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Photo: Sara Coombes / TKZ

Marine matters the Island’s maritime sector


CONTENTS

AUGUST 2010

President’s foreword

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elcome to the August edition of Island Business Magazine which is published just before Cowes Week gets into full swing, so can I extend a warm welcome to all of our visitors and competitors in this iconic event and hope that the weather is kind to you all. In recent weeks, it has been my privilege to attend receptions to recognise the long service and support of Island Chamber members by presenting bronze and silver certificates to those businesses which have reached (and passed) 10 and 20 years in membership. This initiative is, of course, launched in our centenary year but will now continue on an annual basis. At our centenary lunch earlier in the year, presentations were made for 35 years (gold), 50 years (platinum) and Founding Members (100 years). In these challenging times, there can be no better reason for being part of an organisation of like-minded businesses whose main focus is the economic development and prosperity of our beautiful Island. Membership continues to grow and our sector work gives another compelling reason to be a part of this forward thinking organisation. Without trying to sound too parochial, it occurred to me that if we as Island businesses (and public bodies) use and support each other more we can partly self-generate our own economic revival. I believe that there are currently in excess of 4,500 VAT registered businesses here, which is pretty impressive for the population that we have and clearly demonstrates the high level of enterprise here. If we could all employ just half an employee extra, that would be over 2,000 jobs that could make a massive difference to the overall well-being of our community. Hopefully, some of the bigger companies and construction projects will take up a larger percentage of locals, but this needs to be reenforced with skills training and education so that there is less need to ‘import’ labour. Tourism has always been a massive driver on our Island and current economic conditions should point to an increase in UK holiday breaks and short stays. Even businesses not directly associated with tourism will see some benefit from the overall activity that it creates so we should encourage and nurture the visitors that we have so that they want to come back time and again. I always think that events like the Festival are an investment in the future of tourism here – my hope is that when today’s young music fans have families of their own, they will want to show them where they misspent some of their youth! Let’s hope that summer doesn’t end too soon – enjoy the rest of it, whatever you're doing.

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NEWS A roundup of business news

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BETTER BUSINESS Reducing your carbon footprint – most businesses can cut energy use, but where do you start?

11 THE EXPERT’S VIEW Information and communications technology

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FEATURE Marine matters – the importance of the Island's maritime sector

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SPECIAL REPORT Mobile phone apps to help your business

Steve Porter, President IWCCTI

23 THE EXPERT’S VIEW Security for business

Published by The Knowledge Zone Ltd Editor Steve Sleight Art Editor Karen Holloway

Administration and enquiries Tanya Sleight

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Advertising Sales Mary Collis mary.collis@theknowledgezone.net

01983 245505 For IW Chamber Editor (Chamber) Kevin Wilson

Contact the team ib@theknowledgezone.net

Managing Editor (Chamber) Zoe Stroud

kevin.wilson@iwchamber.co.uk

While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or

www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk Contact TKZ The Knowledge Zone Ltd. 5-9 Baring Chambers 13 Denmark Road, Cowes Isle of Wight PO31 7EX 01983 245505 ib@theknowledgezone.net www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA 01983 520777 chamber@iwchamber.co.uk

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Island Business magazine is printed on 75% recycled paper and 25% from sustainable sources Island Business magazine is printed by Crossprint, an ISO 9001 registered printer based on the Isle of Wight.

See digital editions of Island Business Magazine on www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

CHAMBER MATTERS New members, Chamber people, member benefits, and diary dates

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CLASSIFIEDS Our classified section

To join the Chamber call 01983 520777 implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or the IW Chamber of Commerce. The Knowledge Zone Ltd. and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here.

COMPANY PROFILE Transport for the Island – and the stars – with the largest fleet of taxis on the Island

tanya.sleight@theknowledgezone.net

Editorial team Louisa Mamakou Zara MacAlister Sara Coombes Debs Allan

TKZ

For more great content visit

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THE BACK PAGE Steve Blamire muses on holidays and happiness, with Rupert Besley's unique visual comment. Plus RUBS – Really Useful Business Stuff

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THE STARTING LINE BY THE EDITOR

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s the Island's summer trade gets into full swing the subject of this month's feature – the importance of the Island's maritime sector – is on clear display in the Island's harbours. This is most obvious in Cowes where the summer's influx of boating-related visitors reaches its peak during Cowes Week. The famous regatta is widely known but it would be wrong to imagine that it is the sole event which brings boating visitors to Cowes. It's scale and importance are obvious but of equal importance to Cowes is the host of regattas that take place every year between Easter and October plus the year-round attraction of non-racing boaters.

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

New biomass plant to produce 66% of Island's energy needs

Collectively, they bring in a vital, season-long audience that is essential to the prosperity of the town and the wider Island population.

The new plant will be built alongside the new Vestas centre at Stag Lane (above). The management team includes John Gallimore (far left) Mike Hammond (middle) and CEO Ray Tucker.

The economic downturn has had an effect on these sailors and boaters, and numbers are down somewhat, but fortunately this audience typically is dedicated to their pastime and it takes more than a recession to keep a sailor away from his boat! But the challenge is to keep them coming back to Cowes (and Yarmouth) rather than visiting other Solent harbours – all of which would love their business. Cowes will only continue to attract their custom if the facilities they need are available at a fair price and with a welcoming smile. This has not always been the case, unfortunately, and too often marine visitors complain of poor service, lack of choice, and standards that are not keeping pace with other locations. Rather than focus on the obvious problem of the lack of a title sponsor for the Cowes Week regatta all those reliant on the success of the Island's marine sector should look at what can be done to improve the experience for all boating-related visitors throughout the season. By working to strengthen the attractiveness of Cowes we may also strengthen the proposition for a Cowes Week sponsor. Until next month, may the sun shine on you! Contact the editorial team at: ib@theknowledgezone.net or telephone 01983 245505. Visit Island Business Online at: www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

IN THE NEXT ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2010 Published 31 August • Training for work - delivering skills for the future • Better Business – using factoring to improve cash flow • Special Report – Island exporters and international trade • Company Profile – Shanklin Chine • Chamber Matters – monthly update

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major renewable energy project has been unveiled by an Island-based company which plans to create a £130 million, state-of-the-art, biomassfired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit on the Medina riverside. Real Ventures Ltd., which raised 85% of its initial funding from Island investors, say that the Reality Energy Centre will have an electrical output of 49MW and will deliver the equivalent of two thirds of the total electricity used by the Island’s population, domestically and commercially. It will also lead to the Island having the UK's lowest per capita carbon footprint. “The Island has been searching for suitable renewable energy projects that will make a real, significant difference for some time,” said Ray Tucker, CEO of Real Ventures Ltd. “We believe our biomass CHP plant provides the right answer. A reliable and significant renewable energy source will become, as our project name suggests, ‘a reality’ on the Isle of Wight." As soon as it becomes operational in 2013, the privately financed Energy Centre is intended to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions (compared with conventional electricity generation) of 190,000 tonnes annually. This is equivalent to approximately 60% of the Island’s total carbon emissions as a result of all electricity consumption. In the longer term, the Reality Energy Centre will provide heating and hot water for nearby public and industrial buildings through underground pipe-work. The new Centre will conform to strict environmental standards, including flue emissions and noise, and will be built on the site of a disused, Council-owned

landfill facility in Stag Lane, Newport, already earmarked for industrial use. Before building work begins, the 8.7ha site will undergo a remediation programme. The aim is to collect methane gas and use it for ancillary electricity generation, and for a wildlife sanctuary to be created on part of the site. “Employing proven modern technology, our plant will be highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly and it’s entirely appropriate for the Island,” continued Ray Tucker. "100% virgin wood fuel will be imported to the Island, via the River Medina, in pelleted form by ship, avoiding road transport entirely. The imported fuel will come from sustainable forestry resources in the UK and Europe." The company hopes that up to 10% of its fuel could come from the Island and that a small amount of locally-produced straw pellets could also be used. They say that their fuel requirement will encourage and accelerate biomass production on the Island by providing a significant market opportunity well beyond the limited current demand. In turn, once locally produced fuel becomes more available, it will enable small localised biomass heating and CHP schemes to be financed at low risk. The use of pelleted wood fuel, allows a high efficiency plant to be designed. It is intended that the plant, which is being designed from first principles, but using tried and tested equipment, will be the most efficient of its kind in the world. Read about who's who in this new company, its history, and more on the technologies employed on Island Business Online.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


NEWS

AUGUST 2010

Green and delicious

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he Royal Hotel has taken over the catering franchise at Ventnor Botanic Garden where the newly refurbished Royal Garden Café now features an inventive menu with all the food being homemade using locally sourced and seasonal produce. "It is important that we showcase our wonderful Island food," said Bridget Wells, the Café manager. "We have such an amazing climate and a vast array of tasty produce including award-winning cheeses, early asparagus, and sensational tomatoes." William Bailey, the Royal Hotel's Managing Director, is convinced that the Royal Garden Café will become a yearround eating destination. "The Botanic Garden is an amazing location. We want to work hand in hand with the Isle of

'Scores on the Doors' welcomes 1,000th top-rated outlet

Wight Council to add value to this attraction with a café offering food that is second to none," he said. "I have a great team who are passionate about food and our garden isle; this is an incredible opportunity." The Café is already gaining a reputation for a fantastic cream tea, with scones made using local stone-ground flour, which can be enjoyed against the backdrop of the Botanic Garden's beautiful environment.

Success for Island projects at building awards

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Wootton development project has won a prestigious regional award that recognises excellence in building. The conversion of redundant agricultural buildings into a café and educational facility at Briddlesford Lodge Farm, Wootton, by the Griffin family won the 'Best Small Commercial Development' at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards. Christine Griffin said: "Great architecture in a genuine working farm setting has changed a redundant building into a great place to eat on the Island. "We are very proud to have won this award and we hope it all helps to promote Isle of Wight food and farming." At the same awards event, the Southern Housing Group affordable

Briddlesford Lodge Farm café

housing development at Oakvale, Ryde, was commended by judges. George Brown, IW Council cabinet member responsible for planning said: "I offer my congratulations to both projects for their success at the LABC awards and am sure they won’t be the last winners from the Island as we continue to seek improvements to the design quality of buildings."

New Middle East partnership for Chamber

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he Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry has formed a new partnership with Reynard Middle East General Trading LLC, a sales and marketing company based in the Middle East, with offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, and Doha in Qatar. Reynard ME specializes in assisting international companies to enter the market of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and further develop their business through project work and trading. The GCC is a political and economic union including The United Arab

Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. The new partnership means Chamber members qualify for a free initial consultation and evaluation with Reynard ME, for conducting and developing business in the GCC region. Barry Groves, International Trade Manager for the Chamber, said: “We are delighted to partner with Reynard ME to offer our members a substantial helping hand into one of the world’s most economically active regions.” For more information, send a message to barry.groves@iwchamber.co.uk.

Read international business news on www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

Abigail's Kitchen

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n Isle of Wight Council scheme that gives hygiene ratings to every food outlet on the Island is celebrating a milestone as Abigail’s Kitchen in Newport has become the scheme's 1,000th member to be given a maximum 'five star' rating. 'Scores on the Doors' was set up in early 2007 and since then, every one of the Isle of Wight's 1,900+ food outlets have been inspected. All businesses are also subject to regular re-inspections. Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member responsible for environmental health Barry Abraham said: "I congratulate Abigail's Kitchen on becoming the one thousandth food outlet to achieve five stars. "The news now means that over half of the Island's food premises have achieved the top rating, with many more also obtaining four stars. This is very good news considering the sheer number of food businesses we have here. "Scores on the Doors is very important because not only does it demonstrate to the public the hygiene levels of where they go for a meal, but businesses also strive to improve their hygiene standards so they can get high scores. This gives them a free way of showing customers they take food hygiene seriously." A full list and the scores of every outlet on the Island can be found at www.iwight.com/scoresonthedoors/.

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NEWS

Brand new

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Dressed for success

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avigate IT & Telecoms, previously Navigate Solutions LLP and Island Telecom, has launched a new brand identity and website. The company, one of the Island’s leading IT and telecoms providers, has clients including the Isle of Wight PCT and the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. Along with the new look, the company has also launched two new services. The first is a recycling service for old hardware, including printers, screens, laptops and desktop computers. The second is a scrappage scheme for old telephone systems against the purchase of a new system. This allows a company who may be operating with outdated or unsupported equipment to obtain money off a brand new system. Paul Wood, Managing Director, said: “Offering a total IT and telecoms solution under one roof has proved extremely popular with our customers. The re-brand is the next logical step to further unite the two companies, and builds on Dave Ward’s achievement in building Island Telecom some 20 years ago. We are very excited about the future moving forward.” For more information, go to www.navigateit.co.uk.

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co clothing company Rapanui has got exciting plans for expansion which are now a step closer, thanks to an interest free loan from the Isle of Wight Lottery. Launched two years ago by brothers Martin and Rob Drake-Knight, Rapanui has grown steadily and now supplies organic clothing, produced using renewable energy, to 28 countries. Working from a unit at Lane End Road, Bembridge, Rapanui targets 18 to 35 year olds, and none of the staff on the company payroll are over the age of 25. The Lottery loan is being used towards the costs of recruiting a new member of staff, and developing and distributing a printed catalogue to enhance the company's market presence.

All steamed up

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For more information go to www.isleofwightlottery.com.

Restoration work on Coach 2403 in the IWSR’s carriage and wagon workshop

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he Isle of Wight Steam Railway faces a nerve-wracking wait as it enters the final round of voting in the National Lottery awards. The Island attraction is in with the chance of winning the top award in the Best Heritage Project category, and the winner will be announced during a live BBC1 programme, scheduled for Saturday, 4 September. To win the top award the Railway must receive the most votes in a nationwide public vote which runs from 26 July to 13 August. “Reaching the final of the National Lottery Awards is a tremendous boost to our railway,” said IW Steam Railway Chairman, Steve Oates. “It is a very fitting reward for the dedication and hard work of all the staff and volunteers who do so much to keep

Rob said the Lottery had been a lifeline, especially because the usual funding sources were difficult to access for a young company with a short track record in business. “We needed capital to fund our growth, and the Lottery was our best hope,” he said. “We found the process of applying useful too, because it helped to clarify our thinking. Now it’s all systems go for us.” Rapanui is also launching a new bespoke clothing service which is being offered to businesses, branding and events, and will soon also be launching a range of footwear.

our piece of Island railway history alive. We very much hope that Islanders, supporters of Heritage Railways and the public as a whole will vote for us. And please remember, even if you voted for us in the semi-finals we need you to vote for us again please!” A registered educational charity, the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is unique among heritage railways in the UK in regularly operating Victorian and Edwardian trains.

If Isle of Wight Railway Restoration is the winning project in the Heritage category, the prize will fund the completion of the restoration and conversion of carriage 2403. Work on this carriage is already underway and it will have seats for 70 passengers and spaces for six wheelchair users to be transported in Edwardian splendour. You can vote for Isle of Wight Railway Restoration at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


The Events Venue With A Difference Cowes Yacht Haven is host to some of the largest and most prestigious events in the boating calendar and is the ideal venue for your event, whatever the scale. With our superb waterside location, complete event management service and full conference facilities and equipment, we promise you will have an event to remember.

D Trav iscoun el A ted vail able

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www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

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NEWS IN BRIEF Government partners with Facebook The Government has announced a partnership with Facebook. The social networking site will support the Treasury’s Spending Challenge by providing a dedicated space for Facebook users to suggest ideas on how to make savings in public spending. The first phase of the Spending Challenge - open to workers in the public sector delivered over 60,000 ideas in two weeks. Now the Spending Challenge is being opened up to everyone so visit www.facebook.com/democracyuk?v=wall to get involved. Island's Ambulance Service is one of best in England Emergency ambulance response times on the Island are some of the best in England according to recently published national statistics. The figures for 2009/10 show that the service attended 17,500 emergency incidents in 2009/10 compared to 17,300 in 2007/08. Of the 4,900 calls requiring an emergency response, 77.2% were responded to within eight minutes, placing the Island in second place out of 12 ambulance services in England. The average for England is 74.3%. South East manufacturing on the road to recovery The South East reported increased manufacturing orders in the last three months, the first time since early 2008. The latest South East Regional Intelligence Snapshot, prepared by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), showed that manufacturing throughout the South East is steadily growing. In addition, 41% of manufacturers in the South East and London expect an increase in total orders over the next three months. According to separate research by Cambridge Econometrics, the forecast for manufacturing output growth for the South East is predicted to be 1.7 per cent in 2010. UK Food and Farming Awards Nominations for this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards are now open. This is the 11th year of searching for the best in food and farming and these Awards have never been more relevant. Many people are looking for new ways to make money in the food business and we need models to inspire us to do that in the best way. There are 10 categories and the closing date is midnight on 15 August. Find out more from: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/ffa/2010/ introduction/ 6

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Growing their own

L to R: Martyn Pearl, Managing Director, Medina Housing Association; Helen Osborne, project participant; Suzie Mundell, Project Coordinator, Medina Housing Association; Maria Wilkinson, Community Enterprise Manager, Medina Housing Association

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edina Housing Association’s Growing Spaces project has won a prestigious regional award from the National Housing Federation. Its Growing Spaces project was nominated for its work in Newport and Ryde, providing raised beds, seeds, plants and training for over 250 households to grow their own vegetables. The project, funded by the Lottery’s Local Food fund, has brought together residents of all ages through workshops, drop-in sessions and community events, and encourages families to eat healthily by providing recipes to cook with.

Medina Housing Association now goes forward to compete for the national trophy in September. Medina Housing Association Managing Director, Martyn Pearl said: “Growing Spaces has really made a difference to people, improving the quality of lives and cementing the relationships within local communities. It has also changed for the better the way that residents in our neighbourhoods view and engage with Medina. This is one of those simple ideas which makes a big impact and leaves an enduring legacy. It is something of which we are truly proud.”

The Island is the real winner from Lottery

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ecent winners of the Isle of Wight Lottery have a wide variety of ways of spending their money. But whether it is a new motorbike, home improvements, or a wedding outfit, they all agree that the Island itself is the real winner. The Lottery’s weekly draw creates three winners, including a top prize of £2,000. The one thing that unites them is the knowledge that their weekly subscription is going to a great cause. Winner Judith Wright, of Freshwater, said: “The Lottery is a way all of us can make a contribution to the economy of the Island.” Mrs Bingham, of Carisbrooke, said she played the Lottery because: “It helps to create jobs and helps businesses grow.”

Regular Island visitor Christine Soper said she would be spending her winnings "in the excellent places to eat in and around Ventnor, and on locally-made arts and crafts". And Barbara Herbert, of Cowes, said the money would pay for a wedding outfit when her daughter gets married in New Zealand later this year. The winners are announced each week on Isle of Wight Radio and published in the County Press, as well as online at www.isleofwightlottery.com. The Lottery was developed by the Island’s Chamber of Commerce to generate funds which are used to provide interest free loans to new and developing businesses, with the aim of creating Island jobs for Island people.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

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NEWS IN BRIEF Celebrity cricket Newclose is hosting the Island’s popular cricket challenge on Sunday, 22 August when a team of some of the sport’s legends takes on a Ventnor Cricket Club XI. The line up for the Lashings World XI is expected to include Ian Harvey, Mohammed Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, and Devon Malcolm. The match is to be held at the bigger Newclose County Cricket Ground, near Newport, for the first time, after being held at Ventnor for the last five years. Organisers are hoping for a bumper crowd to help raise money to support and develop youth cricket on the Island. The big event! A major event on the Island’s social calendar takes place during Cowes Week. The annual IW Chamber of Commerce Cowes Week Ball is to be held on Wednesday, 4 August, and there may be some late availability of tickets. This year’s event, held at the centre of the action at Cowes Yacht Haven, promises to be extra special, as the Chamber celebrates its centenary year in glamorous style, with dinner, wine, and entertainment all included in the ticket price. To check availability, send a message to chamber@iwchamber.co.uk or telephone 01983 520777. New swim sessions West Wight Sports Centre is offering weekly swimming sessions in the school holidays for families with disabled children. Through a partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and NHS Isle of Wight they are providing a range of short breaks for disabled children, with funding from the Aiming High for Disabled Children scheme. Initially, the project will allow families with disabled children to swim during a special session every Friday in the school holidays from 1000-1100. There are plans to extend this to a weekly term time session and to provide better access to swimming lessons for disabled children. Visit www.westwight.co.uk. New trademark scam Trading Standards have warned of a trademark renewal scam. The scam came to light when a complainant received an official looking fax reminding him to renew a trademark registration he owns. But the renewal notification was not from the IPO (the Intellectual Property Office) but from a private business, The Intellectual Property Agency Ltd, who then demanded £1,280 for arranging the renewal for him. The renewal fee from the IPO would have been just £200.

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THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Screen success

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health screening session at one Island business was so successful, it has immediately signed up for more. The Chamber Health team was invited in by Scio Healthcare after being recommended by a former employee, Registered Nurse Charlotte Hudd. Managing Director Kevin Dannatt was first in the queue when the Chamber Health mobile screening unit arrived, and he said: “It was a very useful and helpful day, and we want to do it again so more staff have the chance to take part.” Chamber Health screens for cardiovascular disease but they are also trained and equipped to check for a wide range of other potential health problems, and have a new Stop Smoking support service, which several Scio staff signed up for. Kevin said: “We have more than 200 staff across three nursing homes in Bembridge, Shanklin, and Ryde, and it

Kevin Dannatt goes through health checks with Chamber Health’s Public Health Nurse, Nikki Jolliffe

was good to see some of them coming in specially for their screening. "Our staff are a precious resource and Chamber Health’s service, which is free of charge, is a great idea. We have already asked when we can have another session.” For more information, contact chamberhealth@iwchamber.co.uk

Role play highlights issues

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orkshops designed to help frontline staff interact more effectively with people from migrant communities proved a success. The sessions were organised by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce with the Island Strategic Partnership, who commissioned RedTIE Theatre to deliver performances and workshops to local businesses, council workers, and school governors. Each session featured a role play involving migrant workers in an office with two English staff, and the

performers stayed in character to be quizzed by delegates about the issues they faced and the barriers which needed to be broken down. Businesses were advised to keep up to date with legislation – a new Equality Act is due to be implemented in October this year – and to ensure that the recruitment process was open and accessible to all. The sessions showed that communication between agencies and sharing information was the key to helping with changes in the workforce.

E-safety on the menu

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he topical issue of e-safety will be addressed at a Chamber networking event next month. Rob Ellis, a national leader in protecting children and the whole community from the risks posed by the internet and email, is guest speaker at the Blueberry Café, Shanklin, on 14 September. Rob has 35 years experience as a teacher, consultant, and local authority officer. He is a ThinkUKnow ambassador and has delivered the e-safety materials from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to more than 3,500 young people, parents, and teachers. Rob is also an ICT Mark assessor, validating schools’ progress towards this prestigious award.

In his presentation, Rob will cover the risks to children and the role of CEOP as well as the wider risks to the community as a whole. He will also touch upon the availability of free wifi spots and the implications for safety, and also what the rise of social networking means for us all. The event is for members of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, and will run from 1730 to 2000. The cost of £10 per person includes a selection of tapas and, as places are limited, early booking is advised. To book, or for more information, contact: kerstine.andrews@iwchamber.co.uk

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


!"#$%&

Come and get involved at Cowes Week 2010

High Speed RIB Experience Inflatable powerboat rides £35 per person or £105 family rate (2 adults and 2 children*)

Single Day Racing on 40’ Yacht £195 - includes lunch and soft drinks Plus Champagne reception in the Ondeck VIP Hospitality Suite

Book NOW or visit us in Cowes Yacht Haven during Cowes Week Tel: 01983 284300 Web: www.ondeck.co.uk e-mail: enquiry@ondeck.co.uk All experiences include use of wet weather gear, life jackets, fuel and mooring fees and full tuition from professional crew. *Ondeck’s standard terms and conditions apply along with age and height restrictions. These are available on request.

Bases in: UK: Cowes/Gosport/Portsmouth/London; Portugal: Vilamoura; Antigua: Falmouth Harbour and USA: Charleston SC

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BETTER BUSINESS

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Areas to look at are heating, lighting, office equipment and, if applicable, factory and warehouse equipment. It's important to prioritise energy saving actions once they've been identified. Usually, those with the biggest savings potential or least disruption to the business will decide this.

Reducing your carbon footprint Most businesses could use a lot less energy. Experience shows that even low and no-cost actions can usually reduce energy costs by at least 10% and produce quick returns, so why not make a start on reducing your business's energy costs?

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he good news for business owners and managers is that it's possible to identify energy and cost saving measures that can be made with little or no financial outlay. This is a benefit to those new to carbon saving, especially in smaller businesses, who have neither 10

Louisa Mamakou sees how businesses can save carbon. the time nor resources to undertake a full carbon management programme. Conducting regular walk rounds and noting down and acting on maintenance issues can identify opportunities for energy savings. To pinpoint where energy savings can be achieved, it's essential to look at how energy is currently used.

Heat and light Heating typically accounts for about half the energy used in offices and forms a significant proportion of energy use in other areas of a business, so it's a key area to target with energy saving measures. Many businesses are overheated, often the result of heating areas that don't need to be warmed (such as storage areas or corridors) to the same temperature as those that do, such as occupied areas. Overheating can also be the result of poor control of heating systems. Preventing as much heat loss as possible through improving insulation and draught control can also significantly reduce heating bills. There are simple, inexpensive ways to reduce energy consumption and costs from lighting without compromising health and safety or comfort levels. • Slimline fluorescent tubes (26mm diameter) use 10% less electricity and are cheaper to buy than the 38mm tubes. Installing high frequency fluorescent lighting eliminates flicker and hum, extends lamp life and can reduce consumption by around 25%. • Standard (tungsten) light bulbs are expensive to run for long periods and produce more heat than light! Replace them with more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs - they have a longer life, lower maintenance costs and use up to 75% less energy. • Exterior lighting should be limited to the hours of darkness. It may not be necessary to have lights on continuously, so consider fitting lighting controls to limit hours of use. • A lot of energy is wasted when unnecessary lights are left on out of working hours. Energy-Efficiency Loans from the Carbon Trust are a cost effective way to replace or upgrade your existing equipment. Businesses can borrow from £3,000 to £100,000 on an unsecured, interest-free loan. Go to www.carbontrust.co.uk/loans to see if you qualify.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


CHAMBER INTERVIEW THE EXPERT’S VIEW

AUGUST 2010

In the office Businesses rely on a range of office equipment, from computers and photocopiers to teleconference facilities. However, it's not always appreciated how much this equipment can cost a company. Apart from heating and lighting savings, energy consumption in offices can be reduced by looking at how equipment is used. In an air conditioned office it can take half as much energy again to remove the heat generated by office equipment as it takes to run the equipment in the first place! • Have computers got in-built energy saving features? The best known energy label for office equipment is the ENERGY STAR rating, whereby equipment automatically enters a low power mode after a preset amount of time. • By switching computers off at nights and weekends, their energy consumption can be reduced by 75% per year. • Place photocopiers in areas that are naturally ventilated. This will help avoid any air conditioning having to compensate for the associated heat gains. A photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to make over 5,000 A4 copies! • Activate the energy saving mode where available on printers and fax machines, which allows machines to automatically power-down after a set time. By switching laser printers off in the evenings and at weekends, energy consumption can be reduced by 75%. • Switch off vending machines and water coolers overnight and at weekends too. Install a plug-in seven-day timer to reduce the likelihood of machines being left on out of hours, available for a few pounds from most DIY stores. • Check what equipment is being used in the office kitchen. Old kettles, tea urns, or refrigerators tend to be less efficient than newer models. In the factory or warehouse There are excellent opportunities for energy saving that can be made on the factory floor or in the warehouse. The equipment used and the processes will be unique to each business, however, it's possible to highlight common areas in which opportunities can be found. • Compressed air: Repairing leaks in the compressed air system (30-50% leakage is not uncommon) could produce dramatic savings. Many factories run their compressor for most of the day and are unaware how much this costs them; encourage staff to switch the compressor off when not in use. • Electrical equipment: Conveyor systems, machine tools, and other equipment should be switched off when not in use. • Are Higher Efficiency Motors fitted? These now cost no more than normal ones and can save 3-5% of the running cost. • Are Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) fitted to equipment? Often, using a VSD to reduce the speed of a pump or fan by just 20% can halve its running cost. • Refrigeration: Replacing worn or damaged seals can drastically reduce refrigeration costs. Read much more on this in the extended article on Island Business Online. Source: Carbon Trust 'Better business guide to energy saving'.

Visit www.carbontrust.co.uk to find out more. www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATONS TECHNOLOGY Information and communications technology is crucial to many businesses. In his Expert's View column Jonathan Thornton, Technical Services Director of Rydebased IT provider, PC Consultants offers his views on how to get the best from ICT. sponsored by

The need for speed - part 2

W

hen discussing internet performance it is common for companies to quote the speed measured in Mbps, for example download at up to 8 Mbps. Last month’s article discussed the importance of measuring not only download but also upload speed. However, both these measurements refer to the bandwidth of a connection; but when examining internet connection options another important factor to consider is latency. Take a highly simplified analogy of two identical trains travelling from London to Portsmouth. Both can carry a total of 100 people – the bandwidth – and each leaves once an hour. However while one is an express service and doesn’t have to stop, the other is a stopping service halting at several stations en-route. The second service has a higher latency with a longer trip time. Latency is typically analysed by performing a ping test, which measures the round trip time for a small packet of data. This can be performed in various ways including online tests at www.pingtest.net. Locally, the vast majority of customers will be connecting to the internet using ADSL which is provided over a traditional copper telephone line. BT Wholesale quotes coverage at 99% of all UK homes and businesses, whilst continued development of this technology with ADSL2 has meant download and upload speeds have increased. However, the connection is highly dependent on your physical distance from the exchange and as such

speeds can vary dramatically. Cable internet providers such as Cowes-based Wightcable have the advantage of not being limited by ageing telephone lines and distance from the exchange. As a result, greater flexibility in packages is possible, including options for symmetrical broadband where upload and download speed are mirrored. This can be ideal for businesses with remote access or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) requirements where upload speed is important. Delivering internet connectivity using fixed wireless links is another alternative to those seeking the benefits of both high bandwidth and low latency connections. Local company Click4Internet has been steadily building a modern wireless network with several base stations and wide coverage across the Island. Unlike mobile broadband solutions the wireless network is dedicated to IP data transit which results in exceptional performance, latency, and bandwidth – approximately 400% faster than the best ADSL equivalent. These are just a few of the many examples of internet connectivity options; there are of course others, including leased lines, satellite broadband, or plain old dialup! Good advice is vital in making sure the right solution is selected for your business needs. Contact: Jonathan at PC Consultants on 01983 811711 www.pcctechservices.co.uk Jonathan.thornton@pcconsultants.co.uk

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FEATURE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Some of the world's most beautiful classic yachts racing from Cowes last month

Photo: Sara Coombes - TKZ

Marine matters –

the importance of the Island’s maritime sector With the Island’s showcase sailing event still pulling in the numbers despite a continued empty space where the title sponsor’s name should appear, Island Business looks at the challenges and opportunities in the Island's marine sector.

T

he immediate post-Second World War period, when Island business Saunders-Roe was leading the way in the development of hovercraft and marine aircraft, could be seen as the high-point of the Isle of Wight’s rich maritime history. Although the heyday of Medina 12

marine activity may have passed, the Island’s marine-associated businesses are still going strong. Marine heritage Today, Island boatyards are doing tidy business, but the focus of boatbuilding has shifted towards small commercial

By James Kerr, Cathy Budden, Zara Macalister, and Debs Allan. vessels and the leisure market. Corby Racing Yachts in Cowes produces newly designed yachts, South Boats constructs working catamarans, and a number of yards continue to build or carry out boat

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


FEATURE

AUGUST 2010

"The Isle of Wight, particularly Cowes, is synonymous with sailing, and that association continues to be one of the strongest selling points for the Island."

The RNLI's Inshore Lifeboat Centre is based in East Cowes

Cowes Harbour Master, Captain Stuart McIntosh

repairs, such as Attrill & Sons in Ryde, and Lallows, which has been in Cowes since 1867. And in Ventnor, Cheetah Marine has diversified its business offerings by overseeing a number of marine-based activities in addition to bespoke catamaran construction. The Island may not be a shipbuilding powerhouse, but it still has a vibrant small boat, design, manufacturing, and repair sector. The Isle of Wight, particularly Cowes, is synonymous with sailing and boating in the UK, and that association continues to be one of the strongest selling points for the Island, according to Cowes Harbour Master, Captain Stuart McIntosh. He recalls that in 2001/2002, the revenue that yachting and yachting-related activity brought into the Island was estimated to be more than £50 million. Everyone that Island Business spoke to agreed on the continued importance of marine-associated activities to the Island economy. Sean Strevens, founder and partner of Cheetah Marine, made the point that the Island naturally suits itself to marine-based industry and believes its heritage, particularly the "fantastic boats that have been developed and designed in the past", are still a strong selling point. According to Yarmouth Harbour Master, Chris Lisher, much of the industry on the Island has built up around building or servicing boats, or providing berthing in harbours or marinas, with additional supporting activities such as sailmaking. Glyn Ellis, Operations Manager of the RNLI's Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC), in East Cowes, agreed: "We're an Island

surrounded by water; you've got marinas full of yachts and powerboats, and they all need building, servicing, and maintaining, so it is very important." Niche markets Cowes-based South Boats provides a good example of the levels of income that the marine sector can generate, and shows how this money is redirected in ways that assist the local economy, for example, to subcontractors and training providers. South Boats’ owner, Clive Jeffrey, said: "We’ve got 82 people on the books; we’ve got about 40 to 50 subcontractors, painters, electricians, and aluminium construction workers. When I asked my accountant last year, I think we put something like £8 million back into the local economy on the south coast, and about £5 million of that went near enough directly into the Isle of Wight." In spite of the difficult trading conditions, and the fact that local boat building has declined throughout the country, many industry observers believe that the Island is holding its own in what is a challenging and highly competitive sector, particularly when it comes to niche boat construction. South Boats, which develops supply catamarans for wind farms, is a prime example of a company that has identified and capitalised on a niche, said Stuart McIntosh: "They are working very well; they have got a fantastic product. We need to continue to find specialist niche areas that we can build up and build other elements of our service industry from," he said. Barry Groves of Cowes Marine Cluster (CMC) – the collaborative group of

Watch video reports and business profiles on www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

maritime businesses – agrees, and cited Cowes-based Seaward Marine as another specialist company that has established a "world-wide reputation". "We seem to be beating the odds," he continued, "I did the Dubai Boat Show in March with two members of the CMC. It was very successful, bearing in mind that Dubai is going through the biggest recession they’ve ever seen; everybody we spoke to after the show was more than pleased with the results they got." Challenging conditions Glyn Ellis believes that after a number of years in decline, the Island’s marine sector has stabilised. "We've seen the introduction of new boatyards along the river, so hopefully we might see a slight growth," he said. But Chris Lisher sounded a cautious note: "I think, sadly, manufacturing has a lot of competitors elsewhere in the world," was his frank assessment. Chris also made the point that manufacturing on the Island has always got the challenge of bringing raw material in and the finished product out: "There’s a cost to that, so the price has got to be cheaper than doing it on the mainland," he said. Sean Strevens acknowledged the extra cost of shipping materials and finished products across the Solent. But he believes that the Island’s strong reputation for composites and boatbuilding means "there are more benefits than there are downsides to being based on the Island". The cross-Solent trip also helps to separate the serious buyer from the ‘browser’: "Customers like coming to the Island; if they make the effort to come over, you know that they're 13


FEATURE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Cheetah Marine

South Boats

Sean Strevens, Founder and Partner of Cheetah Marine, began by building small wooden fishing boats, graduating to designing and producing catamarans. He said that conditions on the Island’s south coast played a big part in refining his designs: "It’s the ultimate test ground because Ventnor beach is quite rough; we push our fishing boats down the beach by hand, and come in through the surf, so the boats we design have to be strong, light and shallow enough to be able to get in over the rocks."

South Boats has been operating for 12 years. The business has several major clients for vessel repair, but it has recently exploited the niche market of maintenance boats for offshore windfarms. South Boats has produced more than 30 aluminium catamaran survey boats in less than three years and now leads the market.

Building on their early success, the company went on to develop bigger boats for a range of clients, including survey vessels, harbour patrol boats as well as the leisure market. The Ventnor Haven complex that houses Cheetah Marine concentrates the management of a number of marine-based activities, including fishing, organized lobster safaris, and a seafood restaurant, in addition to the boat-building yard, under one roof. Sean explained how the Isle of Wight Council awarded Cheetah Marine the contract to run Ventnor Haven after the company presented a development that diversified its business offering. "Our vision was boats, boat-building at the western end, and something that would suit the holiday market to create a mix of business, and run the harbour at the same time," he said. Sean believes the development has provided a great boost to the local economy, and said that the efforts of the 50 or so people employed across the various businesses has created a smart, tidy, and busy working harbour. The Ventnor Haven website promises further developments ahead. "We just need to build on that and keep the whole project going," said Sean. For more on Cheetah Marine and Ventnor Haven, watch the video on Island Business Online or visit www.ventnorhaven.co.uk. 14

The quality of the company’s work and the market fit of its product explain the level of success, according to its owner Clive Jeffrey. He explained that South Boats understood the basic business imperatives of designing a good working boat: "We’ve tried to build the catamaran so it’s easy to maintain; if you get downtime, the working boat’s not earning money," he pointed out. Energy company Eneco’s wind farm development to the west of the Island could be a huge windfall for South Boats, and Clive believes the Island’s marine sector could provide an important maintenance and support service for wind farms: "I think it would be the ideal place – it’s quite a cheap harbour to come in and out of," he claimed. With recent orders for four boats, worth over £5 million, and the promise of more to come once Eneco begins construction work: "The market for wind farm vessels at the moment is huge," said Clive. He estimates demand of up to 100 vessels per year for the next five years. "To meet that market, I think that South Boats will be a hub on the Isle of Wight and it will have some associated companies around Britain that help us out," he said. To hear Clive Jeffrey’s further thoughts on the Island marine sector, watch the video on Island Business Online; for more on South Boats, visit www.southboatssp.co.uk.

Boats and their crews bring a lot of revenue to the Island's economy

genuine and keen, so that actually helps a little bit," he pointed out. It goes without saying that the Island’s marine sector has felt the impact of the global recession. Clive Jeffrey believes that while commercial boat building on the Island may be holding its own, specialist yacht builders are suffering from a falling demand for luxury racing boats. He also explained that the rising cost of materials, which have increased at more than 20% per year, is particularly challenging in the marine sector. Because there are no suitable engine producers in the UK, a company like South Boats has to buy either German or Swedish products, while all of the electronics are Japanese, and the recession and exchange rate fluctuations have made buying in this equipment more expensive. Training and skills Sean Strevens backed the local skills base, but Chris Lisher believes that a skills shortage may be holding back the Island’s marine sector: "There’s a limited number of people that can be employed on the Island because it’s quite a small population, and not highly skilled," he claimed. Cheetah Marine has three or four young people being trained in all aspects of boat construction, including welding, wiring, and fibre-glassing. And while Clive Jeffrey and Glyn Ellis believe that skills and training are an issue, both are firm believers in apprenticeship schemes

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


FEATURE

AUGUST 2010

The planned new layout for Cowes harbour

that will train local people for skilled marine jobs: "We’ve had apprentices ever since I started South Boats. I think ‘hands-on’ takes quite a long time to go through, but if you can put the apprentice with the right person so that they can learn what they need to learn, then they can become a useful commodity after six months or maybe a year," said Clive. "We train our own apprentices," said Glyn. "We've got three modern apprenticeships currently and run a full year scheme so we actually train our own. Where we think there's a skill shortage we will actually train them, and that's been going for 12 years at ILC." Harbour developments The Cowes Outer Harbour Project (OHP) is clearly the current focus of attention in the Island’s marine sector (see sidebar). Stuart McIntosh made the obvious point that providing a sheltered harbour would increase safety, making the harbour a more attractive spot for visiting boats, and hopefully provide spin-off benefits to the local economy. "The OHP will bring more yachts into Cowes and that slowly feeds into the local economy, with visitors requiring repairs and services; but also the yachtsmen will look at Cowes and consider, ‘Can I bring my boat to Cowes and to the Island for longer repairs or storage in the winter?’" www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

Cowes Marine Cluster (CMC)

Yarmouth Harbour Commission

CMC was originally formed with a grant from the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) so that member businesses were able to bid for bigger marine contracts and, if successful, share out the work.

Yarmouth Harbour Master, Chris Lisher, outlined the latest proposals for the harbour’s reconfiguration. "We are looking to improve the facilities behind the harbour office, to build a decent quay wall, to make a safer area for fishermen and commercial operators, and to provide better facilities, including a washdown area for boats," he said.

After SEEDA funding ceased, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce agreed to take on CMC, with the introduction of membership fees. "We went from approximately 70 members, and as soon as we started charging, we went down to about 30; now we are back up to 78 active members," said Barry Groves of CMC. Barry reckons the increase in membership is a strong indication that the marine sector on the Island is stable. "We are still taking on new members, and marine companies are moving to the Island," he said, citing the example of Seeward Marine, which relocated from Guernsey, and is a very successful business that has taken full advantage of the number and quality of trained people on the Island as well as the fact that it is a great place to do business. Although the nature of boatbuilding has changed, Barry argued that Island manufacturers are moving with the times. In addition to Seeward Marine, he cited South Boats and Cheetah Marine – both of which have very long order lists – as current success stories. "Marine activities on the Island are not necessarily the most financially rewarding area of business, but Cowes has got an international reputation. We are holding our own in a very difficult climate at the moment, and the marine sector is holding up as well as anyone," concluded Barry. For more on CMC, watch the video on Island Business Online and visit www.cowesmarinecluster.com.

More pontooning will be installed in the main part of the harbour. "About 90% of customers who arrive at the harbour entrance ask to go on a walk-ashore pontoon, because of convenience and the cost of using the water taxi. There is also a safety element, with the number of dinghies we have in the water," said Chris. The plans also address the heavy reliance on Wightlink, which accounts for 40 per cent of the harbour’s income, but carries a risk element that has been heightened by the troubles that accompanied the introduction of the new ferries. Chris acknowledges that the town will change, but said that the development will attract more visitors, earn more income, and ensure the future of the harbour without reducing the charm, which remains a key attraction for visitors. Responding to criticism from the Solent Protection Society (SPS), Chris said that the environmental impact is less than that which would have resulted from alternative schemes. "If you want to bring tourists to the Island, I’m afraid you are going to come into conflict with the environment. You can’t have it both ways and you have to compromise. Do we always get it right? No, but we try to," he maintained. To hear Chris’ thoughts on the Island's marine sector, and concerns about rising sea levels, watch the video on Island Business Online. 15


FEATURE Cowes Week Ltd. Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Ltd., is upbeat about the Island’s marine sector. He believes that while Cowes may no longer be a major shipbuilding port, the huge increase in recreational boating has created opportunities for small boatyards. He cited the examples of Corby Racing Yachts and South Boats, and said, "There’s a lot of boatbuilding and boat repair going on, and Cowes is a vibrant small boat manufacturing and repair area." Stuart pointed out some of the unique benefits of the Island’s marine sector: "You can get things done at prices that, on the mainland, are exceptional, because there are the skills and boatyards available at a reasonable price," he said. Asked if the growth of recreational sailing meant saturation point for moorings and marina berths was close to being reached, Stuart said: "I don’t believe we are approaching capacity yet." He argued that the increase in chartering brings a more efficient use of existing resources. Stuart said that in addition to 8,000 sailors and 100,000 spectators that Cowes Week brings to the Island, the organisers work closely with the local community, both marine and the high street businesses, to ensure the event has plenty of other spin-off benefits for local businesses. "At Cowes Week Ltd., our long-term plan is to ensure that we keep listening to our stakeholders, both our competitors and to our spectators, and also to the local community, to make sure that Cowes Week remains the biggest, and one of the best regattas." For Stuart’s further thoughts on Island marine, watch the video on Island Business Online. The Cowes Week website is at www.cowesweek.co.uk. 16

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Stuart also pointed to the development of a new marina at East Cowes that will generate income, with more yacht tourists bringing revenue that will again drip-feed down into local marinebased businesses. Stuart Quarrie, CEO of Cowes Week Ltd., agrees that the OHP is long overdue: "We definitely need an outer breakwater," he said. "In a northerly or northeasterly wind, the harbour can become pretty untenable, and making it a safer and more attractive place will increase the amount of people coming to Cowes; that will have a beneficial effect on all the local businesses." Barry Groves believes that the OHP is crucial to the long-term future of Cowesbased marine businesses, and Glyn Ellis is also supportive of the project: "The Cowes waterfront initiative hopefully will bring more people to the Island, especially with the new marina. So that will introduce new yachtsmen and boat users to the Island, and also to the RNLI, because they'll need rescuing when they get into trouble!" Stuart Quarrie, however, drew attention to the concerns of the ferry companies, which were highlighted in the recent open letter to the IOW County Press written by Red Funnel CEO, James Fulford. Mr Fulford claims that the OHP may not meet the long-terms needs of the ferry services; specifically arguing that it will restrict Red Funnel’s ability to bring in larger or deeper draught, or more frequent vessels. While Stuart McIntosh believes there is "significant local support for the project", he acknowledged that concerns still exist. Clive Jeffery added his voice to the ongoing and very public debate about links to the Island, and is dismissive of the current OHP plans: "I think the outer harbour breakwater is a non-starter. I don’t see what benefit it is really – somebody has got to pay for it; somebody has got to maintain it; somebody has got to find ‘big bucks’. I have not talked to any person yet who thinks the breakwater is a good idea." Clive went on to explain his strong objections: "I don’t think it’s the breakwater that’s the thing; I think Cowes harbour doesn’t offer enough facilities for yachtsmen. "There’s nothing supplied by the harbour and I think that’s the weak point of Cowes."

Cowes Harbour Commission Captain Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, summarised the main aims of the Outer Harbour Project (OHP). "Cowes OHP has a number of key elements; one, it’s putting in new infrastructure with a new detached outer breakwater that will transform Cowes into a true sheltered harbour instead of simply an estuary opening. "Second, we will deliver a secondary new eastern channel that will provide increased safety and allow further separation of recreational craft from commercial traffic. "Finally, the OHP will hopefully assist the harbour and the local economy by the development of a new marina at East Cowes and support the regeneration of the East Cowes initiative," Stuart explained. Stuart said the development brings obvious benefits on water, for example the safety of a sheltered harbour, and he also believes it will benefit local businesses. "It will allow the harbour to be utilised to its maximum, thereby allowing more events and more yachts throughout the year." The new marina at East Cowes will increase visitors: "More yacht tourists bring revenue and that will also drip-feed down into other marine jobs," he said. Asked about scheduling of the project, Stuart explained: "We have government consent and hope that will allow the Isle of Wight Council to carry out planning consent. SEEDA have short-listed three blue-chip marina development companies, and are expecting to award a contract towards the end of the year. We are heading for completion in time for the summer of 2012. It’s not without its challenges, but we have to keep pushing towards that delivery date." For more on the OHP, watch the video on Island Business Online or visit www.cowes.co.uk.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


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FEATURE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC) The ILC at East Cowes is part of the RNLI, and is responsible for building all the UK’s inshore lifeboats, carrying out repairs, maintenance, and refits, as well as testing and R&D work. The ILC is internationally renowned as a centre of excellence for its work, which Operations Manager Glyn Ellis attributes to the fact that the lifeboats are very high quality. "The quality is higher than any commercial boat; it has to be because of the volunteers that go out on these boats," he said. The organisation has introduced an efficiency drive, which has been running for two years, explained Glyn. "The first year we actually saved 13,000 man hours, the second year was 11,000 hours, and rather than saying ‘let's make people redundant’, we introduced new work." The recession, however, is having an effect, as money that comes into the charity to support the whole of the RNLI, has been affected, while some of the organisation’s preferred suppliers have also struggled. Glyn said the key future challenge for UK boatbuilders is the amount of boats on the market that are built overseas. However, he has no concerns about the future of the ILC on the Island. "This site is unique, there's nowhere else like it in the world; we supply all the RNLI’s rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and we've been in existence from 1963, so as long as the lifeboat stations still need our boats, we will be here for a long time." For more on the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat centre, watch the video on Island Business Online or visit www.rnli.org.uk/what_we_do/lifeboa ts/inshore-lifeboat-centre.

18

From the bustle of Cowes to the peace of Yarmouth, Island harbours offer something for every sailor

Chris Lisher explained the background to the debate about development on the western side of the Island, where the Yarmouth Harbour reconfiguration, which plans to install more walk-ashore pontoons, is currently underway (see sidebar). "For Yarmouth, and the rest of the Island, a particular issue is space; we haven’t got much space to expand, to grow, to bring in more business; there are conflicts with the residents on the Island, many of whom are reluctant to see change and don’t want to see new developments. I know that there’s a talked-about development in Cowes but actually when you look along the south coast, there isn’t much else, and when you see growing demand from boaters, you’ve got to be able to cope with it somehow," he said. Beyond 2012 Chris Lisher’s concerns about space highlight a view held by many people in the marine sector that future development of the Medina needs to be very carefully managed to ensure that sufficient land with direct waterfront access is retained for commercial use and is not all sold off for housing and hotel development. Barry Groves explained: "If we want to get companies to come to the Island, one of the prerequisites is waterfront access. If you are manufacturing boats, once you’ve built, you want to put it over the side and in the water at the right tide." Clive Jeffrey

concurred: "You can’t keep building holiday homes that nobody lives in. You can’t keep recycling the same penny, you’ve got to bring in new pennies and the only way to bring in new pennies is to build a product," he said. There is a feeling among many people that the Island marine sector lost out badly when Weymouth was selected as the host venue for the sailing event of the 2012 Olympic Games. Stuart Quarrie explained: "Cowes has very strong tides; it has a difficult and challenging wind regime which means that one bit of the Solent can have wind while the other bit has totally different wind, or no wind at all. "Weymouth lends itself far more to the Olympic style of sailing where you need a number of race areas with even sailing conditions. The Solent is wonderful for sailing – it’s challenging – but it’s not right for the particular type of sailing that the Olympics has." Stuart McIntosh believes the Island’s marine sector can flourish if it gets the right messages out to the mainland. "The services that the Island actually has in providing first-class yachting services, maintenance facilities, and storage facilities at incredibly competitive prices compared with the mainland, make it worth coming to the Island to receive and deliver those services, and it is as much about getting the message across as actually continuing to deliver those services," he said.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


CHAMBER INTERVIEW

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Presenting

COWES WEEK 2010 TUESDAY 3RD AUGUST TO FRIDAY 6TH AUGUST

For further information visit www.teamorigin.com 20 www.bmworacleracing.com


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app to check the weather, check your bank account, build a to-do list, or to check your emails. For a more lighthearted approach there are numerous game applications you can download, apps to amuse your children, even one to simulate blowing a vuvuzela!

Mobile apps to help your business We're told there's an app for everything, but how can they help your business?

M

obile applications, or apps as they are more commonly known, are tools designed to run on smart phones and other mobile devices, such as the Blackberry, iPhone or other touch screen devices. They are typically used to help connect to internet services via your mobile, rather than having to use your home computer or laptop. If you are new to apps, then think of them 22

Glen Jones from Matrix e-business explains how valuable apps can be to any company.

as a small piece of software that performs a specific task. These software applications generally fall into two categories, practical and fun. For example you can download an

Getting the basics right Before launching head first into the App Store to see what apps there are to download, it’s important to get the basics right. Today’s smartphones are very powerful devices, and the ability to keep you connected to the internet is a potentially huge plus from a business point of view. So the first things to look at are the two apps that will be built in to your smartphone, they are your email client and your calendar. Integrating these effectively with the systems you use in your office working environment is essential. Having the ability to deal with important emails when you have 10 minutes on the boat or train, and having live access to your diary from your phone when you are at a meeting are two of the biggest business benefits you are going to get from your mobile device. Apps versus mobile sites You can view websites on most mobile phones these days and many companies already have a mobile only website. Mobile websites that are browser based are less expensive to develop than dedicated apps for each mobile platform. Although mobile websites can be produced far quicker and cheaper than apps, apps can be used ‘offline’ when reception is not good. Apps also have the advantage of a good ecosystem; the best example of an app store is still Apple's. They offer a vertically integrated ecosystem making it easy for iPhone users to access media through the iTunes store at the tap of a finger. Apples, Blackberries, and Androids When looking at apps, especially if you ever consider developing one, it is important to understand the changing marketplace for apps, and the current battle for supremacy. The platforms that are taking all of the headlines currently are Blackberry, iPhone, and Android. Android, the newest contender to the smart phone crown, was originally bought by Google in 2005,

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CHAMBER INTERVIEW THE EXPERT’S VIEW

AUGUST 2010

SECURITY FOR BUSINESSES sponsored by

Security is sometimes treated as an afterthought by businesses but in today's world it is vital to consider all aspects of security at work as part of your essential business operations. In his Expert's View column Mark Lee, Director of Lifeline Alarm Systems will bring you the latest updates, information, and tips to reduce crime locally and increase security within your business.

Fire prevention - complying with the law

T but was opened up to other handset manufacturers in 2007. Android 2.1 which was released at the end of last year, is finally coming of age and is shaping up to be a real contender with a huge increase in owners from April 2009 to April 2010. Android is slightly different in that the operating system is not tied to a single manufacturer’s devices. However, it is worth noting that currently there are approximately 10 times more Apple devices in circulation than Android devices and both currently lag behind Blackberry in terms of users by a three to one ratio. Although the iPhone is seemingly taking all of the headlines at the moment it is worth noting that they only have 18 per cent of the UK smartphone market and only 4 per cent of the overall European mobile market. But what a 4 per cent! iPhone users in Europe account for 12 per cent of mobile data; so usage is very high. Notable apps So do all of these figures actually mean anything to businesses? Well Argos saw a 600 per cent increase in traffic to its website last year, in part prompted by iPhone usage. According to Argos, they reacted to this by releasing an iPhone app that was downloaded half a million times in the three weeks after its launch. The app lets customers check the availability of items in local Argos stores and reserve them for collection. Siobhan Fitzpatrick, head of Argos brand marketing, said: "The iPhone app formed an important strand within the first burst of our 'Find It. Get It. Argos It.' ad campaign." So what apps should I take a look at? Well, you have quite a choice. The iTunes app store has a selection of 225,000 apps that have been downloaded over four billion times since June 2008. Don't worry if you don't have an iPhone, there are 80,000 Android apps and 6,500 Blackberry apps.

he prospect of FIRE, is probably one of the most frightening thoughts for all business owners. In just seconds, years of work, investment, ideas, prototypes, and stock can be gone for ever through a careless act, fault, or pure accident, besides the most important risk – to life. Business owners obviously want to make sure that they have all of the correct procedures in place not only to protect their businesses against fire, but also the people who may work or visit there. This month we look at the first of two areas that business owners should take extremely seriously compliance with the law. It is a requirement under the Fire Safety Reform Act that any business, landlord, or building owner carry out a Risk Assessment to identify the risks of fire and actions to be taken to reduce or remove those risks. Failure to do so could lead to severe fines. Take for example the retailer New Look. Following a fire at their Oxford Street shop last year, New Look were fined £400,000. A statement from law firm Shoosmiths said: "Organisations must now take a fresh look at their fire safety obligations after the decision by the Court of Appeal to uphold the record fine." The judgment suggests that in allowing fire safety risks to persist, organisations create “a risk of almost unrivaled proportions to individuals” and that this should be reflected in the level of fines. Partner and regulatory specialist at Shoosmiths, Ron Reid, said the fine related to New Look’s failure to control risk. On a smaller scale, and maybe more akin to local businesses, a

Watch video reports and business profiles on www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

Salford bakery has had to pay almost £9,000 after pleading guilty to three fire safety offences. The directors pleaded guilty to three charges: failing to comply with a prohibition notice served on the premises; failing to ensure the safe use of escape routes; and failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment. Cllr Paul Shannon, Vice Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority said: “We welcome the clear message from the courts that action will be taken against those businesses that neglect fire safety and thereby risk the safety of staff and the public. The fire authority is focused on helping businesses operate safely and taking action when they don’t.” These hefty fines remove any doubt that organisations responsible for fire safety cannot be complacent when it comes to complying with the regulations. These penalties were imposed because of a failure to control risk rather than as a result of injury. Those controlling premises subject to the regulations must review current policies to ensure compliance, and consider the structure and layout of their premises and what goes on in them. There’s no question that business owners, responsible persons, landlords, and managers who fail to address fire safety risk obligations do so at their peril. Next month we'll look at protecting the business against fire. Contact: Mark Lee at Lifeline Alarm Systems on 01983 521621, info@lifeline-security.co.uk, or www.lifeline-security.co.uk 23


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Metro App on the iPhone

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So here are my top 30 must-see apps for business users:

Networking apps for business LinkedIn: (iPhone/BlackBerry) – Free Why you should use LinkedIn is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say if you want to get and stay ahead you need to be ‘linked in’ with this professional networking site.

National Rail Enquiries on the iPhone

Twitter: Many apps including Tweetdeck and Twitpic – Free Twitter is a very effective way of communicating to lots of users, whether as part of the networking efforts for your business or for personal use. There are applications for each platform to help you use Twitter more effectively.

Facebook: (iPhone/BlackBerry/Android) – Free These days I seem to be connecting with colleagues and friends far more often on sites like Facebook than I do on sites like LinkedIn. Facebook was the most popular mobile site among UK mobile web users in March, recording 2.75bn unique page views and 5.9m unique visitors spending a total of 2bn minutes on the site, according to figures from ComScore’s Mobile Media Metrics (MMM).

SKYPE: (iPhone/BlackBerry/Android) – Free Popular platform for cheap internet calls and online chat.

News apps for business For those that need their finger on the pulse New York Times (iPhone/BlackBerry/Android/iPad) – Free Gives quick access to the most popular content, and a search if you are looking for a particular story.

Guardian (iPhone) - £2.39 The Guardian app does have to be purchased, but it has some clever features allowing you to read or listen to content when you are offline.

Metro UK (iPhone / iPad) – Free The Metro app works by showing you the paper, page by page, but the opening screen that lets you scroll between issues is a nice touch. Wordpress on an Android handset 24

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SPECIAL REPORT Productivity apps for business Documents To Go: (iPhone/ Blackberry/Android) – from £5.99 Useful app for reading and editing Office documents.

EverNote: (iPhone/Blackberry/ Android) – Free A clever web-based system that allows you to remember everything. You gather information in the form of text, sounds, pictures, web pages etc, and Evernote lets you file things to access later from any computer, or your phone of course.

Travel apps for business

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DropBox: (iPhone/BlackBerry/ Android/iPad) – Free An online account to store important files. Use the online app to access your business plan or sales projections from anywhere.

Wordpress: (iPhone/BlackBerry/ Android/iPad) – Free Need to update your blog from anywhere, well if it’s powered by Wordpress you are in luck.

Voice Recorder: (Built in on iPhone/BlackBerry/Android/iPad) – Free Today’s version of the Dictaphone, record information for yourself or record meetings.

Monitoring apps

National Rail Enquiries: (iPhone/BlackBerry/Android/iPad) £4.99 A must have for the regular traveller.

Analytics App (iPhone) - £0.59 Allows you to access Google Analytics from anywhere, to monitor the performance of your website.

Tube map: (iPhone/BlackBerry/ Android/iPad) – Free Includes a scrollable tube map, along with the status of each line to anticipate delays.

Xe (iPhone/BlackBerry/Android) – Free Monitor exchange rates.

Photoshop.com Mobile: (iPhone/Android) – Free If you are serious about posting or sending photos whilst out and about, then this is an important app for you. This allows you to make simple edits on photos on your handset.

Integrate your CRM system: (Various) There are many CRM systems out there, and a variety of ways to access them or sync them to your phone. Blackberry users may want to look at the Goldmine CRM app.

Xero: (iPhone only) – Free, but Xero requires a monthly fee. Xero is a Windows and Mac based accounting system, with mobile web access and an iPhone app. Xero for iPhone gives you an overview of the accounts for every organisation you manage. See all your bank balances, recent transactions and who owes you money. You can even call any contact with a single tap. http://www.xero.com

Bespoke apps General apps for business Cab4me: (iPhone /Android) – from Free Cab4me helps you to find a taxi when you need it. Start on the map and select your approximate pick-up location.

Translation apps: (iPhone/ BlackBerry/Android/iPad) – Free There are various apps to help translate text.

UK Postage Calculator: (iPhone) £1.19 A useful way to check the required postage if you have regular parcels and packages to deal with.

26

Compare Everywhere: (Android) – Free Point the camera at a bar code, on a book, DVD, or any kind of product and the phone auto-detects it, vibrates when it's scanned the code, and brings up the product details, with prices at online stores and bricks and mortar retail locations near you.

Pointer Remote for PowerPoint and Keynote: (iPhone) - £0.59 This app turns your handset into a handy pointer to control your presentations, whilst showing your notes on the handset.

You don’t need to limit yourself to what is currently available. If you can think of a killer app that could revolutionise the way your company works, why not get it built for you? Maybe an app could give your staff access to key internal information systems, could allow you to keep tabs on orders or stock, allow you to see where your drivers are. Basically if you can imagine it, it can probably be built. Summary Apps are here to stay. At over 300,000 and counting quickly, it is a rapidly developing marketplace. There are many apps out there that can assist your business in one way or another, it’s really just a case of deciding how your mobile could best assist you and your staff, and finding the relevant apps to suit your needs. Contact Glen Jones at: www.matrixebusiness.com

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www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

27


COMPANY PROFILE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Roger with Alpha's Mercedes executive limousine

Transport for the Island - and the stars Not many businesses can name such high profile customers as Johnny Depp, the King and Queen of Sweden, and Jane Fonda. But for Alpha IoW Limited it’s all in a day’s work.

T

he company runs up a fuel bill of £10,000 a month as it transports a huge number of groups and individuals about their daily business; whether that is celebrities, or schoolchildren, or shoppers, or holidaymakers, or hospital patients, or …. well, you get the idea. Getting people from A to B sounds a straightforward enough business, but running a transport operation of Alpha’s size is tough, according to founder and Managing Director Roger Coombes. “It’s a 24/7 operation and a lot of people depend on us,” he said. “We have to be at the top of our game all the time, but of course we also have to deal with the unexpected – like a vehicle 28

breakdown or a traffic delay,” he said. The business began 15 years ago, when Roger took early retirement from the prison service and, after getting experience working for others as a taxi driver, bought his first licence plate and a phone number. From the humble beginnings of one taxi, Roger built up the business with his wife and Co-Director Carol, and now owns 16 taxis, a Mercedes executive limousine, and five coaches ranging in size from 22 to 57 seats. The first coach was a 28 seater for school runs and groups wanting an evening out, and Roger took a special driving test and a transport manager qualification to make sure he could not

Kevin Wilson reports on the success of the company which owns the largest fleet of taxis on the Island.

only drive it himself, but manage a fleet of coaches one day. Alpha now has major contracts, including one with St Mary’s Hospital which means it must be able to provide a vehicle round the clock for patients, or for delivery of medical items. It also has a schools transport contract with the

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www.wprecruitment.co.uk WP Recruitment Ltd, Corner House, 68-70 Lugley Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5ET Tel: 01983 822615 Fax: 01983 520650 Email info@wprecruitment.co.uk


COMPANY PROFILE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Alpha's minibus

Taxi movements are followed on Alpha's GPS and mapping system

"We are looking at new ideas all the time, including working to improve our web search placing, but of course the emphasis is always on giving a good service at a fair price, and we can’t allow anything to get in the way of that." Roger Coombes Managing Director

Council, a contract with HM Prison Isle of Wight, with the Isle of Wight Festival, and another with Saga Holidays. These major blocks of work are a measure of the way times have changed, Roger said. “Around 60 per cent of our business is now based upon contracts with other organisations, and the remainder is the more traditional taxi work – people needing to catch a ferry, or having an evening out,” he explained. The technology used to control vehicle movements has also changed. A caller identification system is linked to a computer programme, and this in turn is linked to a wireless network that immediately transmits information to the self-employed drivers out and about on the Island. Their movements are then mapped on Alpha’s GPS system so staff in the control centre have an instant picture of where everyone is. And if the worst does happen, and a vehicle breaks down, Roger has his own workshop to carry out repairs. It was 30

installed five years ago, soon after the move to their current premises off Fairlee Road, Newport, right next to the Isle of Wight Festival camp site. “We service and maintain all the cars, and can handle about 80 per cent of the work needed on the coaches, too,” said Roger. “We found it was the most costefficient way of operating, and it also makes sure we are in control. “We have had a huge increase in our operating costs over the years, but have only been able to increase our tariffs twice in all the years I have been in business, so we are always looking at ways we can make improvements which bring costs down without affecting the quality of our service. “We have got through some tough times by being prepared to diversify – looking out for new opportunities.” Alpha was the first Island taxi company to invest in wheelchair accessible taxis. The first Eurotaxi it acquired nine years ago has 300,000 miles on the clock and is still going strong.

The decision to expand the range of options by buying coaches, and minibuses with high specification lifts for wheelchairs, was part of that philosophy, and it has paid off, with Alpha now managing the school transport service for 40 children who use wheelchairs. “We have grown to meet demand,” Roger said. “And although word of mouth is very important, we have also advertised extensively, and introduced new ideas like a loyalty card, which gives our regular customers one free journey for every 10 booked. "But really, our presence on the streets is what sells us, and the politeness and respect with which our drivers treat our customers.” The importance of image was recently reinforced when the company invested in new branding, and the new logo is appearing on its vehicles as well as on corporate clothing. “We know that our name needs to be out there,” said Roger. “We’ve been delighted by the response to our

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COMPANY PROFILE

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

ALPHA FACTS 10 minibus return journeys a day for 40 schoolchildren in wheelchairs 3,000 loyalty cards issued 80 per cent of taxi ordering is done over the phone Alpha and its self employed drivers split the takings 60/40 Annual turnover £400,000 Fuel and vehicle maintenance bill for the last three months £33,000

loyalty scheme, and the new branding has been well received, too. We are looking at new ideas all the time, including working to improve our web search placing, but of course the emphasis is always on giving a good service at a fair price, and we can’t allow anything to get in the way of that.” The company motto is ‘always there when you need us’, and it seems to be working. After 15 years, annual turnover has exceeded £400,000, and the figures are improving every month during the current financial year. The revival of the Isle of Wight Festival has been a boost for Alpha, and many other Island businesses. This year was one of the best events yet, and festivalgoers were queueing outside Alpha’s doors throughout the weekend. The festival attracted Johnny Depp as a visitor two years ago, but Roger had no idea who he was until he dropped him off at the VIP entrance to the site. “I’ll never be forgiven,” said Roger. “My excuse is that he wasn’t dressed like a pirate, so how could I have recognised him?! “The big events on the Island certainly generate lots of interest, and they also attract some big names. We have picked up the King and Queen of Sweden, who were having a tour of Osborne House, and Jane Fonda and Richard Branson, who were attending Cowes Week. “We were proud to win the concession to run taxis for the festival promoters this year, and we work very hard to win and maintain all our big contracts. But we must never lose sight of the day-to-day service we provide to individuals who rely on us for some very important journeys, where they are under the pressure of 32

Inside the Alpha workshop

time and they need us to take away some of the stress.” There is certainly plenty of stress involved in managing the largest fleet of self-owned taxis on the Island. As Roger was being interviewed, the call came through that a coach had broken down in London and would cost £1,000 to rescue and repair. As Roger said philosophically: “Taxis and coaches are inspected regularly, but you never know what is round the corner. Breakdowns do happen and we just have to be able to cope. “It can get very stressful, because the telephone hardly ever stops ringing, and we’re conscious of the need to maintain high standards of customer service at all times.”

In another example of how times have changed, all Alpha’s drivers – who are self employed – have gone to college to study for a qualification in taxi driving, including knowing the law, health and safety, and customer service. When Roger is not driving, or coordinating other drivers, he relaxes by restoring his vintage tractor, and keeps fit by cycling. “This is not a job for the fainthearted,” he said. “I look after myself because I know I always need to be on top form.” The keep fit regime seems to be working, and Roger has no intention of slowing down just yet.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


The Taste of Summer

CafĂŠ & Deli open 9am - 5pm daily Shop open 8am - 7pm daily Chale Green Stores, Isle of Wight PO38 2JN Tel: 551201 www.chalegreenstores.co.uk www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

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CHAMBER MATTERS

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Kevin Wilson

Chamber People

K

evin Wilson has a way with words – which is just as well, since his role with the Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, is all about copy writing and publicity.

Centenary certificates

More than 150 Island businesses were presented with special certificates from the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, as it continued its centenary celebrations.

34

Kevin, who moved to the Island seven years ago after setting up his own communications consultancy, works for the Chamber two days a week – writing news releases, interviewing, taking photographs, and writing news and feature articles for Island Business. He joined the Chamber two years ago and is constantly surprised by the range and quantity of good business stories the Island produces. “There are so many good things happening here that we could fill the Island Business Magazine many times over,” he said. “Part of my job is to help our members to spot their own publicity opportunities, and it’s very rewarding to see Island businesses doing well, and also realising that they can shout about it and tell the world!” Born in the Manchester area, Kevin

T

he Bronze and Silver awards, for 10 and 20 years membership, were presented over two evenings held at Newclose Cricket Club, Blackwater Road, Newport. Gold and Platinum certificates were presented earlier this year, at the Chamber’s centenary lunch. Chamber President Steve Porter and Chief Executive Kevin Smith paid

started his career as a newspaper journalist, then moved into public relations where he worked in a senior role for local authorities in Southampton, Harrow, and Barnet. When he’s not working for the Chamber, Kevin provides communications advice and support to other organisations. In his spare time, he enjoys working in the garden, and acting for the Apollo Theatre in Newport, and for Curtain Up in West Wight. And when he is not writing for a living, he also writes for pleasure. He has written children’s stories, plays, short stories, and a crime novel. “I just enjoy writing,” he said. “I do believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, and I am delighted to be putting that into practice in helping to promote Island businesses.”

tribute to the wide range of businesses for their active involvement in the Chamber, and their support for the Island’s business community. Kevin said: “The Chamber has been recognised in this, its centenary year, as one of the most progressive in the country, and we could never have achieved this without the active and loyal support of our member businesses.”

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


CHAMBER MATTERS

AUGUST 2010

Coaching for business Two close friends with a global client list are offering their expertise to help Island businesses reach their potential. Sarah Fenwick and Isabela Quinton

B

usiness coaches Sarah Fenwick and Isabela Quinton specialise in bringing out the best in senior managers through leadership development, change management, team building, and personalised, one-to-one coaching. They first worked together when Isabela was Human Resources Director for SP Holdings during its transition into Gurit. She brought Sarah in to coach the company’s senior personnel using some of the techniques used in sports psychology. Sarah – Island-born and a former world record-holding paraglider – said: “Sport is all about preparing yourself mentally. What sets the top stars apart is their mental and behavioural attitude, and we want to help the bigger businesses on the Island – and the fast-growing SMEs – to acquire the qualities they

need to drive their growth and achieve their objectives.” Isabela, who moved to the Island from Colombia 13 years ago, has worked in the UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, South America, the Middle East, and China. She said: “The Island is starting to be able to hire and retain some very talented and innovative people. But business can never stand still, and we believe that the coaching we offer helps to turn good managers into great managers. I believe there is a great deal of potential here, and I’d like to think Sarah and I can play a part in helping companies and individuals get to the next level.”

Sandie's great outdoors Sandie Norris has walked every step of the Island’s 500 miles of public footpaths, which makes her well qualified to run the Wight Wanders business.

W

ight Wanders is celebrating its seventh year of encouraging visitors to leave their cars on the mainland and stretch their legs – either by walking or cycling. Its service includes picking visitors up at ferry terminals, and transporting their luggage from hotel to hotel as they experience the Island’s great outdoors. Now Sandie, and her partner Neville Peachey, are planning a series of guided walks. Sandie said: “My background is in horticulture and on the occasions when I have walked with people, particularly during the Walking Festival, they seem to enjoy the fact that I can talk about some of the fantastic plants that grow so well on the Island. So

Sandie Norris and Neville Peachey

guided walks seemed like a logical extension.” The most popular walk for tourists is, not surprisingly, the coastal path, but Sandie and Neville are adding new routes every year. They also offer the ‘Move My Bag’ service to other holidaymakers and accommodation providers. “We travel round the Island anti-clockwise every day during the tourist season,” said Sandie, “so we can move other people’s luggage when they have made their own arrangements.”

NEW MEMBERS J D Wetherspoon - Lloyds No. 1 Bar 01983 556030 p6260@jdwetherspoon.co.uk www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk Coppins Bridge, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2BX Bar and restaurant.

Coaching, executive and business. Transforming business performance through people, we specialise in executive and business coaching, leadership development, people change management, and team development.

The Ryde Castle Hotel 01983 563755 6506@greeneking.co.uk www.rydecastle.com Esplanade, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1JA Hotel with 18 en suite bedrooms. Function facility for up to 250 guests. Catering for weddings, events, business meetings, funerals, and christenings.

P E Sexton Electrical Ltd Electrical Contractors 01983 533010 sextonelectrical@aol.com www.sextonelectrical.co.uk 21 Daish Way, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5EW P.E. Sexton Electrical Contractors Ltd have been established since 2000. We are on the approved contractors lists to carry out works for many local authorities including schools, hospitals and prisons. We strive to meet exceptional standards of workmanship and professionalism. We are registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting and members of Construction Line.

Sarah Fenwick / Isabela Quinton 01983 585959 sarah@sarah-fenwick.com www.sarah-fenwick.com / www.imdeq.com 46 Nodgham Lane, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1NY Or: Friston, Bonchurch Chute, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1NX

Mortgages To Suit 01983 521359 mortgagestosuit@btconnect.com www.mortgagestosuit.co.uk Corner House, 68-70 Lugley Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5ET Financial services. Domestic and commercial lending - specialist insurances - estate agency. Vizzit Isle Of Wight 01983 875621 billbristow1@mac.com 10 Foreland Road, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, PO35 5XW Marketing and media services. Tourism promotion marketing. Listing. Web design. The Italian Touch 01983 565679 customercare@the-italiantouch.co.uk www.the-italian-touch.co.uk 52 High Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2LF Retail. Italian clothing retailer.

Read Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce news on www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

Zeta-PDM 01983 528142 info@zeta-pdm.com www.zeta-pdm.com 20 Barry Way, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5GY Engineering design consultants. Zeta-pdm is a specialist technology supplier and world leader to the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, focusing predominantly on various types of separation processes. Shoes Glorious Shoes 01983 246126 iow@shoegloriousshoes.com 31 Albert Road, Gurnard, Isle of Wight, PO31 8JU Retail. Beautiful Italian shoes and handbags to suit all. Available for events, parties, and places of work. Albany Associates 01983 752583 david@albany-ballard.co.uk www.albany-ballard.co.uk Rosedale, The Square, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, PO40 9QH Marketing and media services. Public relations and tourism

marketing. Fresh, crisp, and exciting copy for websites, newsletters, and brochures; familiarisation trips; media training - passionate about communications. David Hughes and Sylvia Clare Clatterford House 01983 537338 sylvia.clare@btinternet.com www.clatterfordhouse.co.uk Clatterford House, Clatterford Shute, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, PO30 1PD Self catering holidays. S Fowler and Co (Wetherspoon) 01983 812112 neillongley@btinternet.com http://neillongley@btinternet.com 41-43 Union Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2LF A JD Wetherspoon establishment that offers great deals on food and drink 7 days a week. With an extensive range of real ales, lagers, and cocktails from around the world. A family area is open to 9pm every night. 35


CHAMBER MATTERS

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

What a great introduction to so many thriving companies!

Holding the card The Chamber Connect Membership Card is exclusive to members of accredited Chambers of Commerce, including the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry.

Check our online calendar at www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk for details of all business events

EVENTS

The card enables business and employees: • To access a range of leading nationwide discounts with B2B supplier brands • To benefit from excellent rates locally and across the UK • To access discounted business facilities across the British Chambers of Commerce network • To realise new business opportunities by networking with other businesses around the UK • To gain network buying power – benefit from prices normally only made available to large corporates • To access discounted deals from nationwide suppliers including fuel, business travel, computing, corporate hospitality and energy Obtaining the Chamber Connect Membership Card is simply a matter of joining the IW Chamber. Contact: kerstine.andrews@iwchamber.co.uk

36

Chamber Events =

Other Events =

3 September Business Breakfast Meeting A networking opportunity over a full English breakfast. 0730-0900 at The William Coppin, Newport. £4 per person • Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 6 September Chamber Cricket Experience Come and try your cricket skills and experience an enjoyable evening at Newclose. 1700 arrival, £5 per person • Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 7 September Welcome Host – one day event The No. 1 customer service course; core practical skills for all staff to improve their day-to-day performance Northcourt, Shorwell. Member Price £50pp / Non Member Price £55pp / Rural Price £32pp • Call 02380 625533 9 September Search Engine Optimisation – half day event Learn the fundamentals of search marketing. Venue Priory Bay Hotel. Standard Price: £150pp / Limited Special Offer: £65pp • Call 02380 625533

T

he Chamber’s First Friday Business Breakfast last month was a productive kick-off to the working day, and, for me, a really useful start to business life on the Island. There’s so much energy… so much enthusiasm for all things Wight. The networking opportunities are first class: a printer… making an impression; a designer… drawing people in; a radio producer… airing his views; a photographer… keeping us in the picture; an accountant… summing people up. Friends, and friends I had yet to make, from an extremely wide selection of the local business community, were busy making themselves known. So where were all the other Chamber members? I know that you’re out there somewhere, and we’d all like to see you next time. You have to stand up and talk about yourself and your business for a couple of minutes. But that’s no big deal. If nothing else, it puts a face to your name. The useful conversations come later. And the

Must be pre-booked =

Come and join the Chamber for a First Friday breakfast.

emails. The meeting and greeting just gets the ball rolling. It’s only active Chamber members who can make this happen. You’ve joined. So what are you waiting for? You don’t need a written invitation. Just come and say hello. The First Friday Business Breakfast takes place every other month. The next meeting is on 3 September, then 5 November. I’ll be there! David D Ballard, Albany Associates media and public relations david@albany-ballard.co.uk

14 September Tapas at Blueberry Café, Shanklin 1730-2000. Guest speaker Rob Ellis - a ThinkUKnow ambassador who will cover the risks to children and the role of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Limited spaces so book early. £10 person. • Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 22 September Deli Event, Seaview Hotel, Seaview An evening of delicatessen delights including a selection of fine cold meats, olives, cheeses and fine wines. Guest speaker to be announced. £7.00 pp. • Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 5 October Murder, mystery and dinner, Ventnor Towers Hotel Experience an evening of entertainment organised by ‘Caught Red Handed Productions’. Includes a 3 course meal. £15.00 per person. 1900-2230. • Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 6 October Welcome Management - one day event For those responsible for leading a team of

staff, this training programme can help participants to develop a customer service strategy, design and implement systems that meet customer needs, and lead a customer focused team. Venue Priory Bay Hotel. Standard Price: £105pp / Limited Special Offer: £75pp. • Call 02380 625533 11 October Welcome Host Gold - one day event Venue TBC. Standard Price: £95pp / Member Price: £50pp / Non Member Price: £55pp / Rural Price: £32pp. • Call 02380 625533 2 November Welcome Host – one day event The No. 1 customer service course; core practical skills for all staff to improve their day-to-day performance. Isle of Wight Steam Railway. Member Price £50pp / Non Member Price £55pp / Rural Price £32pp • Call 02380 625533 9 November Welcome Host Plus – one day event The ideal next step after Welcome Host. Gives an insight into dealing with challenging situations, how to build a winning team and achieve world class customer service. New Holmwood Hotel. Standard Price: £95pp / Limited Special

Offer: £65pp / Rural Price: £32pp. • Call 02380 625533 15 November Welcome Host Gold - one day event Venue TBC. Standard Price: £95pp / Member Price: £50pp / Non Member Price: £55pp / Rural Price: £32pp. • Call 02380 625533 18 November IW Chamber Centennial Quiz Night 1830-2100, Hot meal included, venue and cost tbc Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk 25 November Google Tools – half day event Ensure your website delivers more sales. Venue Brading Roman Villa. Standard Price: £150pp / Limited Special Offer: £65pp • Call 02380 625533 26 November IW Chamber Business Awards For Excellence 2010 Cowes Yacht Haven, details tbc Call 01983 520777 or email chamber@iwchamber.co.uk

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


CLASSIFIEDS

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Our Classified section is the perfect place to advertise your products and services. It's also incredibly cost-effective with a classified ad costing from just £8 per column centimetre. Call 01983 245505 to book your classified advert. BLINDS / AWNINGS Apollo Blinds Isle of Wight, John Youle. Tel. 01983 402230 apolloblindsiow@googlemail.com apollo-blinds.co.uk/isle-of-wight

Advertise here from just £8 per column centimetre. Call 01983 245505 to book your classified advert.

BUILDERS AND PLUMBERS

BUSINESS UTILITIES

BUSINESS UTILITIES

CATERING

CAR CLEANING

CORPORATE EVENTS Stagegear Rentals 3 Quivey Cottage, Main Road, Arreton, PO30 3AG. Tel. 0870 3450352 Email: pete@stage-gear.co.uk Web: www.stage-gear.co.uk

38

Boost your business! Advertise here from just £8 per column centimetre.

COUNSELLING / LIFE COACHING

An emotionally intelligent workforce increases productivity and saves money Help your staff to: Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety, Increase Self Confidence Manage Time Effectively NLP, CBT, HG Qualified Therapist To find out more, call Relaxing Times 07791 656 545 Email: michael@michaelackrill.wanadoo.co.uk

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


CLASSIFIEDS

AUGUST 2010 COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

SIGNS AND GRAPHICS

SINGERS AND CORPORATE ENTERTAINERS

Commercial property? We can help you. SURVEYORS AND ARCHITECTS friendly service local knowledge

www.hose-rhodes-dickson.co.uk

01983527727

GRAPHIC DESIGN AND WEB APPLICATIONS

ICT Open Sauce Systems Ltd. Low cost, flexible phone systems and servers. Ideal for new businesses. 01983 220028 www.opensaucesystems.com MORTGAGES

www.islandbusinessonline.co.uk

TRAINING Creedence Training Academy & Consultancy Freshwater, Isle of Wight info@creedencetraining.co.uk www.creedencetraining.co.uk 01983 759213

WORKWEAR

39


REALLYUSEFULBUSINESSSTUFF

THE BACK PAGE

We’ve found a source for a number of free guides to help your business – www.dianomioffers.co.uk/ British Gas are claiming to beat your business electricity supply by at least 10%, plus offer you exclusive discounts with a number of key service suppliers – www.britishgas.co.uk/business/ Are you interested in winning a grant for your business start-up? BT are running a business grant competition www.insight.bt.com/Competition/StartUps/ Every woman should check this out. The NatWest Everywomen Awards – www.everywoman.com/ everywomanAwards/ UK Food and Farming Awards Nominations for this year's BBC Food and Farming Awards are now open. There are 10 categories and the closing date is midnight on 15 August. Visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/ffa/2010/i ntroduction/ to enter.

Cartoonist: Rupert Besley

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THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

Our RUBS section is where we pass on stuff we come across that we think is really useful – it does what it says on the tin! If you have a tip that you think is really useful let us know and we'll share it here. Google are offering the ability to create your own website for free – www.gbbo.co.uk/

CHANGING TIMES

Credit reports now easily available online You can now access your statutory credit report online for a fee of just £2 from all three major UK credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Callcredit. Previously, statutory credit reports for £2 were only available by post, which could take seven days to arrive. www.direct.gov.uk/. The value of online sales by small businesses in the UK is estimated to be worth around £50 billion per year, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) would like to hear from small firms about their online trading experiences and the barriers they face when trading on the internet. If you have business experiences of online trading that you would like to share email the OFT at onlinemarkets@oft.gsi.gov.uk. BBC programme searching for companies Terry Messenger, a well-known business leader in the UK, is set to put his reputation on the line in a brand new BBC series about helping small businesses overcome difficulties in the aftermath of the financial downturn. Email Terry to find out more, terry.messenger@bbc.co.uk.

Steve Blamire is known as a free-thinking and sometimes radical business consultant who contributes innovation and an inventive flair. In Steve’s monthly column, here and on Island Business Online, he’ll be musing on a wide range of subjects. Contact Steve at steve@steveblamire.co.uk

Happy holidays

S

omeone recently asked me ‘Steve what floats your boat?’ After a moment or two I responded with one word ‘tourism’. My enquirer looked rather puzzled and replied ‘so you like to travel?’ to which I went on to explain that yes that was part of it but my interest was much deeper than that. This was followed by an even greater look of puzzlement. So I went on to explain that growing up on the Island I had always been surrounded by tourism and from a young age had been fascinated by the reasons why people would invade our little Island each year. I then went on to work in tourism as a teenager, left the Island to study it and then returned some years later to again work in it, and meanwhile at every opportunity I would engage in the act myself. At first I was mostly interested in tourists in the plural, in the impact they had on places and how they can be managed to achieve more symbiotic hostvisitor relationships. This led me into the world of economics, design, commerce, planning, sustainable development etc. which was all fascinating stuff. But what really got me intrigued was when I began to look at the tourist in the singular sense, as individuals, through what motivates us to travel and how we go about this act. In a sense tourism captures the essence of what we spend our entire lives trying to seek out; happiness. When we go on holiday we reflect what our lives would be like outside of constraints of work and everyday survival. To me the interesting point that this raises is that we tend to define ‘work’ as a negative factor and something

that hinders our quest for the Holy Grail that is happiness. Those who follow various eastern philosophies would argue that we have got our understanding fundamentally wrong, in that happiness derives from contentment with what you have and not what you do not have. But in the west we have always struggled with this, as it does not fit with our consumerdriven society, where we are bombarded with messages to undermine what we have and create a sense that we always need more. It is a well-documented fact that happy employees are far more productive, dynamic, and creative than those who are unhappy. So it should follow that the most successful businesses are those with the happiest employees. So how do we achieve this pool of happy employees? The thinking usually revolves around a mix of communication, fair remuneration, security, leadership, and so on. But is this enough? If we view ‘work’ as a direct conflict in our pursuit of happiness then no matter what our employers do we will still be unhappy with the result. Kennedy once said ‘GDP measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile’, and maybe that’s where the answer lies, focusing on the intangible, the things we can’t measure. So as you head off for your annual ‘moment of happiness’ or holiday, as it is more commonly known, then take the time to ponder what you already have and maybe find ways to make that experience more enjoyable. Life is one long holiday, it is only us that choose not to treat it that way.

Visit Cowes Online www.cowes.co.uk for the best sailing content and Cowes Week coverage


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Island Business Magazine, August 2010  

August 2010 issue of Island Business Magazine

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