesses seeking a state-ofthe-art workspace in a period building. Each suite is open plan, but could easily be segregated into separate areas if required and some already include a separate meeting room.” The offices are available separately at £13.50 per sq ft, plus service charge or as a whole (5,251 sq ft) with an annual rent of £69,000 per annum.

Substantial Industrial Facility Chartwell Site, Lancing Business Park 73,235 sq ft on 4.23 acre site Extensive industrial premises prominently placed in the centre of Lancing Business Park, one of the largest industrial centres in Sussex. The 4.23 acre site, formerly occupied by steelworks company Graham Wood, includes 3 high-bay, interlinking warehouses (67,011 Sq ft) providing excellent high level storage and heavy industrial/production space. Ten Demag electronically operated overhead cranes remain in situ. The northern bay has ancillary space with a staff canteen, locker rooms, additional storage and manager’s office. The site benefits from large yard areas to the front and rear. There are also 20 car parking spaces surrounding a modern detached two-story office building (4,333 sq ft) with reception and boardroom areas. The previous tenants operated 24 hours a day with B2 general industrial use. However, it is felt that the premises may be suitable for B8 warehouse and distribution, plant hire/storage, builder merchants, foundry or haulage.


01903 228602

8 Chapel Road, Worthing Brandon White / Emma Isaac


Issue 3 � 2014

- Property|Investment -

- Property|Investment -

Issue 3 � 2014 │49

EXPERT PANEL Guy Hilton Hilton Gatwick

Russell BRinkHuRst Rix & Kay


Q: A:

“We are thinking of hosting our first overnight meeting for our 32 staff, where we want to present them with the new systems for 2015. We need a small conference space for one day with some projection equipment and 16 twin rooms with all catering. Are we safe to organise this ourselves or should we contract an events company? It is important that it goes smoothly but if possible, we could do with avoiding the cost of an events company.”

Planning an overnight event can definitely be a handful, especially if it is your first one! There are many things you will need to have in mind, for example the size of the room needed, audio visual equipment required and the number of breaks you will need in order to keep a smooth flow of the day and everyone motivated. My suggestion would be to find a venue that is experienced at organising events, ensuring it will be successful, a pleasure for everyone involved and will take the pressure away from you. I would recommend you to work with a hotel, this way you will be able to get the conference space plus the bedrooms required all under one roof – the best thing is that there isn’t going to be any extra costs for the logistics of the event. At Hilton London Gatwick Airport, for instance, a dedicated Sales Executive will liaise with you to make sure that all your requirements and expectations are fully met; working hand in hand with the Operations Team in order to cater to your specific needs, including audio visual equipment and a flexible range of food and beverage options. At the best hotels you should be able to work with the chef to personalise your breaks and tailor them according to your needs. To give your event that little extra wow, I would suggest that you enjoy a friendly after events drinks gathering, where you can all share your experiences of the day and you will be able to receive the feedback from your colleagues and clients.


ISSUE 3 � 2014


Q: A:

“I am considering bringing a new partner into my live event production firm. He brings no investment other than his excellent contacts. Is it imperative that we have a shareholders agreement or will it suffice to simply issue him the 30% shares, as registered at companies house, and divi up the profits based on that shareholding?”

The simple answer to your question is yes, you should have a shareholders’ agreement in order to protect you, the company and its business. Many of the issues covered in the agreement will commonly arise between shareholders.

The agreement will specify procedures regulating ownership of the shares, such as what would happen if one of you wanted to sell your shares, breached the agreement, became bankrupt, incapacitated or died. Dealing with these issues is important for different reasons depending on the event that occurs. The agreement might confirm decisions that would require the consent of both of you before they can be taken. You can agree a limit of each of your authority to take major decisions, such as increasing borrowing, buying new equipment or hiring employees. This is particularly important if the new business partner is going to be a director of the company. As a 30% shareholder, you would need to bear in mind that the consent of your new business partner would be required to take major decisions at shareholder level. The agreement may also seek to impose appropriate and reasonable restrictions on your new business partner concerning the company’s confidential information and goodwill to restrict his or her activities in order to protect the company’s business. It is advisable to consider and have an agreement in place governing these types of issues at the outset to lessen the risk of a costly and damaging dispute arising in the future.

- Expert Panel -

CHRISTIAN GOODMAN Lookers Mercedes-Benz

Q: A:

“I am looking to buy a couple of cars on the business and was intending to buy diesel models but with all the recent media fuss about mass polluting diesels, are they soon to become history and should l plump for petrol or hybrid? I don’t want to be left with cars that are soon to be heavily taxed or to be persona non grata with all the diesel particles polluting the air. Or should l just stop reading the papers?”

Some things in life are certain – taxes will continue to rise… Tax rates (or Benefit in Kind rates) will continue to rise for cars emitting more than 75kg/ km of CO2. They will now be capped at 37% for the most CO2-producing vehicles, as opposed to 35%. Also, in 2015-17, the BIK rate will increase by 2%, as opposed to 1%. From 2016, the 3% surcharge for diesel cars will be scrapped. Under current rules employees driving diesel company cars have been charged this extra 3% in tax because of fears over the extra small particle emissions produced by diesel cars, although they give off less CO2. But the Government is now stopping this extra charge in recognition of the fact that diesel cars are getting continually cleaner. The diesel car will tend to have a higher P11d Value, but the % used for the BIK amount tends to be lower. I am more than happy to meet you to discuss in detail the best way forward. I have listed a comparison on the A180 Eco se for tax over the next couple of years, and the A180 petrol to show the difference

A180 Eco SE



2015/16 2016/17

Benefit in kind

14% £3,067

16% £3,506

15% £3,287

Tax payable at 20%




Tax payable at 40%




Tax year to 5th April P11D value


Percentage charge

A180 Eco SE



2015/16 2016/17

Benefit in kind

18% £3,719

20% £4,132

22% £4,545

Tax payable at 20%




Tax payable at 40%




Tax year to 5th April P11D value


Percentage charge

JOHN BuRROuGHeS Uniglobe


“We are in a bit of a quandary and seek help.We are a relatively new company and have to travel to our first overseas meeting in Las Vegas. At least 10 of us need to attend the meeting and exhibition and my instinct is to book it ourselves but l must admit to being concerned that we might screw it up and end up in Timbuktu. If l use a travel company, will they charge us the earth and put us in the hotel they earn the most commission from? Sorry if this seems an elementary question but we have never done a group booking before and it is very important for us that it goes right.”


Thank you for your question. We would definitely recommend using a Travel Management Company with a specialist Groups Department. As such, our “raison d’être”, so to speak, is partly that we can secure better hotel rates than our clients are able to obtain direct, using our industry presence, relationships, and buying power. We consult on your behalf, using our expertise and vast experience to offer you multiple options and ensure we obtain best value at all times. Below are some of the advantages of using an agency to consult on your behalf rather than booking direct: Factor

Booking direct

Booking through an agency

Air fares cost

Full names and payment needed at time of booking, non-changeable, expensive fares if names only know close to date of travel

Discounted group fares held against generally 20% deposit, fares are fixed without names, full payment generally only 6/8 weeks prior to travel, name changes can be done after ticketing

ATOL protection

No financial protection offered (if booked separately, hotels and airlines do not hold ATOL)

Agency holds ATOL so protects the whole booking against supplier failure e.g. if an airline goes bankrupt

24 hours assistance

Not offered, each supplier would have to be dealt with direct, especially difficult if booked online

Agency provides 24 hours number in order that, for example, should a flight be missed, the booking in its entirety is looked after e.g. flight/hotel/car hire/ meeting changes

Budgetary control

None if no central control, and no expert advice on how to set and maintain

Agency books according to original budget and provides advice from onset on how to control, then maintains and monitors to keep in line. Negotiates best rates, attrition terms, inclusions etc

Overall advice


Agency provides flight, hotel, destination, visa, passport, health, event/venue space, etc information

Data provision


Agency acts as central point for all data relating to travel including central budget, itineraries, bookings, final reconciliation, live passenger information, etc – all being licensed under the data protection act

Traveller tracking


Tracking is done, ensuring Duty of Care responsibilities are fulfilled

Company time/ efficiency

Can impact greatly on employee time, without them having the necessary expertise

Is handed over to the agency who project manage from onset to completion

In summary, agencies save time and cost, and offer their client’s professional services whilst affording them protection that is impossible to obtain by booking direct. We present ourselves as your buying arm, and as you are a relatively new company, partnering with a Travel Management Company from the onset will provide multiple options within budget, enable savings and streamlined cost consolidation, without you landing up in Timbuktu! - Expert Panel -

ISSUE 3 � 2014 │51

GET AWAY FROM THE EVERYDAY. Whether you are taking a holiday break, going away for the weekend or attending a business meeting, take advantage of our Superb Summer Sale at Hilton London Gatwick Airport, stay with us from as little as £90.00 inclusive of VAT. 33% discount on best available rate! Book Between 3 June 2014 and 1 September 2014 Stay Between 27 June 2014 and 30 December 2014 To book online please visit

South Terminal, Gatwick Airport | West Sussex | RH6 0LL T: +44 (0) 1293 515 080 | E: |

©2014 Hilton Worldwide

Untitled - Page: 1

2014-05-21 09:24:42 +0100

Zoe Craven, working in an internship with Kallikids Ltd

£1000 towards a graduate intern Are you thinking of creating a permanent job role in your business? An internship will help you to take on a graduate for six weeks with a view to ongoing employment, so you can benefit from new talent and get used to having a graduate around whilst you develop the role. For SME business in the Gatwick Diamond, Brighton and Hove or West Sussex areas. Contact Rebecca Duffy, University of Brighton 01273 642863 or email

Business Scene


World champion athlete turned global sports commentator, Steve Cram MBE, was the guest speaker for an inspirational lunch at Pub du Vin, Brighton, organised by Cobb PR and EMC


1. Ryan Heal (Rockinghorse), Elias Paourou (Chantrey Vellacott DFK) and Analiese Doctrove (Rockinghorse)


2. James Dempster (Cobb Healthcare & Cobb Digital), Adrian Goode (Clydesdale) and Chris Berrington (Clydesdale)


3. Nik Askaroff (EMC), Jeremy Burbidge (Ticketmedia) and Steve Darby (City Cabs) 4. Steve Cram 5. Paul Marshall (Clydesdale) and Ryan Heal (Rockinghorse) 6. Chris Ketley (Knill James) and Will Trenchard (ICP Search Group) 5

7. Tim Cobb (Cobb PR), Steve Cram, Daly Thompson and James Dempster (Cobb Healthcare & Cobb Digital)


8. Steve Cram, James Dempster and Daley Thompson 9. Daly Thompson and Partner, Steve Cram with Chris Carter, Kevin Thornton, Keith Donno, John Doherty, (Brooks Brighton 10K Team)




- Business|scene -

ISSUE 3 � 2014


Finding the right identity There are many reasons a company may choose to rebrand. Maybe your logo is years old and does not reflect your brand any more, you could have merged with another company with a completely different image or you may have launched a new product or service. There are a lot of things to consider:

You need to work out what your budget is for the rebrand. Are you going to ask a design company to help you? You will need to check how much they will charge you for the new design and how much it will cost you to launch the new brand to your customers You will need to reprint all of your company literature, update your website and any signage and vehicle graphics. Are you trying to just refresh your brand and breathe new life into it or are you trying to .strengthen your image to gain more customers. You need to ensure that your new brand portrays the correct company image. Your new logo needs to reflect what your company is all about. You do not want to alienate old customers and you also will want to attract new customers.

For more information please contact or call 01323 469111 54â&#x201D;&#x201A;

Issue 3 ďż˝ 2014


The old and the new Gap logo

The evolution of the Apple logo

There are many very well known brands which we all recognize immediately when we see them – think Google, Coca Cola, BP, Tesco, VW, Nike. These are all recognized and trusted brands. When big corporate companies rebrand they have to be especially careful about how they go about it to ensure they do not alienate customers. The well known high street brand Gap tried to launch a new logo during the busy Christmas period of 2010. An article by Tony Hardy from Canny Creative explains more: “They did so with no warning. The original Gap logo, a design that had served the brand for more than 20 years, disappeared without warning and was replaced with the new logo – the word Gap in a bold font and a square, fading diagonally from light blue to dark blue. The change was no internet hiccup, it was permanent – or so it seemed.

A small buzz began to reverberate around the design community, quiet sniggering about the new Gap logo. Soon, the internet was alive with activity and it was clear that people didn’t like the new design. Gap responded positively, revealing that their new logo design was in fact the first stage of a crowd sourcing process that allowed them to reinvent the company (proving again why you shouldn’t crowd source your design projects.) To cut a long story short, Gap performed possibly one of the fastest branding turnarounds of all time when they reverted to their original design, just six days after putting their new logo out into the public.” Apple is another hugely successful brand. They have stuck by the apple symbol and it has evolved as years have gone by. Make sure your brand is appropriate to your target audiences (present and future) and that it is applicable to your full product base. Research your market, know your market and

your competitors. Look at what they do and see how you can do it better. The design of the logo also needs to be carefully considered. While a 4 colour process design with lots of shading and tints can look fantastic, this is not always easy to reproduce in different media. Printing onto paper and banners is very different to printing onto small promotional products like pens and USBs. You need to consider how your logo will look printed at different sizes and how the colours will reproduce on different types of material. You need to ensure that you have brand consistency so that your company image is portrayed consistently across all areas. Do not go into a rebrand without considering everything. Identity are here to help you right from design through to print. Give us a call today 01323 469111.

Please visit our website: - SIGNAGE -

Issue 3 � 2014


THE UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE Last month I talked about the skills gaps of graduates coming out of university and our need to recruit talented, well rounded individuals who’ll stay with our business and add long term value. This is timely as we are just about to start selecting for our third graduate intake and we recently made some changes to our assessment process to better select the attributes we seek, such as dealing with moving goal posts and changing circumstances. In this day and age its essential to be able to quickly adapt. Nothing stands still in the world of business! This third intake will build on an already successful programme. Our first intake is filling important roles across our business and we have retained 90%. I recently met with our latest group of graduates to see how they’re getting on and it’s a delight to see them enjoying new and challenging experiences. Eight months into the scheme, I took the opportunity to ask them the question: ‘knowing what you now know about work, what do you wish your university had taught you to prepare you better for the business world?’ This is what they said:

Wasim Bux (Age 24) Management Studies, University of Leicester At my university a placement was not offered and we were left to pursue our own placement if we wanted to. I feel a placement year is the perfect way to prepare for the ‘world of work’ and really gives you an insight into how companies are run and managed. A placement year could be something Hastings considers offering in the future alongside the existing Graduate Scheme. I think this is the one thing my university experience lacked and when it came to applying for jobs after graduation I felt at a disadvantage to those who had been on a placement. Misty Ryan (Age 25) English Literature and Language, Brighton University For me, university was completely different to any other part of my life. For 3 years you are, in many ways, cut off from the outside world. It wasn’t until I started my first, post university, job I realised how unprepared I was. I think for me the main area of change was the expectation that, you are always aware of what others are doing and looking for opportunities to support others’ goals. Throughout university the focus is very much on what you can do for yourself and your own goals. This is something that the customer representative in my team once made an excellent point about, the change from education to work life. She said; “at school your teachers have to like you, at work people don’t have to like you, and if they don’t 56│ Issue 3 � 2014

they will let you know”. For many students the first job out of university may be the first time they have received feedback for their personal development, which can be difficult and surprising. Amie Sutton (Age 24) Business Management with Human Resources Management, Southampton Solent University I think my university could have focused more on the importance of thinking about life after university. It was not until January of my final year that they started talking to us about next steps and even that was done lightly. For those people who had not thought about what they wanted to do in their career it was a little too late. From my experience particularly in the first and second year I was absorbed in my day to day university world rather than thinking about the bigger picture. I also think particularly doing a HR and Business degree, more case studies of business scenarios could have been used to help relate the theory into reality.

Tim Quanstrom (Age 26) Music, University of Chichester Due to the fact that businesses vary greatly in terms of culture and ethos, my principle wish would have been for University to explore more deeply the common structures of a private sector business, and the subsequent inner workings and relationships between different departments. This could

- Human Resources -

AMANDA MENAHEM HR Director, Hastings Direct Insurance

obviously vary for those studying towards a more public sector role, but fundamentally would have put not only me but our wider graduate group in a better position to walk into the business with an initial understanding of its structure. Francesca Starr (Age 23) Development Studies and Politics, University of London I felt ready to join the working world equipped with all I had learnt whilst obtaining my degree. However, it was not until later when I started at Hastings Direct, I realised the diversity of skills needed in the workplace. Something I wish I had more time to develop at university is presentation skills. To be able to present ideas articulately and keep an audience engaged is a fantastic skill and something I am still working towards. Another skill that I think could have been developed further at university is project management. At university I was given exposure to project management in the form of a dissertation, however it was very limited experience. Since joining the Graduate Scheme at Hastings I have been given the opportunity to develop these skills both

through training courses and in my work. I hope that developing these skills will help me to build a strong career in the future. Christopher Attewell-Hughes (Age 27) Magazine Journalism, Southampton Solent University My degree was in magazine journalism and to credit my university, they did attempt to prepare us for the industry. We were expected to have arranged our first work placement by the end of our first term. Where they fell down was with their lack of further careers guidance beyond the initial year. Careers fairs were held, but with such a specific course, we were never guided towards other industries. This meant those that didn’t find employment within their chosen field were left in much the same position as when they had begun their degree. Ideally what should have been arranged was a separate aspect of the course which actively encouraged you to seek employment and potentially awarding credits for those that showed they had made that step, regardless of the industry.

- Human Resources -

Victoria Lee (Age 24) Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University I studied to be a Primary School Teacher and so all of my training, although excellent, was purely vocational. This meant that, although I knew how to engage a class of thirty children aged between five and eleven, I was not prepared for formal presenting. During my degree, I participated in group presentations; however, the style was informal and encouraged exaggerated audience input. Therefore, when I joined the financial sector, presenting to a straight-faced adult audience seemed very daunting. So I would say, knowing what I know now, I wish I had developed my formal presentation skills so that I would have been prepared for a career outside of school. So as you can see we have lots of work to do and I think an investment of our time and resources on this important topic can only help to secure the economic development of our county. Its so rewarding to see talented individuals flourish and contribute meaningfully to our businesses – lets make it even easier for them to do so.

Issue 3 � 2014 │57

Is there a Graduate skIlls Gap? In the last issue of Absolute Business, Amanda Menahem, HR Director of Hastings Direct, wrote of the issues employing graduates straight from university, many of whom lack the life skills to progress quickly. Chris Baker, Director, Economic and Social Engagement responds with the university view. Interview by Ian Trevett Do universities prepare students for business? Universities are large complex organisations, which cater for a wide range of different industries and professions and there are many factors to consider. Historically, universities have always trained people to enter professions like medicine, law, nursing and education. Large proportions of our graduates and post-graduates will go directly into those professions many of which are in the public sector. In these cases what we teach is often prescribed by the professional bodies. Secondly, we attract students from across the world and they don’t necessarily want to focus on working or living locally. So we need to cater for their needs as well. A third factor is the common misconception that every graduate behaves and acts in the same way. It’s very much about how individuals with a common training background react to the work place. We provide an education into which we put as many experiences as we can of the external world - through placements, volunteering, practical challenges - and we involve businesses and the community. But ultimately it is down to the individual student’s own motivation and aspirations. However, every university has a commitment to improving the employment prospects of its graduates. We help students find internships that are designed to give 58│ Issue 3 � 2014

them high quality work experience as a way of giving them a better chance of landing a job. We also promote a range of employment services that operate a bit like a job centre for graduates. This gives them specialist help with CV preparation, interview experience, practical courses - skills employers are looking for. It’s a very mature service and it’s available to all graduates from any university and that is important. Do you believe there is a skills shortage in certain key sectors such as engineering? We don’t determine where the students go, they make the choice. If this university trains 200 engineers, it doesn’t mean 200 of them will end up being practising engineers. For example, engineers we train may end up working in financial institutions.They are sought after as they are numerate and the city is attractive place to work and probably better paying than engineering. So sometimes when employers say that there is a shortage, the shortage is because graduates have chosen to go elsewhere.

“Some engineers we train will end up working in financial institutions. They are sought after as they are numerate and the city is attractive place to work and probably better paying than engineering.” But this trend may not last.

The world of work has changed radically and we can’t predict what the job market will be like in three or four years time. So there is always an element of the students guessing, us guessing and being flexible. But it is quite clear that graduates need creativity, innovation and ability to work as a part of a team. An appreciation of a range of knowledge across disciplines is increasingly becoming the norm.

- Business|Interview -

Chris Baker Director, Economic and Social Engagement

What changes have you noticed in the job market and how do you adapt to the challenges? The days of big companies snapping up all the graduates on the ‘Milk Round’ are now gone. A company like Boots will only hire in the region of 500 graduates a year. A lot of graduates will end up working in SMEs and an increasing number are looking to self-employment, either as a freelancer or setting up their own company. We provide grants to students that are running and starting their own business but they still remain a very small minority because it takes a lot of confidence and a good deal of acumen to start up on your own. We adapt by maintaining close connections with local companies. We co-produce courses with businesses and we have industrial boards to which we invite representatives from different sectors to contribute to our thinking about the courses and how they meet the needs of business. In some areas, for example the digital sector, it is hard for universities to keep pace with the changes in the industry. We have an employability committee, which again is chaired by an employer, through which we are trying to focus on their needs. We want people to come in and talk to us. We may not be able to satisfy every need, but we invite those employers to come in and share their experience with students and invite them to provide live projects for students to work on.

What employers may not realise is that universities resemble work places. For example we have a stock exchange trading room in our business school, and we have live labs, which are equivalent to the labs they will find in their industry if they are scientists. We have facilities that are designed to enable the students to practise their skills. We have broadcast media facilities running radio stations and producing magazines. Students get first hand experiences as a part of their course and their work is often assessed on how they can cope in the real world. The public shows we open in June are an example of our students’ work in anything from fashion to product design. Are business expectations sometimes too high? I think one issue is that graduates don’t necessarily settle in one job straight away. They can be a fairly mobile work force. I think sometimes employers find it frustrating when they have a good graduate and after a relatively short time they are gone, because they are still forming ideas about what they want to do. For this reason many areas of the private sector are loath to train. Graduates are always going to require initial training in order to develop them in the ways employers want them to think and behave. We have general problem with training in this country which universities on their own can’t resolve.

You have been involved with universities for 35 years. How has the provision of education changed in this time? People come to universities to acquire new knowledge; how they acquire that knowledge is changing. They just don’t acquire it from the ancient sage, with wisdom handed down; it is far more interactive. They work far more with each other. For instance, people may remember the university library being a quiet place where people sat reading books (or sleeping!). Now libraries are noisy and you will find students sitting in groups working with computers arguing about the projects that they are doing. It is a totally different environment. I think part of the problem, is that people that have been to university judge it on their experience and that may be very outdated! Students quite rightly ask, “What am I getting for my money? How much contact do I have with top academics? How much am I able to interact with other students? Students are often critical of their fellow students who don’t turn up to things or participate fully.

“People may remember the university library being a quiet place where people sat reading books (or sleeping!). Now libraries are noisy and you will find students sitting in groups working with computers arguing about the projects that they are doing. It is a lively and creative place.”

The number of students in universityhas grown beyond all recognition and a university has moved from being elite to a mass provision. The way we assess students has changed. In the past, you would have sweated through a hot summer of exams as your main way of being assessed. But now, students increasingly take on projects that are

- Business|Interview -

relevant to their work. We don’t expect them to be empty vases that we fill up, we expect them to want to acquire knowledge. We expect them to think more about what lies beyond what they are studying. In many instances, a graduate’s knowledge will be out-dated in a short period of time after they leave. So we equip them the skills to continue learning - analytical skills, problem-solving skills, skills where they know how to acquire, assimilate, and apply new ideas. And I think that is really important because there is no use pretending that three years or four years equips you for 40-50 years of a working life. It just doesn’t. How will universities change in the future? The future will see universities as open institutions where students, staff, business and the community interact on a day-to-day basis. They won’t be gated communities where paying for membership and gaining their qualifications would be the only reason you would engage with the university. If we are to support innovation then we must become far more accessible in an imaginative way. Companies will come in and talk to students and say, ‘I have got this problem and I would like you to solve it for me and with me’.

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Hurstpierpoint College

Excellent education for girls and boys aged 4-18

Hurst Hurstpierpoint College

Pre-Prep | Prep | Senior School | Sixth Form

Hurstpierpoint College


Autumn Open Morning 27th September 2014 We invite you to see what Hurst can offer your child To find out more, visit our website

West Sussex BN6 9JS

Admissions 01273 836936

Omni POtent Young Enterprise at Hurstpierpoint College

Young Enterprise is the largest business and enterprise education charity in the UK and helps some 250,000 young people from 4-25. It teaches budding entrepreneurs many skills including product development, marketing communication, objective setting, planning, team work, problem solving and administration. Hurst has a long and illustrious track record with a new company formed each year from the Lower Sixth Form. Back in 2009, Baran Ceylan (who became Head Boy of Hurst the following year as an Upper Sixth former) was the Managing Director of the Hurst company, Zaken, which won the Best Company award in the MidSussex section of the competition. Baran is currently a final year student at the University of Bath studying for a BSc in Business Administration and has accrued over a year’s work experience in the UK, Dubai and Turkey, with two six-month placements at Unilever and L’Oreal, as well as summer internships at PwC and AkBank. Baran has just been presented with the Future Business Leader of the Year Award, sponsored by Mars, in the Target Jobs Undergraduate of the Year competition. It’s not his first taste of success whilst at university; in 2011 he was named PwC and Bright-Futures’ UK National Business Champion, having co-founded Recollar, an award winning start-up company. His business flair has led him to creating another new internet venture, Wordme, a universal greetings card company ( Baran has already obtained financial backing from several investors, currently employs four staff, and has secured retailers across the UK. Looking back on his experience of leading the Hurst Young Enterprise company, Baran says, “I feel that the Young Enterprise scheme is a fantastic opportunity for students to get a real taste of business. Having to work in a team and develop a business from scratch, really develops the fundamental skills needed to succeed both in setting up a company, and working in a corporation.” The 2014 Hurst company, Omni, is continuing the success of its predecessors. It wowed

Omni with their impressive haul of awards at the Mid-Sussex finals

the judges at both the Mid-Sussex and the Sussex finals of the competition and goes on to represent the county in the South East regional stage of the competition to be held at Guildford Cathedral in mid-June. “We are extremely excited to be attending the next round,” said Managing Director, Polly Reeves-Perrin, “as we are only the second team in Hurst history to make it to regional finals. Our strategy is to adapt the work we have already done and to perfect it.” However, it’s not just Omni’s ambition that makes them this year’s company to beat. Their travel products, including Zip Headphones and the soon to be released Ponket – a cross between a blanket and poncho – demonstrate their refreshing originality.

Baran Ceylan receives his award from Julie Digby, People and Organisation Director at Mars Chocolate, at the ceremony hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE.

On Omni’s successes, Hurst Young Enterprise Co-ordinator, Jan Leeper, said, “The company has not only taken advice but shown exceptional interpretation; always tweaking their business skills.”

- Education|Enterprise -

Issue 3 � 2014


Heathrow Terminal 2 opens for business The new Terminal 2 aT heaThrow

The TenTs aT heaThrow 1946

Terminal 2 in The 1950s

On 4 June this year Heathrow’s long-awaited £2.5billion brand new Terminal 2 opened for business. The new terminal part of an £11billion investment will be known as “Queens Terminal” this replaces Heathrow’s first ever terminal which was opened by a young Queen Elizabeth in 1955, in those days the airport was known as London airport. The facility was considered state of-the-art and included such revolutionary things as a roof garden and a cinema and was a huge leap forward when you consider that from 1946, when the airport received its first commercial air passengers, they were forced to wait in tents which were later replaced by prefabricated buildings. How life has moved on. 62│ Issue 3 � 2014

The original terminal facilities catered for 82,840 passengers per year. The new facility has a capacity of 20 million passengers. It will be home to the Star Alliance group of airlines, which include Lufthansa and United but also carriers which connect Britain to emerging markets such as Air China and Turkish Airlines. By housing this Star Alliance in one building it will improve the competitiveness and more importantly, connection times for passengers transferring through Heathrow so will hopefully encourage passengers to use Heathrow as their hub. To put this addition to our aviation infrastructure in a global context, at the same time as GB PLC open this

“The original terminal facilities catered for 82,840 passengers per year the new facility has been built for a maximum capacity of 20 million passengers.”

- Business|Travel -

new terminal, Qatar opened its brand new Hamad international airport which has been billed as the world’s newest state-of-the-art hub, which will be capable of handling 50 million passengers a year. This is against a backdrop of Dubai, which overtook Heathrow in the first three months of 2014, as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, something long warned against by the likes of Willie Walsh, head of British Airways parent company. All we need now is to decide on another runway and where it will be built, not much to ask!

T: 0845 180 7817, E:, W:

John Burroughes

What is Group Business Travel? When travelling for business with over nine people, the Business Travel Industry would deem this to be “Group Business Travel”. Group Travel is normally fulfilled by a specialist division who have vast experience in not only arranging travel for a large number of people, but are also highly skilled in negotiating group rates with airlines, hotels and rail operators. This can be done for ad-hoc groups, conferences, congresses and special events of all sizes. In this day and age, there is rarely a “traditional” group – travel can take many forms such as multiple origins and therefore needs expert handling and project management from the time of conception.

Group Business Travel teams strive to obtain a thorough understanding of their clients, making them an integral part in fulfilling the business needs. From onset to completion, the dedicated teams will arrange all aspects of group travel. Due to the diverse nature and needs of their clients, their experience is wide ranging, allowing them to offer a complete collection of Group Travel Services. They can offer everything from a motivational sales meeting for 10 people to a product launch or conference for over 1000 people all in one seamless package. Their involvement can be as much or as little as needed with their services including, but not limited to, the following:



At a recent travel conference in Dubai, 100 travel delegates were asked whether they believed Ryanair will be able to change their offering to attract more business travellers in the future. 42 answered “no”, 23 said “yes,” with the remaining par ticipants being “unsure”. Lesley Kane, Head of Corporate Sales for Ryanair, acknowledged the need to introduce more business products and work closer with key trade par tners. Kane admitted the transition will be easier now outspoken CEO Michael O’Leary is taking a back-seat from the media.

The Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) is the UK’s leading professional body for Travel Management Companies, representing 83% of Corporate Travel Agencies. The GTMC have repor ted that Business Travel air transactions were up for the four th quar ter in a row in the first three months of the year, representing a rise of 4% year on year. The Guild’s first quar ter transaction survey also revealed that sales for rail were up by 10%.

- Business|Travel -

Group flights and rail bookings

Incentive travel


Company meetings

Onsite logistics and management

Venue finding

Product launches

Training events

Corporate hospitality

Team building

Christmas and themed parties

BUDGET 2014: LOWER AIR TAX ON LONGHAUL FLIGHTS UK Passengers on some long-haul flights will pay less tax following a revamp of Air Passenger Duty (APD). The chancellor announced that the two highest of the four APD tax bands are to be scrapped. From 2015, all long-haul flights will carry the same lower band B tax rate that is currently paid to fly to the US. The reforms mean passengers flying to destinations such as Australia, India and Singapore will pay less tax.

Issue 3 � 2014


The All new Range Rover By Maarten Hoffmann Motoring Editor

I have always loved the Range Rover although never for reasons based on common sense. It never really made sense – it was huge, thirsty, not very reliable and the engine used to age at the same rate as a dog; that is seven years for every one of any other car. Admittedly, this was a long time ago and l have not owned one for years. It has been with us since 1970 and to prove its off-road credentials, in 1972 the British Trans-Americas Expedition became the first to travel by car across the Americas, from north to south including the totally road-less Darien Gap. That particular model is now on display in the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in Warwickshire. As spectacular as that was, the actual owners of the cars never traversed anything larger than a kerb – a little like buying a 30 roomed mansion and living in the kitchen! That said, there are many attributes that overtake its off road capability and as l haven’t driven one for many years, l was keen to get my hands on the latest model. I would like to say that it is now sitting in my driveway but, having spent half an hour trying to get it in, it is not. This is a huge beast and the first car in a year that will not fit in the driveway. 64│

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Sitting inside, it is like a soft warm hand snuggling you in, as it is beautiful. The leather is the best yet and the layout and style of the interior really is quite superb. Refinement is a much overused word by car companies but the word was invented for this car. Everything is electric and totally silent and not only rivals the Mercedes S Class but is getting on to equalling the Bentley – and of course, neither of them will go up a mountain or tow a house. The rear door is bigger and fully electric and there you find the famous polo viewing seat that is sadly missing in the Evoque. The panoramic roof is great and floods the interior with light and the TV/DVD system in the back leaves you with a combination of unbridled joy and utter guilt as, on my way to Birmingham, l heard not a peep out the kids for the entire journey and for the first time ever they moaned when the trip was over. - Motoring -

“The comfort of a Bentley, the speed of a Jaguar, the economy of a BMW and the off road capability of a Sherman Tank.”

It is also quite nice to have a fridge in the armrest as it really does keep the Chablis cold. It is a gorgeous drive, as you would expect, and wafts around looking indignantly at all other inferior cars and with the ride height and luxury of the interior, l too quickly became indignant should any inferior oik cross my path. Fuel consumption will always be the worry with a car like this but they have tackled this too. Land Rover has splashed out over a billion pounds designing an all new aluminium monocoque so that although this is bigger than the previous version, it is also lighter. If we ignore the V8 (difficult but l will) then the 3.0 litre V6 diesel is the one to go for as it has a remarkable turn of speed and will return 37mp. If you want to go off road, there are buttons to play with but top tip: just leave the Terrain Response gizmo in auto and let the computer sort it out.

TECHNICAL STUFF Model: 3.0 litre turbocharged diesel Vogue SE Performance: 0-62mph in 7.4 secs Power: 225bhp Top Speed: 135mph Economy: 37.7mpg Price: From £71,295.00

Up mountains and down dales, across cavernous ditches and even a trip to Somerset is a breeze, whilst you serve yourself a glass of fine Chablis from the fridge and watch CBeebies - whilst laughing at the weather forecast. Whilst on the entertainment system, the front screen does the neat trick of preventing the driver from watching TV whilst driving, yet allows the passenger view to remain. All good but a tad disconcerting as my wife would burst into hysterical laughter at some programme she was absorbed in, whilst on my side l was using the same screen to navigate the Gatwick ring road which, as l am sure you know, is no laughing matter.

Although lighter and faster, it is still a pain in the derriere to park. Well not to actually park as, with sensors everywhere, it will virtually do it for you but it’s getting out of the blasted thing once in our skinny little British parking bays. Try opening the doors to get out – then you realise why it has such a huge sunroof as that was my only exit option in Gatwick! I could rattle on for a while about the standard kit and what this behemoth will do but in conclusion, it is a remarkable feat of British engineering – the comfor t of a Bentley, the speed of a Jaguar, the economy of a BMW and the off road capability of a Sherman Tank. There is a pedigree to this darling that is tough to replicate, although

- Motoring -

“I was using the same screen to navigate the Gatwick ring road which, as I am sure you know, is no laughing matter.”

Bentley will try next year with their first ever 4x4. The Range Rover has been tested and refined on British roads and Amazon jungles for 44 years and has what can only be described as breeding. My favourite bit? Silly really but when you open the door at night, the wing mirror lights up and spells the words Range Rover on the pavement. I know it’s silly but you know that if a car manufacturer spends time and money on little stuff like that, then they really have sorted everything else.

Issue 3 � 2014


FLEET MANAGEMENT There has been much confusion over the years about companies operating fleet vehicles, not least of which is the ever changing tax position, the cost and the time consuming efforts needed to keep them on the road and fully serviceable. Many companies feel that it’s easier to make staff use their own vehicles for work-related duties but this carries some risk. If the employee’s own insurance is for pleasure purposes only then there can be an issue should they have an accident whilst working. Likewise, there could be ramifications for the company as the employer still has a duty of care to ensure these cars are fit for purpose, are safe, are properly insured and are driven only by those who are licensed to do so. The fact is that this ‘grey fleet’ makes a fleet manager’s life far more difficult in meeting his or her organisation’s basic duty of care responsibilities. With company cars, fleet managers have the peace of mind that they are properly maintained, safe and roadworthy and are ‘fit for purpose’ when used at work. Additionally, company car policies can require minimum standards of safety based on European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) ratings and minimum safety equipment (e.g. ABS and ESC), maximum emission levels to meet corporate social responsibilities (CSR) targets (e.g. 160 g/km), minimum engine capacity (e.g. 1.2-litre), maximum age (e.g. four years), maximum mileage (e.g. 80,000 miles) and roadside assistance cover.


Issue 3 � 2014

For organisations, there are three main reasons why the company car is the way forward – health and safety, cost reduction and the environment. A well organised fleet also means that your company is fully covered against any negligence or legal claim in the event of any accident and gives you total control over the vehicles. The one nagging concern we often hear is the time and expense of running a fleet and here at Lookers Mercedes-Benz, we have been working hard to remove this concern and have introduced our new system called ‘MyService’ with our Fleets Owners Programme. The programme is designed to ensure you know exactly what is being done to your vehicles and when, and is created around the needs of your company with a myriad of flexible options to ensure that we can meet your individual business needs.

- Company Cars -

The new online booking portal allows you to choose a designated appointment date as well as picking from four booking options: DROP & GO Drop off your Mercedes-Benz anytime between 8-11am, leave the keys with us and collect after 4.30pm until close, we fit in with you with minimum fuss. BUSINESS LOUNGE Fixed appointments, reserved parking and a dedicated service team manager come as standard. Make the most of our improved facilities whilst we work on your Mercedes-Benz safe in the knowledge you’ll be back on the road as soon as possible. Our showrooms cater for your every need with Business Zones where you can continue with your working day using our free Wi-Fi whilst enjoying complimentary refreshments. DRIVE We understand that a vehicle off the road can cost your business money. Our Drive option will keep you mobile by providing you with a fully insured Mercedes-Benz loan car. COLLECT It’s sometimes not convenient to bring your vehicles into us, that’s why we have created the collect option for you. One of our dedicated drivers will come to your home or business, collect your vehicle and then return it to you once the work has been completed and, of course, if you take our Drive option, then he can drop your loan car off at the same time.

Mercedes-Benz understands it is not just the convenience on the day of your appointment which is important but also keeping servicing costs to a minimum. Mercedes-Benz Service Care is the easiest way to manage your service costs. By making a small monthly payment you can spread the cost of essential servicing. Prices start from less than £1* a day and we guarantee the price of your parts and labour for up to four years, this includes any recommended items such as brake fluids, automatic transmission fluids, air filters and fuel filters. *based on a new A Class Servicing with Mercedes-Benz is simple and hassle free, allowing you to put more time into your business rather than worrying about your vehicle. For any further questions please call us on 0844 659 3828. BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE Mobilo is the Mercedes-Benz Breakdown Cover scheme and is renewed free of charge after every recommended service completed at one of our retailers. In the unlikely event your vehicle does breakdown, Mobilo assistance is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year regardless of the vehicles age or mileage. If that wasn’t enough, your Mobilo cover is also valid European wide to ensure the effect on your business, in the unlikely event of a breakdown, is minimised.

The best people to speak to are our fleet clients of course. We recently supplied nine brand new C220CDI SE Estates to Crawley-based company Papergraphics for their team of national managers and we asked Absolute Business Magazine to independently interview their Purchasing Manager, Steve Harrington, regarding his views on the Mercedes-Benz service. Steve stated: ‘The Mercedes-Benz brand, as with our company, is known and well respected for its product quality and all-round excellence and it was therefore an easy decision to approach them for our new fleet requirements. From our initial meeting right through to hand-over, Mercedes offered Papergraphics a product package that exceeded, in quality and service, all our expectations. They also clearly demonstrated how a leading brand delivers customer care and support and provided us with an after-sales care management solution that is second to none’ Lookers Mercedes-Benz is not the only company to offer a fleet service but we are the best. Contact: Mercedes-Benz of Brighton, Gatwick, Eastbourne and Tonbridge at 0844 659 7503

- Company Cars -

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Motoring Editor – Maarten Hoffmann

The Mercedes GLA is the German brand’s answer to the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1– and it’s been a long time coming. Mercedes have sold a smaller SUV (the GLK) for a while in continental Europe but it was never available in righthand drive. Now the slightly smaller GLA has turned up and Mercedes are expecting to pull in lots of new buyers who want a family hatchback-sized model with a slightly higher driving position and the ability to keep mobile in our glorious Sussex winters. This is a neat little package, based on the skeleton of the A Class but on steroids and with the gizmos that make it a very serious contender in the sector. It’s more car than the Audi Q3 and a lot better looking

68│ Issue 3 � 2014

than the BMW, so you don’t get the roll in corners and the ‘heft’ up into the cabin. Great side support on the seats is then enhanced by remarkably direct steering – Mercedes specialise in this eerily direct steering in their small and medium size models. Economy and performance is the name of the game with all today’s cars and the petrol-engined GLA 250 averages more than 40mpg in Government tests, while the 220 CDI diesel manages 55.4mpg and the 200 CDI diesel 62.8mpg. High40s should be easily achievable in the real world. The 200 CDI diesel is very attractively priced but underpowered and the fact that the 220 CDI diesel and 250 petrol are available only with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox bumps their prices up. But then, why buy this without 4WD as

“By now you will know I am a Neanderthal and my eye is taken by the 45AMG with only 1991cc, it manages 355bhp and claims 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.”

- Motoring|review -

this is surely its main selling point. It’s still cheaper than similarly-equipped rivals but some might feel it’s a pity you can’t choose cheaper, twowheel-drive or manual versions, as you can with the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. At least the GLA should hold on to its value pretty well and its low CO2 emissions keep road tax bills affordable. The GLA is also bristling with standard safety features, including systems that prevent skids and locked brakes, provide braking assistance in an emergency and warn if the driver is becoming drowsy. A system that can detect when an accident is imminent and reduce the chances of injury by automatically tightening the seat belts and priming the airbags is available as an option.

drive. By mounting the gearbox shift lever on the steering wheel column, Mercs packaging experts have freed up space for a deep bin and two cup holders on the centre console. There are also sizeable bins within the front doors and a reasonably sized glove box, giving it plenty of oddment space. But the space gained allows kids to hop over, bags to be passed and lovers to entwine is invaluable. The challenge of habit is interesting as to how long it takes you to stop reaching out with your left hand. Me – two annoying days but once you get it, you’ll never want to go back. The GLA is a very impressive package that hits the spot on current trends, will hold its value and is good fun to drive. Refinement is decent, too; the petrol motor is smoothest overall and both diesel engines get a bit gruff when pushed hard. On a motorway cruise, the GLA200CDI and the GLA220 CDI are pulling barely 2000rpm so engine noise fades into the background nicely. Both motors feel comfortable with the car’s size, with more than enough torque for rapid progress. OK, it’s not the cheapest.The 220CDI 4Matic is £24,362.00. But have you seen what everyone else wants for their crossovers with actual 4x4, not just front-wheel drive? And it’s very well kitted out: reversing camera, roof rails, air-con, colour centre screen with Bluetooth and media-in, DAB. The options are actually optional, not bare necessities which makes a nice change! The boot is a fair size at 481 litres, rising to 1235 litres if you fold down the 60/40 split rear seats. For comparison, that’s 60 litres more standard capacity than Audi’s Q3.

“The GLA is a very impressive package that hits the spot on current trends, will hold its value and is good fun to drive.”

My choice – well by now you will know l am a Neanderthal and my eye is taken by the 45AMG with only 1991cc, it manages 355bhp and claims 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and still capable of 37.6mpg. Lookers Mercedes-Benz have just invited me to the Thruxton circuit next week to test a bunch of new models and l will let you know if the 45AMG stats above are correct or l will die trying!

Then we come to the best bit of all. I have fond memories of Mercs way back when and we always had the gear stick on the steering column. Even Humber and Rolls had it there before, for some reason, it moved to the centre of the console and there it remained for eternity. Mercedes have re-visited it and now it’s back on the column. And it has three settings: Forward, Back and Stop. What more do you need? Flappy paddles are a lark on occasion and the Sport setting can be fun but 92% of motorists put it in drive and well,

- Motoring|review -

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Business Scene

25 years of eMC





eMC had a royal arrival at their offices in Hove to help launch our 25 year celebrations. But then they also had a salty Dog and a rusty Nail...just three of the cocktails served at their spring party. eMC Ceo, Nik askaroff said: “We have a number of events planned for this year not only to celebrate our quarter century but also to raise a bit or money for charity.”

1.Ross Christie - EMC, Nick Askaroff and Patrick Spencer - IEP 2. Michael Pay - EMC, Alastair Millar - People Force and Joe Brown - People Force 3. Petrushka Lee - Digita, Angela Gallen - Cobb PR and Jenny Griffiths - Cobb PR 4. Rachel Hepburn, Alan Prior and Jenny Rogers


5. Julie Causton - Cobb PR, John Packer - EMC, Sue Cobb and Janet Kemp - Cobb PR


6. Candice Davies - Radius Healthcare and James Dempster - Cobb Healthcare 7. Katie Lincoln - AKA Claims and Ryan Smith 8. Laurence Hill and Stuar t Langridge


9. Sophie and Mar tin Pooley, Nick Askaroff and Paul Rogers - Tempest Cars



Photos: Lesley Taylor

- Business|scene -

ISSUE 3 � 2014


EMC is the leading independent provider of corporate finance, interim management and operational support to SMEs across all business sectors in the South East. In the last 25 years we have: Completed 250 business sales and acquisitions Raised over £400m of debt and equity finance Set up and supported more than 100 sales and marketing teams Assisted and reviewed the finances for more than 500 businesses Completed over 1,000 strategic reviews Advised on and assisted with over 100 management buyouts.


FINANCE AWARDS SME Corporate Finance Firm of the Year - UK

EMC Management Consultants Ltd | Rochester House | 48 Rochester Gardens | Hove BN3 3AW T: 01273 945984 | E: |

Julia Chanteray, President of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce takes us

Inside the Chamber Come on an adventure Last year 200+ business people came together at the Brighton Summit. It was a fantastic day, maybe you were there, or maybe you heard about it afterwards and wished that you had been there. This year, at Brighton Chamber, we’ve gone one better. We’re organising another summit, on the 4th July, and this one is going to be a real adventure. The point of the Brighton Summit is to bring together all sorts of business people to learn together, have some fun, and be inspired. We’re calling it ‘Come on an Adventure’, partly because the day will be an adventure, and partly because running a business is an adventure in itself and we want everyone to learn and take heart from the experiences of others. The learning part The best learning for business is often the bits that you learn from others. If you know that someone else got into real difficulties by doing something, you know to be especially careful yourself if you’re going down a similar road. And if you see that someone else was successful, there’s always something to emulate or be inspired by. We have inspiration by the bucket load with speakers like Rob Forkan from Gandy’s Flip Flops. Rob’s business was inspired by his experience of being orphaned by the 2004 tsunami, and it’s now an international sensation of a business. We’ll be learning the business lessons from Breaking Bad, not so much how to run a drugs empire, but more about how to not be like Walt. This is my session, and there will be a mixture of reminiscing about the series and some serious points about supply chains, distribution and the importance of a premium product.

Julia Chanteray runs the business advice consultancy, the Joy of Business, and is the President of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce.

The adventure part As well as the amazing speakers, we’ll be having a ‘Dare Hour’ where we’ll be daring you to do something you wouldn’t normally do. We’ll have some very adventurous foods, exotic animals and the chance to push beyond your comfort zone. Come along ‘Come on an Adventure’ will be one of those precious days. The chance to take stock and explore the challenges you face in a creative and exciting way. It sounds bold, but we mean it. Your business may never be the same again. Get your ticket now Make sure you have a place at the Brighton Summit on the 4th July. All the special Adventurer tickets have sold out, so make sure you get your hands on a Daredevil ticket now. You wouldn’t want to hear about it afterwards, and wish that you’d dared to come... Tickets are available at now

- Chamber|Summit -

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Votes for Venus

the applications are now in for the natWest Venus Awards, Brighton and sussex. the Venus Awards have been running for 5 years, starting in 2009. the awards are here to ensure business women receive the recognition they deserve. It is an exciting time in Brighton and Sussex as the mass of nominations and applications are in and judging is well under way. It looks like there is going to be stiff competition with the vast amount of participation – it has been sky high this year! Before the lavish Awards Ceremony is the Nominee Networking event, where the semi-finalists will be announced. The Argus Customer Service and Juice 107.2 Business Mother categories will face a public vote, so it will be down to you! Voting opens on the 3rd of July for just one week – that’s a date for your diary.

networking oppor tunity, bringing business women and sponsors together for a fun filled evening.

The finalists will attend the Awards Ceremony on the 17th of October 2014 at the historic Grand Hotel, Brighton. The winners will be announced and awards presented. This is known as the Working Women’s Oscars, a night that will bring you memories and laughter. The glamorous event will feature live entertainment, a sparkling drinks reception and a gourmet three course meal. It’s such a great

Tara, the founder of the Venus Awards and a business woman herself comments: “It really is inspiring to see how much support and enthusiasm there is for the awards and what a difference they can make. I’ve even had past winners confess to me that the awards have changed their lives – that’s really powerful, and drives me forward to expand, and launch the awards in new regions to recognise more deserving women.”

People were spoilt for choice with the variety of categories to choose from, including: Juice 107 Business Mother of the Year, The Argus Customer Service, Classic Consulting Ltd Employer of the Year, The British Engineerium Entrepreneur of the Year, Lightfoot LED Green Business, Absolute Magazine Influential Woman of the Year, Quality Solicitors Howlett Clarke New Business and the NatWest Small Business.

- Awards|Venus -

The NatWest Venus Awards have expanded, welcomed in eight regions and requested in 35 more. This adds up, to helping more business women across the country receive exposure. It first star ted in the hear t of Dorset, then continued to Southampton and now it has made its way up and around the country. Keep your ears and eyes open as tickets for the social event of the year will be available from next month. We hope to see as many people there as possible.

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The Year The Zebras This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Acumen Business Convetion, an event which has become a mainstay of the local business calendar, and the team at Acumen Business Law pulled out all the stops to ensure that this would be a year to remember.

entrepreneur, revealing his personal struggles and inspirations in a captivating and anecdotal presentation. It was local businesses, however, who ended the day firmly in the spotlight with the presentation of the inaugural Business Acumen Award. Brandon Harris, Director of Active4less Fitness Clubs, scooped the coveted prize after two rounds of intensive judging. Mike Holland, representing the panel of expert judges, highlighted Brandon’s enthusiastic attitude, innovative approach and responsiveness to his market before handing over to Levi Roots to present the Award.

Penina Shepherd, Founder and MD of Acumen Business Law, set the tone of the event by announcing the expansion of the firm into new offices in Gatwick during her opening speech. From thereon inspiration and success stories were the order of the day. As in previous years the speakers at this year’s Convention were of the very highest calibre. Liz Jackson OBE left the audience both humbled and inspired by her personal story of overcoming devastating challenges to develop her business, Great Guns Marketing, which today has an annual turnover of more than £2.5 million. Dr. David Hall, founder of The Ideas Centre, gave an energetic and enlightening talk on how to stimulate innovation within an organisation. Delegates scribbled furiously as he shared top tips on how to release the creative potential within the business environment. This year’s keynote speaker was none other than national treasure and dragon slayer extraordinaire, Levi Roots.The brains and personality behind the hugely popular Reggae Reggae Sauce. Levi took the audience through his fascinating journey from humble beginnings to successful business 76│ Issue 3 � 2014

Runners up, Simon Studd of Clean Cut Gardening Franchise and Stephen Barham of Harvey John Recruitment were also congratulated on their outstanding business acumen and were formally announced as Finalists. The event finished with a champagne reception and delegates partied long into the evening, closing the 2014 Acumen Business Convention in style. Penina Shepherd, Founder and MD of Acumen Business Law said, “I am delighted and honoured to have run five prestigious Acumen Business Conventions and this one has topped them all! There was unprecedented attendance, fantastic speakers, a tasty lunch and the Business Acumen Award too! The entire team has worked relentlessly to make it happen and the feedback has been exceptional.”

- Business|Survey -

Came To sussex

- Business|Survey -

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BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Interview with Nicola Gunstone, Commercial Director, Eco Technology Show

Nicola Gunstone track VIP entry and entry to the VIP bar. Just register online and enter ‘Absolute Business’ when asked how you heard about the show.

Tesla Model S

What is the Eco Technology Show? The Eco Technology Show is a window on how technology and low carbon solutions can save money and deliver genuine benefits to communities, businesses and cities. It is about what you can do right now. We are three years old now, and our reputation is such that we have attracted top speakers for over 60 seminars and are bringing 140 exhibitors to Brighton this year. The Show is going from strength to strength. I couldn’t be more pleased.


interest in energy management, build, water, waste, transport, technology & resource efficiency will find attending the Show an interesting and worthwhile investment of their time. Similarly, anyone with an interest in treading a bit more lightly on the globe or just reducing their utility bills will find a visit to this completely free event worthwhile. Every visitor will come away armed with fresh ideas on how to install and use the latest energy saving technology, and make the best use of the government incentives that are available.

Who is the Show aimed at? The Show is focused on showcasing ways to make money and save money using eco technology and solutions. Business owners, managers, entrepreneurs and those responsible for building management in particular will find the Show useful to get the latest ideas, find out what funding is available and discover the routes to market for new eco businesses.

What is different about the Show this year? This year’s show is going to be bigger and better than ever before with an impressive line-up of expert speakers, and an exhibition hall full of exciting exhibitors showcasing the latest products, some of which have never been seen before! We have also moved the days of the show to Thursday and Friday to encourage more business professionals to attend.

Eco tech is no longer on the margin; it is mainstream business now. Anyone with an

Registration is now free to all visitors this year, but readers of Absolute Business get fast-

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- Green Business -

What do you expect to be the biggest talking points of the show this year? Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change has recognised the growing importance of the Show and will visit Brighton to give the keynote speech. Members of his team at DECC will also visit to help installers to understand how the long awaited domestic Renewable Heat Incentive is going to work in practice. Not surprisingly the Show will provide a platform for a big debate on our energy future including the implications of fracking, nuclear and renewable energy, and this will be led by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas. The latest electric and low-emission vehicles will also be showcased at the Show. Headline debutants include BMW’s electric i3 and i8 hybrid supercar, Mitsubishi’s Outlander - the world’s first plug-in SUV as well as the ground-breaking Tesla Model S and a range of electric bikes. The concept cars are certain to create interest – is the electric car finally fashionable as well as ecofriendly? Electric vehicles should be par t of any business’ green agenda. Thanks to developing technology and the growing

Light foot LED

network of charging points and options around the country, the UK’s EV market is growing, with over 3,500 plug-in cars registered in 2013, up 59% on 2012. We have a host of relevant exhibitors, including Fleetdrive Electric, the UK’s leading provider of low emission business vehicles. The firm is launching its new app, which maps charging points for EVs, then calculates how long charging stops will take for specific vehicles and total journey time. The ground-breaking new cars displayed at the Show will prove how far the technology and design of these vehicles has come. The new electric cars are sure to create excitement and convince previous sceptics that they are now fashionable as well as eco-friendly. What are the advantages for businesses in embracing eco technology? The main advantage for a business in embracing eco technology is the cost savings that the technology will bring. Electricity and gas prices are going to stay high on any business’ agenda, heating and sometimes cooling of premises is a fundamental requirement for all buildings with offices and workers, not to mention the energy used in industrial processes. However, many are not yet taking a long term strategic view and installing renewable energy solutions to tap into reliable, high performance and low cost energy solutions.

Greg Barker MP was recently quoted as saying that investing in solar panels will deliver a better return than a pension. One of our key supporters and exhibitors, Brighton Energy Co-op, offer investors up to 5% annual interest plus a 30% Enterprise Investment Scheme tax break. South Downs Solar, which now has over 10 years experience installing Solar PV Panels, will explain the key issues to consider before choosing a supplier. As proof that an investment in solar power makes sense, the company’s installation at the Sussex County Football Association building in Lancing is estimated to save £1,699 on electricity bills per year. For entrepreneurs looking to create and develop businesses in eco technology, the time is now. Our conference programme also completely free - will give a 360 degree look at the business of eco technology from the funding schemes available, how to develop routes to market and exporting your business once it’s established. Key speakers include Stephen Goulding from UKTI who will explain the export opportunities and support available and Mark Bornhoft from Carbon Limiting Technologies and Mark Pitts from the Technology Strategy Board who will showcase UK and European funding schemes. Jane Ollis from Business Support Kent will discuss opportunities for

- Green Business -

raising funding and developing routes to market for high growth innovative companies. Are you expecting any famous visitors? Apart from the key politicians due to speak at the show, Oliver Heath, ‘eco celebrity’, interior designer and TV presenter will be speaking on Friday morning. Oliver will discuss the benefits of eco refurbishment plus how his recent experience of training as a Domestic Energy Assessor has convinced him that assessment is the key to mass adoption of retrofit. How do I register? Registration is free. Go to and click on ‘register for free’. Remember to quote ‘Absolute Business’ when asked how you heard about the show and we’ll fast track you through the queue and get you access to the VIP bar! The Eco Technology Show will be open from 9.30am-5pm on Thursday 26 June and 9.30am-4.30pm on Friday 27 June. Registration is free. Further information can be found on the website

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Peter James stopped by the restaurant Amy’s at the Gatwick Hilton I wrote recently that the old rule of thumb about eating out used to be that the better the view, the worse the food. But is the reverse true? For sure a flashy exterior to a restaurant is no guarantee of much other than the hefty bill that will be presented at the end of the night. Some of my most memorably meals have been in fairly scruffy places. Yona Schimmel’s knish bakery in New York’s Lower East Side is in a building that looks like it’s been waiting for the demolition ball to swing for the past fifty years, but the simple knishes that comes up from the kitchens in a dumb waiter are amazing. Eaten outside on a cold winter’s day, one of their warm potato knishes hits every spot that only great food truly can. I’ve had similarly joyous experiences in street markets of Munich and Frankfurt, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. And if I had to single out the one single greatest meal, to date, of my life, it was in a little former station hotel in Roanne, a small town in France, thirty klicks from Lyons, formerly called L’hotel Moderne.


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Well, that’s what the place had started life as, until bought by three brothers in 1957, who were to become a legend. The gaff was renamed, eponymously, Les Frères Troisgros – and is now known as Maison Troisgros. In 1976, when I had first started to take an interest in food, I read three different reviews in major publications by well-known critics, who each declared that this was the finest restaurant in the world. The reviews were so effusive that my wife and I drove seven hundred miles to have dinner there. So dull was the exterior we drove past it three times without noticing it, and we wondered if we had been the victims of a clever hoax. Then we went inside and everything changed. Getting on for 40 years later I cannot remember what we ate or drank but what I can still remember is the stunningly, understated beauty of the interior, the utter charm of the staff, and course after course of food that truly had been, as the Michelin Guide would say, Worthy of a Detour. But above all, what I remember about Troisgros was how the place made us feel. It was as if it had cast a beautiful, enchanted spell on us.

“The reviews were so effusive that my wife and I drove seven hundred miles to have dinner there.”

- Restaurant|review -

And so, in the same category of unpromising exteriors, we segue neatly to this month’s restaurant, Amy’s (named after aviation pioneer Amy Johnson) at the Gatwick Hilton. On arrival, I had the similar feeling of gloom I’d had all those years back when seeing the exterior of Troisgros. When I left I felt something of that enchantment I’d had from Troisgros. Last time I’d eaten at the Gatwick Hilton, the lobby restaurant was a standard burger and tired Caesar salad joint, so I went with some trepidation, despite assurances that the place had been transformed. One of the problems with airport – and station – hotels is that travellers come in all shapes and sizes and with vastly varying ideas about what to wear in a restaurant – especially a hotel lobby restaurant. And most such places are usually three-quarters empty, with dreary music playing and bored looking staff. Not Amy’s. We went on a midweek night and the place was packed – as the truly delightful manager, Biju, informed me it is every night. After a dinner there, I can see why. Within

“Most such places are usually three-quarters empty, with dreary music playing and bored looking staff. Not Amy’s.” this one was moist, delicate, exemplary. I had pan-seared calves liver on a bed of mash, with a sweet onion puree and bourbon sauce. It was a very clever and superb take on a simple comfortfood dish. Equally good, too, were a pan fried duck breast and also pan fried sea bass, a staple of every restaurant these days. Personally, I think it can be a dull and tasteless fish but here it was executed with real flair, serviced with a caramelized olive risotto and a fennel and orange compote – not a combination I’ve seen before – my guest borrowed the famous phrase of late food critic Michael Winner by declaring it historic. The mains range in price from £14 through £24, but there is a small separate section offering grilled meat, from £24 or £39.

a few minutes of arriving in its small lounge, the selection of pre-dinner canapés – tapas style – washed down with Champagne had already charmed us with their presentation and array of flavours. They included a ceviche of scallops with caviar, a mini cone with goats cheese, a curried king prawn with a kiwi fruit shot and miniature chicken tandoori. In the restaurant itself I started with salmon tartar with a vodka lime jelly that, surprisingly was a sublime combination both in artistic presentation and taste. One of my guests had a magnificent platter of lightly curried tiger prawns, another had scallops with pancetta crisps and the fourth had the fashionable pan fried squid and chorizo – done superbly here. I’ve not often sat at a table where all four diners have instant food envy. So to solve the problem we all shared. Four faultless, inventive and stunning starters, all priced from £10.50 to £15.00. For mains one guest had a teriyaki-style tranche of salmon. So often this fish can have a nasty, oily tang to it, especially farmed salmon, but

Review by the international best-selling author Peter James

The puddings are equally inventive. I had an apple pie doughnut which was so good I nearly ordered a second one. A mocha chocolate millefeuille was equally moreish, as was the ‘deconstructed cherry kirsch cheesecake’ and the baked orange custard tar t. All the puds are £8-9 and there is a fine cheeseboard option. There is a good range of reasonably priced wines from a number of regions. We drank a truly stunning Blackstone Chardonnay from Monterey, California – a relative bargain at £32.00, and a Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir at £35.00. The staff at Amy’s are an utter delight. For three hours I forgot entirely I was in an airport hotel restaurant, and when we finally and reluctantly left, it was with something of that same feeling of enchantment I’d had from Troisgros all those decades ago. International best-selling author, Peter James, is our independent restaurant reviewer. The reviews are 100% impartial and free from advertising. In fact, he doesn’t even tell us which restaurants he is going to review! - Restaurant|review -

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Lunch with... AnA Christie, the new Chief exeCutive At sussex enterprise At the GrAnd BriGhton Interview by Ian Trevett

There can be few finer place to kick-off our new ‘Lunch with...’ feature than The Grand Brighton. The hotel has enjoyed a renaissance under the keen eye of General Manager Andrew Mosley and has won many plaudits for the quality of the dining experience. When our restaurant critic, Peter James reviewed (who also writes an occasional crime novel), he wrote, “ The Grand has today recovered a lot of its former glory. Attentive, liveried doormen set the tone. Afternoon tea is a truly hedonistic experience. But I think the real triumph is its new fish and seafood restaurant GB1. The dreary old restaurant has been ripped out and in its place is a really great space, with a central circular bar, and a great array of tables, some with seafront views from the conservatory part. I’ve eaten there several times and I’ve not had anything other than a great experience on each occasion.” So when I asked the new Chief Executive of Sussex Enterprise, Ana Christie, to join me for lunch she didn’t hesitate to accept. Sussex Enterprise has been operating without a Chief Executive at the helm for a couple of years, so they were looking for someone with extensive experience to take on the mantle. Ana certainly has had a varied career as she explained, “I have done all sorts! I started my career in the airline undustry at Air UK in Crawley in a very customer service orientated 82│

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role, before moving to Sri Lankan Airaways who were at North Terminal but then moved to Heathrow. It was a very small airline with a small team, so we had to do everything from the flight plan, calculating how much fuel was needed, organising the cargo and looking after customers. It was a great way to learn about running an international company. “I moved on to Marble Arch Marriott Hotel and worked in the hotel industry for several years . I was PA to the General Manager, dealing with the finances such as capital expenditure and running corporate conferences and welcoming VIP guests. At the time Whitbread were taking over the Marriott Hotels and I was given the opportunity to get involved with the development at County Hall in London, with a new Premier Inn and Marriot Hotel. I was working on the construction side with architects, structural engineers, and designers as well as the landlord. They had bought the site from Mrs Thatcher and were building the aquarium. In those days, prior to the London Eye, no-one would really venture over to the South Bank. It was a dead area. “On completion, I was moved on to Whitbread’s banqueting and conference venue in London, but I was contacted by the landlord I had worked with on the South Bank and he asked me to be the general manager at the aquarium. I had worked with - Business|Lunch -

some very good mentors so I was confident I could turn the business around, even though it was a big step up. “I was there for five years they were bringing in about 650,000 visitors and the target to was to get it over in, which I did in my five years there. I built up the London market as the marketing had previously been heavily targeted for tourists at the expense of locals. I also built up relationships with schools pacing greater emphasis on the educational side. I also developed the corporate side and also made it available for film crews, which was a new market for the venue.” As we discussed life at the aquarium, Ana’s appropriately fishy starters arrived: Whitebait dusted with smoked paprika and served with garlic mayonnaise. She was impressed with lightness of the batter and freshness of the fish. I chose the sweet and sour pickled beetroot, smoked Ashdown cheese parfait and crisp onion. A perfectly light, refreshing dish perfect for tempting the tastebuds without filling the stomach. Well that would have been the case if I hadn’t gorged on the delightfully addictive chunks of chewy bread, with salty butter and moreish scallop popcorn (far tastier than the traditional sweet and salt version). Ana’s husband, a Civil Servant, was posted abroad, so the couple and their young son,

spent six years split between the Philippines and Chennai in India. Rather than relax into the Ladies that Lunch lifestyle, the ambitious Ana was determined to make the most of the opportunities presented by ex-pat life. Amongst several assignments, she gained the Investors in People accreditation for a large HR / recruitment company in the Philippines, before managing the company for the owners who decided to go travelling. Ana still has travelling bug, but once back in the UK, they decided that is was only fair for their son, who is now 12, that he should have some stability and have the chance to build longer term friendships. So after a stint at a pharmaceuticals company, she now finds herself at the helm at Sussex Enterprise. As our mains arrived I asked her of her plans at the county’s chamber. First though, time to eat. The usual etiquette when reviewing food is to choose different options from the menu. Stuff the rules, both of us wanted the Catch of the Day, a wonderfully presented bream, which was tender and beautifully cooked. Accompanied by a dressed green salad, the fish was just enough, but I couldn’t resist the chunky chips as a side. I’d better start watching all these extra carbs. Ana was far more sensible, but then she has a lot to do, as she explained. “My plan is to provide leadership for the team, improve

the communications internally and externally, make sure people in the organisation can openly share their ideas and ensure they are engaged. I need to ensure we have clear strategies, that we review our events, forums and memberships. I will be talking to businesses to find out what works for them. I want to use my experience of working abroad and with international companies to help local businesses with exporting their goods and services. “Things have been a bit quiet with Sussex Enterprise, so we need to be more prominent. We need to build up our business connections in all areas of Sussex. We are very strong in Mid and West Sussex, but we need to be visible in the east of the county. “We have a lot of support and advice for all size businesses including start-ups. Businesses may not be aware that there are suppliers in the same region as them, as we want to make sure those networks are there. We have a greater reach as a Sussex-wide chamber, which companies can really benefit from.

As we tucked into the dessert (Elderflower Sherbert for Ana, the lemon version for myself, an invigorating palate cleanser to help face the rest of the day), Ana expanded on her vision: “I believe Sussex Enterprise can be very powerful, notably as a voice working with the British chambers. People often don’t realise how powerful they can be. We can help put businesses in touch with the right people to help them achieve their aims. I’d like repeat the achievement of gaining accreditation for Investors in People by implementing the processes where everyone shares the values and procedures to grown the organisation.” I have no doubt that Ana will achieve her ambitions at Sussex Enterprise. And I have no doubt that I will return to GB1 at The Grand very soon. Dining out at The Grand is a treat, but it is also a very reasonably priced location for a business lunch. We chose the lunch offer of three courses for £15.95 each including a glass of wine.Two courses cost £12.95 with wine.

"The hardest challenge is to get companies really involved and make full use of the benefits we offer. We have construction and manufacturing forums so the professionals in these industries can get together and work together rather than just view each other as competitors.” - Business|Lunch -

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The Brighton and Hove Business Awards are LIVE! The Brighton and Hove Business Awards are back for the ninth year and are set to be the biggest and celebration of The Brighton Hove business success Brighton has ever seen.

Business Awards

Eight leading Brighton Businesses, three major titles, four trade organisations and one of the most iconic and fun venues in the city have come together to create a competition which acknowledges the diversity and uniqueness of our City and celebrates those companies, organisations and individuals who really build the Brighton brand. This year marks the ninth BAHBAs and offers Organiser Caraline Brown from Midnight Brighton businesses the opportunity to enter up to fourteen categories. Communications said: “Last year’s event was a marvellous success and a truly wonderful Previous winners of the Brighton and celebration of all that is great about Brighton Hove Business Awards include some of Business. We look forward to an even the City’s biggest and best loved names better competition yearDental – and Health anotherSpa, including: Gresham this Blake, wonderful night out!” Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival,

Theinclude Brighton and Hove 2014 sponsors Allied Irish Bank,

Business Awards are back for the How to enter: Brighton & ninth Hove, MDHUB, year and areCardens set to be the biggest celebration All entrants are invited to submit theirof Accountants, Qualifa, Graves Jenkins, Classic entries on no more than 2 pages of A4 business success Brighton has ever seen. Consulting, Cluttons and Close Invoice

saved in pdf format. Entries should be


presented in two parts.

Our Media partners will be Absolute Magazine, The Argus, and Juice 107.2FM.

The American Express Community Stadium, The BAHBAs are supported by the Chamber Hotel du Vin, Infinity Foods, Duke of York’s of Commerce, Brighton & Hove City Council, Picture House, Brighton Festival, Dockerills the Business Curry Club and B&H andBrighton Sussex University. Tourism Alliance. Tony Mernagh, Brighton & 2014 Economic sponsorsPartnership, include Allied IrishtheBank, Hove will chair Brighton & Hove, Cardens proceedings once more. Accountants, Qualifa, Graves Jenkins, Classic Consulting, Martin Searle Solicitors, Chair of the Cluttons, BAHBAs, Tony Mernagh, Close Brothers Invoice Finance, comments: “Brighton & Hove has got aMDHub, lot to Midnight Communications, Brighton Pier and shout about and there’s no better platform media partners The Argus, Absolute Brighton for shouting than the BAHBAs…” and Juice 107.2FM. The judges will be looking for companies and The BAHBAs are supported by the Chamber organisations that really capture the spirit of of Commerce, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton & Hove. Innovation leadership the Brighton Business Curryand Club and B&H are considered more important than size or & Tourism Alliance. Tony Mernagh, Brighton revenue. Visit out the Hove Economic Partnership, to willfind chair proceedings once more.categories. more about the various The competition closeseveryone 23 May. The Awards “I would encourage to enter and shout about ouratgreat Brighton will be presented the end of the businesses, Brighton ” saysinTony. Pier July. “Winning an award can really make a difference as both a great marketing tool and a source of employee pride in the company.” “Absolute Brighton is very proud to support

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are great funon as to well.” Thealways search is also find the Outstanding Ian Trevett Absolute Magazine Brightonian of 2014 in the Brighton and Hove Business Awards.

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the BAHBAs. Brighton has a culture of The judges are looking for companies and entrepreneurship and creativity and the organisations that really capture the spirit BAHBAs is a celebration of this can-do spirit. of Brighton & Hove. Innovation and leadership are considered more impor tant The team at Midnight always create an event than size or revenue. which means business, but being Brighton, they

April 2014

- business - Business|Awards -

Part One - Address the specific question for the award you have entered. Part Two – Tell the judges about your Each year The the people Brighton and Hove business. judgesofwill be looking for vote for the person they think has made the greatest evidence of the following: contribution to the city during the previous 12 •months. Business success The judges are looking for the person •who Innovation has done the most to improve the quality for people in the city. •of lifeLeadership • Sustainability winners of the title include local •Previous Uniqueness entrepreneur, Mike Holland, who was • Future ambitions responsible for the restoration of Stanmer •House; Overcoming adversity to succeed local DJ Norman Cook and his work within the Brighton community at the AMEX stadium; Sue Addis Donatellos, for her 1. The Award for thefrom Greatest Contribution unceasing local charity work and support of to the Community the city’s business community and another 2. The Best Place to Visit in Brighton & proud recipient, Roger Marlowe of Paskins Hove Townhouse, for his work in promoting the 3. The Best Event in the City Brighton hotel industry. 4. The Best Environmental Industry Most recently Ryan Heal and Martin Perry Company have been Kids awarded prestigious 5. The also Best New on thethis Block honour. 6. The Best Customer Service 7. The Best Place to Work So who do you think should receive the 8. The Award Business Beyond the City accolade of for Outstanding Brightonian for 9. The Best Retailer 2014? TheyIndependent might be an unsung hero or someone who weIndustries all recognise. 10. The Creative Award 11. The Professional Services Award Tickets available now at 12. The MD of the Year 13. The Fastest Growing Business Award All finalists receive a free place at the awards 14. Outstanding ceremony which Brightonian takes place at the end of the Brighton Pier on Thursday 10 July 2014.

Issue 3 � 2014


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The independent business magazine for Sussex Issue 1 February / March 2014

Business Stationery



Business round table

the Big debate

Peter James

leaflets / promotional material

the Best-sellinG author turns food critic

Gatwick Growth Why our airport must expand

Brochures /catalogues

James Caan

Exclusive interview with the 2013 Chairman of the Year

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4 1

Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behaviour Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process (Hardback) by Andy Molinsky This book offers the tools needed to simultaneously adapt behaviour to new cultural contexts while staying authentic and grounded in your own natural style.


Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World (Hardback) by William D. Cohan In an astonishing story of clashing egos, backstabbing, sex scandals, private investigators, court cases and government clashes, Cohen reveals what really lies beneath Goldman Sachs’ goldplated image.


When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures (Paperback) by Richard D. Lewis A guide to working and communicating across cultures, explaining how your culture and language affect the ways in which you think and respond. This book provides a global and practical guide not just to understanding but also managing in different business cultures.

Doing Business in Europe (Paperback) by Gabriele Suder This book addresses the challenges and opportunity facing those doing business in Europe, while setting these in a global context.


International Business: Competing in the Global Market Place (Paperback) by Charles W. L. Hill ‘International Business’ addresses the strategic, structural and fictional implications of international business in firms around the world.


Industry and Empire: From 1750 to the Present Day (Paperback) by E. J. Hobsbawm This outstanding history describes and accounts for Britain’s rise as the world’s first industrial power, its decline from the temporary dominance of the pioneer, its rather special relationship with the rest of the world and the effects of all these on the life of the British people.


Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy (Paperback) by Peter Dicken This sixth edition of Global Shift has been completely revised and updated and is considered a key resource on economic globalization in the social science literature.


International Business – Frameworks Series (Paperback) by Roger Bennett International business is a wide-ranging subject which incorporates theories, concepts and practises and, accordingly, this book has collected and presents all the essential topics.


Baghdad Business School – Eye Classics (Paperback) by Heyrick Bond Gunning This book charts the challenges, the characters, the comedy and the catastrophe of trying to do business in a war zone from the unique perspective of a businessman.


Guide to Emerging Markets: The Business Opportunities, Obstacles and Outlook (Paperback) by Aiden Manktelow, Frida Wallin This book is in two parts. Part one examines new approaches to business in emerging markets and part two is aimed at helping firms prioritise emerging markets.

- Business|Books -

Issue 3 � 2014


WISE WORDS Business is relatively easy but often made complicated by those who practice it. If you think about your own buying motivations in your personal or business life, then you can see that, generally you are looking for an easy purchase, with good information at the time you want that product or service. So try to remember why you are in business and what motivates you; that will help you understand why others may want to do business with you. What can you do to make someone feel or look better or have a better life? Our members join because we can bring them opportunities to network or we influence those who need influencing - we make their lives easier. Similarly I often say to my team that their job is to make my life easier or better, or to make me look good. So, what do you do in your business that makes someone else’s life simpler or better, or makes them look good? This is where a lot of people overcomplicate what they do, or overthink it. If you can define how your product or service benefits others, and can express that, then you will open up more opportunities. Keep it Simple There is a lot of temptation to look for new ways to express what you do. There are so many occasions where I have heard that someone has an ‘integrated, holistic, one-stop, unique, revolutionary” service, yet I


Issue 3 � 2014

am often none the wiser as to what they do or how it helps me. My best example of a simple statement was from a Private Healthcare Salesman who told me he could put my staff into hospital faster than the NHS so they got back to work quicker than through the NHS. Very blunt & to the point, but I immediately understood how his product could make my life better. Be interested & interesting Most of us attend any number of events with the express purpose of meeting people that we can, hopefully, do business with. So why do so many people at events spend time looking over my shoulder for the next person to talk to? If you are going to spend time at events then be interested in the person you are talking to. If you find that the conversation isn’t going to go anywhere then that’s fine but make sure people remember you for the right reasons.

“Business is relatively easy but often made complicated by those who practice it.”

Who do you ‘go to’? All of us need advice, guidance or good ideas. So who do you ‘go to’ to get that advice? And, more importantly, how can you become the ‘go to’ guy or girl that everyone wants to know. Now there is a downside to this as you will be incredibly busy, but popularity has a price. The trick is in having a strategy that keeps you from getting embroiled in other people’s business, giving them guidance and direction but stepping back from doing their work for them.

- Wise words -

Jeremy Taylor Chief Executive, Gatwick Diamond Business

Jeremy Taylor is CEO of Gatwick Diamond Business, the leading networking and lobbying group in the Region. With over 360 member companies employing around 50,000 staff, gdb is the Source for all you need to succeed in business in the region. 01293 440088

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Profile for Global Sports Media

Absolute Business Magazine Issue 3  

The independent business magazine for Sussex

Absolute Business Magazine Issue 3  

The independent business magazine for Sussex