suffolk SPRING 2013 | www.iod-suffolk.co.uk
Welcome. Spring has arrived; change is in the air. There’s no better time to blow away the cobwebs and take a fresh look at business. If you’re ready for change, don’t miss our preview of the IOD Suffolk Annual Conference The Challenge of Change. It’s an inspirational day to create, discuss and debate new ideas for positive change. If you’re looking for new markets, export is our theme for this edition of the magazine. We find out how a Sudbury company has made export its business for centuries, and continues to beat off the competition. And we talk to the digital entrepreneur with clients from Canada to Kowloon.
Vanners of Sudbury have been exporting their exquisite silk textiles worldwide since 1740. Today they’re beating off competition from Far Eastern rivals: what’s the secret of their long-term success? Vanners’ MD Richard Stevenson talks to Jane Chittenden on page 14.
And if you’re thinking about a new look for your brand, we’ve got expert advice from brand manager Pete Waters. Have a great Spring! Email us at IoDemail@example.com or write to us at the address below. Jane Chittenden – Editor
Published by: Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited 141 Norwich Road, Ipswich IP1 2PP firstname.lastname@example.org www.tilstonphillips.com
Designed by: Toni Escriche Portrait images of Richard Stevenson and front cover image used by kind permission of Gary John Norman. www.garyjohnnorman.com
All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without the prior consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The content of this magazine is based on the best knowledge and information available at the time of publication. All times, prices and details of events were correct at time of going to press. The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers, proprietors, the Institute of Directors or others associated with this production. © Tilston Phillips Magazines Limited 2013
From the Chair
IoD Suffolk Annual Conference
Across the region
Protecting the Director
Web design and marketing
A word from the accountants
Recent IoD Suffolk events
Corporate team building
Member profile – Luke Morris
New members to Suffolk branch Gary Barr Dixons Retail Plc Peter Gerber Eyecare Opticians Malcolm Frank Walton Fairstead Business Development Max Harnden Gotelee Bryan Himsworth Himsworth Consultancy Ltd Martyn Jackson IPRS Peter Nigel Warburton Maharishi Foundation David Upton Peru Consulting Adrian Meredith Plus Two Operators Ltd Les Lockwood Powerlase Photonics Ltd David John Giffin Relational Consultants Ltd Timothy Mark Ryan Ryan Insurance Group Ltd John Spice Spice Property Ltd Ian Cross The House Collection Ltd David Toulson-Burke The House Collection Ltd
From the Chair
IoD Suffolk membership benefits • • • • • •
IoD Travel Services IoD Car Rental IoD Director’s Liability Insurance IoD Professional Indemnity Insurance IoD Home and Contents Insurance IoD Health Plans For a complete list of the current affinity member benefits, please see www.iod.com/speciallynegotiated To find out more about joining IoD Suffolk branch please contact: Caroline Kearney Suffolk Branch Administrator 07917 699 498 email@example.com Institute of Directors Suffolk Branch 25 Wilding Drive, Grange Farm, Kesgrave Ipswich IP5 2AE www.iod-suffolk.co.uk Follow @SuffolkIoD
The feeling so far from 2013 is very much “more of the same”: as we race into spring you would be forgiven for thinking that, other than for the seasons, nothing much else changes. As I write, another bank has been fined for its part in the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, EU leaders are again working through the night on another deal (this time their 2014 to 2020 budget), the retail sector continues to be under the cosh, and the Bank of England has again decided to leave the base rate at 0.5%. The quote attributed variously to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Mark Twain is, “if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”. Whoever said it, what is clear is that improvements in business performance can only come about when organisations gain the flexibility to make different choices to the ones they would usually make, thus enabling different results. Change. We all know that this is not as easy as it sounds and so it’s this very “Challenge of Change” that we’ve taken as the theme at the heart of the Annual Conference on 15 May. More details can be found inside. Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to participate.
One thing that certainly is a change is my presence on these pages. This is my first “From the Chair”, having taken over from Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society, from the beginning of the year. I’d like to start my tenure by thanking Paul, on behalf of the Committee, for all of his time and energy during the past three years. Paul oversaw some hugely successful events and was instrumental in demonstrating the important role that IoD plays in Suffolk’s business community.
Luke Morris March 2013 IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 3
IOD ANNUAL CONFERENCE
IoD Suffolk Annual Conference The Challenge of Change An inspirational day to create, discuss and debate new ideas for positive change.
15th MAY 2013
Venue: Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, CO6 4PZ
Challenge of change AGENDA AT A GLANCE: 09.30hrs Registration & coffee 10.00hrs Welcome by Conference Chair, David Hall 10.15hrs Become a LiquidThinker. Change your thinking and make things happen Damian Hughes 11.15hrs Interactive session, followed by coffee 11.55hrs Syndicate Sessions Fernando Peire
Conference Chair, David Hall
We are delighted to announce details of the 2013 IoD Suffolk Annual Conference, our showcase business event for senior executives, business leaders and managers in both private and public sector organisations.
Michelin-starred London restaurant The Ivy who in his reality Channel Five TV series ‘The Restaurant Inspector’ goes undercover to test the quality of food and service at ailing British restaurants before revealing his identity and then helping the owners to turn them around.
This year’s conference at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel aims to inspire you to make positive changes; to learn new skills and knowledge for change and to enjoy meeting and sharing ideas with other likeminded business people. Following a welcome and introduction from event Chair, David Hall, our first plenary session will be led by international speaker Damian Hughes who will use his unique and authentic motivational style to show how ‘Liquid Leaders’ make things happen – how they show courage, passion, resilience and the will to win, whatever the challenge. There will be plenty of opportunity to network and an excellent choice of syndicate sessions in the morning and afternoon. The afternoon plenary keynote will be given by Fernando Peire, director of
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Fernando will undoubtedly provide some entertaining insights into managing the customer experience and will challenge your thinking about approaching change. Please book now for a conference we hope will be refreshing, inspirational and motivational.
12.40hrs Buffet lunch and networking 13.40hrs Welcome back, David Hall 13.45hrs The Restaurant Inspector – challenging your¡ approach to change 14.15hrs Open Forum facilitated by David Hall 14.35hrs Syndicate Sessions 15.40hrs Change Forum Session – facilitated by David Hall 16.30hrs Close
BOOK NOW The day represents excellent value. IoD member tickets and their guests are £95.00 + vat, non-member tickets are £142.50 + vat. To book, please contact Caroline Kearney, IoD Suffolk Branch Administrator. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel: 07917 699 498 You are able to pay on-line by visiting: www.iod.com/suffolkevents Alternatively you can pay by cheque or credit card.
Our conference is kindly sponsored by:
Professor Damian Hughes
Keynote speakers Damian Hughes is the founder of ‘LiquidThinker’, an inspirational consultancy which takes the methods used by great leaders and achievers and shows, in easy steps, how these can be applied to business, teams and individuals to achieve success. A former England schoolboy footballer and Manchester United football coach, Hughes was a Human Resource Director for Unilever where he led a turnaround in performance at the UK’s oldest manufacturing site in Port Sunlight before carrying out similar work in Africa and the US. Damian has published four books ‘Liquid Thinking, ‘Liquid Leadership’, ‘The Survival Guide to Change’ and ‘Change Catalyst’. He works as a change management consultant and sports psychologist including for the England and GB Rugby League team and is Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change at Manchester Metropolitan University.' Fernando Peire is on the Board of Caprice Holdings and is Director of The Ivy restaurant & private room, and The Club at The Ivy. There have been two six-part series of his acclaimed factual entertainment programme ‘The Restaurant Inspector’ on Channel 5. Born in Gibraltar, Fernando was educated at The Latymer Grammar School in London and Manchester University, where he read Law and French. He worked for the French government for a year before deciding on a career in restaurants. Conference Chair, David Hall, Director of The Ideas Centre, has a passion for creativity and innovation and a pursuit of the perfect culture has provided a common thread throughout his career. He won an E-on Award for ‘UK’s most energetic Boss’ in 2007 when chief executive of HFL.
Syndicate Sessions Think content: marketing in the digital age Presented by Ian Miller, Search Director at Crafted With customers becoming blind to traditional marketing interruptions, Ian Miller, Search Director at Ipswich digital agency Crafted, explores how to create engaging content to build valuable customer relationships. This session will explore the basics of content marketing, including how to generate useful resources and the importance of businesses embracing this new way of thinking. The detail of bank loans from a borrower’s perspective Presented by Clare Richards, Solicitor at Barker Gotelee Clare Richards specialises in corporate law and this session will look at understanding bank documents, highlighting key points to know to protect your facilities. Plan for the worst, think for the best Presented by Rob Thacker, Director at Pound Gates, Chartered Insurance Brokers Led by Rob Thacker, Chartered Insurance Broker, Pound Gates this session will provide a practical guide to strategic risk management, including common misconceptions about the scope of insurance available to you and your business in a changing environment.
Tax – an opportunity not a threat Presented by Robert Leggett, Corporate Tax Manager, Ensors Chartered Accountants In an attempt to drive economic prosperity the government has recently introduced several measures that represent great tax saving opportunities for businesses. In his workshop, Robert Leggett will provide an overview of the main areas for consideration and discuss how they can help drive business growth. Navigating Change – there are three certainties in life – Death, Taxes and Change! Presented by Tony Kerley FCIPD, FInstLM of Lighthouse Training & Development Whatever change your organisation is facing now or may face in the future, one thing is for sure; the outcome will be more successful if it is handled with skill. This inspirational session will help organisations of all sizes understand how to navigate the most challenging change situations. Find out how to engage employees to effectively balance the commercial and emotional tensions created by our ever changing business world. Don't miss this thought-provoking session for practical tips from the Government’s 'Employee Engagement' Task Force Guru. See full conference programme at: www.iod-suffolk.co.uk
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 5
Company Visit CLAAS UK Ltd
Wine Tasting with Thos Peatling
Business Breakfast ‘Green Energy’
THURSDAY 25 APRIL 2013 11.00am – 2.00pm Saxham Business Park Bury St Edmunds IP28 6 QZ
WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2013 5.45 – 9.00pm Westgate House Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP33 1QS
TUESDAY 2ND JULY 2013 7.30 – 9.30am Venue TBC
Join us for a company visit to CLAAS UK in Bury St Edmunds, which is responsible for the distribution and supply of all CLAAS machinery and parts in England, Scotland and Wales. For nearly 100 years CLAAS has been developing intelligent solutions for agricultural machinery including tractors and harvesting machinery.
Join us for a private wine tasting event for branch members and their guests hosted by Thos Peatling, a local wine business with a long and fascinating heritage and a friendly and knowledgeable team.
Make a diary date now for our ‘Green Energy’ business breakfast with guest speaker Simon Gray, CEO of The East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), the industry association for energy in the East of England which represents over 390 members across the supply chain.
Decades of research and experience have created a solid foundation for a product range that enables CLAAS to meet the constantly increasing challenges of a growing world population and dwindling resources, and therefore to optimise harvesting. After a tour and talk, staff will join us for a buffet lunch hosted by Trevor Tyrell, CEO of CLAAS UK. claas.co.uk
Peatlings specialise in importing interesting and unusual wines from estates from around the world, many of whom have never sold their wine in the UK before. On the evening there will be a tutored tasting by different presenters focusing on some recent arrivals, followed by an opportunity to taste some more wines accompanied by a finger buffet. There is limited on-site parking, with plenty of street parking available close by from 6.00pm onwards.
EEEGR is a non-profit, business-led group committed to the sustained development of the energy sector in the East of England and the continued success of its members who operate throughout the energy sectors from oil, gas, wind, wave & tidal, bio-energy, and nuclear through to decommissioning, carbon capture & storage (CCS), distribution and transmission and conventional generation. eeegr.com
Our events programme is kindly sponsored by:
BOOK YOUR EVENTS To book any of our events you have the following options: Contact our Suffolk IoD branch administrator Caroline Kearney Telephone 07971 699498 or email email@example.com Caroline will take credit card bookings or invoice your business. Book online at www.iod.com/suffolkevents Use our booking form – Each of our events has a marketing leaflet with a booking form you can return by post. If you have not received a leaflet and would like to receive one please contact Caroline Kearney.
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For life, land and business
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 7
ACROSS THE REGION
Bid to boost high streets
More help with Free ticket to ride finance problems for jobseekers Abellio train operator Greater Anglia has launched a free rail ticket scheme for jobseekers in the region.
As the government generates forums and debates about the future of our high streets two organisations are backing a new action initiative this Easter. The Support for Independent Retail campaign and the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are leading the way to benefit local traders. Although 69% of retail outlets are now independently operated – up three per cent on a few years ago – town traders are still struggling, burdened with a rates system that makes it difficult to compete with online competitors whose business rates can be up to 100 times lower for an equivalent space. The ‘Enjoy an Independent Easter’ campaign intends to create a fun, familyfriendly activity to connect shoppers with their local independent traders, raising awareness of the excellent businesses on their doorsteps. Bira supports the campaign because they say that, for many of their members, footfall has been falling and with 16% of independent businesses fearing closure in 2013 it is imperative that something is done.
The Ensors Business Recovery team have launched a new microsite to serve the needs of businesses and individuals facing financial difficulties – offering greater detailed information on the options available. Mark Upton, partner in charge of the team, said: “As a business or individual when you face financial uncertainty you need straightforward, honest advice – quickly. Our aim with the microsite is to provide greater depth of information than we have room for on the main website – providing a vehicle to reassure and encourage discussion. “It is very easy to focus on the negatives and assume that the only route out is business closure or bankruptcy. However, in our experience, there are generally more options available, especially if the problems are identified early on. For example, we have been involved in a number of informal arrangements where a business continues trading as a result of us negotiating agreed repayment terms over a period of time with creditors.
The ‘Job Track’ initiative will help the unemployed by offering free tickets to travel to job interviews. For those successful in gaining employment, further help is available with a free season ticket for the first two months in work. The scheme, which is being publicised at Job Centres, aims to help jobseekers consider employment opportunities outside their immediate area, within reasonable commuting distances. Ruud Haket, Greater Anglia MD, said: “We’re very keen to play a positive role in the communities we serve across London and the East of England. This scheme will assist those looking for work and, when finding employment, offers a great help to people at a time when money is tight. We hope it will prove attractive to jobseekers across our region in their efforts to get back to work.”
“That way everyone wins. Employees retain jobs, creditors get paid and the local economy avoids another closure.”
Funding for new sports area at UCS University Campus Suffolk (UCS) has secured Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s ‘Inspired Facilities’ for a major sporting development on Ipswich waterfront. The funding will enable UCS to develop a multi-purpose outdoor sports and physical activity area next to the James Hehir building on the campus. The facilities will provide a space for students, staff and the local community to participate in recreational sport and physical activity, as well as becoming a hub for UCS sports clubs and teams. The development will also complement degree courses in sports and exercise science and healthy ageing. 8 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
Sport England’s chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This National Lottery investment is helping us deliver a lasting sporting legacy in Suffolk from last year’s successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. With so many clubs in the East of England having benefited from this fund already and building on the success of last summer, this is the legacy people want for their local community.” UCS director of sport, Professor Bill Tancred, said “This will create a lasting sporting legacy for Ipswich and the institution. This outdoor, multi-purpose facility will provide sporting and physical activity opportunities and address genuine needs for students, staff, clubs
and the local community, to include healthy ageing.” MP Ben Gummer, said: “This is a great addition to an increasingly busy waterfront. Now, as well as cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, there will be a sports facility. This is a brilliant new asset for the university and for the town.”
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ACROSS THE REGION
Chance for businesses to put on a show Visitors will meet key professionals able to provide services and products to assist them in the delivery and success of their company and benefit from thoughtprovoking workshops with the opportunity to talk to industry experts on a range of subjects.
Businesses on the Suffolk coast are looking forward to the chance to promote the very best the region has to offer. The Suffolk Coast Business Exhibition (SCBE) on March 26 is being staged by the Heritage Coast Market Towns Initiative (HCMTI) at the Athlone Hall in the grounds of Framlingham College. The afternoon event will provide an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to promote their products and services; to meet and communicate directly with potential customers and to benefit from media coverage. An extensive range and variety will be on show, with one aim in mind – to connect with other businesses in the region and strengthen the local economy.
The exhibition is being sponsored by Suffolk Coastal District Council, East of England Co-operative, Ensors Chartered Accountants and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce who, together with HCMTI, are keen to provide a platform for delegates to experience the depth, strength and expertise of business on the Suffolk coast. John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit and hard work that is making the coast of Suffolk such a good place to do business. We encourage businesses to take part in what we are sure will be an important event on the annual business calendar.” If you would like to exhibit or attend the show visit www.suffolkcoastbusiness.co.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel gets set to open £3m spa The Bedford Lodge Hotel at Newmarket is set to open a new £3million spa this summer. It is being built next to the four-star hotel in the 19th-century Rockfield House. The newly-appointed spa manager, Anna Ramsay, has a wealth of experience in the industry, having worked in luxury spas across the country and as far afield as the Maldives. Anna said: “The spa is going to bring something new and exciting to Newmarket and I am thrilled to be a part of it.” The hotel’s chief executive, Noel Byrne, added: “We have big plans for our new spa and I am extremely pleased to have Anna on board with her in-depth knowledge of the spa industry. With Anna’s help, we will offer the very best in face and body treatments, each one designed and tailored specifically to the customer so that they experience the best physical and emotional therapeutic benefits based on their individual needs.”
Bank branch sees business grow Handelsbanken Ipswich has credited another successful year of growth to the loyalty of its local branch customers. The 141-year-old bank has published its full year 2012 results and reveals a 23% rise in lending to British customers. Business lending increased 22%, to £7.7billion, while lending to personal banking customers rose 27%, to £2.8bn. UK customer deposits increased 43 % over the period, to £3.1bn. Ipswich is one of the bank’s 148 British branches, stretching from Perth to Portsmouth. Handelsbanken puts this continuing growth, including 29 new branches opened in 2012, down to a long-term focus on customer satisfaction, prudent banking and cost efficiency. This approach has seen the bank rated top for satisfaction and
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loyalty for the past four years, in an independent annual survey of British banks’ personal and business customers. Worldwide, Handelsbanken has around 750 branches in 24 countries, employing more than 11,000 staff. Martin Fish, corporate manager of the Ipswich branch, said: “Obviously we’re delighted at these strong results. They are further evidence that our traditional, local approach where the focus is always on the customer and not on a ‘sales’ target, has been embraced throughout the UK.” Handelsbanken also reaffirmed its robust capital and liquidity positions and its low credit-loss ratios, which have earned the Swedish-headquartered bank among the highest credit ratings of any international bank.
Anna Ramsey, newly appointed spa manager at The Bedford Lodge Hotel, Newmarket.
PROTECTING THE DIRECTOR
When you hear that someone has been “disqualified” what do you think?
Insolvency Perhaps your first thought is that they’ve been stripped of their driving licence following a road traffic offence or a series of motoring misdemeanours? Or perhaps they’ve been kicked out of a sporting competition after a false start or for taking performance-enhancing drugs? Chances are you won’t automatically think that the person has been banned from acting as a director of a limited company. But that is exactly what is happening to directors up and down the country every week of every year – and the likelihood is that over the next few years or so, the number of bans will go up. So, how does the disqualification process start? When a company goes into liquidation or administration, the insolvency practitioner (IP) appointed to deal with the failed business has a statutory duty to investigate the company’s affairs and conduct of its director(s). The sort of misconduct that rings alarm bells includes: n n n n n n n n n n
Non payment of Crown debts Concealing assets Unexplained deficiency in the accounts Transactions personally benefitting the director(s) Overvaluing of assets Dishonoured cheques Preferential payments to creditors/guarantors Taking deposits whilst failing to supply goods/services Transactions at an undervalue Wrongful/fraudulent trading
Within six months of the company’s demise, the IP is obliged to submit their findings to the Secretary of State. Where misconduct has been identified, this triggers further investigations which, in turn, could lead to proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Under this legislation, a person can be disqualified from acting as a director of a company or in any way, directly or indirectly, being concerned or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the court’s permission, for a period of between two and fifteen years. To avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings, it may be possible for the director to offer an undertaking not to be a director of a company for an agreed period. This has the same legal effect as the court’s disqualification order, and is usually accompanied by a schedule identifying the unfit conduct, details of which are published on the Insolvency Service website – and can sometimes attract media attention. The consequences of breaching a disqualification order or undertaking are the same – a fine, imprisonment for up to two years, or both. There may also be personal liability for a company’s debts where the director has continued to act whilst disqualified. Aside from the potentially detrimental effect on an individual’s health, an adverse costs order could be made if proceedings are unsuccessfully defended – and this, ultimately, could lead to personal bankruptcy. The potential consequences of disqualification proceedings are massive – for the director and their family. And effects can ripple further – for example, if that individual has set up a new venture since the insolvency of the company in question, its employees may be at risk of losing their jobs.
Contact Kevin Sullivan, Partner Birkett Long LLP 01206 217300 email@example.com.
Directors’ Disqualification Proceedings According to the latest published statistics, during 2011/12, the Insolvency Service secured 1,151 disqualification orders and undertakings against directors of failed companies with an average disqualification period of 5.9 years. Whilst this is slightly down on 2010/11 (1,437), the industry’s trade body, R3, is lobbying the Government for increased resources to facilitate a greater number of investigations and therefore secure more disqualifications. At Birkett Long LLP we have considerable experience and expertise in acting for directors facing disqualification proceedings. We have acted in several cases which have collapsed before trial with the director receiving a substantial contribution towards their costs. Should you find yourself facing disqualification proceedings, we may be able to help – and, as is often the case, the sooner you seek advice the better.
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Baker Tilly, a leading national firm with a local Suffolk presence Baker Tilly based in Bury St Edmunds offers the benefits of a national, Top 10, accounting firm with a local Suffolk presence. Baker Tilly based in Bury St Edmunds is one of Suffolkâ€™s leading professional services firms and possibly Suffolkâ€™s largest firm of Chartered Accountants. We benefit from a national and international network to add to the depth and quality of the advice provided to our clients. If you want the best of both worlds, a local service with a national and international reputation, please contact Stephen Duffety on 01284 763311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Baker Tilly, Abbotsgate House, Hollow Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP32 7FA
ÂŠ 2011 Baker Tilly UK Group LLP, all rights reserved Baker Tilly UK Audit LLP, Baker Tilly Tax and Advisory Services LLP, Baker Tilly Corporate Finance LLP, Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery LLP and Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting Limited are not authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 but we are able in certain circumstances to offer a limited range of investment services because we are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. We can provide these investment services if they are an incidental part of the professional services we have been engaged to provide. Baker Tilly & Co Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct a range of investment business activities.
12 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
From Suffolk to 60 countries: doing global business in the digital age With today’s digital technology it’s never been easier for small businesses to succeed in the global marketplace. Bill Wolff-Evans, digital entrepreneur from Web experts Infotex shares his experiences with IOD Suffolk Can you do business abroad? Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that you can’t. If you are experienced at dealing with UK businesses, then you have experience of working in a tough and highly competitive market, so you already have a USP and an edge. Companies in emerging markets like India, China and Brazil are keen to buy into and learn from people with that kind of experience.
We do business with clients from Canada to Kowloon, all from our office in Melton, near Woodbridge. Skype and other digital technologies enable us to be in daily contact with our clients wherever they are, and manage their web activity remotely. One of our clients is based in Hong Kong; we manage their online strategy for them, which includes website build and digital marketing and they have operations in 60 countries. They simply tell us which part of the world they want us to drive more sales traffic to, and that’s what we do, increasing enquiries by 37 per cent in some areas. If our Victorian great-grandfathers wanted to do business in Singapore, it would have taken them weeks by horse carriage, steamer and rickshaw to get there, with meetings pre-arranged by the postal service. They would have needed to be highly entrepreneurial, extremely
ambitious to do business, driven, courageous and slightly mad. Today, we can all be digital explorers with real-time interaction and conversation at our fingertips via the web, mobile devices and social channels. But to really succeed in the export market, it’s important to set up global relationships with people-to-people interaction first. Rockford, the UK’s largest (and Suffolk based) provider of wiring system solutions, are thriving in dynamic markets, but they say it’s only achieved by actively networking and exhibiting abroad. And sometimes the best way is to to be bold, like Charlie from Brandcast Media, a creative video agency. He simply went to Singapore and opened an office, started networking and within a couple of weeks had briefs coming in.
Do your research first. If you have a marketing budget and you really want to know before you go, consider commissioning a *Prospects Audit (research, entirely specific to your specialism and proposed region, which will provide detailed reporting on competition, search and customer activity, alert you to barriers to entry and identify opportunities). And do get help from the experts, such as Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and UKTI (UK Trade and Investment); they’re there to provide the support you need. Get on a plane and make 2013 the year you go for global markets. Good luck! To find out more about a *Prospects Audit, call Bill Wolff-Evans at Infotex on 01394 615615 or email email@example.com
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 13
The Silk Route: Sudbury’s global market Vanners of Sudbury have been exporting their exquisite silk textiles worldwide since 1740. Today they’re beating off competition from Far Eastern rivals: what’s the secret of their long-term success? Vanners’ MD Richard Stevenson talks to Jane Chittenden. We’re taking a tour of the silk weaving mill in Sudbury. It’s a blur of brilliant coloured reels of silk stacked up neatly on shelves and complex webs of threads rising from the looms into the mill ceiling. There’s a tremendous noise as the jacquard looms shuttle up and down – chug-chug-chug - and a steadier roar in the background. The loom operators intervene constantly, changing threads, winding on new reels in what’s clearly highly skilled work.
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Richard Stevenson explains how the company moved here in the 1870s from Spitalfields in London’s East End to escape from high rents and minimum wages (there’s nothing new in business!). They settled in Sudbury as it was not far from London and had access to fastmoving water to power their new machines. But at this point the textile industry in the region was collapsing, never to recover: nearby Lavenham’s weavers had already gone out of business
and Norwich’s immensely profitable textile businesses were on their knees. How could Vanners survive? And centuries later, how could it deal with the challenges of cheaper goods from the Far East, not to mention the challenges in the home market? “We’ve stood by quality and service; that’s what the company has always done,” says Stevenson. “And to be honest, we don’t have a choice. In our market the middle
Investment in equipment and people is vital, says Stevenson. “The problem with making those investments is that when markets aren’t great – as they aren’t, at the moment – it takes real courage to say: ‘Okay, I’m going to take a longer term view and invest heavily in the latest equipment’.” It seems risky. But the flipside is that if you don’t do it, you’ll put yourself into serious difficulties in the not too distant future.
market’s been really squeezed – so it’s either the very top or the very bottom; those are the booming markets. At the bottom, there’s always someone who can do it more cheaply than you, whether it’s somebody just down the road or further afield – Eastern Europe, China or Vietnam...” Vanners’ customers are among the world’s top brands, including the UK’s Burberry and Thomas Pink, and US brands Polo and Brooks Brothers. Longterm relationships with customers are essential to the way Vanners does business. “At our level of the market personal relationships are important. We’re aiming to be very close to our customers, providing them with a great service and responding to their requirements in a unique way.” Silk is woven at Vanners for neckwear (men’s ties), furnishing fabrics and fashion fabrics for couture designers. It’s important to have this diversification, Stevenson explains, because the textile industry is affected by the vagaries of fashion. “For example, Dress-Down Friday, when men don’t wear a tie to work, wasn’t good news for us. We took the decision to diversify our customer
base at that time, for a number of reasons, which meant that when the global banking crisis hit we had been fortunate in taking preventative action before the storm clouds appeared.” Neckwear is currently the company’s biggest product, but they’ve had periods when the furnishing fabrics have been more important, or fashion fabrics – even parachutes! “Historically the company has always been reasonably adept at moving into other markets. If one market isn’t performing well, we can switch our focus into another, never keeping all our eggs in one basket.” There’s another secret to Vanners’ success over the centuries: a commitment to investment in new equipment. Two hundred years ago they were weaving on state-of-the-art jacquard looms; these were developed to use punched cards – the direct precursors of modern computers. This simplified the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns without compromising on quality. And today they continue in the same way: they have top-quality modern electronic jacquard looms operated by very skilled people.
“We have invested over the years and we’re investing now. And it’s not just about large pieces of the plant. We’ve got a CAD design studio, so we’re constantly investing in our design archive. It’s got to go hand-in-hand; you’ve got to be able to design it, produce it, come up with new and innovative ideas, whether it’s our designs, the yarns we’re using, or the construction techniques – and all that’s got to be blended together, to make a product people want to buy.” There’s a twist to the tale. We learned that this small market town in Suffolk is home to not one but at least three world-class silk weaving mills, whose textiles travel the globe. Stephen Walters and Company started out in Spitalfields, like Vanners, and relocated to Sudbury around the same time; they offer a similar range of products. (Gainsborough Silk Weaving, the third company, concentrates on bespoke furnishing fabrics, often reproducing historic designs.) “ It’s a friendly rivalry,” says Stevenson. The two companies together help to attract more customers in a global market. They’re able to compete with the best of their Italian competitors, offering top quality from similar-sized mills. It’s a great Suffolk success story. IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 15
Sir Ranulph Fiennes It should come as little surprise that, for the average domesticated man, adventure usually constitutes trying a new curry at the local balti house or veering mildly off the prescribed cycle route at Center Parcs. That’s not because we don't desire adventure. Who isn't sometimes gripped by a restless wanderlust; who doesn't want to “catch the trade winds in their sail”? But, really, who has the time? The tyranny of responsibility always seems to win out. operation aims to raise $10million for “Seeing is Believing”, a charity working to tackle avoidable blindness in developing countries. With the crew finally landed in the Arctic on January 22, time will tell if Sir Ranulph successfully retains his title as ‘World's greatest adventurer'. I was fortunate to meet Sir Ranulph a few days before he embarked on the SA Agulhas for Cape Town, the site of final preparations for the expedition. Amid the PR swarm, Sir Ranulph was a colonnade of placidity, quietly attending to the inherent bureaucracy he claims is stock and trade for any adventurer. Our conversation touched on many topics, but among his most interesting remarks was his proud denial of having any internal life, claiming that his personality and thoughts were realised in his actions.
In such an age, a man like Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his profession can seem like an anachronism, gone the same way as the alchemis and telegraphist by being relegated to irrelevance. In spite of this, his distinguished career as a professional adventurer has bequeathed him many honours: he was the first man to cross Antarctica entirely on foot, the oldest Briton to crest Mount Everest and, in 2003, ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents a few months after undergoing a double heart bypass operation. All these achievements, however, pale in comparison to his current venture. Sir Ranulph is leading a team of scientists and fellow seasoned adventurers across Antarctica during winter, the first time the enterprise has been undertaken. 16 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
The 2,000-mile journey will pit the team against some of the most hostile conditions known to man – temperatures will rarely be above minus 90 degrees Celsius with the landscape coated in permanent darkness. Clearing the route of snow will be two specially designed JCBs, with two cabooses in tow for rest and scientific study. If any situation arises to prevent the team's advance, they will have to wait out the remainder of the winter unaided until the spring equinox in March, at which stage improved conditions will make a rescue operation tenable. The rummest thing of all? Sir Ranulph will turn 69 in March. Aside from facilitating vital research work into the impact of extreme temperatures on landscape and organisms, the
If the layman can learn anything about adventure from a professional, perhaps it is this: that adventure is not a thing or a goal, but a disposition towards embodying oneself in one's actions. With unfortunate recourse to cliché, adventure really is just a state of mind. Sir Ranulph lets his actions do the talking for him – maybe we should, too. Bharath Ramaiah
Working closely with Sir Ranulph and his team is Suffolk based Infotex. Experts in web build and online marketing, the company is helping to bring The Coldest Journey and Seeing is Believing to the world's attention. www.infotex.co.uk www.thecoldestjourney.org www.seeingisbelieving.org.uk
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LOOKING GOOD AND FEELING GREAT? Or is your branding a little tired and in need of refreshing? A new image can rejuvenate your business and attract new customers – that’s what our clients say about our recent branding campaigns. So if you’re ready for a creative fresh approach, contact Paul Newman or visit our website to find out how we can help take your business forward.
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Branding - evolution or revolution ? Developing a brand for your business is hard work; keeping it up-to-date is a challenge. Pete Waters is dealing with that challenge himself as Brand Manager for Visit Norfolk. He talks to Jane Chittenden about when and how to rebrand.
“After product, branding is the most important element of your business,” says Pete Waters. Managing effective brands is his day job. He’s spent many years in the publishing industry, working on new titles, relaunches and rebrands; he was the editor of the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and now he’s responsible for the brand to promote Norfolk’s £2.6 billion tourism industry. If branding is so important, how do you know when to rebrand and when to leave things alone? Waters advises that if your brand is well established, a brand that people appreciate and buy into, then there are huge risks associated with rebranding. There will be ‘equity’ in the value of your brand to your customers and you mustn’t risk damaging that value. One of the worst things that people do with their brand, he warns, is to say: “I’m bored with that now; I think I’ll change it.” But sometimes it’s clear that a brand has to change. Waters explains how the EDP had to evolve to attract younger readers. “The EDP was a wonderful brand to have been involved with. It had been around for 125 years as a broadsheet, known and loved in that format. However, our market research at the time showed that the broadsheet was a barrier to introducing younger readers to the paper. Over the course of three years it was my job to turn the paper from a broadsheet to a ‘compact’. Gradually we evolved the design, changing the typography, and changing the colour palette; we knew that a ‘big bang’ of radical change wouldn’t be right. So when we made that size switch, readers woke up that morning to the compact format, and said ‘Oh, this is still the EDP!’ ” The Daily Telegraph is tackling the same problem differently; they’ve made a conscious decision to retain their
broadsheet format. Their view is that their newspaper audience is the oversixties, a loyal core readership. Their online audience is the children of those newspaper readers; they understand the Telegraph’s values, because they’ve been brought up with them; they buy into the Telegraph brand online and it’s very successful. For Visit Norfolk it’s got to be radical change. The brand’s logo is a stained glass window, featuring a wherry, a church and a windmill; the strapline is Time to explore. “That Swallows and Amazon look – it’s delightful, but it’s onedimensional, only part of the picture,” says Waters. “We’ve got to create an umbrella brand for Norfolk that captures all its diversity: culture and shopping in the city, buckets and spades at Yarmouth, genteel Holkham, magical Broads,
untamed Brecks… My instinct on Visit Norfolk, after three months talking to as many people as possible, is to strip it back to its core – the brand is simply Visit Norfolk. Norfolk is the star.” And that’s the key to success. If it is time to rebrand, talk to your customers first, Waters advises – not the brand consultants at this stage. Trust your instincts; trust your customers – why do they stay with you? Be very clear about your objectives. Make sure your branding advisers really understand your business. Can those rebranding costs be justified? Only time will tell. Clearly a rebrand won’t fix things if the business is in serious difficulties, but keeping your brand in line with what your customers want will always be a worthwhile investment. IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 19
WEB DESIGN AND MARKETING
Make it your business to embrace social media Social media can be a daunting subject for many business owners as there is so much to learn. Here, with the help of Rubious, the web design and marketing agency, we have prepared this quick and easy guide to help you decide which platforms are right for you and what you should be doing on them.
What social networks should we use? Your business type will have a big influence on which social networks you need to consider. To have the maximum impact for a minimal amount of time you need to focus specifically on the social networks that make sense for your business. Facebook is used by a wide variety of people but we have found that most success on this platform has come from companies trying to speak directly to consumers – this includes firms selling products to consumers such as wood flooring and designer handbags, as well as services, such as a beauty salon. Any product or service that invokes emotion can use Facebook successfully, as users respond best to posts they feel attached to. LinkedIn, by contrast, is mostly focused on recruitment and business-to-business. If your offerings are intended for other businesses, such as conflict resolution training, then LinkedIn could be a valuable asset as you connect to other leaders and spread the word about your services. LinkedIn is also an effective tool for raising your professional profile within your contacts network. Through LinkedIn company pages, it is possible to keep abreast of the activities of clients, competitors and suppliers. Pinterest is useful if your products or services for sale are image-based, such as a boutique clothing shop or a garden landscaping company. If your website has e-commerce functionality then sharing pictures of your products on Pinterest can boost sales if many people like the look of it and‘re-pin’ it.
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Twitter can be useful for all businesses, whether you are posting links to your own news stories on your blog, or simply highlighting industry news and your opinions. Many companies use Twitter as a way of giving quick replies to questions, whether general sales enquiries or support questions, rather than longwinded emails. Twitter is also a great way to follow potential clients and influencers in your market.
Connecting to other users ...
Google+ is a newcomer to the social media landscape, but it should not be overlooked. It functions as a hybrid of many of the more traditional social networks and is hoping to better them all. You may find less engagement on this site during these formative years, but you could gain a useful following. It is good to remember that Google will use your activity on Google+ as a tool to modify your search engine rankings. It is, therefore, set to become even more essential in SEO initiatives to improve search engine results for your business.
Once you are following existing business contacts and customers, you will find some of them follow you back, thus starting a dialogue. You may consider following your competitors – and perhaps their followers – as well.
Blogs have become a vital part of a company’s online presence because of the impact they have on search engine rankings and your online profile. Whichever social networks you choose to participate in, your company blog should be at the centre of your social media strategy. All blog postings, whether brief or longer editorial articles, should be linked from your social media accounts with a comment that inspires readers to go and have a look – driving them back to the main site.
There is no point creating social media content if there is nobody to read it – connecting to others is a prerequisite. Start by finding out what social media networks your existing business contacts are using and ‘follow’ them. You can also send out an email newsletter to inform customers that you have joined the sites and ask them to follow you, perhaps with a special offer or competition if they do.
Summary Now that you have chosen the networks you want to use, signed up to them and connected with users, you have started a process that will need monitoring and continuous improvement to get the very best from your investment in time and effort. This will be discussed in the next issue when we will look at content, setting targets and developing a social media policy for your company. Rubious are a web design and marketing agency in Ipswich. www.rubious.co.uk 01473 356403
A WORD FROM THE ACCOUNTANTS
Too good to be true? A 10% tax rate for companies The Treasury’s ambition is to create the most competitive tax system in the G20 group of nations. To attract international business to the UK the main rate of corporation tax has reduced from 30% in 2007 to 24% currently and is set to reduce to 21% by 2014. Moreover, major reforms to the tax system mean that, for example, dividends received by companies from their overseas subsidiaries are generally no longer taxed here.
The key feature of the Patent Box is that it allows a company falling within the rules to elect to apply a 10% rate of corporation tax to all profits attributable to qualifying intellectual property. The potential benefit may be sufficient to encourage some businesses to apply for patents where, hitherto, it was too much trouble and expense.
Not satisfied with these measures, the Chancellor has introduced a new corporation tax reform which takes effect on 1 April 2013, known as the Patent Box. The aim of the Patent Box is to provide an additional incentive for companies to retain and commercialise existing patents and to develop new innovative patented products. It is designed to encourage companies to locate the high-value jobs associated with the development, manufacture and exploitation of patents in the UK and maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in patented technologies.
Needless to say, the rules are long and complex and professional advice should be sought. However, the overall cost to the Exchequer in the first full year of operation is estimated to be not far short of £1bn. Companies should therefore consider this in some detail to ensure that they claim the share to which they are entitled.
For more information on Patent Box, please contact Robin Shore on 01473 833411 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Shore, Director of Corporate Tax
This article is designed for the information of readers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice. Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. ©Larking Gowen.
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 21
RECENT IOD SUFFOLK EVENTS
Energising your workforce by leading from the front Jane Bowen from Tailored Training led a highly interactive and enjoyable breakfast workshop with around 30 IoD Suffolk members and guests on 23 January at Ipswich Town Football Club. The focus was ‘energising your workforce’
and after a welcome cooked English breakfast, attendees were guided by Jane to think about how employees feel during times of uncertainty. Discussion also looked into how business owners/senior managers cope with current pressures
(mostly working doubly hard to stand still) and how expectations around areas like growth have changed. In small interactive groups, thoughts and ideas flowed and as the workshop progressed, Jane focused minds on generating plans for simple staff motivators, from cake and empathy to ensuring personal recognition and acknowledgement aren’t forgotten. The short workshop concluded with a case study on presenting and communicating change, with useful reminders on involving staff and sharing the vision. Choice of language, planning and preparation, as well as vision and belief (aka Churchill) should not be forgotten. For more information about Jane Bowen see www.tailored-training.com
Left to right are: Luke Morris (Chair, IoD Suffolk and Partner, Larking Gowen); Tom Gillman (event sponsor Crafted); Jane Bowen (Tailored Training); Rob Thacker (event sponsor Pound Gates, Chartered Insurance Brokers) and Kerry Addison (event sponsor Barker Gotelee Solicitors)
£1,000 presented to St Elizabeth Hospice
Palace of Westminster
Paul Winter with Jane Petit
Pictured at the House of Commons are (left to right) Malcolm McGready (Ensors), Tim Foster (Pound Gates, Chartered Insurance Brokers), Luke Morris (Chair, IoD Suffolk and Partner, Larking Gowen), Ben Gummer MP, Andrew Nicholson (Barker Gotelee) and Tom Gillman (Crafted).
Paul Winter, at his final event as Chair, IoD Suffolk, in December, presented a cheque for £1,000 to Jane Petit, chief executive, St Elizabeth Hospice. The money was kindly raised by members and guests at the IoD Annual Dinner held at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel on 18 October 2012.
Approaching 60 IoD members and guests enjoyed a day at the Palace of Westminster on 11th February. After meeting up in the splendid Westminster Hall, guests embarked on tours, including access into the House of Commons and House of Lords’ debating chambers and some of the ceremonial rooms.
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There was then time to network over lunch hosted in the Churchill dining room before Ben Gummer MP spoke for over half an hour about current political and economic issues. He then took questions including ones on educational standards in Suffolk, immigration and bank loans to small businesses.
Commitment that brings certainty to your business 01473 346046 www.poundgates.com Pound Gates St Vincent House, 1 Cutler Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1UQ Pound Gates & Co Ltd, trading as Pound Gates, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and is an ISO and Investor in People accredited company.
CORPORATE TEAM BUILDING
Bringing a new dimension to country pursuits Coopers Country is situated in rural seclusion, surrounded by private woodland, not far from Ipswich. Created in 2002, it stemmed from a riverbank conversation between three committed country sports enthusiasts, including Neil Cooper, who thought it would be a good idea to provide people with the opportunity of learning more about country sports and of participating in a safe and informed way. The operation is run by Neil Cooper and Julie Wilkinson and combines all aspects of country sports tuition and fun days that can be enjoyed by all. Events arranged are for only one group at a time, so the venue is provided on an exclusive basis regardless of numbers, ensuring an entirely private occasion. Additionally, shooting and fly-fishing lessons are available by the hour and a fly-fishing syndicate operates on the Mere. As Neil explains “Individuals who come to us can learn anything and everything
Neil Cooper and Julie Wilkinson, directors of Coopers Country Ltd.
about shooting or fly-fishing. Not only do they hone their skills, but as sessions are specifically tailored, they can cover sporting etiquette, conservation, advice on what to wear, and provide hands-on experience of different types of guns or rods. On the ‘fun’ front, our Sport & Dine packages enable groups from as few as six through to thirty to learn a little about how guns or rods work and enjoy a lively practise session - possibly including a competition - followed by refreshments and a good meal. The programme works
Corporate Golf Days Looking for the perfect venue for your golf society or golf day - then take up the challenge of Ufford Park Woodbridge, located just off the A12 near Ipswich.
For more information visit www.uffordpark.co.uk Golf Days or call 0844 4771832 From ONLY Yarmouth Road, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QW
24 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
brilliantly for families looking to learn a new sport together, for parties of friends looking for more than just a restaurant outing or as a celebration gathering to mark a special occasion. And from a corporate perspective, it’s a great way to team-build or reward staff, or to say ‘thank you’ to clients.” For more details contact Neil Cooper or Julie Wilkinson on 01449 760493; or visit their website: cooperscountry.com or email at email@example.com
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IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 25
Consultancy on song with music designs Communications consultancy Silk Pearce has designed and launched a new website to encourage schools to take part in ‘Friday Afternoons’, a nationwide singing initiative by Aldeburgh Music to celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth in November. fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk is a new website that will make it as easy as possible for schools and young people to join in and to learn more about Britten’s life and music by singing his Friday Afternoons song cycle. It will enable any teacher, regardless of musical background, technical skills or IT equipment, to get involved, listen to recordings of each song and download in-depth teaching resource packs, including the score and lyrics for each song, backing tracks and suggested lesson plans for primary and secondary levels. Users can also upload audio or video clips of their own performances or review other schools’ recording; if required, the site automatically resizes all file formats as they are uploaded. 26 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
Silk Pearce has also designed a distinctive visual identity for Friday Afternoons – all the resource packs, literature, T-shirts and other promotional items. The branding uses a series of different coloured circles – one for each song – to provide a contemporary feel. Ann Barkway, project manager for Friday Afternoons, said: “Silk Pearce has designed a fresh, striking and integrated look for all our communications that we believe will inspire teachers and young people to get involved. Many schools have already commented on its contemporary feel and have told us it is exceptionally easy to use, needs no specialist skills and has everything to encourage young people to sing.”
Friday Afternoons is being run by Aldeburgh Music in partnership with the Britten-Pears Foundation, Britten’s main publisher Boosey & Hawkes and Arts Council England. It will culminate on Friday, November 22, when tens of thousands of people join together to sing the songs. Aldeburgh Music is also being supported on this project by a broad range of arts organisations, including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, Sage Gateshead, Symphony Hall, and Brighton Festival.
Looking for a new place to meet? The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds has opened a new bar, Wingspan, under the hotel reception.
Available to residents and non-residents, it is open daily from 5pm until late and is sure to become a popular spot for those seeking a place to relax and meet friends or colleagues. Fashioned out of the secret tunnels that run under much of Bury St Edmunds, the space features a fascinating fusion of ancient architecture, modern furniture and an eclectic mix of curiosities. Look out for the bar created from half an aircraft engine, tables designed from aeroplane wings and sofas individually covered in German flour sacks. The name Wingspan is reflected in many of the artefacts, wall coverings and soft furnishings.
As you would expect from The Angel, the drinks are aspirational with quality wines, spirits and beers all available. You will find yourself enjoying your favourite tipple in an atmosphere created to savour the experience. Lynn Cowan, operations director for Gough Hotels, said: “This is a very welcome addition to The Angel Hotel and one that we have been working on for some time to ensure we got it right. We wanted to provide a new place for the people of Bury St Edmunds to enjoy at their leisure. “Occasions with friends or family can be made extra special by enjoying a drink or two at Wingspan and the layout of the seating areas makes it perfect for business meetings, too.” Wingspan is likely to be the ideal location for a pre-dinner drink or stylish group celebration. Please pop in to enjoy a deliciously good drink in a curiously new bar. Curious? If you would like to see the bar for yourself or are looking for a new venue for a photo-shoot, please call Sonia Colchester | Sales and Marketing Manager t 07903297294 . www.arousingcuriosity.co.uk IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 27
The green shoots have never looked so green With the spring upon us, now is a great time to look at your business through new eyes. Has a friend or colleague ever looked over the products you offer, the space you work in, the literature you use to promote yourself and commented on how it appears from the customers side of the fence. This may lead you to ask many questions, such as; Are you offering more than the customer would expect? Are there additional services you can offer? Do you need to streamline your product range? How often do you really listen to your customer? What processes do you have in place to do so? Addressing any one of these dificult issues will make a difference to your business.
Dining at Hintlesham Hall Two course lunch and coffee £18.00 per person Three course lunch and coffee £23.50 per person
Available Monday – Saturday
Sunday Lunch Two course lunch, coffee and chocolate truffles £19.50 per person Three course lunch, coffee and chocolate truffles £25.50 per person A La Carte A La Carte menu available for lunch and dinner seven days a week (excluding Sunday lunch time)
For reservations please telephone 01473 652334 www.hintleshamhall.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
To use a gardening metaphor, we sometimes need to do some hard pruning in order to have the best flowering plants later in the year. For those of us within golf sector, it has been a testing time. Here at The Dr Golf Acadamy we have used these challenges to listen to and gain feedback from our customers, develop new products and offer new incentives helping to create better long-term partnerships. I wish you all the best in finding your Green Shoots! Stuart Robertson Director of Golf – The Doctorgolf Academy Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa Ufford Park, Woodbridge IP12 1QW Telephone: 01394 383480 Email: email@example.com Facebook: The Doctorgolf Academy Twitter: @doctorgolf247
Meetings at Hintlesham Hall • Whether you wish to hold an important seminar, or a private banquet, Hintlesham Hall is the perfect choice for any event.
• The Hall’s four individually styled
conference rooms can comfortably accommodate an intimate board meeting for four delegates, up to a larger gathering of 80 delegates theatre style.
• Outdoor space for team building. • 33 individually designed, luxuriously furnished bedrooms.
• Exceptional twenty-four hour and eight hour delegate rates available.
Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich, is installing the very best commercially available broadband for hotels in the UK.
Broadband revolution at Kesgrave Hall In an exciting initiative, the existing telephone system is being replaced by an Enterprise class Cisco call manager solution comprising POE (Power of Ethernet) handsets, with colour displays and touch-screen controls. Each has the ability to behave like a conference phone and will enable guests to receive and place calls without lifting the handset. An Ethernet cable can be in plugged directly, allowing the phones to use hotel wi-fi and direct Ethernet connectivity. It features the fastest and cleanest type N wi-fi.
The handsets are video capable and VOIP (voice over internet), which allows for state-of-the-art conference calls with no feedback or crossover during calls. They also have voicemail ability, a useful addition if guests are away from their room and somebody wants to contact them. Broadband speeds are 54Mbs+ for the wireless access points and the CleanAir capability ensures minimum interference from other systems, which often impacts on the performance of older wi-fi systems. There will also be a substantial increase from the existing 2/4Mbs services to 120Mbs+.
There will be extended coverage in the hotel and the grounds, allowing guests to sit out on the lawn and stay connected using all types of device, whether smart phone, tablet or portable computer. Video conferencing can be set on the big TV screens in the conference rooms – with two adaptable and portable systems that will connect directly to the TV systems in the meeting rooms and eventually the bedrooms.
milsoms meetings! kesgrave hall - 3 fully equipped private meeting rooms - team building space and breakout areas - bar - brasserie restaurant and/or private dining - 23 bedrooms with exceptional 24 hour delegate rates
book your meeting, training or conference today! 01473 333741 | hall road, kesgrave, ipswich, suffolk, IP5 2PU | www.milsomhotels.com/meetings SCAN ME
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 29
â€˜Aâ€™-Class of its own... The entry-level A180 petrol costs less than ÂŁ19,000 and the A180 CDI diesel is the first A-Class to emit less than 100g/km of CO2, which brings huge tax benefits. This car also promises 70mpgplus. The A200 CDI claims mid-60s mpg and 114g/km of CO2, so is still quite taxfriendly. Even the petrol models are efficient, as all cars get hi-tech kit like stop-start. The clever auto box, which uses twin clutches, also reduces consumption. If you're a company car driver, stick with the A180 CDI Sport with a manual gearbox â€“ also on sports suspension. That way you'll still get reasonably sharp handling and low company car tax. Until now, Mercedes hasnâ€™t offered a rival to premium hatchbacks like theÂ BMW 1 Series,Â Audi A3Â or VW Golf. The handsome new A-Class changes that, aiming to attract younger buyers to the brand. Featuring a much lower roofline and detailed creases on its side, the car
looks much sportier. It's available with a range of engines, including a diesel that emits less than 100g/km â€“ the first Mercedes to do so. A hot 208bhp 2.0-litre turbo A250 is also planned. Prices are competitive with the car's Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series rivals.
Test drives available now at : Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich 30 The Havens Ransomes Europark IP3 9SJ Ipswich Tel. +44 1473 232232 www.mercedes-benzofipswich.co.uk
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30 | IoD suffolk | spring 2013
Top six iPad apps for Business In our occasional series on apps for business we've opted for the top six business apps that make best use of the iPad 3 high-resolution retina display screen. Todo for iPad Todo for iPad is a work planner that will keep you on top of all your projects and plans and uses the large screen to give even more clarity to your task list. Todo also allows you to sync your work planner across any other Apple devices via iCloud, or to other devices using Todo Online, Dropbox, iCal and Outlook. The latest version (5.2.4) sees the return of some tasks taken out in the previous version and we're promised a whole swathe of new features in the next release see http://www.facebook.com/appigo for more info. £2.99 Hootsuite Hootsuite is the Swiss army knife of social networks. It allows you to view and participate in all of your social networks with just one interface. Hootsuite allows you to see who's saying what on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and on other social networks. You can make posts to multiple networks, add pictures, check your popularity with its' built in analytics, and create short URLs. Free (The free service is limited to 5 social profiles and is ad-supported) Numbers Numbers is a spread sheet app designed specifically for mobile devices. Built from the ground up, it lets you make compelling spread sheets in minutes — with tables, charts, photos, and graphics — using just your fingers. Choose from over 250 easy-to-use functions. Enter data and explore results with sliders, steppers, pop-ups, and intelligent keyboards. Numbers works with iCloud, so your spread sheets stay up to date across all your iOS devices — automatically. And the Retina display on the new iPad makes everything you do in Numbers even more brilliant. £6.99
Memo Board Memo Board by ZigZag is a collaborative whiteboard that's great for brainstorming, block diagrams, timelines, process maps, etc either on your own or in real-time with others. With Memo Board you and others can all work on and see the same diagram, no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what device you are on. There's no subscription required for the people you invite to join your meeting, and that includes Mac and PC users as well as iPad users. £0.69p (meetings cost £1.49 to host) Popplet Mind-mapping tool Popplet is another iPhone app that benefits from the iPad's larger screen. Popplet is a platform for your ideas. With Popplet you can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in real-time. Popplet Lite is free but you are limited to just one popplet. The full version of Popplet lets you create an unlimited number of local popplets, which are stored on your iPad. You can also use the full version to create online popplets, which can be shared with and edited by other Popplet users, both on the web at popplet.com and on via the iPad application. Free (£2.99 for unlimited version)
St Joseph’s College
Whole College Open Morning Saturday 9 March 2013 9.30am-12.30pm Whole College Open Morning Saturday 11 May 2013 9.30am-12.30pm Informal Open Morning Friday 14th June 2013 9.30am-12pm
Word Lens Word Lens is an on-the-fly translation service. Point the iPads' camera at anything you need translating, like a menu, road sign, or a document, and magically the iPad translates the document into English. You can also type directly into Word Lens and Word Lens will translate. There's no need to be connected as all the translation is done on the iPad. Word Lens is currently limited to just French and Spanish. Free
A co-educational Independent Day School for 3-18 year olds with boarding facilities. Scholarships and bursaries up to 100% of fees available. A Christian School in the Lasallian Tradition. Belstead Road, Ipswich, England IP2 9DR Telephone: 01473 6980281 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stjos.co.uk
IoD suffolk | spring 2013 | 31
Luke Morris CHAIR, IOD SUFFOLK
Luke Morris was appointed Partner of Larking Gowen chartered accountants in November 2011 and he moved to Suffolk to take up the position. He became Chair, IoD Suffolk branch in 2013. What did you learn from working abroad? The cultural differences in the way business is done across the world are important on a practical level, but I think they are often over-played. For instance, if you expect a business meeting in the Middle East to run to a strict time and agenda then you would be in for a shock. However, on the point of substance, the main learning point is there are more things in common than there are that divide. By and large, most business people are looking for the same thing: to further their enterprise through trusted relationships.
What do you think of Suffolk as a place to do business? I'm a relative newcomer to the county, starting my "day job" here towards the end of 2011. Despite a relatively short space of time I have managed to get to know, and to get networked with, a big chunk of the business community. So I would say that the “visible” business community is close-knit, friendly and very welcoming of newcomers. And I'm discovering that, bubbling under the surface, there is a huge, less-visible business community. These are the kinds of organisations that are quietly getting on with it and doing some great stuff. I've particularly enjoyed getting to know some of these organisations. Do you specialise in any area? The majority of my background and experience is with the global accounting
firms, having recently spent just short of five years working overseas, taking in the Middle East, Canada and the USA. My work involves financial reporting, audit, corporate governance, controls advisory and transaction support. There are some incredible infrastructure projects underway in the Middle East and I developed a particular interest and expertise working with clients in construction and across the energy supply chain there. In Canada, my largest client was a provincial electricity board—it was pretty cool to stand inside the cavity built for the turbine of an under-construction hydro-electric plant, on a huge lake on the edge of a native reserve! The project was as much about cultural awareness and working effectively with the native people as it was finance, budgets and costings. And they say accounting is dull?!
Oh, and don't believe everything you read in the UK news about foreign affairs! There are challenges of course, but the hacks have a habit of making it all sound so bad! What plans do you have for IoD Suffolk? (as new Chair) The IoD is an organisation for its members and we are here to facilitate professional and business development. This means enabling our members to take something relevant to their business from our events and providing them with the opportunity to build those same trusted relationships with other likeminded individuals. We are IoD Suffolk and one thing I would like to do is to take our events out to all corners of the county. Favourite part of Suffolk? A year in, I am still having great fun exploring the county and look forward to doing so more through forthcoming IoD events...
Are you a member of the IoD? Join us and you’ll discover a unique mix of opportunities to learn and be inspired by interesting speakers; meet other directors, senior managers and professionals and enjoy a variety of social occasions with a big member discount.
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Many of our members take advantage of other IoD benefits including the superb meeting space and facilities in Pall Mall, London, which are FREE to use; FREE one-to-one expert advisory sessions and FREE business information queries answered within 24 hours.
As an IoD Suffolk member you are also entitled to free access to a dedicated workstation in the new e-touchdown on the 5th floor at Eastern Enterprise Hub in the James Hehir building on Ipswich waterfront. See www.eehub.co.uk For membership details email email@example.com