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The OffiM cial Surrey Chambers ofGCommerce A AMagazineZ



Issue E 3


Cashing in on a hard Brexit? Exclusive Interview



Patron of Mane Chance The Magic Carpet


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Issue 3 - 2017

A word from the CEO Election By the time you read this, we will know who has won the election and who will be negotiating the terms of the UK’s departure from the European Union. Our members are quite clear that the next government needs to secure a Brexit deal that recognises the needs of business – as well as the best possible conditions for the future of UK-EU trade. UK productivity will only improve by supporting businesses from the ground up.

Brexit and Beyond As part of the British Chambers of Commerce network we have created a Manifesto entitled Brexit and Beyond because our single biggest demand is for the next government to demonstrate a strong, coherent and long-term economic and business policy agenda – to enable companies of all sizes, sectors, nations and regions to navigate Brexit, seize new opportunities, and drive our country’s future prosperity. Chamber business communities across the UK will judge the next government against five key criteria: Business Environment, Local Growth, Infrastructure, Trade, Brexit

Cyber security Surrey Chambers was quick off the mark to communicate with members after the security breach affecting many NHS establishments as well as businesses. On the following Monday morning we were contacted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and asked to urgently disseminate information, which you can find on our website. We were reassured that resources from the Government, law enforcement and public and private sector organisation were working together to manage further disruption from this specific attack and to increase protection against any further attacks. We will be running events across the year to help businesses to keep themselves safe

We need to do more exporting! The trade statistics for March 2017 showed a sharp deterioration in the UK’s net trade position following a strong performance in the previous quarter. This deterioration reflects a sharp rise in imports in the quarter, and a slight fall in exports. As the UK moves through the Brexit process and beyond, it is vital that more is done to provide greater practical assistance for exporters, including developing an expanded trade mission and fairs programme and funding front-line, face-to-face support for exporters to help get UK businesses trading with the world. Surrey Chambers will be working with partners to support potential and growing exporters.

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chambers of Commerce

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JENNY SEAGROVE Exclusive interview with the actress and Surrey charity patron











Interview with Tim Boag, the bank’s MD for London and the South East

EMC’s Terry Runback on the importance of future planning

Celebrating the Surrey companies on the rise

Will Ireland be the winner after Brexit?

Does the Wraith live up to the standards expected of a Rolls?

At a Glance 6 Policing Surrey 7 Chambers President 8 Member News 16 NatWest Interview 17 Wilkins Kennedy 19 Herrington Carmichael 20 DMH Stallard 23 Haines Watts 24 Jenny Seagrove 28 EMC Corporate Finance 30 Partridge Muir & Warren 32 Guildford College 33 Surrey Business School 34 Supergrowth Awards 36 Leatherhead Awards 37 Farrow Creative 38 Yelo Architects 40 Business Travel - Dublin 46 International Travel 48 Emailing the Living 50 Meet the Buyers 52 Business Women Excellence Awards 54 Motoring - Rolls-Royce Wraith 58 Motoring - Maserati Ghibli 62 Motoring - Ferrari 488 Spider 63 Apprenticeship Levy 64 Emotional Leadership 65 Domestic Abuse Awareness 66 New Members 67 Sponsoring Events 68 Chambers Golf Society 70 Chamber Events 72 Business Coaching 73 Smart Monkey 74 Young Enterprise 76 Promotional Features 78 Brookscomm 79 Custodian Insurance 80 Anger Management 82 Join the Chamber

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Surrey Chambers Business Magazine is published and owned by the Platinum Publishing Group Limited.


Policing Surrey

SLAVERY HAS NOT BEEN CONSIGNED TO HISTORY David Munro, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey


n recent weeks I had the pleasure of attending Chamber of Commerce breakfast meetings in both Guildford and Woking and it was great to meet lots of business leaders from the county to talk about the current challenges faced by Surrey Police. Those in attendance would have heard me mentioning the rise in emerging crime types including modern slavery. People often tend to think of slavery as an evil from years gone by but the illegal exploitation of people is still happening across the UK and we are not exempt here in Surrey. Modern slavery can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery and victims are men, women and children of all ages usually from more vulnerable sections of society. As Police and Crime Commissioner for this county, I have a responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can tackle this head on. In June, a joint Modern Slavery conference is being held in Woking with our colleagues from Police and Crime Commissioners offices in our neighbouring counties of Sussex, Hampshire and Thames Valley. This is designed to explore the extent of the problem in our areas and agree strategies for helping protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice. However it is not just a matter for law enforcement, modern slavery is an issue which we all need to face including those in our business communities. Conservative estimates suggest there are over 20 million victims of forced labour across the world, and the majority of these victims are exploited in private sector activities such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture. Modern slavery is sadly a big industry and I believe there is a clear role for businesses to identify, avoid and report it. In March 2015, The Modern Slavery Act became law which has given law enforcement agencies stronger powers, meaning



perpetrators receive suitable punishment and victims can be better protected and supported. The Act also requires businesses to take responsibility not just for what they do, but what is done in their name. Large businesses (with an annual turnover of more than ÂŁ36 million) are requiring to monitor and control their operations and supply chains and make a statement each financial year on the steps they have taken to eliminate slavery and trafficking from their business model. Smaller businesses are often part of those supply chains which are monitored in how they operate in respect of the Act. Do visit this guidance for businesses if you would like to know more about what the

Modern Slavery Act means for you: https:// transparency-in-supply-chains-a-practical-guide Signs of slavery are often hidden making it sometimes difficult to recognise victims but it is closer than you think. It could be happening in your area. It could be happening right in front of your eyes. I would ask you please to be vigilant to this type of criminality, particularly in any supply chains you have, and report any illegal activity to the authorities.

You can find out more at or call the modern slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700.

President’s Column

A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT Countdown to the new General Data Protection Regulations


t is quite difficult nowadays to write a business related article and not mention Brexit. We know that the General Election will shortly be upon us and the knock-on effect of that is that various pieces of legislation that were working their way through Parliament will disappear because they cannot be concluded before Parliament is dissolved. However one piece of key legislation that will be effective from 25th May 2018 and which the current Government has said will be unaffected by Brexit are the General Data Protection Regulations. These Regulations replace the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) which came into force in March 2000. The primary reason for the new Regulations is that the old DPA cannot deal with the significant explosion of data now captured, stored and utilised on a routine basis by businesses through the internet, social media, email etc. Most Business Owners/Directors will be familiar with the annual registration process with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and the concept that the DPA is designed to ensure the protection of data relating to individuals. The legislation can be quite tricky to comply with and that is doubly so if your business uses electronic marketing to individuals or collects information from individuals buying goods and services from you on line. The new Regulations won’t make things easier I’m afraid as they introduce the “right to be forgotten” and change the basis of a “Subject Access Request” to that of a Right. Under the DPA if an individual makes a valid Request for any information held by your business about them, they have to pay a £10 fee and you then have 40 days to provide the information. From 25 May 2018, the obligation on the individual to pay the standard £10.00 fee disappears and the time frame for business to respond with the individual data drops from 40 days to one month.

of the DPA. Under the new Regulations the fine system is expressly designed to punish and not merely deter, so the fine system is directly related to annual global turnover. Tier 1 will be 2% of turnover or €10 million whilst Tier 2 will be 4% of turnover or €20 million. Given what is going on in the political world and the attention that is bound to be focused on Brexit negotiations, it would be easy to assume that there is plenty of time to get to grips with the new Regulations – after all they are a whole year away – and end up getting badly caught out when that 12 months has raced by. We won’t know exactly how Brexit will impact business for a while yet, but don’t take the same approach with the new General Data Protection Regulations. Get it on the “To Do” List and treat them seriously.

Frankie Tierney President, Surrey Chambers of Commerce Managing Partner, Herrington & Carmichael LLP

Currently the ICO can impose fines of up to £500,000 for breaches SURREY CHAMBERS



MEMBER NEWS DRIVING RESEARCH INTO DEMENTIA An estimated 16,800 people across Surrey have dementia with that figure set to rise to 19,000 by 2020. With no cure yet available, there is a pressing need to find new ways to support people with this condition as well as the carers who look after them. Mental health trust, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is launching a ground breaking dementia study that aims to provide people in this situation with that much needed extra support. Called TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia, the Internet of Things study involves a network of small technological devices that are installed in the home allowing clinicians to remotely monitor a person’s health, wellbeing and environment round the clock. If the technology identifies a health or safety problem, clinicians are immediately alerted and can step in to offer support. This may involve calling the carer, organising a GP appointment, arranging for an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Navigator to visit or, if necessary, contacting the emergency services. Surrey and Borders Partnership is looking for 1400 people to take part in the study. To participate, a person must have a diagnosis of dementia – mild to moderate - and live in Surrey or North East Hampshire. They must also have a regular carer who is also willing to get involved. To find out more, go to www. or call: 01932 722247.

SUMMER OF LOVE Surrey’s award-winning professional Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) open their 12th Annual Outdoor Theatre Season, with a 1960s set A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in a brand new venue. This will be the third time GSC have staged the play (2007, 2012) and are delighted to announce a brand new venue for the production. Situated right in the heart of Guildford, Racks Close is possibly Guildford’s best kept secret. This former chalk quarry is a wooded wilderness, located close to the Castle off Quarry Street; with multi-level grass banks and meandering paths it promises to be the perfect setting for a magical, and exuberant, night to remember. The season runs from 15th June – 1st July. GSC Box Offi ce 01483 304384

Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment

Norman Mailer





Ian Matthews

Guy Richardson

Kingston Smith, the top 20 firm of chartered accountants and business advisers with an office in Redhill, have announced the promotions of Ian Matthews and Guy Richardson to partner. Ian and Guy both started at Kingston Smith as ACA trainees in September 2005. Ian has advised owner-managed businesses across a wide range of sectors, using his expertise to help clients achieve their personal and professional aspirations. He works with clients in the property, technology and entrepreneurial business sectors, advising on tax structures, profit extraction and long-term strategies. Guy works with a broad range of SMEs, with a particular focus on the property and healthcare sectors. He is also experienced in helping UK businesses set-up and manage overseas operations, working with service providers from Kingston Smith’s international network, Morison KSi.

CONFIDENCE STRONG IN SMES The Enterprise Index, a quarterly barometer compiled by Smith & Williamson testing the views of over 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs, reveals that 85% of entrepreneurs and small business owners are planning for growth and 80% are optimistic about their own prospects over the next 12 months. Crucially, they are nearly 30% more positive about their own growth than at the end of 2016, the highest point since mid-2013. However, the Enterprise Index also highlighted this as the fourth consecutive quarter where SMEs perception of support offered by the government has declined, with less than half (45%) expressing positive opinions toward government policy. Jeff Selden, partner and specialist in business services at Smith & Williamson in Guildford, commented: “There is no doubt that small businesses continue to have gripes about the government policy. However, the Prime Minister seems to have caught them in a buoyant mood. It’s possible that, by triggering Article 50, entrepreneurs at least feel some progress is being made. In addition, the high profile climb-down on self-employed National Insurance Contributions (NICs) appears to be evidence of a government that is listening. “Notwithstanding this, there has been a growing mistrust in the government due to a credibility gap between what the government is saying and what it is actually doing. Within the past few months they have delivered an industrial strategy green paper, a scale-up champion and a scale-up taskforce but this has yet to deliver meaningful change. However, at the same time, the government has slashed the tax free dividend allowance by 60%, causing problems for many.” The Enterprise Index highlights the fact that 54% of respondents believe that the uncertainty associated with the triggering of Article 50 negatively affected their business. However, this does not appear to have negated any plans for growth, with nearly two thirds (65%) looking to increase headcount over the next three months [an 11 point rise from the last quarter].

RUN FOR CHARITY Commercial Building Consultancy, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP, nominated one of the team, Chuan Lim, to run in the Marathon to raise funds for QEF (Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation at Leatherhead) and the great work they do for brain injured young adults. To encourage Chuan in deciding what to wear on the day, the Guildford team arrived in alternative businesswear on the day before the marathon. Chuan crossed the line in 4mins 29seconds, and raised £1,600 for QEF.

What we know is a drop; what we don’t know is an ocean

Sir Isaac Newton




MEMBER NEWS PATENT SUCCESS FOR HOLLY Holly Whitlock, patent partner at Maucher Jenkins in Farnham, has recently been elected as a member of epi council, in a vote of all UK patent professionals qualified before the European Patent Office (“EPO”). Holly is the only woman amongst the 12 members of the UK council, and joins her colleague Hugh Dunlop. The epi council represents the interests of the patent profession in Europe, thereby also representing and canvassing for clients’ interests. Holly comments: “It is important that the EPO hears directly from users of the European patent system, and this is a prime opportunity to influence EPO decision-making, to the benefit of all. With offices in Germany (Munich and Freiburg) and Switzerland, as well as the UK (London and Farnham), Maucher Jenkins will continue to play a leading role in Intellectual Property protection in Europe and the UK, irrespective of Brexit.

WOKING SCHOOL IN FINALS A Woking school has gone through to the national finals of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge competition with help from a team of local business mentors. Students from Gordon’s School, near Woking, worked alongside the business mentors to come up with a winning business idea that focuses on supporting primary school girls to help them make the transition to secondary school. They will now be representing the South East at the national finals in May as they compete against schools from five other regions around the country to win the national prize. The team from Gordon’s School worked with business mentors including Mike Walker, Managing Director of Surrey based events management company MGN Events, over several months and were given the benefit of their expert advice and support on a voluntary basis as they competed to win investment of up to £3000 for their school. Mosaic, which runs the national business enterprise competition, is a mentoring charity founded by the HRH The Prince of Wales. It has been running its mentoring programmes since 2007, which are designed to develop and encourage pupils’ entrepreneurial skills, whilst also helping boost young people’s confidence, self-efficacy and employability. This year 107 schools took part in the competition with only six schools chosen to represent different parts of the UK in the final. As South East regional finalists, Gordon’s School will now take part in the Grand Finals in London in May.

Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die


MMRI APPOINTS COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR MMRI has named Colin Williams as its new commercial director joining the leadership team to focus on MMRI’s offering as a full service market research agency and their innovative digital research technology, Klood Radar. This is a new role within the business and Colin joins at an exciting time as the company expands. Having worked previously with clients such as GSK, Merck and Roche as well as the NHS, Colin will be working predominantly within the healthcare sector, as well as supporting the sports research division. As a digital leader with over 20 years’ commercial business, marketing and market research experience, Colin has successfully delivered projects, built teams and managed client relationships on an international scale for a broad range of blue chip companies, being nominated for numerous awards along the way. Colin is an executive committee member of the Pharmaceutical Marketing Society, playing an active role in its continued success. Colin lives in Addlestone, Surrey with his wife and 2 children and is actively involved with sports and fundraising at Ottershaw School where his wife is a Governor.




WILKINS KENNEDY ANNOUNCES NEW EGHAM PARTNERS Jemima Jones has been promoted to tax partner. One of the youngest women in the firm to become a partner, she joined in 2005 as a trainee, passed her accountancy exams in 2008 and tax exams the following year, before being appointed as tax director in 2015. She quickly established herself as one of the firm’s key spokespeople on tax matters and regularly provides comment on the Chancellor’s budget statements. Jemima Jones, as daughter of ex-mayor of Runnymede Carole Jones, already has a strong involvement with local businesses and the issues affecting them. Paul Creasey has been promoted to audit partner. Having joined the firm in 2015 from an international accountancy practice, he has become one of the firm’s specialists in financial reporting regulations and has developed a client portfolio that includes software and technology companies as well as charities and education establishments. Kevin Walmsley, managing partner of Wilkins Kennedy’s Heathrow office, said: “Both Jemima and Paul bring their individual talents to bear in a way that adds real value for our clients, and it is with the greatest of pleasure that we welcome them into the partnership.”

PREMIER FX ACQUIRES GLOBAL CURRENCY SERVICE LIMITED Premier FX, the boutique currency exchange company headquartered in London, England, with offices in the Algarve, Portugal and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, has acquired UK-based Global Currency Service Limited. GCSL is a 13-year-old specialist foreign exchange company for private and corporate clients, with a solid reputation serving the media and entertainment sectors. Both brands will remain separate and both companies will be directed by Peter Rexstrew, owner and CEO of Premier FX. “We have been working with GCSL closely now for two years and it seemed the right time to complete this acquisition,” said Rexstrew. “The brand is well known in the media sector, and the company has an established client base. Bringing GCSL together with Premier FX seems a natural fit.” Peter Rexstrew will join the board of GCSL as CEO and owner. Former GCSL owner David Baker will remain with the company to maintain a seamless transition period for GCSL clients.

PREPARING FOR WHAT’S NEXT The 2017 Annual Hart Brown Economic Forum will see leading economists and business leaders present their thoughts on preparing for the future, and dealing with any potential threats. Despite the economy and the confidence of the business community rallying after the early effects of Brexit, with a predicted growth rate of 2%, Brexit continues to remain a top concern. Although UK business leaders are said to be more optimistic about the prospects for their firms, there is still a general air of pessimism amongst the public, with consumer debt growing. According to the Bank of England “British households have become increasingly pessimistic of how the country’s long-term economic prospects have been affected by last year’s vote to leave the EU.” Businesses should be looking at issues closer to home, with reports of financial fraud on the increase, warnings from the IMF about protectionist trade policies, and UK jobs possibly at risk with the rise of automation in many industries. Preparing for the future and being ready to deal with any of these threats is vital to business success. The 13th Hart Brown Annual Economic Forum provides an opportunity to hear from leading economists and business leaders on their thoughts on “Preparing for what’s next”. This year’s keynote speaker is Marcus Wright, a Senior Economist at NatWest. He will be joined by Dr Malcolm Parry, Managing Director & CEO of the Surrey Research Park and Kate Lester, founder and CEO of Guildford business Diamond Logistics. The Hart Brown Annual Economic Forum takes place on Thursday 15 June at 5pm and is held at the University of Surrey. It is free to attend however registration is essential.

Never laugh at your partner’s choices. You are one of them.

Frankie Boyle




THE BANK OF BRANDS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Tim Boag, London & South East Managing Director at NatWest, talks to Maarten Hoffmann about the future of the bank, Brexit, cyber crime and how the bank will be promoting its range of brands


BS is one of the largest banks in the world but has been through some torrid times of late and has spent the last few years fighting to get fit and shed the misery of the past few years. With hard work and some very tough decisions, the management team of the bank can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Away from the legacy issues, the bank is quietly building an operating profit which bodes very well for the future. In this exclusive interview, Managing Director for London and the South East, Tim Boag speaks candidly about the legacy issues and the bright future that lies ahead.

RBS results and performance How is the bank actually performing? The press would have you believe that the bank is in permanent crisis-mode, but how robust is the bank? “Our underlying results are strong,” says Tim. “We’ve had eight quarters of generating strong underlying operating profit, so the business that our customers deal with dayto-day is performing well. Our relationship managers are doing a good job. I guess our customers wouldn’t be doing business with us if we weren’t doing a job that met their needs. “We have some legacy issues. One is Williams & Glyn (more on this later), the other one is the potential RMBS fine (the penalty to be decided in relation to residential mortgagebacked securities, or RMBS, sold in the US before the 2008 crisis). “We don’t know the RMBS number. We have made a provision which is up to over £6 billion. We have seen some of the other banks settle, which gives us a better idea of the range. “Our chief executive, Ross McEwan is confident that if we can get these things done this year, people will stop talking about these legacy problems. They relate to a past culture and a past organisation. We can then



start talking about the business underneath that, which is performing very well, and the vast majority of our resources is very much focused on that go-forward business. We were the fastest growing in terms of £24 billion in net new lending last year - with £9 billion in commercial business – that’s something that we’re proud of.

“We’ve often been criticised for not lending money but we are out there doing it and as the new strap line in the advert says: We are what we do. And we’ll be judged by that. So on the ground we’re doing well, the mortgage business, the personal business and the commercial business in England and Wales were all doing really well last year.”

Interview RBS or NatWest? The stronger performance in England and Wales is an interesting point, as the news coming out of the bank is that these markets will be more heavily branded as NatWest. To get a feel for the direction the bank will be taking, a good starting point may be the rugby Six Nations. RBS has been headline sponsor since 2003 but last summer David Wheldon, Chief Marketing Officer at RBS, announced, “As we focus back on our home markets in the UK and Ireland, we have decided not to renew the sponsorship beyond 2017.” Was this just another way of saying that the RBS branding is being downplayed in favour of the focus on NatWest? Tim Boag replies, “I think it’s brilliant what we’ve achieved in supporting the Six Nations, but I think that every now and again there is a need to re-calibrate to the market and look at our branding going forward. In the corporate world, NatWest is becoming more our leading brand. It will be our leading brand for business in England and Wales. “It’s a ‘Bank of Brands’ type of approach, so it’s not just NatWest. NatWest is our biggest brand, business and personal, in England and Wales because we’ve got the majority of branches. But also we’ve got Lombard, Coutts, Isle of Man Bank, Drummonds and Holt’s. “All these brands have their own franchises and their own identity, and we feel that we get more traction through investing through those brands than we would by focussing on the RBS brand. RBS is a global brand, much more than NatWest and we are looking more at the personal and the business banking markets in the UK and Ireland, rather than

positioning as a global bank. “We effectively have dual branding at the moment - our largest customers associate with RBS, but most of the customers are served by regional offices, which is usually NatWest.”

There’s still a good degree of confidence and there’s still some positive momentum in our economy.

“It is part of an on-going process to bring the NatWest brand to the fore in England and Wales. At the same time, the bank’s primary

customer facing brands elsewhere will be the Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland and Ulster Bank in Ireland.

Williams & Glyn One brand not mentioned in Tim’s list is Williams & Glyn. After the UK’s government’s intervention in buying up RBS shares, the European Union decided this amounted to state aid, and therefore part of the bank should be divested. The Williams & Glyn name was resurrected, representing the Royal Bank of Scotland branches in England and Wales and the NatWest branches in Scotland. But the required sale has failed to materialise. “We’ve been trying to sell Williams & Glyn as a business,” confirms Tim. “It includes our UK branch network and the customers who’ve banked in that network for six or seven years, but it has proved to be very complicated. “Clydesdale was mooted to have an interest, and Santander made its interest on a couple of occasions but we haven’t been able to get across that line with a buyer on terms that work for us. It’s a very complex process to segregate a bank in its entirety and sell it cleanly, so the discussions we’ve had with the Treasury have been “Is there another way we can do this?” “The original intent was to have more competition in the UK as a result of the state aid received by RBS. I think we’ve got some good proposals. They’ve not been approved by EU, so that has to go through the EU governance process. So we shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves on that.




“There are a number of suggestions that we have proposed in which RBS will support and fund competition in the SME world that will help achieve the original objectives of increased competition.” Seeing as we are now in negotiations to leave the EU, is it not tempting to play for time and wait until Brexit happens. After leaving the EU, will it matter what their directive is? Tim dismisses such a suggestion: “We’re still committed to that original agreement, as I understand it. Just because of Brexit, we cannot just walk away from our historic obligations. We still have to see that through. It’s just that rather than the sale, we’ve got an alternative proposal that’s under consideration.”

Brexit Having raised the thorny subject of Brexit, what is the view of the bank on the implication of the UK’s exit from the EU for SMEs? “It’s difficult to predict what the precise outcome would be. Our view would be similar to some of the commentators at the Bank of England and IMF, in that we would expect growth rates to be lower than they were forecast to be before the vote. “There are some businesses that are quite publicly talking about how they might invest in Europe as opposed to the UK, particularly in financial services.



“If there is lower growth we need to think about how it’s going to impact our customers, particularly if it is alongside higher inflation and input costs, potentially combined with business rates rises. These factors may coincide with lower consumer demand. We’re conscious that customers may need to focus on their cost base and look quite closely at how much of that they can pass on to the consumer without damaging demand.

People will stop talking about the legacy problems. They relate to a past culture and a past organisation. We can then start talking about the business underneath that, which is performing very well.

“We’re not changing our policies around lending to customers, but we are mindful that some sectors will be impacted more than others, therefore in terms of supporting those customers we need to think about how we do that.

“We are a barometer for the UK economy – we’re largely a UK and Irish based bank now, so whatever happens to the UK economy is going to impact on our customers and our results. We’re completely aligned with the economic experience our customers will have as well. If you look at our lending book, it’s in good shape. We think our lending policies have been pretty good in the last four or five years and our house is in good order. “There will be some headwinds along the way. There is a consistent view that there will be an impact because we can’t have the deal we’ve got now, which is the same as the other members. It’s likely to be a degree worse. “However, the majority of our SME customers are getting on with running their business, and they’re doing that because they don’t have a crystal ball. Why stop? They have a business to run. “At the top end we did see some dampening of demand in some of the larger transactions, M&A tailing off a little bit immediately after Brexit. Since then we’ve seen some of that come back with continued activity in the smaller end of the market. “One of the barometers that I use in terms of understanding how our customers are feeling is looking at our balance sheet, our loans and advances, and they steadily increased last year month-on-month; they’re still increasing as we go into this year. That tells


me there’s still a good degree of confidence and there’s still some positive momentum in our economy. “I had talks with my team and we agreed, “Let’s not look for things that aren’t there. Let’s focus on what we can control. Let’s keep the discipline in terms of how we approach credit, the way we support our customers.””

Safe & Secure One threat that faces us all is cyber crime, and Tim is proud of the role that the bank plays in educating businesses: “We are very active in helping customers in terms of education around fraud and cyber crime and we hold regular events on the subject. We need to be talking to not just customers, but colleagues as well, to make them aware of the latest scams, pointing them in the right direction. It’s in the interest of the bank and our customers to minimise any losses from fraud. “There’s a sophisticated side to fraud and cyber crime. But there are also some very

simple things we can do. For example, dual controls on payments; a lot of businesses have not got dual control. We’ve identified those customers, and we’ll be going out and speaking to them specifi cally on that issue. This is a basic principle because one person can get duped – it’s more diffi cult for two. Sometimes you do get a bad apple in a company, but if you’ve got two people, you’ve got more control. I think it’s just good practice.”

Digital Although cyber crime is a big problem, the benefits of the digital age far outweigh the negatives. How is the bank embracing new technologies? “We are piloting a new solution called Esme, which is a digital loan application process for businesses applying for loans up to £150.000, 24-7. It allows decisions to be turned around very quickly. It sits alongside the bank and it’s another way of offering something that’s simple, easy to understand, quick and reliable. It’s another way of customers

engaging with us. “Esme is a good example of us working with fintech, and there are lots of alliances that we have built up. We have a physical presence in Silicon Valley. We’re working with these businesses because we think that it’s better to work with them and to embrace and learn from them, in order to build alliances and partnerships, as the technology moves very quickly. “We have a lot of understanding of the broader market franchise – they have the great ideas. So let’s bring them together and see what we can do. Esme is a good example of that. “We’ve also developed something called Nift, which is safe-to-sign software. A lot of our customers may see the legal documentation as complex, so this is a way that we can help them navigate through the key terms of important documents. They can get some comfort that what they’re signing up to is something that is clear to them.



Interview “Another thing we have done is simplified our deposit offering and reduced the number of product options. Customers have actually responded quite positively to the fact that the choice is very clear and straightforward, especially the transparency around charging and rates. “In fact, by reducing the number of options we’re making the products clearer and the choice clearer. “What customers want is things to happen quickly and easily. Can we do it faster, can we do it simpler? Customer behaviour is changing and part of that is because the offering they’re receiving not just from banks but other organisations, is becoming more digital. Their behaviour is changing, so we need to respond to that. We’ve had something like 20 times more digital transactions with our customers than we had in 2012. We have about 4.6 million people banking with us online now. On the flip-side, we have 40% fewer visits to our branches than we had five years ago.””

Branch closures The dramatic change in customer behaviour brings us onto another contentious subject that of branch closures. No-one wants to see their local bank branch shut down, but is it an inevitable cost of progress? “There are a number of factors why we close branches. One is that there are fewer visits. There is undoubtedly an efficiency point, or a cost point, about how much it costs to run a branch as opposed to how valuable our customers feel it is. There are alternative ways of engaging with our customers which suits them and our cost base is still too high. “When we do close a branch it’s important to have the right leave-behind propositions for

our customers. Our business customers may be used to banking in a certain way and if we’re going to change that, or take that away from them, then what is the leave-behind? What are the alternative ways of banking and of managing your needs?

entrepreneurial mindset. We’ve created an environment where entrepreneurs can learn and succeed. And off the back of that we hope that we will build advocacy, i.e. people will talk about us positively, because they know that NatWest is powering ESpark.

“If we’re going to close a branch, we do a lot of analysis around our personal customers and business customers. We’re increasing our mobile banking through the mobile branches, and we’ve got several of those that travel around the South East.

“We’re now looking to develop that proposition into businesses at the next stage, starting to scale up, not just the start-ups. We will aim to help businesses that may be turning over £1 million or £2 million but are starting to face new challenges like: “Where am I going to trade from because I can no longer do it in my garage or my back room?” Or it might be “I’ve got an import/export issue here. How do I start to trade internationally? What sort of management structures are needed? Where do I get the people?” And some of it is finance as well. “How can I get finance to invest in my business so I can scale up more quickly?” These are the things that we’re starting to invest more time in.”

“Additionally, we have Community Bankers and TechXperts, the latter of whom will be based in every branch across the country from the beginning of May. We have also invested heavily in some key branches for the long term. For instance, Chichester is a flagship branch for us.”

The first rule never to be departed from is to make the welfare of the customers the first object.

Entrepreneurial Spark

One of the big success stories for the bank has been the small business incubator, Entrepreneurial Spark, which has created a £176 million turnover and 1300 jobs. “We are proud of it,” says Tim. “We’ve invested a lot of resources in it, so we haven’t done it by half, we’ve done it properly. We focused on the entrepreneur in terms of the

Ambition and the future The bank has regularly expressed its desire to put the customer experience first. Above the bank’s boardroom in London is a quote by Andrew Berkeley Drummond, whose family founded Drummonds Bank, which RBS still owns. The plaque spells out Drummond’s golden rule: “The first rule never to be departed from is to make the welfare of the customers the first object.” What does this mean in reality? Is it just a sound-bite? “Our ambition is to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020, that is the top of the pyramid, and everything else we do underneath that in terms of our values, our behaviours, our financial goals, our personal goals, return on equity – everything is about supporting that. “We do need to be financially stable and safe to be able to do all the things we do for our customers but ultimately anything else is just short-term; whereas if that is your key guiding principle, then you’ll always be thinking longer-term, about a sustainable business that builds trust and retains customers by helping them.” It’s been a long journey but if the Bank of Brands maintains its commitment to customer service, even the national press and TV news may start talking about the bank in a positive light.




RESEARCH YOUR R&D TAX RELIEF Smaller companies could be missing out says Steve Hoare, Tax Director at Wilkins Kennedy


f your company is liable for corporation tax and your business carries out any Research & Development (R&D) activity, then you may be eligible for enhanced tax relief. It seems that many small and medium-sized companies are currently missing out, as R&D claims are often associated with larger companies. Actually, smaller companies could benefit from a higher claim, so now is your chance to consider if your business can make the most of this valuable tax break – even if it is currently loss making.

What is R&D tax relief? R&D tax relief could dramatically reduce your corporation tax bill as the overall tax deduction can be worth up to 230% of the actual costs incurred. R&D tax relief is only available to limited companies, but for every £10,000 a company spends, it could reduce its corporation tax bill by over £4,000, based on the current rate of UK corporation tax. There are two schemes: the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Scheme and the less generous Research & Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) for large companies. The SME Scheme applies to an organisation with fewer than 500 employees, and has an annual turnover not exceeding €100 million or a balance sheet not exceeding €86 million. This definition is not necessarily the same as that used by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for other areas of corporation tax, and should be considered carefully when making a claim. Groups and related parties may need to consider the limits in relation to aggregated data. A small or medium-sized company may be able to claim R&D tax relief under the SME Scheme for one project and under the RDEC Scheme for another, depending on how each project is funded. As well as tax relief, the SME scheme also offers repayable tax credits. So, if your

company makes a loss, you may be able to receive a tax credit instead of carrying forward the loss. This is a cash sum paid directly to you by HMRC which is currently at the rate of 14.5% of the loss given up. Although the RDEC Scheme is less generous than the SME Scheme, it is still given at a rate of 11% of qualifying R&D expenditure.

Which costs might qualify? Subject to meeting certain conditions, the tax relief is given on R&D revenue expenditure. This includes costs directly employed in R&D such as: • Employee costs • Materials • Utilities • Software • Subcontracted R&D expenditure.

Which R&D projects might qualify?

seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology. It does not apply for advances in a company’s own knowledge or capability. That said, it applies to far more than scientific research. It also covers design and engineering development to overcome technological challenges – and includes work on improving processes, products and services. The range of qualifying activities is far wider than most people would expect. Companies have claimed successfully for software development, engineering design, new construction techniques, bio-energy, clean technology, agri-food, and life and health sciences. If you would like some further information regarding R&D tax credits, or you think you are eligible for an R&D claim, please contact your local Wilkins Kennedy office in Guildford or Heathrow.

R&D relief can only be claimed if a project




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Information Security

DATA PROTECTION: ARE CUSTOMERS LOSING TRUST? by Matthew Lea Solicitor, Corporate & Commercial Department, Herrington Carmichael


onsumers are losing their trust in businesses when it comes to the protection of personal data, a recent survey has revealed. Data protection is a vital issue for both businesses and individuals, and a survey by the Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) reveals that just one in four people trust businesses with their personal information. Furthermore, consumers are increasingly proactive about what they can do to protect their data. The ICO has found that consumers are taking matters into their own hands: a quarter of people have installed an ad blocker on their web browser or smartphone, and 13% of people have requested a copy of their data from organisations. A majority are also regularly checking their bank and credit card statements for irregular activity, and are using a variety of passwords for online activity. Worryingly for businesses, just 53% of people said they trusted High Street banks with their personal information (36% trusted Government departments; 32% for High Street retailers and 22% for internet brands).

What does this mean? As Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, warns: “This ought to be a real wake up

13% of people have requested a copy of their data from organisations.

call to some sectors. Consumer mistrust is never good for business.” He says that with fines of more than £6million for data protection offences already issued so far, this is only going to rise. Whilst fines are currently set at a maximum of £500,000, Mr Graham goes on to warn that “new rules in place from 2018 give us (the ICO) the power to fine up to 4% of global turnover, which ought to focus the minds of any boardroom.” The ICO can also start criminal prosecutions, take other enforcement action and undertake audits in the event of a breach. What’s clear is that businesses and other organisations are not doing enough to protect consumers’ data, and more robust and effective steps need to be taken.

How can we help? We provide business organisations with expert advice on their data protection obligations and how to protect consumers’ personal information effectively. If you have any concerns about your data protection responsibilities, or any other commercial issues in relation to your business, contact the experienced commercial solicitors at Herrington Carmichael for specialist advice.

If you want to find out more about data protection, please contact Matthew Lea on 01276 686222.




DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT WITH EMPLOYMENT RULE CHANGES By Adam Williams, Partner at law firm DMH Stallard


rexit looms large in the world of business immigration. Many businesses have already started scenario planning in order to better prepare for the impact it may have on the ability to recruit talent from overseas. In the midst of all of the confusion over what Brexit will mean for businesses, it is easy to lose sight of important and fundamental changes that are already being made. The Home Office has confirmed numerous modifications to the UK business immigration rules which came into effect from 6th April 2017. The changes are part of an ongoing programme of reform ultimately aimed at reducing net migration. Here are some of the most important changes that businesses need to know about.

The immigration skills charge (ISC) The ISC will apply to sponsors of all nonEEA nationals applying for entry clearance or leave to remain in the Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) categories, unless the individual falls within a limited number of exemptions. The amount charged will depend on the size of the sponsor, and it can be significant. For medium or large sponsors it will be £1,000 per applicable migrant per year of leave, while for small or charitable sponsors it will be £364 per applicable migrant per year. The charge will be payable by the sponsor upfront (at the time of assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)) and will cover the total period of time covered by the CoS. So, for a typical three year visa application sponsored by a medium/large employer, the ISC will be £3,000.



Appropriate salary for Tier 2

regular salary.

The minimum salary requirement for experienced hires in the Tier 2 (General) visa category will rise to whichever is the greater of £30,000 and the appropriate rate for the job as stated in Appendix J of the immigration rules. The previous fixed minimum was £25,000. The ‘new entrant’ minimum rate will remain £20,800.

• Business expenses, including those related to training, hotel stays, and business travel within the UK.

The text explaining which payments can and cannot be counted towards the appropriate salary has been reworded ‘to provide greater clarity and consistency’. Amongst the notable changes, it is confirmed that the following will not count towards the appropriate salary:

Tier 2 (intra-company transfer)

• Overtime payments (including where overtime is guaranteed). • One-off payments (e.g. relocation packages), which do not form part of the

• Medical benefits. • Payment of tuition fees, or any payments for which the applicant will need to reimburse the sponsor or a linked overseas business.

The ‘Short-term Staff’ sub-category has been closed, which leaves only the ‘Long-term Staff’ and the ‘Graduate Trainee’ sub-categories for intra-company transfers. The big impact of this is that the minimum salary threshold for all Tier 2 (ICT) applications, with the exception of Graduate Trainees, will now be £41,500. The annual salary threshold, above which an


It is clear that in many UK-based businesses, there is concern about the wider implications of Brexit on the ability to recruit and retain workers from Europe

exemption from the ‘cooling-off’ period and an extended maximum stay of up to nine years is available, has been reduced from £155,300 to £120,000. Where the applicant will be earning a gross annual salary of more than £73,900, a new exemption applies from the requirement (in the Long-term Staff sub-category) for the applicant to have worked outside the UK for an overseas entity linked to the sponsor for at least 12 months immediately prior to the application.

a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship. • The requirement of the sponsor to carry out a resident labour market test (RLMT).

The resident labour market test Changes have been made to the advertising requirements for new graduate jobs and internships. The salary threshold, above which a sponsor will not be required to advertise a role on Universal Jobmatch/Jobcentre Plus, has risen to £73,900.

Criminal record checks The Home Office A new requirement for overseas criminal has confirmed numerous record certificates to be produced in respect modifications to the UK of entry clearance applications under Tier 2 business immigration rules (General) has been introduced. It applies to which came into effect from applicants who are 18 or over and applying for roles in any of a specified list of Standard 6th April 2017

Tier 2 (General)

The ‘high earner’ salary threshold will be increased from £155,300 to £159,600. This threshold is important because, for applicants who will be paid above it, an exemption applies to:

Occupational Classification (SOC) codes in health, social care or education sectors (and their partner dependants).

Overstaying and re-entry bans The period of overstay before a mandatory re-entry ban is triggered has been significantly reduced, from 90 days to 30 days. This could have significant implications, for example for workers who find themselves in a position

where their leave has expired without them having made a valid application for an extension. There is now a much greater risk of them being forced to leave the UK because they have been unable to regularise their position within the shorter overstaying period. It is clear that in many UK-based businesses, there is concern about the wider implications of Brexit on the ability to recruit and retain workers from Europe. We are increasingly working with businesses to assess their exposure to changes in the rules on free movement of persons, and to scenario plan for the future. However, it is also important to consider the other options, and for many businesses this means exploring and keeping up to date with the current system of sponsorship under the points-based immigration system for non-EEA nationals. DMH Stallard’s business immigration team is part of the firm’s specialist employment group, which advises employers from a wide range of sectors on contentious and non-contentious strategic issues, including contracts and policies, reorganisations and redundancies, discrimination and dismissal claims, TUPE, and executive recruitment and terminations. For more information about how DMH Stallard can help your organisation please contact

• The 12 month cooling off period. • The restriction on the applicant owning more than 10% of the shares of their intended sponsor (if it is a limited company). • The requirement of the sponsor to apply for SURREY CHAMBERS






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REAL TIME SOLUTIONS OR PROBLEMS? Real Time Payroll has it advantages but employers have to be aware of legislation, compliance and penalties says Helen Wood, Payroll Manager at Haines Watts


he complexities of payroll only ever seem to increase and these days take in other areas of compliance such as Real Time Information (RTI) and Auto Enrolment. From May 2017, HM Revenue and Customs will use Real Time Information as they receive it to make automatic adjustments to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax codes instead of waiting until the end of the tax year. Their idea is to offer tax payers more certainty that they are paying the right amount of tax throughout the year, which should in theory result in fewer unexpected bills in the case of underpayments. Many taxpayers have already received letters advising them of the in-coming changes.

dates which employers, who haven’t already fulfilled their duties, cannot afford to ignore. However, if as an employer you realise that you’re late meeting your staging date, tell The Pensions Regulator (TPR) immediately - don’t ignore it and hope it will go away! You may need to pay a fine, but above all you will need to backdate enrolment of your employees in a pension scheme and make any contributions that you should have already made. Legislation, compliance, penalties …. All

words which spring to mind in connection with completing the monthly payroll and so if you’re in doubt, don’t bury your head in the sand, but take some professional advice.

Helen Wood T: 01483 425724 E: Surrey offices in Godalming and Esher

This could be good news especially for people who have fallen foul of HMRC at no fault of their own, other than failing to notice that their tax code is incorrect for some reason. For example, HMRC has misunderstood that they have more than one job, or people who despite earning over £100,000 have been given a personal allowance. Relatively simple errors, but stressful when HMRC expects the underpayment to be settled immediately. The downside for employers is that as employees start to receive an increase in the number of notifications about changes to their tax codes, they will have more and more questions to answer and resolve. Employers with payroll systems that don’t have an “automatic flow” will also have more data updates to make. Our advice is to remain vigilant and should you receive a new coding notice, not to assume that nothing further will change during the year. As regards auto-enrolment, from April 2017 onwards, the year is filled with staging







JENNY’S MANE CHANCE Jenny Seagrove has starred on stage and on screen in a successful and illustrious acting career, but she is just as passionate about animal welfare causes. She founded and remains the patron of a Surrey rescue centre for horses and ponies. Molly Edwards visited the Mane Chance Sanctuary to talk to Jenny about the charity and her life as an actress.


enny Seagrove may be best known as for her acting work, appearing as the female lead in the BBC TV series, Judge John Deed, but within the Surrey village of Compton her work has a huge presence. Mane Chance Sanctuary, tucked away in the Surrey Hills, is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for horses and ponies. The horses all live in the most natural way possible, with an added track system that’s built to keep them moving. By placing feed all along the tracks and water at one end of the field, the horses are encouraged to exercise and forage. To the untrained eye it could be a large farm with horses, chickens and dogs, but on much closer inspection it’s a small charity with big goals of helping horses help people. Jenny set up the charity in 2011, after she helped save 40 horses from someone who couldn’t provide the care they needed. She managed to find a site to keep them in Compton, rent free. Instantly fundraising began to get the site up and running and a board of trustees were instated. In the following spring, Jenny was able to purchase the land to create a steady home for a new charity. With a career on stage and screen spanning over 30 years, Jenny Seagrove is a patron of performing. Her early work in ‘A Woman of Substance’ greenlit a body of stage and screen work that led her to the lead female role in prime time BBC drama ‘Judge John Deed’. Jenny’s most recent film ‘Another Mothers Son’ follows the story of Louisa Gould, a courageous woman who welcomes in an escaped Russian prisoner of war and hides him over the course of World War II. Based on a true story, the drama is set on the Nazioccupied island of Jersey. Despite the subject matter, Jenny describes the project as ‘the most joyous experience’. So, on a beautiful spring day, I visited Mane

Chance Sanctuary to meet Jenny and interview her for Surrey Chambers Business Magazine and, after a warm welcome, a handful of homemade honey roast cashews and a comfy seat in the orchard, I sat with Jenny to discuss her journey building Mane Chance and her plans for the charity’s future.

What were your biggest challenges when setting up Mane Chance? It was back in autumn of 2011 when I helped somebody I knew who’d rescued an awful lot of animals. She had 40 horses, a cow, goat, sheep, dogs, cats and parrots - you name it, she collected them! She rang me and explained that she wasn’t able to feed her animals and they were being thrown off the site they were on in Kent. Consequently, I had a month to find another site for that many animals. Through the network of contacts I had, I managed to find this site. Slowly but surely we set the charity up, found trustees and began the really serious effort to raise money. The challenge in the first few months was huge – no money and loads of mouths to feed! We just about survived the first winter so I put on an event in London.

course and what we’re doing now is bringing our horses into the barn to get them used to it. We will pilot the course in September and we are starting simple and safe. The vision long term is to get the model right and then effectively show people what we want to do to raise enough money to try and have centres elsewhere so that we can rescue more horses and help more people. We will start with young people but I think this could work for adults and for ex-armed forces too. We help the horses and they help us, and there is this lovely circle of care. We’ve also been given funding to cover a part-time salary for a community co-ordinator whose job it will be to oversee visits from community groups such as people with visual impairment, additional needs youngsters, older members of the community – the list is endless.

In the spring of 2012, the owner of the land told me he was going to walk away from the sale and did I want to buy it. I got friends of mine involved, sold my flat and, together, we bought the site. At this point I re-homed half the herd and all of the dairy animals and cats and dogs to another sanctuary – leaving me with 25 horses.

What’s next for the charity? We’re starting something called Chance2Be. It’s an 8 week course of mindfulness with the horses at the heart of it. I’ve got a trained mindfulness teacher, an equine behaviourist and a specialist teacher who’s got huge knowledge of our herd. We’ve written the

Jenny Seagrove with her long-term partner Bill Kenwight SURREY CHAMBERS


Interview What events have Mane Chance got coming up?

How can Surrey businesses get involved with Mane Chance?

We’re doing a soccer clinic up near Liverpool, because Mane Chance have links in the community with the Everton Free School. Duncan Ferguson, who is a legend at Everton Football Club, is going to hold a soccer clinic for us there, which is great. We’ve got our annual open day in Compton on August 20th, we also have smaller open days on the first Sunday of every month and, if people want to, they can contact our general manager, Abi, and come and see the work we’re doing.

Well they can get involved on a number of levels. They could sponsor our new programme, Chance2Be, because that’s helping both horses and young people and most businesses want to know they are making a difference.

Do you find being based in Surrey helps the charity? Well, I haven’t got any experience of anything else. I think being based in Surrey is helpful because Surrey County Council are very philanthropic and very community orientated and Surrey Community Foundation have also been very good to us. There are a lot of wonderful people in Surrey. There is wealth of course, but people will only give you money if they like what you’re doing and, although we are small at the moment, we are growing every day as people can see the difference we are making. It would be amazing to get consistent corporate sponsorship.



We’ve also got the infrastructure in place to extend our reach into the community and are able to invite more charities and community groups to visit. Some of these visitors will spend time with the horses while others will work around the site. What’s incredible is that not only do they learn new skills but, over time, they become so much more confident in their interactions with staff and volunteers. It costs us to staff all of these visits so it would be lovely if local businesses came on board to support.

Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently? That’s a really hard question because I’ve done the best I can in the circumstances and I’m not a business woman so I don’t know how to structure a business, and I had no

money and I had an awful lot of responsibility Whether I would have done things differently in the same circumstances, probably not, but I’m delighted now to have been surrounded by a really good board of trustees and a manager who is amazing. You know you should be careful what you wish for because I’ve been an actress all my life, I’ve had no responsibility and I’ve had a really blessed life. I’ve always thought acting is a wonderful job and I get the chance to change people’s lives with performances, but actually it’s quite a lightweight job. So I’ve sometimes thought that I should be at the cutting edge and then the phone rings all those years ago and suddenly I’ve got a charity! So I fit my career into the time I have and the charity takes everything else.

Your most recent film “Another Mothers Son” was released at the end of March. What’s next for you? I can’t tell you the details, but it’s a wonderful film that I hope I’m going to be filming in July/August - it just hasn’t quite been green lit yet. It’s completely different from Another Mothers Son and we are going to be shooting in Europe. And then the plan is to bring the stage version of The

Interview Exorcist to the West End. We tried it out last year in Birmingham and it was an extraordinary event. Bill (Kenwright) put it on in association with the Birmingham rep. It sold out and there’s clearly a whole new audience that loves that genre. So I’m potentially busy or I’m potentially unemployed. You never know what’s going to come up.

What do you prefer stage or film? That’s pretty hard, I love the fact that when you’re on stage, you’re in charge of the audience and it’s both terrifying and exhilarating. It’s exhausting, but you’re in control. I love location work and the intimacy of the camera and the fact that you go into other people’s lives. But I hate the fact that the director and editor are in charge of your performance and a film that’s made for the big screen often won’t be seen on the big screen. So I can’t answer that as it all depends on the script and the talent - so I love both equally.

Has your career on stage and screen benefited Mane Chance? I think so, definitely. I would quite like to have a greater profile because that makes fundraising easier. I’ve got a reasonable profile and it helps when I work with people of a certain stature as it means that I can ask them to come and do something at our Christmas carol concert or be a guest speaker. When you’re fundraising or seeking to put events together and asking people to come, you have to get used to rejection and not get demoralised. It’s an endless round of ‘no’s’ until one ‘yes’ and then it feels like you’ve won the lottery. So, yes it has helped, of course it’s helped.

Did you always want to study acting? No, I wanted to be a vet! I got science A-Levels but I just woke up one day and realised that I’d be a totally rubbish vet because I couldn’t put animals down - I’m way too sentimental! And then I thought about what I could do – and decided I’d be an actress. I’d always played the lead in school plays so thought that would be fun. I wanted to go to the Bristol Old Vic and I got in and I’ve never looked back. I’ve made some mistakes but I’ve been very lucky – every career has peaks and troughs. I realised about seven years in that it’s a marathon not a sprint and that you don’t have to be in a certain place at a certain time – you just keep going, do good work and keep on going some more. And that’s all that matters - I’m not a superstar and, do you know what, I don’t care!

How would you advise anyone starting their own charity? Make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into. Fundraising is getting harder and harder and, quite rightly, the Charity commission is rigorous on things such as cold calling. To run a charity well you need a very good board of trustees and absolutely transparent accounts. Surround yourself with people who can do things properly. And never give up – believe in what you do and keep going. It is amazing how people can be phenomenally generous. Sadly, when you run a charity, you see the worst of people and their behaviour and the cruelty that’s around - but you also see the best! 01483 351 526 Mane Chance Sanctuary is holding its annual Big Open Day on Sunday 20th August at the sanctuary in Compton. Gates open at 12 noon on the day and adults and children of all ages are welcome.



Succession Planning


A lack of succession planning can put the future success of a business at risk. Yet fewer than half of the UK’s SMEs have a plan in place. TERRY RAINBACK, Surrey office director of business management and corporate finance firm EMC, looks at the reasons why business owners ignore it at their peril.


recently read that a major regional newspaper publisher with which we had had some interesting dealings several years ago had been sold out of the family that had owned it for more than a century. The company had been through the hands of four generations of the family, making it something of a rarity. Only 3% of family-run businesses make it to a fourth generation; 80% don’t even make it to the third. It had succeeded where so many others fail because each generation of owner ensured they had a proper succession plan in place to ensure a smooth handover to the next. Sadly, that is not usually the case. Barclays Bank published some research in 2015 which showed that fewer than half of UK small businesses, the vast majority of which are



family-owned, have any sort of succession plan.

Research shows that over the years bosses become increasingly entrenched… they can become risk averse, choosing to avoid losses rather than pursuing gains. These tendencies can lead to stagnation

I know how easy it is to ignore the distant future when the here and now demand so much of your attention. But a fully considered, coherent succession plan can go a long way towards ensuring long-term success. This is particularly true in family-owned firms where issues and anxieties among siblings can cause all sorts of complications if not addressed early enough. For example, what happens when family members who aren’t involved in the running of the business still expect a stake in it? Should they be given equity nonetheless or should they be offered a one-off cash payment in lieu?

Succession Planning Perhaps an even bigger problem for a business owner, whether family is involved or not, is knowing when the time is right to hand over the reins to the next generation or vacate the CEO’s chair.

sensible is great.

Luke Johnson, one of the UK’s most successful serial entrepreneurs and the man behind the meteoric growth of Pizza Express in the 1990s, believes that very long serving chief executives are not a good idea.

To be most effective, it needs to be drawn up well ahead of the anticipated transition date. In the case of family businesses, an open and frank discussion about future ownership should take place several years before the anticipated handover, allowing time for family concerns and issues to be confronted and dealt with.

Fewer than half of UK small businesses, the vast majority of which are family-owned, have any sort of succession plan.

Writing recently in the Sunday Times, he said: “Research shows that over the years bosses become increasingly entrenched; they rely more on insiders for information and pay less attention to customers, competitors and the market. Moreover, they can become risk averse, choosing to avoid losses rather than pursuing gains. These tendencies can lead to stagnation.” I’ve seen it myself many times over the years where chief execs have gone on well beyond their ‘best before’ date, ultimately to the detriment of the business. In many cases the CEO will also have been the founder of the business. Building and running it, making it a success, has been his or her life’s work. So why should they surrender power? Surely no one else could manage it as well as them? This sort of self-delusion is unfortunately all too prevalent in small firms where the very thought of retirement or stepping down is often anathema to the owner/founder.

Having a coherent, carefully thought through succession plan in place can ease the process not only for the business owner but also for his or her successors.

Nothing should ever be assumed. Again I’ve seen it often enough where a business owner has gone along happily believing that a son or daughter would become their natural successor only to discover later than ideally practical that the offspring has rather different dreams for their future. Neither should it be assumed that family members have the necessary skills, experience or desire to run the business. If that does prove to be the case, consideration may need to be given to appointing key senior managers. Either way, it’s vital that each potential successor’s abilities and talents are properly assessed whilst also confirming their willingness to lead the business. I’m convinced that the reason most owners don’t have a succession plan is simply that they’ve never got around to it. With so much to think about and do day to day, it’s easy to keep it constantly in the pending tray. But it is all too easy to forget that there are others outside the business who are concerned to know that the stability and financial security of the business is being planned for. I have seen many occasions where bankers have

expressed concern that owners are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to talking about and planning for retirement. And customers shouldn’t be forgotten either – it is not unheard of for those that rely on a key supplier to start thinking about what happens when an owner retires. However, if you think about it early enough, it should be possible to gradually develop the plan while still taking care of the everyday business needs. It buys you time to have regular conversations about the future with your likely successors and to share with them your thoughts, contacts, business winning techniques and so on. This will make the transition process a great deal easier to manage than ignoring it and leaving it to the last minute when it becomes all-consuming. Even so, it can still be hard to think about and plan for letting go. Emotions can cloud judgements and get in the way of practicalities. Working with an outside consultant can help. They can look at things far more dispassionately and offer the sort of objective advice that won’t be available within the business. We have worked with dozens of family businesses over the last 28 years, helping owners to successfully plot their path to the exit door. In many cases, we have helped them to become millionaires in the process.

If you would like to discuss your succession plans, give us a call on 01372 826100 or 01273 945984, or email EMC has recently opened a Surrey office at 1 Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey KT18 5AD. Tel: 01372 826100. Web:

Luke Johnson

However, as Luke Johnson says, even entrepreneurs have to let go at some point. “I have always felt it better to leave the party a little early than to outstay my welcome. Of course it is difficult to give up status and influence voluntarily, but better that than the alternative. The next generation, be they family or outsiders, deserve their shot at glory. Because ultimately we are all replaceable.” I appreciate how hard it can be to let go, and with people now living and working longer than ever before – a quarter of Britons now expect to work into their 70s – the temptation to stay at the helm longer than is



Wealth Management

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL Simon Lewis, from Chartered Financial Planners PMW, reflects on recent investment returns and looks forward to the future with increasing confidence.

Happy clients

Plenty to be optimistic about

We always enjoy our review meetings with clients. It is a good opportunity to catch up with their news and take some time to step back and look at the big picture as far as their personal financial plan is concerned. It is also a time to report on the performance of their investments over the preceding 12 months and it is good to be able to deliver great news; our Wealth Management Service clients have typically enjoyed returns of between 12% and 20% over the last year, depending upon the amount of risk it was agreed they would take.

The review meeting is also an opportunity to talk about our current view of the world and in particular, the geopolitical, macroeconomic and business themes that are likely to develop and have a bearing on future investment returns. With our customary caution, I must admit that there is a temptation to downplay the prospect of good investment returns over the next year or so. After all, clients have done so well recently and many of the major stock markets are at, or close to, their all-time high. Surely this cannot continue?



There is a famous stock market saying of, “Sell in May and come back on St Leger Day�. This refers to the fact that historically (before my time!) city traders spent a lot of time away from their trading desks over the summer months, leading to reduced trading volume and as a result, increased volatility. However, investors who take this outmoded approach (most trading is computer based these days and computers don’t spend their summers on holiday and attending sporting events) will miss out on some key events that are likely to move markets in one way or another. In particular, June is going to be a busy month.

Wealth Management 8 June - UK General Election Of course, the domestic focus is the forthcoming general election. It’s never a good idea to rely on opinion polls but common sense dictates that Theresa May’s government will achieve a much increased majority. This can only be positive for the UK. I appreciate that this might be a controversial statement to some, however, the most important issue facing the UK right now, having voted to leave the EU, is to negotiate the most beneficial terms for our future relationship with the EU. So far, the narrowness of the government’s majority means that it is far too dependent upon marginal factions on both sides of the House. A strong mandate will enable a more considered and rational approach and therefore improve the chance of achieving the best deal. History has shown that selfconscious governments, which are constantly obsessed by public mood swings, are seldom effective.

Companies must serve the interests of their shareholders first and will therefore choose to locate themselves in countries that offer a supportive tax environment

generally have a much greater proportion of their earnings overseas, will fare less well if sterling strengthens.

8 June – European Central Bank Policy Meeting The ECB will announce its latest policy for interest rates. After announcing a reduction in the ongoing rate of quantitative easing in April, no change is expected. A continuation of what is regarded as very loose monetary policy (interest rates are still negative) will be good news for European stock markets.

13 and 14 June - The Fed decides on rates The Federal Open Market Committee meets on 13 and 14 June to decide on the future path for the US discount (‘interest’) rate. The rate was unchanged in May but many expect a further rise (following March’s 0.25% increase) in June. Increased borrowing costs are a headwind for businesses and consumers; of greater significance will be the confidence this will signal about the health of the US economy.

An increased government majority will likely strengthen the pound and give some impetus to the valuation of UK small and midcap companies. FTSE 100 companies, that

An improving European economy will be good for the UK in the same way that a deteriorating European economy was bad for the UK in 2011


The Trump factor

Unfortunately, the economic illiteracy of the opposition renders it ineffective. The populist notion of levying high rates of tax on business and the very rich is, in the modern world, naive. Many of the very rich who live in the UK are not British and will simply move elsewhere if their wealth is threatened. Companies must serve the interests of their shareholders first and will therefore choose to locate themselves in countries that offer a supportive tax environment. President Trump is proposing to slash US corporation tax rates so now is not a good time for the UK to be increasing its rates. Better that we attract rather than repel wealth creators; otherwise we must accept less from the State or be prepared to pay more ourselves to fund it.

will remain the UK’s most important trading partner, so an improving European economy will be good for the UK in the same way that a deteriorating European economy was bad for the UK in 2011.

Investors seem to be getting used to President Trump in that his unpredictability is becoming predictable. Regardless of his apparent flaws, his instincts and likely policies are unashamedly business-friendly and this can only be a good thing for corporate America and US stock markets. In spite of the rampant growth of China in recent decades, the US continues to be the most significant economic influence on the world by virtue of its vast wealth. A successful US economy is good for everyone in one way or another.

The Eurozone is recovering The success of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election is serving to increase the political stability of the EU at a time when the Eurozone is starting to benefit from a cyclical economic recovery. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the EU

The Chinese economy has performed better than expected and this is one of the factors that has led to a general recovery in commodity prices. An interesting fact about China’s development is that it used more cement between 2009 and 2012 than the US used during the entire 20th century. Although there are likely to be some bumps in the road ahead, the ongoing transformation of the Chinese economy would seem unstoppable. To conclude, the global economic environment is much more encouraging than a few years ago. All of the evidence shows that there is a positive correlation between economic prosperity and geopolitical stability, so hopefully we can look forward to a little less downside risk in the future.

Happy clients As a consequence, unexpected geopolitical events aside, there is every reason for us to expect our client review meetings this time next year to deliver a positive story. If you would like us to provide you with a reason to be cheerful, please get in touch.




A PRINCELY QUALIFICATION Progress your career in Project Management with PRINCE2®


f you are considering furthering your career in any kind of project management capacity, then you might well want to consider completing a course that will give you a globally recognised, well respected qualification. Project management might be something you have only seen the contestants fighting for on the TV show, The Apprentice. In reality, a Project Manager is a person with the necessary knowledge and skills who is responsible for overall project implementation throughout a full project lifetime. A strong project plan, lead by a qualified Project Manager, can be instrumental in ensuring the long term success of any organisation. In return, good Project Managers are always in demand and can command good salaries. PRINCE2® (Projects IN Controlled Environments) has become the most widely adopted project management methodology in the UK and around the world and Guildford College is delighted to be the only College in the region to gain accreditation for this prestigious qualification. The courses are delivered by a fully qualified project management specialist with over 30 years’ experience gained in both the public and private sectors. With a blend of lectures, practical activities, case studies linked to real life scenarios and sample papers, the course is split into Foundation and Practitioner levels, depending on your own personal requirements. Courses run between two and five days, depending on the level of qualification that you require, and are based at the central Guildford site. All course materials and refreshments are included and parking and wifi is free. Prices usually start from £499 but, for a limited period, we are pleased to offer all Chambers members a 10% discount on all Prince2 courses – just quote ‘Chambers’ when you book! Spaces always get filled quickly, so book soon to avoid disappointment!

Choose from: • Foundation only - three day course (Monday- Wednesday) - £610 £549 • Practitioner only - two day course (Thursday and Friday) - £510 £459 • Foundation and Practitioner together -five day course (Monday Friday) - £1015 £913.50 • Practitioner re registration - two day course (Thursday and Friday) £550 £495

Call Guildford College today to book your space and take advantage of this special 10% discount offer open to Chambers Members! Booking hotline 01483 44 85 30. Email



Chamber Patron

LEARNING TO LEAD Lead with continued learning at Surrey Business School What happens when world-class research is met with real-world application?


t Surrey Business School, we deliver business-ready solutions by bringing pioneering research together with business and industry. True business insight is at the heart of everything they do. Surrey Business School offers tailor-made courses for both businesses and individuals looking to grow their knowledge and skills. We have just launched the Executive Education New Leadership Development Series, with 1 day masterclasses running from June to November 2017. The courses will focus on topics such as mindful leadership, enhancing professional networks and leading in a digital world.

The Executive Education programmes are taught by forward-thinking academics alongside world leading industry practitioners. Later this year we will welcome internationally renowned expert Professor Hannes Leroy, drawing on the latest research and best practice in ‘Mindful Leadership’. Surrey also offers the Connected Executive MBA programme, designed to balance a busy work help you balance a demanding career and personal commitments with a 24-month period of intensive study and professional development. The course includes change management, business model innovation, entrepreneurship, the digital economy and organisational agility.

‘‘As part of the Innovation Management and Design Thinking module, we undertook to explore the challenges facing Sony Music, which manly veered around the changing music landscape. It was amazing to see how the application of Innovation Management and Design Thinking theories applied on a live project, which culminated into a myriad of ideas left Sony Executives literally blown away.” (David Aguma, current Surrey MBA Student – Sony Music Consultancy Project)



Business Awards

SURREY SUPER GROWTH AWARDS Celebrating the success of Surrey’s fastest growing private companies


t’s a busy time for the Surrey Super Growth team, a collaboration between asb law, Lloyds Bank and RSM, who are in the process of meeting with the 60 fastest-growing private companies across the county to congratulate them on their success. Delivering sustained business growth is not easy and each finalist is rightly recognised. These companies are vital to Surrey’s economic success – they account for annual revenues of more than £3.2 billion, driving rising demand, lowering unemployment and generating wealth and prosperity. The full list of finalists and their growth rates will be published after the Surrey Super Growth Awards breakfast taking place at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking on Thursday, 6 July 2017 but for now, we are pleased to feature three of this year’s finalists and provide some insight about their businesses:

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd – Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging designs, manufactures, installs and maintains veterinary MRI systems on a pay-as-you-go business model. The company currently has over 90 installations in veterinary practices in 23 countries worldwide. Hallmarq was founded to pioneer the development of the world’s only MRI scanner for the standing horse, thus removing the risk associated with anaesthesia in horses. With this unique product firmly established, it now also offers PetVet; a 1.5T veterinary specific high field MRI system designed with the companion animal in mind.

Hallmarq Standing Equine MRI system

Hallmarq engineers carry out the initial installation of every system before handing over to the company’s training and support team. All its systems are linked to Hallmarq offices via the Internet and send a data update every 5 minutes. This proactive online monitoring tool alerts Hallmarq to any developing issues and the company can dial direct into any machine anywhere in the world. Hallmarq also offers 24/7 remote support in real time ensuring that every system remains at optimum performance. Both equine and PetVet system uptime consistently runs above 99%. Whilst the company designs and manufactures both systems from its head office and factory located in Guildford UK, Hallmarq also has sales and service offices in Boston, USA and Sydney, Australia. In recent years the company has won two Queens awards (Innovation and International Trade) as well as the Institute of Physics award for Innovation.



Hallmarq PetVet 1.5T MRI (photo © R. Scott. SCVet Specialists)

Business Awards

Natta Building Company Ltd – In 2010 Natta’s Directors sought professional guidance on how to grow the business. Under the stewardship of Gordon Bromley (Academy of Chief Executives) they devised one and three-year business plans to drive growth into the business; targeting sectors and clients, issues they would encounter and the staff needed to recruit. A performance management rewards system was initiated for Redfields Garden Centre, Church Crookham : Natta Main Contractor all staff. 360° management surveys, staff action groups and constructing a new 7,000m² Garden Centre ‘champions’ introduced to focus delivery. The management team expanded; roles and responsibilities redefined. Graduate training schemes for Commercial (RICS) and Engineering (ICE) talent and Apprenticeships were established. A key strategy was to extend the range of services offered as a groundworks / civil engineering contractor, to undertake Superstructure Construction and act as a main contractor. Clients were very receptive and Natta obtained both expanded responsibility and larger contracts. By 2014 Natta surpassed £30 million in turnover by identifying tactical opportunities and challenges and raising the business targets. Turnover for 2017 is circa £60 million. Targeted turnover for 2020 is £100 million.

Longcross, Surrey : Natta Main Contractor for Crest Nicholson. Works comprised a major roundabout, entrance & access road

Natta’s growth includes creating a training business (CISTC) and a soil stabilisation company (Beach Ground Engineering). They have expanded their office complex, including: a new reception, training building, canteen and gym to accommodate their larger workforce and continuous investment in plant and training. Recently, the Surrey Training Group was setup to fulfil Natta’s vision for improving Health and Safety awareness and to provide shared learnings and support to regional businesses. The future workload and opportunities are positive and Natta look forward to achieving their 2020 target.

Fizz Experience Ltd – Fizz Experience is one of the UK’s largest and most established field marketing agencies. Over the last 30 years, the company has worked with many of the country’s best known names in retail to deliver services that engage consumers through brand experiences. From in-store product sampling and demonstrations to events and experiential campaigns, Fizz believe “there’s no substitute for experience.” As a family business, the company recognises the vital part that people play across the organisation. From the frontline field teams who are the face of its clients’ brands to the head office operations team that keep the show on the road, Fizz understand the importance of people in growing its business and those of its clients. To this end, the Fizz Experience field teams in action company works tirelessly to support its teams and provide the support, resources and rewards needed to do their jobs to the best of their ability - allowing their passion to shine through and deliver the best return for its clients. In tandem, Fizz focuses on how to optimise the efficiency of the business in order to deliver a great value service to its clients. Fizz believe it is this combination of investment in people backed by efficient processes and reduced costs that has driven a continued period of business growth. The company is delighted to have this independently recognised by the Surrey Super Growth Awards and The Fizz Experience staff awards 2016 hope to share a win with its teams across the UK. Surrey Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine will publish the full index of Surrey Super Growth finalists following the Awards breakfast, taking place on 6 July 2017. For further information about the Surrey Super Growth Awards, please contact:

Surrey Super Growth Awards Criteria • Privately-owned business, trading and registered in Surrey. • Growth in turnover measured over a 3-year accounting period based on latest full accounts information filed at Companies House. • Minimum turnover of £2m in base year and positive turnover growth in latest year. SURREY CHAMBERS


Business Awards


Leatherhead & District Business Awards Update


ominations have now closed and the shortlisting and judging process has begun for the Leatherhead & District Business Awards 2017. There are six categories including Contribution to the Community Award; Business of the Year; Retail/Hospitality Establishment of the Year; International Business of the Year; Start-Up Business of the Year 2017 and Business Person of the Year. Open to any individual or business located within Leatherhead, Ashtead, Bookham, Effingham, Mickleham or Fetcham, the Awards are free to enter and organisations and individuals may enter for more than one category. The judging panel is chaired by Jackie Quinn, current President of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce and includes representatives from headline partner ExxonMobil; Mole Valley District Council; the Gatwick Diamond Initiative; Prowse & Co. Ltd; trophy sponsor Fetcham Park and the Platinum Publishing Group. Award Schemes are a popular sponsorship option for companies who like to celebrate success, champion local events and encourage the nurturing of talent. Joanne Rogers, MD of Prowse & Co. who created the Leatherhead & District Business Awards some six years ago, says sponsorship plays an important role in helping companies to build their brand and put something back into their local communities. “In today’s competitive climate, it is important that companies stand out from the crowd and what better way to do so, than by sponsoring or winning a business award”, she says. Leatherhead is the location of choice for world-class corporates, leading retailers and innovative small enterprises. An aim of the awards scheme is to encourage strong local procurement and to bring companies of all sizes together for mutual benefit. Chair of the judging panel Jackie Quinn said: “The Awards highlight the thriving nature of business within the Leatherhead area and the pride local businesses take in their achievements. The Leatherhead & District Chamber is delighted to support these Awards, which put the spotlight on the achievements of companies and business leaders and

celebrate their success. Everyone’s talking about these awards and eagerly waiting to see who will win.” The finalists will attend the evening Awards Dinner on Tuesday 4 July where the winners will be presented with a trophy and certificate in front of 60 guests in the Old Chapel at St. John’s School, Leatherhead. Jackie Quinn, President of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce sums up the Awards by adding: “The Leatherhead & District Business Awards scheme is a fitting celebration of the talent which abounds in our local business community. Each year, the judges are impressed by the high standard of entries. We look forward to congratulating our latest deserving winners in July.”




A SOUND PROPOSITION Sam Farrow from Farrow Creative considers the importance of defining and communicating your Proposition – what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for -– in creating a strong and cohesive brand.


e’ve probably all been asked, at some point, to give our Elevator Pitch – that snappy 30-second sales presentation during an imagined chance encounter in a lift. It’s a good exercise, forcing us to summarise quickly and simply what exactly it is we do. (How many of us have cheated by pretending the elevator in question is inside a building 150 storeys high…!) But while it’s undoubtedly useful from a commercial point of view, the elevator pitch tends to focus on features – the what, how, where and when - of our business activities. From a branding perspective, we need to go a little deeper into why a customer would buy from us, not somebody else. What we’re talking about here is your value proposition, to give it its full and correct name. The term was coined almost 30 years ago by management consultants McKinsey & Co (no big surprise there) and is simply a statement of clear, measurable and demonstrable benefits consumers get when they buy your product

or service. Done right, it gives you a real competitive advantage, by showing customers that they get better value from your product or service than from the alternatives.

From a branding perspective, we need to go a little deeper into why a customer would buy from us, not somebody else.

Doing it right means taking time to consider your audience. What are their motivations, interests, uncertainties, insecurities and desires, and how does your product or service satisfy or allay them? To take a classic example; you might buy an electric drill, but what you really want is a hole in the wall. In formulating our proposition, we need to think in terms of problems, not just solutions, ends as well as

means, and what your customer is buying into over and above what they’re actually buying. A good way to do this is simply to list all the features of your product or service. For each, define the functional benefits – basically, what practical customer need or want it meets. Then, pick out the emotional benefits: what deeper desire does it address, whether that’s for peace of mind, status, confidence, a sense of belonging, and so on. Finally, specify the ‘reasons to believe’ – how the customer can experience these features and benefits, and what evidence can you can provide to support your claims. That might be through store or site visits, through communications, or in how the product or service itself is made or delivered. From here, it should be possible to identify your USPs. Armed with these insights, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what you do, for whom and, crucially, what extra value you offer your customers. Which should then mean you find a lot more doors opening, too.

Profit by design.

As graphic designers, we’re competing with other agencies, freelancers, and the fact that anyone with a computer can put something together themselves (albeit with mixed, often unfortunate, results). So we’ve considered our value proposition: what we offer over and above our design, copy, print and digital skills. Design succeeds when it delivers the desired commercial outcome. Ultimately, that’s increased profi ts – hence our strapline. Good design is an investment, not a cost, provided it’s backed by a robust, considered and properly reasoned rationale. That sense of deliberate purpose and intent is also encapsulated in ‘by design’.




ARCHITECTS OF WELL-BEING Yelo Architects are flying high, winning big project bids and the award for Professional Services at the Sussex Business Awards. but for founder and MD Andy Parsons, nothing matters more than having a happy and healthy workplace. Interview by Ian Trevett.


’ve always wanted Yelo to be somewhere where I want to work, an environment where work is good fun,” says Andy Parsons, founder of Yelo Architects.

Ridgeview Wine Estate

It’s not the first time I have heard such a statement, but in this case, the actions certainly match the words. “Our philosophy is very much focused on ensuring our staff are happy and healthy. We don’t have a culture of long hours. In fact, my remit for business is to try and reduce stress as much as possible. When we take on clients, I will go with my gut feeling of whether those people are going to be the right fit for the office. We had a client a few years ago who made one of my staff cry and we stopped working for them straight away.

Our growth curve is crazy – our turnover is almost doubling every year.

“We run meditation sessions on Thursday mornings, we have staff lunches and trips, we have a social event every month and we have a table tennis table. We have a tournament to encourage people to come in here and play. We encourage people to take breaks and go on holidays. We also support staff with courses, including degree and masters courses. We utilise the Chambers of Commerce a lot for training and they are brilliant, they put on loads of courses for staff about how to present in front of groups of people or how to manage your time. “The feedback from entering or winning awards encourages you to do even more. This year our whole remit is about health and



well-being. We started in January, which is always a challenging month and we organised healthy treats like massages and acupuncture for our staff and reduced their hours for the month. It went so well we decided to carry on. We’re now doing a lunch each month which is focused on well-being, and we’ll be having speakers on mindfulness, nutrition and sleep. It all feeds back and ensures that everyone’s happy and healthy.”

created a horrible work environment. I knew exactly how I would run my own company after these experiences.”

Andy’s passion for staff welfare is rooted in his own experiences as an employee before he struck out on his own.

After graduating from an intense seven year course, Andy joined a local firm working for working on residential projects. After five years, he joined a London practice and took over the management of their Brighton office. It was the best of both worlds: “I was able to keep up with what was happening in London but I was also learning how to run an architectural practice at the same time.” It was all good until 2007.

“I always remember the first architectural practice I worked for. When my Nan in Devon became seriously ill, my boss literally handed me his car keys and said “Go, take my car and see your nan. Don’t worry about getting back until you are ready.” I just thought that’s brilliantly supportive. When I was working in London I was working under an ‘angry boss’, and you never knew what mood he would be in when you walked in each morning, which

“I had been there for three years and then the recession kicked in. Architects are always hit really early in recessions as we are right at the front line. The company closed all of their sub offices and moved everyone who was left up to London. I commuted for two years and absolutely hated it, and the trains then were a lot better than they are now! Also, I couldn’t see a long-term future at the place I was working at.

Interview The wine industry is an amazing industry. “We’d like to see more commercial work, particularly outside Brighton, in Sussex and Surrey. It’s hard for commercial in the towns and cities as the planning system is now set up to encourage more residential. We are seeing a lot of industrial or commercial in rural areas, often in converted farms.”

“Over Christmas I decided to leave, and after chatting to a client who promised me work, I decided to start my own business. I literally started the business from the end of my lounge. It was just me for about 18 months. I chose the name Yelo as I have always liked the colour and wanted something memorable and distinctive” “I won a project for the Brighton Dome ticket office and decided it was the time to get an office and take the next step of taking on staff. I didn’t want to be a one-man band fighting for scraps; I intended to build a larger business, bidding for the big projects I was used to working on in London

The residential side is even busier and the practice is currently working on two big projects: one of 200 flats and another with 180. The firm is growing fast and they are very ambitious, as Andy explains: “Our growth curve is crazy – our turnover is almost doubling every year. Our market has been growing all the time as more and more people hear about us because we’re quite young still, so we’ve always got people coming in who are new clients. “We’ve always worn a slightly bigger coat than we needed, and put things into place before we grow. We’ve always been set up to expand and in our office we have interior

designers, architects and technologists. We also have a virtual reality specialist working for us as well, which is really unusual. “In our office we’ve got Jo, the practice manager, bringing in all the systems. We’ve got a system which programmes all our work, resources and invoicing. We’re very digitally focused here. We also have an office manager, a finance director, a full time digital marketing expert – companies our size don’t normally have these things in place. “I like the idea of serving London from Brighton. The Brighton brand is quite strong up in London anyway. Certainly when we pitch projects up there, they really like the way we work. However, we also see the need for another regional office. The plan is to expand in Sussex and Surrey and keep growing.” With such ambitions, it no wonder that Andy need his team to stay healthy and motivated!

Our philosophy is very much focused on ensuring our staff are happy and healthy. We don’t have a culture of long hours.

“When it was just myself and Naomi in the office, we won a big project - One Hove Park, on the condition we could prove that we could resource it. I rang round all my architect mates, who were on short weeks or had been made redundant. I got all of them in to work for me for a period of six weeks and we just delivered this planning application. It got us noticed and triggered more offers. “We now have a team of 15, which, outside London, is a good size for an architectural office. And we’re working over a really broad scale of projects.” One area that Andy is keen to expand on is commercial work. “We’re working with Bison Beer on a crowdfunded seafront pub in Brighton. That’s a really cool project. We’re also working with 64 Degrees restaurant and Oliver Heath is doing the interior design. “We’re doing more vineyard work as well, that’s a nice niche – We’re really enjoying that. SURREY CHAMBERS


Travel - Dublin

Shake hands in...


The Irish capital is attracting attention from financial firms weighing up their post-Brexit options, and there are plenty of reasons why. Rose Dykins reports.


t’s my first visit to Dublin in ten years, and the circumstances are very different from last time.

As a student, I flew over on a Ryanair fight for the price of 1p (plus taxes) and spent a weekend barhopping around the cobbled streets in the Temple Bar area. This time, I dart between cosy cafés to escape the sheets of icy rain and warm up with steaming pots of tea. I take in the Dublin Writers’ Museum, the James Joyce Centre and the surprisingly enlightening National Leprechaun Museum for a holistic understanding of Ireland’s storytelling and literary culture, reflected in Dublin’s UNESCO City of Literature status. I pour over the intricate letters of the 4th century Books of Kells, adorned with serpents, birds and golden Celtic knots, before basking in the spiritual serenity of Trinity College Library. All in all, a much more sedate visit,



that leaves me with an appreciation of Dublin beyond ‘the craic’ and the creamy homebrewed Guinness (it just doesn’t taste the same on this side of the Irish Sea…). Ireland’s contribution to international culture is undeniable. The legacy of its literary, musical and historical heroes is woven into the fabric of its capital city, which generates a sparky, inspiring atmosphere for hosting MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events). Central Dublin’s charming Georgian architecture and small size are both appealing attributes for hosting large-scale conferences. In terms of hotel stock, the city may not have an abundance of new properties, but instead, its 20,000 rooms are continually being refreshed. “Every one of our hotels has gone through some sort of refurbishment programme over the past few years,” says Sam Johnston, Manager of the Dublin Convention

Bureau. “And the convention centre is just under seven years old, but it looks as if it opened yesterday”. Nestled in the heart of Dublin Docklands, Convention Centre Dublin’s semi-cylindrical glass facade offers views of the green hills beyond the city limits. Its cutting-edge design and facilities, including a 2,000-seat auditorium, 4,500 sqm of exhibition space and 22 meeting rooms, earned it the accolade of the ‘World’s Best Overseas Conference Venue’ at the 2015 C&IT Awards. And, last year, Dublin hosted some 150 conferences (including heavyweights such as the International Air Transport Association’s AGM in June) totalling approximately €67 million for Ireland’s economy. When it comes to business, Dublin has spent time building on its strengths and cultivating growth in certain sectors, including fintech,

Travel - Dublin Convention Centre Dublin

aviation leasing and support services (law and accountancy firms). Facebook’s European HQ is here – the 12.5 percent corporate tax rate no doubt an attraction. Situated along Dublin Docklands, the company is based in a Daniel Libeskind designed building, fitted out with Frank Gehry interiors, said to reflect a “workin-progress atmosphere”.

Ireland’s contribution to international culture is undeniable. The legacy of its literary, musical and historical heroes is woven into the fabric of its capital city…

A year on since Britain voted for Brexit, it’s still difficult to move beyond speculation as to what leaving the European Union will mean for the Emerald Isle, although a hard Brexit would be disruptive. When the Northern Irish border becomes the only land border between the European Union and the UK (depending on Scotland’s decision to hold another referendum for independence) there has been talk of Britain potentially introducing its own immigration controls to Irish airports – already met with outrage by Irish citizens, as the current open barrier not only benefits those who work and live on opposite sides of the border, but plays a part in protecting the peace after decades of conflict. Regarding trade, the UK is Ireland’s third biggest export destination, accounting for 12% of total exports after the US (22%)

and Belgium (13%). Meanwhile, Britain is Ireland’s largest importer, responsible for 28% of total imports. At the time of going to press, the ‘snap’ general election was still one month away. Whoever the prime minister is after June 8th, the better trade deal they are able to secure with the EU, the better for Ireland’s economy. On the other hand, certain financial companies are reportedly sizing up Dublin for their new post-Brexit European headquarters, including Barclays and Standard Chartered PLC, and in August, a survey from Price Waterhouse Cooper placed Dublin second after London among Europe’s most appealing financial centres. According to a joint report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, property agents have seen a 30% increase in

Dublin International airport is only a short hop away for continental passengers, and its connectivity to more than 179 destinations is a huge pull factor for business travel. “We connect to all the major European hubs, then you land at Dublin airport and you’re in the city in 15-20 minutes,” says Johnston. “So we’re easy to reach for Europe-based travellers, and they won’t need to take too many days out of their schedule”.

Dublin Landings





Travel - Dublin the number of enquiries from UK firms looking to relocate and protect their access to the single market. At the same time, in March, Ireland issued a formal complaint to the European Commission, stating that other EU cities weren’t playing fair in the scramble to attract financial firms spooked by Brexit – Eoghan Murphy, Ireland’s Financial Services Minister was reported as saying that certain cities were being “very aggressive in trying to win business”. He added that rather than “brass-plating”, Dublin expects “the mind and management of the entity” to be in Ireland. It seems that Dublin is not content with merely playing host to financial firms leaving London, and instead, any arriving companies will need to fully integrate into its business ecosystem.

Temple Bar area

When it comes to business, Dublin has spent time building on its strengths and cultivating growth in certain sectors, including fintech, aviation leasing and support services.

Wander down to Docklands – the sleek modernity of its architecture redolent of Canary Wharf – and you’ll see a number of cranes poised to add to Dublin’s already impressive infrastructure. Recently, plans were approved for a €700 million development, Dublin Landings. Covering more than two hectares, it will encompass five office buildings, 273 apartments and retail space when it opens in 2020. From here, about halfway towards the Temple Bar Area, another mega project is underway. Tara House will become the tallest building in Dublin at 88 metres-high, housing a 110-room hotel, a five storey viewing podium and a top floor restaurant and bar. The intention is for it to act as a “landmark gateway” between Dublin’s historic centre and the modernism of Docklands. Dublin’ heritage may be rich, but its future is also looking prosperous. If in the financial firms do choose to relocate to the Irish capital, a smorgasbord of immaculate new facilities and a business-friendly climate will be ready and waiting to receive them.

Trinity College

Trinity College Library



More destinations than any other UK airport


Source: OAG schedules 2016


Travel - Dublin


Situated in Wicklow - 45 minutes from Dublin - this striking crescent-shaped hotel sits within a verdant estate owned by the Slazenger family. Part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, the elegant 194 room property shares it surrounds with two championship golf courses and Ireland’s highest waterfall.

GUINNESS STOREHOUSE The home of the ebony nectar would make a memorable event venue. The entire building can be hired for 2,000 guests, and for banquets, it’s possible to arrange for a menu made entirely with Guinness ingredients.

➠ CROKE PARK For a unique team building activity, organise a game of Gaelic football at Croke Park – the national stadium for Gaelic games - which also has its own conference centre.

TEELING WHISKEY DISTILLERY This operational factory offers industrial chic event space, with the option to arrange tours and tasting sessions.



International Trade

Indian Summer


urrey Chambers of Commerce is delighted to be supporting the British South India Council of Commerce (BSICC) ‘India Manufacturing Summit’ to be held at the House of Commons with the aim of establishing an understanding of major challenges and opportunities in the manufacturing sectors for companies in India, UK and Europe. On the 18th July, Manufacturing companies from UK, Europe and India, policymakers from UK and India, Members of the House of Lords & House of Commons and other invited guests will gather at the UK Parliament so as to understand business opportunities for UK/ European

companies to invest in India’s manufacturing sector and let companies know about the regulatory policies which have been relaxed to facilitate investments and ease of doing business. The ‘India Manufacturing Summit’ is the 17th summit of BSICC business meet series which have been held at UK Parliament, London over the last few years and this has so far engaged more than 2350 delegates from hundreds of companies and institutions during the course of the last 16 summits. If you are interested register here:

Upcoming Surrey Chambers of Commerce training courses To book visit or call 01483 735 540 Inward Processing Relief (1/2 day course) – 11th July 2017 – WOKING Understanding Tariff Code & Commodity Codes (1/2 day course) – 11th July 2017 – WOKING


READY, SET, EXPORT: GROWING YOUR INTERNATIONAL SALES Thursday 29th June 2017 at HG Wells, 08:00 - 10:30am Thursday 13th July 2017 at Reigate Manor Hotel 08:00 - 10:30am FREE to attend but prior registration is required - Surrey Chambers of Commerce website



International Trade




owadays it is easy to trade through the internet – after all, all you need is a computer and you can set up in your front room. However, there are a number of trip hazards from a VAT perspective that you need to be aware of especially where you trade on a B2C basis: • Sales to EU purchasers are initially subject to UK VAT but if the value of total sales to one country exceeds the distance selling threshold (these vary between member states but are typically either €35,000 or

€100,000) then you have to register for VAT in that country and charge local VAT. If you don’t get this right you could end up paying VAT twice. You can register voluntarily in another country if you wish but if you sell zero rated goods in the UK (eg books) you need to aware that the VAT rate for these in other countries may be different. This will affect your pricing. • Exports to non-EU countries are zero rated whether on a B2B or B2C basis but you still need to show the goods have left the UK. • If you supply electronic supplies of services the place of supply is where the recipient belongs. So, for example if you supply an ebook to someone in France, you have to

register for VAT and charge French VAT. Fortunately you don’t have to physically register for VAT in all of the EU member states as you can register in the UK and fill out one VAT return (under the Mini One Stop Shop – MOSS) but you still have to understand the VAT rules as they apply to the member states you deal with. This can be a daunting task. If you are trading internationally you should seek professional advice from the outset.

Colin Laidlaw is a VAT associate director at RSM UK. He can be contacted on 01483 307174 or colin.

Mergers & Acquisitions

THE STATE OF THE MARKET Chris Brazier, corporate finance director at Roffe Swayne, takes a look at valuations and deal flows, examining the impact of Brexit and the General Election


e take our 6 monthly look at valuations and deal flow examining the impact that uncertainly caused by Brexit (and the General Election!) is having on the M&A market. The first quarter of this year has seen a substantial increase in deal flow, with 6 completed transactions of varying sizes and within a range of sectors in March alone. Many projects involved overseas acquirers benefitting from the weaker pound, although the major driver in their pursuit of deals is the availability of high quality UK opportunities. In our experience both deal flow and valuations now appear to be on the increase, especially when looking at other market barometers.

Index Round Up BDO’s PCPI index released for Q4 2016 reports a marked increase in deal activity with trade buyers completing 672 deals. Not only did that signify an increase of 200 deals from

Q3, it also represented the highest level since Q2 2008. In February, Thomson Reuters data suggested that Britain had enjoyed its strongest start to the year for deal activity since 2008.  Updated figures in March 2017 implied that although the number of deals between 24 June 2016 and 13 March 2017 fell by 17% on the equivalent period in 2015/16, it was the second highest level reported for this portion of time in nine years. But messages aren’t all positive:  the Q1 2017 Experian report on UK and Ireland M&A activity showed the number of transactions announced fell by c25% from Q1 2016.

Strong demand for deals drives higher valuations Despite lurking uncertainty, there is still a feeling of overall positivity in the market and signs of strong demand for deals, inevitably leading to higher valuation metrics being

applied. If that mood continues we would certainly expect the UK200 SME index for November 2017 to report a higher median multiple than before, perhaps even higher that the 4.8x headline reported.  If this is the case, the hope is that data such as Experian’s represents a temporary lull in an otherwise robust market rather than a more long term cautious note being sounded. Chris Brazier is a corporate finance director specialising in valuations.

• Calling all Dispute Lawyers: Roffe Swayne forensic expert Kate Hart is running a series of workshops looking at tax implications within client settlements, in Godalming (14th June) and London (28th June). Contact marketing@roffeswayne. com for more information or to sign up. SURREY CHAMBERS


Direct Marketing

MAILING THE LIVING Andy Fry, MD of Nova Direct, on the methods that can be used to ensure your data is clean and accurate


n the last issue of Surrey Chambers Magazine, I wrote about the importance of keeping your data up to date, and avoiding the nightmare scenario of mailing (or emailing) the dead. If your email or mailing data includes a person who has passed away it can cause enormous distress to family members if you are sending out personalised marketing material. Even more likely is the possibility of mailing someone who has moved home or changed



the company they work for. The waste of time and money can be significant, and the results of a campaign can look terribly ineffective if your message is not being received in the first place. If it is direct mail, the wasted expenditure on postage can be enormous. So what to do? The answer is to use a company, such as Nova Direct, who specialise in maximising

the effectiveness of your data, by ensuring it is accurate and properly targeted. These are two distinct specialities, so in this article I will concentrate on maintaining clean data. Our systems and data technicians continuously monitor, refresh and update data. This enables us to deal with all aspects of data processing. We employ several methods to ensure your mail does not get lost, or worse, sent to a person no longer alive.

Direct Marketing Avoiding sending unwanted mail It is a simple fact that many people do not want to receive marketing messages that they have not requested. The best method to avoid unwanted mail or calls is to sign up for a “Preference Service”. Unfortunately, this is not a guaranteed solution to prevent annoying sales calls or junk mail. Many companies will flaunt the rules, calculating that the fines are less that the possible rewards. This may be particularly true of overseas companies who can avoid prosecution. However, it doesn’t create a good company image if you ignore the wishes of the general public, and we would not entertain the idea of sending marketing material to those who have stated that they do not want to receive it. The preference services we subscribe to are: • Mailing Preference Service (MPS) This is a list of families who would prefer not to receive unsolicited direct mail • Telephone Preference Service (TPS) This is a list of telephone numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls • Fax Preference Service (FPS) This is a list of fax numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited faxes

Moved On - No Reply On average, 10% of the UK population will move house in a year. During the chaos of moving, contacting every company and organisation that you have ever bought from or donated to is not always your highest priority. Through our AMIGO platform we can review the name and address information and ensure they are not contained in our suppression list of people we know have moved. For certain contacts we even have the ability to link the individual with their new address enabling you to remain connected. We also understand that records being entered into your CRM system can be subject to human error. We have the ability to review the address information you have captured

and validate it against the Royal Mail’s Postal Address File (PAF). This process ensures the correct street name, town, county and postcode are used to boost the delivery success and open up opportunities to generate savings on postage. The databases we utilise include: • National Change of Address (NCOA) This file contains approx 9.5 million records of new and old addresses. It is compiled by the Royal Mail using re-direction requests from householders. It can be used as a Gone Away File or to track and trace • Postal Address File (PAF) A file that contains every address in the UK and can be used to cross-reference data. Compiled by the Royal Mail

Mailing the Living Most important of all is ensuring that you don’t email or mail someone who has passed away. This can cause distress for close relatives. Surveys reveal that two thirds of consumers would boycott a company if they received a piece of direct mail in the name of a loved one that has passed away.

We cross-reference names and addresses with records of those who have recently passed away. The records we use include: • The Deceased Register (TDR) This file is collected in collaboration with local registrars throughout the UK at the time a death is registered • The Bereavement Register (TBR) This file is collected in collaboration with local government registrars, law firms, hospitals and funeral directors throughout the UK within 7 days of a death The methods described are just some of the ways that we ensure that data records are clean and accurate. We also have bespoke software and other ways to ensure records are up-to-date. Can you afford to not check your data?

Web: Email: Tel: 01444 231400 Next time - Targeting your right audience



18th October 2017 THE ARORA HOTEL, CRAWLEY

Don’t just Meet the Buyers get yourself connected The Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers Programme brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues.

For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their procurement professionals.

From June 2017, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes.

t: 01293 813889


Sponsored by






Meet the Buyers

MEET, GREET, BUY AND SELL Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers brings local, regional and national buyers together with local businesses in the region.


ow in its 17th year, Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers creates new business for those that take part.

Over £22.5m of business is estimated to have been created since 2010, and this year, there will be more than 2,000 sales meetings at the Meet the Buyers event in October. Sponsored by Gatwick Airport, The Gatwick Diamond Initiative and Crawley Borough Council, the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2017 event will introduce five separate ‘zones’ to reflect different business needs and types in the region. These are: • Business Services – to include professional, financial, digital, education • Manufacturing and Innovation • Public Sector and Utilities • International Business • Construction and Infrastructure Buyers to date include Canon, B&CE, Thakeham Homes, Marco, Omniserv, the Home Office and the RSPCA.

The Seminar Programme The seminar programme has been designed to help you grow your skills so you can make the most of every opportunity that Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers can bring. Working with some excellent presenters who have real experience in their field, these free seminars are available to any business.

Pitching, Presentation and Networking: Capitalise on Meet the Buyers events Attendees of this seminar will benefit from expert advice on how to prepare for a meeting with a public or corporate buyer, how to improve and tailor pitching skills, and how to build networking skills to ensure any ‘down time’ between buyer meetings is maximised.

• Time: 9.30am • Presenter: Colin Spiller Designed to support delegates in advance of a Meet the Buyer event, this interactive workshop will focus on the following: • How to prepare for a meeting with a public or corporate buyer • The secrets to successfully building relationships through your interactions • Understanding buyer needs and how to position yourself against the competition • Identifying and targeting with pinpoint accuracy, potential customers and partners • Structuring and conducting business meetings to gain information to help you sell • Crafting and delivering contract winning presentations for your business • Learning how to handle buyers questions and to recognise buying signals

• Venue: Canon (UK) Ltd, Woodhatch, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8BF

• Gaining confidence to ask for the order and handle objections and price issues

• Date: 7th June 2017

• Developing listening skills and using your

voice to maximum effect • Finding out how to use body language and rapport to progress a sale • Developing networking skills to use ‘down time’ between meetings Those who attend this workshop will emerge with a renewed confidence that their sales meetings, networking skills, and presentation and pitching performance will be vastly improved. Meetings with prospects will be energised and structured, helping to increase win ratio and growth in revenues.

To book your place, please email events@ or call 01293 813889 If you have any questions on attending Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2017, please contact Jeremy Taylor on jeremy@ 01293 813889/07590 808403



Women in Business

24 CARROT GOLD Supporting the success of business is at the heart of Surrey


usiness Women Excellence Awards are proud to be launching the Surrey Edition of these prestigious awards, with the winners and runners-up automatically going forward to the Regional Gala Awards. The Business Women Nikki Gatenby, Excellence Awards will stretch CEO of Propellernet Faiza Shafeek across the whole of the county and are staged to celebrate the success of Surrey’s crème de la crème of females in business. Whether we like it or not, many companies today still remain male dominated despite the obvious progress that has been made over the years to change that. These awards seek to highlight the best business women and the best businesses owned or co-owned by women, and from the interest shown and the number of entries we’ve received so far, they are set to be a fixture in the calendar for many years to come.

Sponsors on board so far: Media Sponsors:



Ladies of Surrey enter or nominate NOW!


PLATINUM Category and Supporting Sponsors PLATINUM

Faiza Shafeek of Carrot Events, organisers of the awards said: “I am often asked, why we should enter awards and what are the benefits to me and my business - my reply is that winning a business or personal award will raise your profile, the profile of your company, enhance its reputation, instil trust to your customers and attract new business, which will ultimately make you more profitable. In short, it will prove you are better than your competitors. Receiving an accolade for your outstanding work achievements brings your successes to light and builds a positive path for other women to follow. Women have made so much progress in business over the years, and these awards have been designed to highlight and recognise their exceptional skills and talents”. Nikki Gatenby, CEO of Propellernet said: “When leading a company, we all aim to be strong role models. I have the responsibility to create an atmosphere in my business in which dedicated, creative, innovative mavericks can do impactful work. The success of Propellernet is down to an energised and motivated team of both men and women who embrace innovation, challenge and a healthy dose of risk. There is no roadmap, no blueprint, no sheet music for this – we are crafting our own path and creating our adventure as we go. To be recognised as doing this well, leading from the front, championing gender equality and creating positive change in the world, has left a lasting impression on us all”.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email For further details visit



THE NEW BMW 530e iPERFORMANCE SALOON. THE NEW BMW 530e SE iPERFORMANCE SALOON MONTHLY RENTALS FROM £327.99 (Plus £2,951.91 initial rental)* Think creatively. Move with the times. Two essential concepts for automotive sustainability. The new BMW 530e iPerformance implements both approaches perfectly and remains way ahead of its time. It relies on electrifying driving pleasure and thanks to the plug-in hybrid drive, looks forward to a bright future. The new BMW 530e boasts many benefits: • • • • •

Electric motor combined with a 4-cylinder TwinPower petrol engine Intelligent energy management Convenient charging solutions Range of driving modes Emission free short range driving

For more information on our BMW Business offers please visit, or contact your Local Business Development Manager on 0800 915 4700.

Vines of Gatwick

Stephenson Way, Three Bridges Crawley RH10 1TN

BMW Business Partnership Official fuel economy figures for the new BMW 5 Series range: Urban 29.7-64.2mpg (9.7-4.4l/100km). Extra Urban 47.8-78.4mpg (5.9-3.6l/100km). Combined 39.2-141.2mpg (7.2-2 l/100km) incl PHEV. CO2 emissions: 164-46g/km incl PHEV. Figures are obtained in a standardised test cycle. They are intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. *Business users only. Price shown for a new BMW 530e SE iPerformance Saloon excludes VAT at 20% and is for a 36 month Contract Hire agreement, with a contract mileage of 24,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 11.59 pence per mile. Applies for new vehicles ordered between 1 April and 30 June 2017 and registered by 30 September 2017 (subject to availability). At the end of your agreement you must return the vehicle and vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable. Available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. The amount of VAT you can reclaim depends on your business VAT status. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. Hire provided by BMW Group Corporate Finance. BMW Group Corporate Finance is a trading style of Alphabet (GB) Limited, Alphabet House, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. We commonly introduce customers to BMW Group Corporate Finance. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice. BMW (UK) Ltd, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. Registered in England and Wales 1378137. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for credit broking activities.










he Rolls-Royce Wraith black badge is a ground-breaking model for this most iconic of British vehicle manufacturers as, not only is it the most powerful Rolls ever produced, but it is aimed at a younger demographic, as the average age of a buyer is 43, apparently. Although the Sussex based company will not use the word supercar but prefer a debonair gentleman’s GT, this is a supercar and let there be no doubt about it. Wraith is an old Scottish word meaning Ghost or Spirit and the first model appeared in 1938 supplied as a running chassis to independent coachbuilders at a cost of £1,700. On today’s Wraith, that might get you a wheel. The first thing you notice is the sheer size of it. It is huge of course at 5.2mts but it is the brooding presence that makes it seem even larger. The all-steel body is spot welded in 6394 places and then hand sanded to a perfect finish before endless layers of paint and lacquer are applied. The result is as beautiful as anything you will ever see on the road – apart from another Rolls, of course. It has a

majestic quality that is as rare as hen’s teeth and, l am delighted to say, it has lost none of that unique Rolls appeal. The trademark ‘wafting’ quality is there in spades but the chassis has been retuned to offer flatter, more agile and responsive handling and that is just as well with a 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 brooding under the magnificent acre long bonnet, offering 624bhp and a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds. That would be impressive in a supercar but in a stately home weighting in at 2.4 tonnes, it is jaw-dropping remarkable. Handling has never really been high on the list for Rolls as it was never really designed to be a driver’s car – until now. The Wraith is the most dynamic Rolls ever produced, never feels unsettled, never waivers from the selected course and affords the driver an imperious detachment as it is controlled with fingertip sensitivity, even under hard acceleration. If this car were female, you would certainly want to take her home to meet your Mother – and she would march you up the aisle at the barrel of a Purdy 12 gauge.

Had Lord Cardigan possessed a Wraith during the Charge of the Light Brigade, the 600 would have routed the Russians who would have fled the field in abject terror



Motoring The eight-speed gearbox is seamless hides, superb hand stitching, lambswool The dash is superb with the classic red and has a clever little party trick. The carpets so deep that if you drop a coin you tipped instrument needles, a power reserve car constantly monitors the Satnav and might never find it again, and Canadel button rather than a rev counter and a knows what’s coming up and selects the wood panelling that would not look out of multi-function screen that can be hidden appropriate gear for the road, therefore the place on a mega yacht or a stealth bomber. from view at the touch of a button. Then car is always in the right gear for the road The laughter came when my daughter tried there is the starlight headliner. This certainly ahead. The driver has little idea any of this to get into the car and remarked ‘Daddy, divides opinion with some thinking it cool is going on but it does avoid unnecessary they have put the doors on backwards’. and others horrified. I was certainly in the kick down and ensures a smooth and linear Indeed they have but by design, of course, horrified camp but as the week drew on and progression. And whilst on the subject of as you are faced with ‘suicide doors’ hinged l drove with it on and off, l started to realise progression, this is unlike any l that without it, the roof just have experienced. Having driven looked a tad dull and with it on, The doors are huge but some of the world’s fastest you are in a mix of Arabian nights well weighted and can be closed with cars, l am not unused to rapid and Studio 54. the touch of a button as it would be acceleration but here, with The dials are not really used as unseemly to have to close one’s own 60mph coming in 4.3 seconds, it the head-up display works so very is not the speed so much but the well and can tell you everything door. manner in which it is reached. It you need to know without taking clears its throat for a second off your eyes off the road, including the line and then just charges forth with to the rear that allow ladies to exit without radio stations and all voice activated Satnav such smooth, demonic fury that had Lord flashing their knickers. The doors are instructions. The bespoke sound system is Cardigan possessed a Wraith during the huge but well weighted and can be closed particularly efficient and offers peerless Charge of the Light Brigade, the 600 would with the touch of a button as it would be sound quality. off routed the Russians who would of fled unseemly to have to close one’s own door. The interior is sumptuous and unrivalled in the field in abject terror. As it shuts, it hides the button for the its quality, materials and build quality. The interior is everything one would superbly secreted monogrammed umbrella I have owned a couple of Rollers in my expect. The finest leather from cows kept in that pops out of the front wing should it time and there is just something special fields with no barbed wire lest it scars their have the temerity to rain. about them. My first was a used Silver

TECHNICAL STUFF Model tested: Wraith black badge Engine: 6.6 Twin-turbo V12 Power: 624bhp Top speed: 155mph limited Economy: 19.3mpg combined Price from: £240,768 As tested: £271,665



Motoring Shadow and it had an unerring knack of just making me feel special every time l drove it. There was a tingle of horror as l entered the cabin of the Wraith and spotted the rotary dial - please tell me they have not placed the gearbox on a vulgar knob? Thank goodness no, it is where it should be on the steering column and even the chrome pull rods are still there to open the air vents. Here is a car that knows it is special and is determined to remain so. The rotary knob operates all the infotainment controls and far from vulgar, it is made of crystal cut glass and decorated with the Spirt of Ecstasy and operates with smooth precision. The 10.3in high def screen can be hidden by the touch of a button and even when using the Satnav, it can remain so as all instructions appear on the head-up display. The voice control system works brilliantly and the Bluetooth is a breeze to pair. Another party trick is that you can send your required destination to the car from your phone in advance, therefore saving time once you depart.


The Wraith black badge is a triumph of engineering, a triumph of design and a resounding triumph in performance.


I read some reviewers who complain that there are no paddles to change gear manually and bemoan the lack of a rev counter, but these chaps need to return to reviewing Skodas as there is absolutely no need of such things. Why on earth would you want to change gear manually and a rev counter for what? The massive V12 hardly breaks a sweat under normal driving conditions and at 100mph, it is really only just waking up. There are vast amounts of power in reserve, at all times, and watching a rev counter is to miss the theatre of everything else going on. Driving the Wraith is an event not a chore. The Wraith black badge is a triumph of engineering, a triumph of design and a resounding triumph in performance. It is rather expensive but then all the best things in life are and this is one of the very best things that you could possibly bring into your life and, once in, you will never want it to leave. I still have the marks of my tears when they took it away.









aserati conjures up images of Sofia Loren being whisked around the South of France by Carlo Ponti, scarf blowing in the wind and a La Dolce Vita soundtrack. The first Ghibli was born in 1966 and was as beautiful a sports car as any produced. Ghibli actually means a dry hot wind blowing across the Libyan desert. And now it’s back. No longer intended to be a supercar of the few, this incarnation of the evocative name has full intentions to take on the Germans at their own game in the large luxury car market. That is a very brave decision as the Germans have held sway over this sector for a very long time and they are a very efficient and dominant force.

This reincarnation of this evocative name has full intentions to take on the Germans at their own game

Now l have to say, with slight horror in my voice, that the Ghibli sitting on my drive is a diesel! Sacrilege or smart – we will see. Your engine choices are the 3.0-litre V6 275bhp turbodiesel, 3.0-litre petrol offering 325bhp and the monster 404bhp twin-turbo. For extra bragging rights down the pub, the engines were developed by Ferrari. Inside you are greeted with superb grain leather seats, frameless glass in the doors and a great 8.5in screen that’s a breeze to use. Due to the rakish sting, there is not a huge amount of space in the back but with the front seats electrically adjusted, all will fit without much discomfort. Having had enough of the digital age, l am delighted to see the real clock sitting atop the dash and the only small gripe l have is the auto gear lever. It is far too easy to grab the wrong gear and rather than becoming intuitive, it takes a tad of concentration to get it right but aside from that, this is a very nice place to be indeed. It should also be said that the 8-speed ZF gearbox is seamless and faultless. It comes with the obligatory paddles and here they are huge and enable you to really yank on them without fear of your fingers slipping or missing that gear. The standard kit is as expected with climate control, rain-sensing wipers, proximity sensors everywhere and a great Bowers & Wilkins

audio system and the boot, whilst a slightly odd shape, is cavernous. It also offers Apple CarPlay and Android auto and various AUX connections. The suspension offers great ride quality and with a 50:50 weight distribution, it really allows you to throw it around with confidence. Weighting in around two-tonnes, it is a significant achievement that it corners pretty much flat and sudden direction changes don’t unsettle it and it offers great grip. This might well be the result of the decision to avoid electric steering and plump for servo-assisted hydraulic steering with offers a great connection to the road. I would like more of a throaty roar from the tail pipes but pop it into Sport, and if does offer a satisfying deep grumble that overcomes the diesel rattle. And then we come to the price. With a starting price of £49,620, it is quite unbelievable that you can be driving a Maserati for less than 50 grand. And then we come to the Germans. The Ghibli will have to go up against the likes of the Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5-series and that’s a trio that have pretty much locked out the sector. The Jaguar XF has edged its nose in there but this is a terrifying sector to enter. The Ghibli makes a good fist of it, better in some areas and not as good in others but there is one screaming fact that cannot be avoided. When you pull into the company car park, awash with German metal, you will be driving something special, something unique and something with an Italian character all its own. You will be driving a Maserati and that my friends, will trump everything in the car park.

TECH STUFF Model tested: Maserati Ghibli Diesel Engine: 3.0-litre turbodiesel Power: 275bhp Performance: 0-60mph 6.4 seconds Top speed: 155mph Economy: 47.9mpg combined Price from: £48,620

“It is quite unbelievable that you can be driving a Maserati for less than 50 grand.”



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he UK has a love affair with convertibles resulting in over half of the 488 sales being drop tops.

The 488 GTB has received a fair amount of stick for the lack of acceptable noise emanating from the tail pipes, so the big question with this car is whether folding away the solid roof improves the treat for the ears. And, if so, is it worth an extra £20,000? The way the 488 Spider accelerates provides a visceral thrill of pure performance. As the revs rise the engine’s soundtrack, almost inaudible at idle, builds from a base tone and as the revs reach 3,500 it takes on a harder edge and becomes much louder and menacing. Admittedly, the high-rev shriek of the previous V8s has gone, but this isn’t a poor substitute, and once the turbos are really spinning it’s hard work keeping it going by

TECHNICAL STUFF Model tested: 488 Spider Engine: 3.9-litre V8 Turbo Power: 660bhp Performance: 0-62mph 3 seconds Top speed: 203mph Economy: 25mpg combined Price: £204,000



selecting the next of the seven speeds in the seamless, twin-clutch paddle-shift gearbox. The 488 Spider can arrive at corners at astonishing speed, but the chassis and brakes are more than up to the job. In conjunction with magnetic dampers, which provided a remarkably smooth ride on some rubbish road surfaces, the Spider has the latest version of Ferrari’s side-slip control (SSC), which stiffens or relaxes the dampers to maximise grip. This set-up works in tandem with the car’s electronic brain that also constantly adjusts the stability and traction control systems as well as the electronic differential. It sounds complicated, and the processing power to achieve it is mighty, but the end result is an amazingly grippy and adjustable car that goes precisely where you point it. Turn the wheel some more and the front end simply tracks and goes round, while there’s incredible stability at the rear as the tyres simply grip rather than try to slide wide and deviate from the chosen line. It’s such an accomplished car that I find it a shame that some observers have commented on the noise it makes. True, the engine sound isn’t as compelling as the previous, 458’s, but Ferrari, along with everyone else, has been forced

into turbocharging if it’s to achieve ever greater power while satisfying the demonic emissions regulations. The 488 Spider has got sufficient V8 bite and bark to satisfy most people, so it really isn’t a deal-breaker. And when such prodigious performance is available, that’s more than adequate compensation. Like it or not, turbocharging is here to stay at Ferrari and the 488 Spider is a glorious way to usher in a new era of the company’s mid-engined V8 cars. More than the coupé, the Spider can be anything you want it to be – barnstorming sports car or refined cruiser, and anything in between. If you have the means to buy a £200,000-plus car, the extra over the GTB is money well spent.


DON’T FEAR APPRENTICESHIPS Embrace the new Apprenticeship Levy says Ben Geeson, Head of Business Development at Guildford College


ever a week (or sometimes even a day) goes by without a Government spokesperson mentioning the word ‘Apprenticeship’. Over the past 2 or 3 years the accelerator has truly been put to the floor with commentary literally flooding most people’s social media feeds. In 2015, the Government set itself a target of creating 3 million Apprenticeships by 2020. This is a huge target and something that is not achievable without employer help…welcome the Levy! I will go onto demystify and introduce some elements of the levy later on but first let’s concentrate on this ‘Apprenticeship’ trend that we all keep hearing about. No longer is an Apprentice confined to the building site or the back street garage that we all take our cars to, the economy has moved on and so have Apprentices. Unless you work in education there is a high chance that your only understanding of an Apprentice is someone who ‘learns a trade’, which to some extent is correct although that ‘trade’ is now as wide as you so wish it to be. The genetic makeup of an Apprenticeship has not changed a great deal – you earn as you learn – but the options available have. Apprenticeships are available

in over 1500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries, from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to legal. With job roles expanding it is only natural that the academic level also expands to accommodate this growth. This is certainly the case with there now being degree level Apprenticeships and even Apprenticeships at master’s level being released. So surely, could this be another avenue for your recruitment headaches? Graduate schemes were (and are still) seen as one of the best routes for employers to recruit new talent into their organisations. There is though a new kid on the block - an Apprenticeship and with constant Government promotion this really is a viable alternative route to be considered. Promotion though is not the only way that the Government will reach is 3 million target for it is using the ever common push/pull method and the introduction of the levy will do exactly that.

The Levy The Apprenticeship Levy, a new Government initiative is designed to encourage large companies to maximise the number of Apprentices within their businesses was

introduced last month (April 2017) and applies to employers who have an annual payroll in excess of £3m. Payments, at a rate of 0.5%, will be paid through PAYE and apply to employers across all sectors regardless of whether they already employ Apprentices or not. All employers will receive an allowance of £15k to offset against payment of the Levy. The incremental tax raised on the total payroll bill will be returned to employers through an online account by way of a voucher scheme (not unlike the Childcare voucher system), along with an uplift of 10%from the Government. Training can either be given to new recruits or existing staff. The employer can only spend the money on the delivery of Apprenticeship based training offered through an approved training provider (Guildford College Group is an approved one!) And if the funds are not used after 24 months any unused vouchers will expire. So organisations need to forward plan in order to make the most out of this scheme. There is however plans from April 2018 to allow for levy-paying employers to transfer up to 10% of Levy funds to another employer – more information will follow on this in autumn 2017. SURREY CHAMBERS


Emotional Leadership

HOW GOOD A ROLE MODEL ARE YOU? It’s not what you say, it’s what you do as a leader that counts, says Ian Windle from Vistage


e all want to find and employ great people and it seems to get harder and harder every year. We want our people to buy into our Vision and engage their teams in it. Not in a rational ‘this is the financial target we want to achieve in 2020’ way, but in an emotional, passionate and inspirational way, that gets people motivated to feel part of the journey. We want them to understand why the business exists and what it is here to do - The Simon Sinek ‘Why’. People need to believe that our businesses are here for a real purpose, that they don’t just come to do a job from 9-5 to get a wage. Gallup Q12, the worlds best employee survey tool, shows (in Q8) that employees who understand the purpose of their business are more engaged and contribute more to the business.. We want our people to share our Core Values and role model them every day. Do they know what they are? Do they see you and the leaders around you living them every day? Or perhaps are you paying lip service to them as



the leaders of Enron did when they carved them in marble in the lobby of their building, before leading the business into financial meltdown with massive accounting fraud. We want them to not only be motivated at work, but to motivate others. Do they know why their staff come to work and how to motivate them all individually? Do they understand motivation theories and how to apply them day in day out? Are they motivated by you? We need our people to develop trusting relationships with their peers and their colleagues alike, so that they can challenge and support in equal measure. Have you developed a culture of vulnerability based trust where you show that you don’t get it right all the time, encouraging others to do the same? We want them to lead change, both large scale and everyday, inspiring people to follow. We need them to challenge the status quo, looking for day to day improvements in all aspects of the business, so that it evolves at a pace and becomes a dynamic ecosystem.

AND we want them to all this with a ‘never say die’ grit and determination to succeed. The thing is, we won’t find and develop this next generation of leaders in our businesses unless firstly we are very clear on all these things and secondly we, along with our top team, are role modelling them everyday. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you and your top team have your Vision, Core Purpose and Values clearly articulated and are regularly engaging your people in them. Ask yourself whether you are using them in recruitment, performance management and succession planning. And most importantly of all, ask yourself if your top team are all holding each other accountable to be role models for the culture you want around you. These are the most important parts of leading a business, it’s where you should be spending most of your time and it’s where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. It’s called Emotional Leadership.

Human Resources

THE BUSINESS COST OF DOMESTIC ABUSE The well-being of your staff is important - both at work and at home


omestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men at some time in their adult lives and every year over 750,000 children witness it. Whilst much of the abuse and violence takes place in the home between partners/ex-partners or family members, as a manager or leader of a business you need to be aware of the impact that this issue may be having on your organisation. Domestic abuse costs UK businesses over £2.7 billion a year through decreased productivity, unplanned time off, lost wages and sick pay. Most victims of domestic abuse will not voluntarily disclose what is going on for fear of the consequences from their employer and their abuser, however they will be struggling to get to work on time, to focus on their job, or to hide the signs of the


last physical assault. Many perpetrators will continue their abuse at their victim’s place of work – they may text or phone continuously during the day, they may come to the place of work and cause a disturbance, they may wait for their victim in the car park or nearby.

• Train your senior managers and HR staff in how to effectively respond to an employee who may be a victim

yourSanctuary is a local charity who support both adults and children who have experienced domestic abuse. Local companies and organisations, working in partnership with yourSanctuary, can help any of their employees who may be experiencing abuse. Some simple steps can make a massive difference to the safety and wellbeing of your staff, and therefore improve productivity:

If you would like to know more about how you can be a ‘Domestic Abuse Aware Employer’ and how yourSanctuary can help you with this then come along to their 40th Anniversary event on June 14th at the HG Wells Centre from 4pm to 6pm.

• Introduce a domestic abuse policy which shows that you are aware of the issue and that you will be proactive in supporting an

• Have stickers and leaflets in your toilets and staff areas which give information of local domestic abuse services and helplines

For more details email admin@ or phone 01483 776868. SURREY CHAMBERS


New Members

NEW MEMBERS Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes it’s latest member companies ACCOUNTING Your Right Hand Finance Team Ltd Contact: Nick Lumb Tel: 01252 820002

BUSINESS SUPPORT Avitus Group Contact: Frank Levene Tel: 01428 723444 LRB Consult Limited Contact: Linda Bazant Tel: 01784 256777 Peoplespace Limited Contact: Halbyn Rich Tel: 01483 451177

CHARITY Voluntary Support North Surrey Contact: Solette Sheppardson Tel: 01932 571122 Restored Contact: Peter Grant Tel: 02089 437706

CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY The Bourne Business Park Contact: Suzy Kidman Tel: 01932 843566 Farrans Construction Contact: Gary Blair Tel: 02890 551300



FINANCIAL SERVICES Partridge Muir and Warren Contact: Ceris Hymas Tel: 01372 471550

IT & COMMUNICATIONS Computer Strategies Contact: Dan Spencer Tel: 01483 238260 DocuSoft Limited Contact: Kevan Hamman Tel: 01252 364642 Leading Edge Technology Chris Gilkes Tel: 08456 447949 Privacy Trust Contact: Paul Webb-Jones Tel: 02038 402990

MANUFACTURING/ENGINEERING Cillguard Ltd Contact: George Goodger Tel: 01784 882525 Flairlight Designs Ltd Contact: Mike Eddowes Tel: 01372 888455 Denmark Coachworks Repair Centre Ltd Contact: Roger Spice Tel: 01784 431097

MARKETING & PR Chelgate Ltd Contact: Julian Seymour Tel: 02079 397949

MOTORING (MANUFACTURING, REPAIRS AND SALES) Improve My Car Contact: Daniel Barrs Tel: 01737 652173 Sandown Mercedes Benz Contact: Keith Jackman Tel: 01483 654519

PHARMACEUTICALS Oxfordmedpharma Ltd Contact: Sara Jane Sarkaz Tel: 01483 399025

RECRUITMENT & HR Robert Walters plc Contact: Lauren Sullivan Tel: 01483 510400

RETAIL/WHOLESALE Alpha Homes & Interiors Limited Contact: David Akporehe Tel: 01932 450998

TRAINING & EDUCATION Hazel Gibson Contact: Hazel Gibson Tel: 01883 724630 Goldcrest Academy Limited Contact: Sara Royale Tel: 01483 600014 Perfect Presentation Training Ltd Contact: Craig Morgan Tel: 01483 340699

Get involved

SPONSOR A SURREY CHAMBERS EVENT • Hot Topics - We react to the latest news and trends affecting the business community and run a number of targeted events throughout the year. They provide a great opportunity to get in front of senior decision makers but often come up at short notice. They tackle topics such as Brexit, Cyber Security, Pensions and much more. • Property & Construction Forums - A series of events around issues affecting businesses working in the construction & property industries. • Business Women in Surrey Events - Business Women in Surrey is a specific stream of events designed to highlight and celebrate the achievements of business women in Surrey.


urrey Chambers of Commerce holds over 150 events a year spread across the county. We host regular breakfast meetings, industry specific forums and corporate dinners perfect for entertaining clients. These events are designed to give you the chance to enhance your business network, find new customers and local suppliers, and meet other dynamic business people. Sponsoring a Surrey Chambers event allows you to raise your profile and brand awareness within the county and showcase your expertise as a company. By sponsoring an event you can take advantage of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce subscription base and reach your target audience. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new connections and be seen to be leading and influencing.

What can I sponsor? With over 150 events a year there can be a lot to choose from, Surrey Chambers hosts a wide variety of events, and all of these can be sponsored

• Flagship - Our flagship events include, Annual Summer BBQ, President’s Drinks Receptions and Annual Christmas Lunch. • Chamber Power Breakfasts - Our Power Breakfasts are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to connect in a friendly and relaxed environment. If you choose to sponsor a Surrey Chambers event you will receive complimentary tickets to the event, your stand or pop up banners & promotional literature at the event with branding on badges and delegate list alongside. Promotion before, during and after the event across all Surrey Chambers social media channels and press coverage in the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Business magazine.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Surrey Chambers of Commerce event, please contact: or call 01483 735 540




SURREY CHAMBERS GOLF SOCIETY Why not join a thriving Business Networking Golf Society? Now in it’s 21st year, it is open to all business people to join.







Coombe Hill GC

Worplesdon GC

Camberley Heath GC

Bacon Rolls, Tee off 08.30 hrs, 18 Holes, followed by 3 course lunch, ends by 17.30 hrs

Bacon Rolls, Tee off from 09.00 hrs, Two Tee start 18 Holes, followed by 3 course carvery lunch, ends by 17.30 hrs

Bacon rolls, Tee off from 10.00 hrs , late lunch, ends 17.30 hrs

SCGS & SCC Members £120.00 + vat / Guests £135.00 + vat

SCGS & SCC Members £120.00 + vat/ Guests £135.00 + vat

I think we must be pretty unique to have such regularly well attended golf days throughout the year – testimony to the quality of the courses and the fact that we have a really big core of business players that enjoy meeting up with each other ANDREW LANE

SCGS & SCC Members £70.00 + vat/Guests £85.00 + vat



Swinley Forest GC.

Cuddington GC

Bacon Rolls, Tee off 08.45 hrs, 18 Holes, late lunch, ends 17.30 hrs

Tee off 13.30 hrs, 18 Holes, 2 course supper , ends 21.00 hrs

SCGS & SCC Members £125.00 + vat/ Guests £140.00 + vat

SCGS & SCC Members £70.00 + vat / Guests £85.00 + vat

Excellent Society, brilliantly run, can’t fault anything JASON LURIE


Membership of the golf society runs annually, Members of Surrey Chambers can register for free Non-members £50 +VAT (per person) or 2 years at a discounted rate of £85 +VAT

Hayling Island GC


Coffee/ Tee off 09.30 hrs, 18 Holes, followed by 2 course lunch, ends 18.00 hrs

New Zealand GC

SCGS & SCC Members £85.00 + vat/ Guests £95.00 + vat

SCGS & SCC Members £125.00 + vat/ Guests £140.00 + vat

Coffee/Bacon Rolls, Tee off from 08.45 hrs, 18 Holes, late lunch, ends 17.30 hrs



Chamber Events

SURREY CHAMBERS EVENTS DIARY 2017 To find a full list of our 2017 events visit Village Grill Restaurant, Village Hotel, Pinehurst Rd, Hampshire, GU14 7BF Hampshire and Surrey Chambers of Commerce presents a series of joint events on the third Wednesday of each month- with the exception of Bank Holidays, at different venues in both North Hampshire and Surrey. These events offer informal facilitated networking and are well attended for those wishing to grow their business connections.


nd June


st June


IS YOUR BUSINESS READY FOR THE NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS? 07:45 - 09:30 Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £30.00 +VAT | HG Wells Conference & Events Centre,Church Street East,Woking,GU21 6HR

Member Rate: £85.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £95.00 +VAT | Hayling Island Golf Club, Links Lane, Hayling Island, Hampshire, PO11 0BX About the golf day: Open 18 Hole Stableford competition open to all business people. Join us as a team of 3 or 4 players and entertain your own clients or as a solo player and we will place you in a team. Coffee and Bacon Rolls, Tee off 09:30hrs, 18 holes, Followed by a 2 course lunch, ends by 18.00hrs.


st June

HAVE YOUR CAKE & EAT IT! AFTERNOON NETWORKING 14:30 - 16:00 Member Rate: £8.33 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £12.50 +VAT |



Why GDPR Will Be An Asset To Your Business. This breakfast seminar will prove informative on the new regulations and the actions you should take now or the implications of non-compliance.

Chamber Events


rd June

BREXIT, ONE YEAR ON 08:00-10:00 Member Rate: FREE | Non Member Rate: FREE Something Big, 3 Wells Court, Albert Drive, Woking, GU21 5UB


th July

ANNUAL SUMMER BBQ 17:30 - 21:00 Member Rate: £35.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £45.00 +VAT | Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking, RH5 6AA Surrey Chambers of Commerce are excited to open bookings to our Annual Summer BBQ, hosted at Denbies Wine Estate and kindly sponsored by Wilkins’s Kennedy. Join us for drinks, food and informal networking at this fantastic venue, with entertainment provided throughout the evening!

On Friday 24 June 2016, the world woke up to the first day of a new chapter as we digested the result of the UK referendum voting in favour of leaving the EU and David Cameron’s announcement that he would step down as Prime Minister. Exactly one year on from the vote we are hosting another breakfast with Something Big looking to re-visit some of the challenges businesses are facing, and a practical guide to what businesses should be doing and thinking about now article 50 has been triggered.


th June


th July

AFTERNOON TEA & INTRO TO GOLF 5:00 - 17:30 Member Rate: £35.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £45.00 +VAT | Cranleigh Golf & Country Club, Barhatch Lane, Surrey, GU6 7NG BWIS invites you to a light hearted introduction to golf hosted by Karl Morgan PGA Head Professional at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club. Throughout the session you will learn how to swing a golf club, hit some balls on the driving range, hole some putts and even hit some sand shots! - above all else there will be a lot of smiles & laughter.

MEMBERS’ NETWORKING EVENING 18:00 - 20:00 Member Rate: Free Non Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT | Farleigh Court, Old Farleigh Road, Farleigh Common, Near Selsdon, CR6 9PE Join members and non members for another networking opportunity. Networking is a sure fire way to creating sales and ultimately growing your business. Developing fresh, new and long lasting business contacts is a constant need for any business wishing to succeed. The question is, “Are you networking enough?”


st July

YVONNE ARNAUD THEATRE NETWORKING LUNCH SPONSORED BY SHIPLEYS LLP 12:00 - 14:00 Member Rate: £15.00 +VAT | Non Member Rate: £25.00 +VAT | Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, GU1 3UX Surrey Chambers of Commerce and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre are teaming up to bring you the Yvonne Arnaud Networking Lunch which will be a great opportunity to meet some new clients in the area. SURREY CHAMBERS


Business Coaching

ARE YOU MATCHFIT FOR BUSINESS? Brand Consultant and Coach, Geoff Dodds, says business development coaching could help your new business at a time when performance really counts.


here are very few professional sports clubs – football, rugby, cricket, athletics – that would send their highly paid players out into competitive matches without the benefits of regular personal coaching. In sport, there’s an understanding that talent and fitness will only take a player so far. The difference between winning and losing is often (largely) down to psychology – setting performance goals, overcoming fears, creating the right mind-set, being hungry for success. Some businesses invest in business development and sales training. Research by the International Personnel Management Association showed that training alone increased productivity by 22%. But a combination of training and coaching increased productivity by 88%. These numbers are no surprise. We all know what it’s like. You go on a training course. You are inspired by all you’ve learnt and can’t wait to get back and apply your newly acquired ideas, models and approaches. Then the real world takes over. Generally the issue is not that people lack knowledge, but rather that they lack the courage, confidence and drive to make it happen.

Coaching can help. Coaching is about enabling people to achieve their full potential. Coaches don’t tell people what to do or offer them advice. They work with the person to set clear goals, unblock barriers and develop strategies and actions to achieve their goals. Coaches raise people’s awareness of their capabilities, what works best for them, how they might take small steps forward, how best to overcome obstacles on the way. Often there’s something preventing you from achieving your goal or maximising your performance. As Tim Galwey says in his book, The Inner Game of Tennis, “The opponent within one’s own head is more formidable than the one the other side of the net.” To put it another way: Performance = Potential minus Interference

Coaching helps eliminate the interference. The coach begins with the goal. Often the goal is not clear. It’s rarely specific enough or measurable or time bound. And frequently it’s simply unrealistic. Little thought has been given to realistic steps on the way. The coach helps their client break down the



goal into achievable steps and then works with them in a series of sessions to reach each step. Many people have what are called “limiting beliefs” about their own abilities. They don’t think they can sell. They’re uncomfortable with networking. They’re reluctant to pick up the ‘phone without a technical matter to discuss.

The coaching process raises awareness of these beliefs and challenges them. Finally, coaching is action oriented. The coach helps his client explore all the things that could be done and then pin down the things that will be done, when and how they will be done and what other resources might be needed to make them happen. Regular coaching sessions ensure that actions are reviewed and goals revised if necessary to maintain motivation. Coaching is about performance. It’s about getting results. Raising your business development performance is probably one of the most valuable things you could do for your business right now.

07802 476 126 geoff

Digital Marketing

IS YOUR BUSINESS ON THE MAP? Beth Nash, from digital marketing agency Smart Monkey, on the power of Google Maps


ost businesses know the importance and subsequent benefits of wellexecuted search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC) campaigns, but less so are reaping the benefits of Google’s local search map listings. Local search (getting your site or business details to rank in a specific geographic area rather than to anyone throughout the country searching for a specific keyword) is essential for businesses providing products or services in a local geographic area, for example accountants, solicitors, dentists, storage facilities, coffee shops, builders and IT support to name but a few. Local search map listings appear below the paid search adverts, with Google displaying up to 3 businesses in the immediate search listings.

You may be thinking you don’t need to worry about local search map listings because your website is already performing great on the natural search engine listings but don’t rest on your laurels. We are living in a mobile first world and in 2016, Google announced that nearly 60% of searches were from a mobile device. On a small screen, it is even more essential to be in the maps listings. Once you have scrolled past the paid ads, you then see the local map listings before you get to the natural search listings. Even more importantly, you can choose to ‘get directions’ or ‘call’ a business directly from the local search listing. Let’s take the example of a self-storage facility – if you are at number one of the natural search listings that’s great. However, unless you’re in the top three of the map listings, then good luck when it comes to mobile. Why would someone scroll further down, navigate to your website, find the contact page and then enquire, when from the map search, they can call straight from the listing? Another major benefit of local SEO is Google Reviews. About 90% of people use reviews to decide who they do business with. If I am choosing between a bare map listing and one with ten five-star reviews, I know which one I am going to call. Once you are in the top three, that is when the magic happens, so how do you get there? Here are my top five map listing tips: • List, verify and optimise your Google My Business account • Audit your listings across the internet to make sure your name, address and phone number are consistent • Use local business schema markup so Google can identify and display your location

• Make sure your website is optimised with local keywords and is mobile responsive • Find opportunities to submit your business listings Local SEO is perfect for local businesses with a small budget - Google won’t charge you extra for clicks and will show you how many people looked at your listing, requested directions and called you directly. With the increase in local search on smartphones, the importance of ranking for local search has never been so important, so get yourself on the Google map. @Bethanie_Nash

BIO: Beth is a Chartered Marketer and ‘Head Honcho & Chief of Client Happiness’ at digital marketing agency, Smart Monkey. Since 2006, Smart Monkey has been helping small and medium sized businesses in Sussex, Surrey and Kent generate revenue through effective and measurable digital marketing campaigns. SURREY CHAMBERS


Young Enterprise



oBillou run by students from Royal Grammar School, Guildford and Coasters Combined from Claremont Fan Court School, Esher have won the Surrey Company Programme competition organised by Young Enterprise at an exciting final showdown held in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral. They were judged the two companies most likely to succeed and now go through to the South East regional final to be held at Dorking Halls in June with the chance to progress to the national final in July. Both student companies established their businesses six months ago, raised funding for their operations and sold their products at school, at trade fairs in Surrey and online through their company websites. GoBillou’s book of recipes from around the world printed in English and in the language of the relevant country is even available to buy or download on Amazon. Coasters Combined’s bespoke coasters are also available online and like the recipe book have been selling very well. They gave an outstanding company presentations to an audience made up of other schools taking part in the Surrey finals, local business leaders and invited guests including Michael More-Molyneaux, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey. The final was compered by Robert Pickles, Head of Corporate & Government Affairs, Canon UK & Ireland. The head of judges, Louise Punter, Chief Executive of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce, said: “Both companies have been extremely successful new businesses this year run by great teams of students. They had well-thought out business plans, fantastic product offerings and have shown amazing entrepreneurial talent. We now wish them good luck in the regional final.” Best use of technology went to Zenith from Royal Grammar School, Guildford who also gave the best presentation. Lucerna from Ashcombe School, Dorking had the best trade stand and GoBillou produced the best report and accounts. Stick Safe from Hinchley Wood School won a separate best digital advert competition. Nine teams made it through to the Surrey final out of 39 companies formed by schools throughout Surrey. The finalists last night were from:• Claremont Fan Court, Esher (three companies) • Royal Grammar School, Guildford (two companies) • Winston Churchill School, Woking • Epsom College, • Rosebery School, Epsom • Ashcombe School, Dorking The student teams had to learn how to run a company and work as a Board to grow their operations and make them a commercial success. The Young Enterprise Company Programme gives students greater self-awareness, first-hand experience of work and an insight into a range of roles required to run a business.

For further information contact: Lynne Skinner – Senior Young Enterprise Manager, South East · Tel: 07834 609336 · John Rudofsky, Business Adviser · Tel: 07876 216400 ·




SURREY CHAMBERS OF COM MERCE The Official Surrey Chambers of Comme M rce A G AMagazine



The new magazine for Surrey Chambers of Commerce


IssueE 1


The Official Surrey Chambers of Comme M rce A G AMagazine





IssueE 2


The Winners

Profile of Amazon founder

Jeff Bezos

In Cranleigh & Epsom



Mercedes-Benz of Guildford

Open for Business




Advice from NatWest, DMH Stallard and Vantage Professional Risks


Exclusive Interview with the Weybridge Entrepreneur




The City of Life






© image Time Magazine


Surrey Chambers of Commerce Magazine is THE voice for business in the county and beyond.


Each issue is delivered to the desks of CEOs, MDs and Owner-Managers across the county, including EVERY member of the Chambers It is also distributed to key public pick-up points across Surrey. Your business can reach this infl uential audience of decision-makers - and all members of the Chambers benefi t from signifi cant discounts.

SURREY CHAMBERS OF COM MERCE The Official Surrey Chambers of Comme M rce A G AMagazine



To fi nd out more contact Lesley Alcock by phone (07767 613707) or by email


IssueE 3


Cashing in on a hard Brexit? Exclusive Interview



Next Issue is published on 31st July and has a two-month shelf life. The copy deadline is 5th July.



Patron of Mane Chance The Magic Carpet


Promotional Features

MEMBERS’ PROMOTIONAL FEATURES PUBLIC SPEAKING CONFIDENCE The clock is ticking; you shortly have to stand up and speak in public; perhaps to clients, or an internal meeting. How confident are you feeling? Raring to go, or - as with more people than you perhaps thought - would you prefer to pass the baton…. Why build this skill? You know why; you’ve been to enough conferences and meetings to know that the confident speaker is more likely become the ‘go to’ person in the room. Surely you want to be successful in taking your message to a wider audience, rather than living with the fear? Fear is something we all need for survival, however in these modern times, our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism has gone into overdrive, and when it comes to public speaking, we can feel in the grip of this fear dynamic. Therefore, learning to overcome this fear can help to make public speaking a much more pleasurable experience. Understanding your fears and knowing how to challenge them is one of the key processes to overcoming the fear, along with using some practical techniques in stress relief. Using this process can help you to deliver a stress-free and enjoyable presentation. A well prepared presentation is imperative. Having good content to share with your audience will also help you overcome your fear. Avoid ‘Death by PowerPoint’. The purpose of a presentation is to enhance you’re talk and not to be an autocue. Always use supportive content, ensure your presentation is on brand, use appropriate animations and engage the audience whenever possible. If you would like some advice, skills and ideas on overcoming the fear of public speaking, improving your presenting skills and creating quality content, then please to join us for a packed, high value four hour workshop covering all these areas by three different presenters. Jackie Donelan, Ges Ray and Louise Camby. You can find more information via For more information about the forthcoming workshops please call Louise on 07889 304460

Outsourcing – Should you Rethink your Purchasing Strategy? by Adesoji Adewusi from PESL Despite the benefits and the increasing acceptance of outsourcing, the practice is still faced with huge opposition from the conventional inhouse buying or purchasing departments who believe that engaging a third-party for help to resolve certain procurement issues will undermine their position in the organisation. They may also believe that this could lead to the eventual loss of their jobs. This perception is wrong because outsourcing does not necessarily mean a complete shift of duties or responsibilities of a particular unit to a third-party, but a complementary ‘helping hand’ to the established process. Outsourcing partners are there to do the dirty jobs and can often be used as test objects irrespective of the nature of service they provide. Apart from benefits such as cost savings, flexibility and improved quality, outsourcing partners can take a considerably high level of risks for their clients. Resistance to outsourcing procurement functions can take the form of old customs, fear of the unknown, time pressures or even complacency, and this can stand in the way of most purchasing teams to the extent that many organisations are losing out on improved technologies, changes in legislations and trade policies. Can any purchaser boast of sourcing all required parts seamlessly and always at the best price? Would any purchasing team claim that they do not have room for improvement? This is where outsourced procurement can help. Lead times, quality, quantity (minimum order quantity vis-à-vis safety stock) and fluctuating prices are serious issues that will not disappear unless dealt with by experts. Organisations need to carefully look and identify those inputs, materials and components that always need special attention before they become overwhelming and ruin existing contracts and can damage the chance of repeat business. Successful businesses concentrate on what they do best and leave the critical inputs of the business in the hands of those who are specialised in providing bespoke solutions. PESL team are there to support businesses finding lasting solutions to problems of sourcing critical parts. For more info and for an initial, free consultation contact Adesoji Adewusi at PESL -



Promotional Features

ARE YOU SHARING DATA SECURELY? Russ Mckenzie, from nTrust Systems Limited, an IT support company based in Redhill, has been looking at the key questions to be considered when selecting your enterprise file synchronisation and sharing software.

Is it easy to use? It has to be so intuitive that it just works. If it’s easy to use, you will want to use it and so will all your colleagues. There will be no effort required to discourage people within your company from using less secure alternatives.

How secure is it? If any of your company’s data is confidential or sensitive and you are using cloud software, you should definitely find out where your data is stored and ensure that data is encrypted both in transit (whilst sending) and at rest (on the server). You should also find out whether you own your data. Furthermore, you need to be able to track who your employees are sharing your data with. You need granular access permissions and you need to be able to instantly deny access to shared files. You might need the ability to give access for a specific period of time. More business insurers are asking questions such as these and it is probable that before long you will need to know the answers and provide a full audit trail showing who has shared your data.

How good is the support and how can you get in touch?

knowing that you will be able to get the support you need by phone or email from people who speak your language and are in your time zone.

How much does it cost? It’s an inevitable consideration and you will find everything from free software to solutions costing considerable sums, with plenty of opportunity for price comparison online. Your need for security of your business systems as well as data confidentiality will guide what you are prepared to pay. Our customers have been asking for a business ‘sync and share’ solution that offers greater data security than Dropbox, Box or Google Drive, that meets the highest security standards and yet is very competitively priced. Workers need to share files with others. Many also need to sync files so that they can access them from whichever device they are using at the time - laptop, phone, tablet, PC or Mac. New this Spring, we are launching FileCloud - an easy-to-use alternative to Dropbox that provides secure file sharing and seamless syncing between devices. The price for nTrust FileCloud starts from just £15 per month and, with data stored in a Surrey data centre boasting 99.999% uptime since inception, it is an ideal solution to help businesses enjoy the benefits of file sharing and collaboration whilst knowing that they have done all they possibly can to prevent data breaches.

When you need technical help or support there is great value in

SHIPLEYS LAUNCHES ONLINE ACCOUNTING PACKAGE FOR BUSINESSES Godalming-based accountants, Shipleys, have launched an online accounting package for small and medium sized businesses. For a fixed monthly price, it includes: • Cloud-based book-keeping • Statutory accounts • Corporation tax returns • VAT • Payroll • Company Secretarial • Management Reporting Through an exciting collaboration with Xero and Receipt Bank, Shipleys can provide businesses with cloud-based, book-keeping software which can be accessed securely via any device with internet access. So, for example, an invoice could be produced and emailed to a customer via a mobile phone or tablet, straight after an order has been completed. Similarly, expense receipts can be photographed as a purchase is made and uploaded via a phone app into the software for more accurate record-keeping. This means less data entry for businesses and a move towards a more paperless approach. Monthly prices for the whole accounting package start from £750+VAT for a small business and £1500+VAT for a medium-sized business. Commenting on the launch, Shipleys partner – Steve Foster – said, “We are very excited to be able to provide this integrated cloud solution. It meets our clients’ growing digital requirements for bookkeeping and accounting compliance – particularly in view of the Government’s proposed Making Tax Digital programme. This offering also enables businesses to access financial information about their organisation quickly and effortlessly. It is greatly helping clients’ decision-making and the operational efficiency of their businesses.” For more information contact Steve Foster at Shipleys Godalming on tel 01483 423607 or email or visit SURREY CHAMBERS


PR & Marketing

TACKLING PR IN THE DIGITAL AGE Alison Scarrott from Surrey PR and marketing agency brookscomm, outlines how traditional PR has moved into the digital age


n simplistic terms, PR is content in the form of a story or news article that is sent to targeted media and which an editor will hopefully publish, if it is deemed timely, relevant and newsworthy to the audience. When printed or posted on a web site, it is perceived as a trusted third-party endorsement of a brand. Advertising is the method of paying the publication to ensure a brands messaging will be included. Through advertising, brands can control the exact wording and image of that brand and it is guaranteed exposure, but at a price. However, advertising is always perceived as a company endorsing itself and therefore has much less credibility than earned PR. When I joined the world of publishing and marketing back in the 1980s, reaching the media was straight forward. You either advertised, or issued press releases. A press release would be printed out on headed paper and posted or faxed to the magazine. This process was extremely time consuming and expensive. Many hours were spent stuffing envelopes. Advertising was also a popular means



to get a message out to the market place. Advertisements were designed by hand by a creative artist, and colour separations with a proof on high quality photographic paper were produced. This was one of the few options available to companies to ensure a message reached a target audience. It also had a lengthy production process. The past 30 years have seen massive advancements. Adverts are now produced electronically, cheaply and in no time at all, although the dreaded “colour separation cost” still seems to raise its ugly head from niche trade publication who try to charge for inclusion of copy under the auspices of advertorials. Press material is now written and distributed electronically and at a click of a button, improving efficiency and enabling material to be supplied instantly to any journalist request. It has also become a 24-hour job, with a good PR agent able to respond at any time of day or night to a journalist request. The variety of media formats available has expanded hugely with the advent of the internet and digital media, and companies are

under pressure to run a more integrated and measurable marketing plan. No longer is the choice purely between advertising and PR. Traditional PR now needs to go hand in hand with, and benefit from, the digital age. The reach achieved from a good piece of press coverage in a magazine can be hugely magnified through the implementation of a well thought out digital strategy. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are just some of the better known digital platforms to promote a companies’ message, and can be used to spread the success and reach of a story published in the papers. Advertising on its own is an expensive way to reach an audience, but when combined with PR in all its formats, this can make for an effective way to maximise the reach and credibility of a brand or message. Recent years has seen the dawning of the digital age. A fully integrated PR service now includes all the traditional elements along with digital, which to many can seem daunting, but in the hands of experts it is a powerful communications tool.

HR Advice

OUTSOURCING YOUR HR WITH CONFIDENCE Having a human resources department at the end of a phone, instead of the end of a corridor, is a cost-effective choice for many small and medium sized businesses.


utsourcing HR can give you access to a wealth of industry knowledge and experts in employment law on demand. HR consultancies can really help you to look after and grow your workforce as well as helping you deal with difficult staffing issues in a professional way. Often this can be at a fraction of the cost of employing your own specialist HR team. Even with a great outsourced HR provider you can still have a ‘bad HR day’! Sometimes it’s only when things go wrong that you find out how good – or bad – your HR provision is. The best advice in the world does not guarantee that will not find yourself facing an employment tribunal due to a disgruntled employee or ex-employee. This can be costly, as Zahid Naqvi, managing director Custodian Insurance, explains: “Whether justified or not, when complex HR issues go to court, such as wrongful dismissal, discrimination and unequal pay among others, the outcome isn’t always certain. Sometimes an ex employee will just want their day in court and a judge’s verdict is not always predictable.” Yet there are steps you can take to protect your company in such situations. Before you even outsource your HR explore whether your chosen provider offers robust employment insurance that covers you for a range of employment related claims. Or, take out your own policy to protect your company.

Step 1 - do your research When short-listing HR consultancies always ask if they have employment insurance that covers your company. If you are looking at two offers and one provides insurance and the other doesn’t then go for the one that has.

Step 2 - know what you need to know A good HR consultancy will let you know what you need to know. As experts in their field, they’ll advise on employment law compliance and keep you up to date with any law changes. Ensure you are comfortable that

the HR provider is offering the advice and not the insurance company.

Step 3 - act on the advice Make sure you implement the actions, processes and procedures that your HR company advises, and update them as necessary. This will help your company to operate within the law, reducing the risk of a tribunal and strengthening your case if a claim goes to court. Also if you do this and you are insured under your HR advisors cover, then if there was a claim with some policies you would not have to pay anything as there would not be any excess to apply.

Is your employment insurance worth the paper it’s written on? Not all employment insurance policies are created equally. According to Zahid, one of the key questions to ask is: “Whether or not there is a ‘’reasonable prospect of success clause’’ in the wording . If there is then this means the insurer need only defend a claim if they believe there’s a high probability of success. This gives insurers too much scope to not defend a claim and too little certainty of cover to businesses.

outsourcing your HR provision to a third party, these are some of the key questions to ask them: • Do you have Professional indemnity insurance? • Do you have insurance that covers me if I am the subject of an employee dispute insurance claim? • What happens if you don’t follow the HR advice and there is a claim? It is possible to have the best of both worlds. You can have your preferred HR advisor and also have insurance protection that covers you just in case you have that errant employee (or ex employee) that wants their day in court.

Zahid Naqvi is managing director of Custodian Insurance, specialists in impartial insurance advice for the HR sector. Email:; telephone 0207 648 4343;

So in short, if you are a business covered SURREY CHAMBERS


Anger Management


THE MAFIA by Maarten Hoffmann


s anyone else sick to the back teeth with being used as a cash cow for councils who are incapable of balancing their books?

It would appear that they need but the slightest opportunity to tax us to death through the back door. Stealth taxes are a cancer on our society and one that we should rally against at every opportunity. Let me give you one example. Brighton & Hove council have recently installed average speed camera on the A259 seafront road, east of the Pier. In case you have been in a cave for the past few years, let me explain how they work. Each average speed camera is in a pair.



One camera films your number plate as you enter a controlled zone and starts a timer. When you leave the zone, the exit camera films both your car and its number plate. If there’s a match with the entry camera, your speed is calculated, and if over the speed limit the evidence is passed on to the police. They have been courteous enough to place a small sign at each end but so small that one needs eyes like a laser beam to see it and tourists are being stung every minute. The highest parking charges outside of London and now this – why would anyone bother to come to Brighton anymore?

I have the dubious pleasure of driving this route several times a day and l know that stretch of road like the back of my hand. With one or two exceptions, l have never seen a car excessively speeding or seen an accident. The road is littered with pedestrian crossings and traffic lights’, therefore speeding is next to impossible. With a little digging, l find that the council survey of this road showed that only 5.1% of drivers exceed the speed limit above 36mph. That means that 94.9% of the driving public are suffering due to the errant 5.1%. As to the cost, it is an average of £100,000 per mile. The

Anger Management

longest stretch covered is 99 miles in the most remote part of the UK, on the A9 through the Highlands between Dunblane and Inverness. That cost £9,900.000 of tax payers money so that the council can fine drivers and take what is left of their money. Surrey is pretty much swamped with these cameras. There are a total of 47 average speed cameras across the county and last year they raked in over £1.5 million and this is set to rise dramatically as the councils realise that this is very easy money. It is estimated that by the end of 2017, there will be well over 125 such cameras covering Surrey and many in areas where the speed limit suddenly changes from 50mph to 40mph. They have been cynically placed at the very areas that drivers are most likely to get caught and not where there is the most danger. Hugh Bladon, of the Association of British Drivers pressure group, says the new cameras still cause sudden braking by panicked drivers, but also now cause long stretches of crawling traffic. “People see a camera and immediately put their foot on the brakes,” he says. “It doesn’t lead to good driving. You get people driving along with their eyes glued to the speedometer rather than to the road. In towns people who should be looking for children between the parked cars will be looking at their speedometers. We have no objection to these cameras on motorways while maintenance men are working but we don’t see why they cannot be switched off when work stops. These cameras are spreading like cancer across the country. To have a system covering 99 miles must have something to do with collecting cash rather than road safety. These cameras do not make roads safer. If they did our accident rate would be reducing enormously and it is not. There’s far more to safe driving than speed.”

the Office of National statistics the average salary in the UK, as of April 2015, was £27,600. Then the insurers get in on the act and can increase car policies by 75% if you have 6 points. And now the DVLA is selling your information to all European countries so that you can get nailed there too. But shock horror, it does not work the other way round as European countries will not give up that information to the UK. Road deaths and injuries are a tragedy to the families’ involved but the only way to stop that it so ban cars. And the only way to make me understand the huge sums of cash generated, is if Brighton had the finest roads in the country maintained by the millions generated by schemes such as this. These camera systems are there to rake in cash – plain and simple. Ker-Ching.

We drive large metal boxes around winding and confusing streets littered with signs and instructions. People will be run over by cars – that is a fact of life. We have some of the safest roads in the world, one of the highest levels of new driver tuition, one of the best marked and maintained road networks and one of the highest rates of new car purchases. And now we see new laws on speeding fines. New law in force since April will allow you to be fined 175% of your weekly wage. According to



Surrey Chamber

JOIN THE CHAMBER Can your business afford not to be a member of Surrey Chambers of Commerce?

Surrey Chambers of Commerce is the county’s largest independent, not-for-profit business support organisation that helps businesses to connect locally, nationally and globally in order to gain customers, suppliers and knowledge.


itting at the heart of the business community, Surrey Chambers of Commerce connects you to opportunities, skills, knowledge and valuable contacts. We can help you grow and develop, by promoting your business, introducing you to new customers, keeping you informed and representing you locally, regionally and nationally. With a membership representing businesses of all sizes across every sector of the economy, the Chamber works hard to ensure that the continued prosperity of Surrey takes into account the needs of business, as well as providing a range of high quality services to help businesses to grow and meet new potential customers, including making introductions into over 40 countries. Surrey Chambers of Commerce is an integral part of the Surrey business support network and alongside its partners offers specialist

advice, knowledge and information on a wide range of issues facing local businesses.

We can: • Help you to find new customers – raise your profile, increase your brand awareness and generate new business by using our website, publications and database to communicate with thousands of business people. • Connect you to other businesses – we run over 100 events a year that give you the chance to enhance your business network, find new customers and meet like-minded and other successful business people. • Expand your network overseas - we provide friendly, professional advice and assistance and help you obtain necessary export documentation. Our relationship with 28 accredited overseas British Chambers means we can introduce you to our global network of experts to make your journey much easier. • Develop you and your workforce’s knowledge and skills - we run a range of training events throughout the year and can introduce you to a variety of training providers • Represent you – we believe it is important that you and your business are fairly represented locally, regionally, nationally and where appropriate, internationally on issues affecting business. We work closely

with Surrey County Council, the eleven local borough councils, district and 2 Local Enterprise Partnerships and we feedback and provide input to the British Chambers of Commerce who talk directly to government, influencing policy and strategic decisions. • Support your local community - we are passionate about contributing to the wider community and encourage you to work with us. We support a variety of local initiatives, providing you with the chance to give something back, whilst raising your company profile. • Save you money - We can provide you with a variety of discounts designed to save your company money. As well as national deals you will benefit from exclusive discounts offered by other Chamber members. You too can offer a special member to member deal.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? If you would like any further information about joining Surrey Chambers of Commerce please contact us: We look forward to hearing from you. Call: 01483 735540 Email: Visit:



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The official magazine for Surrey Chambers of Commerce - owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group. This month we have exclusive i...

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