Business News Extra April 2013

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My first job – Julia Frimond, Partner and family law specialist, Gordons LLP    2 Cardboard desk has strength to win award  5 Everybody speaks English, right?  6 Cloud back-up gives you peace of mind  8

April 2013 in association with

Businesses on launchpad Minister of State for Trade and Investment was shown first hand the innovation in the area as he officially opened premises of a Woking-based company and viewed out-ofthis-world technology at another award-winning firm By Pete Bryant

Lord Green and Sir Martin Sweeting, executive chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology.

Membership Open Evening

MINISTER of State for Trade and Investment Lord Stephen Green was treated to a tour of a leading Surrey business having cut the ribbon to officially open another. Lord Green opened the new Woking office of Foster Wheeler Upstream, an engineering, construction and project management contractor and power equipment supplier, in Dukes Court on March 21. He then moved on to Guildford’s Surrey Research Park where he was shown equipment at Surrey Satellite Technology, one of a small number of companies to have provided information briefs to assist him on foreign visits. Surrey Satellite recently provided information to the minister of state ahead of his visit to Mexico with 13 delegates last month, during which he was given tours of several businesses. The brief from the Guildford company included information on its business dealings in Mexico as part of its exporting work. Following his tour of Surrey Satellite, Lord Green described the company’s work as being of ‘global significance’. “They are a company that is growing fast and leading in terms of excellence,” he said. “I was very struck by how you can use their satellites in industries such as agriculture.”

Lord Green was talking about the use of satellites to assist modern farming practices such as matching fertiliser inputs to the needs of the crops, thereby protecting the environment and becoming more efficient. He also spoke highly of Surrey Satellite’s exporting output of around 90%. “It is up to us in government to ensure that we are providing support for companies like these,” he said. Surrey Satellite last month signed an agreement with Glavkosmos/NPO Lavotchkin for the launch of the technology dem-

‘It is up to us in government to ensure we are providing support for companies like these.’ onstration mission named TechDemoSat-1 in Kazakhstan this autumn. Part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board and South East England Development Board (SEEDA), TechDemoSat-1 is intended to give the UK’s thriving space industry a boost by providing affordable opportunities for innovative commercial and research crafts under development to gain flight experience. Once in orbit, the satellite will be able to test new products and services developed by a number of businesses, such as technology

that uses GPS signals reflected off the ocean’s surface to determine ocean roughness and help plan shipping routes, and a miniature radiation monitor supplied by Surrey Space Centre. In Woking, a roundtable discussion between Lord Green, the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) representatives accompanying him, and senior Foster Wheeler executives including CEO Kent Masters took place, before a plaque was unveiled during a ceremony to mark the opening of the office. Mr Masters presented Lord Green with a memento of the visit before saying: “The new office will provide access to the world-class offshore skills and expertise available in the Woking/London corridor which, together with the further development of our existing global upstream resources and track record, gives us a strong foundation upon which to grow our upstream market share.” The new office has been created to provide specialist services to the offshore upstream market and will offer a range of services for greenfield and brownfield developments. Lord Green said: “Foster Wheeler has been supported by UKTI’s extensive network of experienced sector and location consultants providing market information, location guidance and practical help to get its UK upstream operation up and running. “I wish the company every success.”

Thursday 11th April 2013, 6pm-8pm. This will be a great opportunity to find out about being a member at Burhill as well as discuss our membership offer available exclusively on the night. For more information please contact Gill Fee on 01932 227345 or email


April 2013

My first job FOUNDER of Haslemere firm Bang Creations Stefan Knox was invited to share his knowledge of new product development with delegates at a conference in London. Innovate UK 2013, a three-day networking event, saw thousands of people come together from UK and international businesses, government and academia at the Business Design Centre in the capital on March 13. Stefan shared his experience during a workshop hosted by the Intellectual Property Office and UK Trade and Investment of design processes and considerations that need to be made to protect an idea. Stefan said: “Producing strong, commercially viable designs and ensuring you protect those ideas is a key part of the process.”

BUSINESSES being incubated by a partnership involving the University of Surrey have raised £30m in investment in the last year. Figures unveiled by SETsquared last month showed that the organisation, which supports the growth and success of new business opportunities through five incubation centres, had raised the amount from sources such as angel investors, venture capitalists and government grants. SETsquared partners the University of Surrey with those of Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Southampton. It currently supports more than 250 high-tech, high-growth potential start-ups, around 15% of which are spin-outs from the universities. Its companies have a survival rate of 90% after three years. The figures were revealed at Innovate UK, where Surrey Technology Centre-based company iGeolise were present.

Julia Frimond, Partner and family law specialist at Gordons LLP in Guildford What was your first job? My first paid work was when I was about seven or eight. My father’s family owned a newspaper in west London and he used to pay me to handwrite statements of account to linage advertisers. He also taught me double entry book keeping during a holiday job when I was 16. How did you get from there to where you are today?

It was my maternal grandmother, a redoubtable businesswoman and very ahead of her time, who suggested law to me when I was about 14. I went to Bristol University and got an LLB/ law degree. My traineeship started in Plaistow, east London, followed by a year in the Middle Temple in London where I met my husband who owned his own solicitor’s practice just across the corridor. My husband and I started our own branch office in Haslemere in the 1980s and ended up running three offices in local towns including Guildford and Midhurst. In the early 1990s, after my marriage ended, I set up my own practice in Milkhouse Gate in Guildford, specialising in family law. In 1999 I was honoured to be appointed a deputy district judge, a challenging role that I enjoy and that involves adjudicating a wide

range of civil and family law cases. By the end of the 1990s, I was fed up with cramped offices over shops, and circulated other local practitioners with a view to sharing premises in a better office. Hamish Ferguson of Gordons Partnership replied to me. We set up our chambers in Quarry Street with two other firms with a range of specialisms and spent a mostly happy 10 years there. Last year, Gordons decided they needed more space and moved to Edgeborough House in Guildford. They invited me and my team to move with them. What does the future hold? I have recently merged my family, wills and probate law practice with Gordons Partnership in Guildford – having worked alongside them since 2001 – so I am looking forward to building up my client list from within a larger organisation. I am

Julia Frimond

also appointed as a deputy district judge until 70 so I am sure that will keep me busy too.

A SHARE of more than 500 apprenticeship places will benefit Surrey people as part of May Gurney’s nationwide expansion of its training programme. The support service specialist, which is Surrey County Council’s highways maintenance contract holder, is aiming to create the additional places before the end of this year following successful schemes in Surrey, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and East Sussex. Programmes have been created in 11 areas, such as customer service, leadership and management, sustainable waste management, cleaning and support services and highways maintenance and driving goods vehicles.

Editorial Director Marnie Wilson Group Deputy Editor Mark Miseldine Business Reporter Pete Bryant Commercial Manager Amanda Ducas Regional Sales Manager Sarah Firth


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Kathleen Greehan can reach out to more people thanks to funding.

Businesswoman sends out a sign for language learning By Pete Bryant

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A WOKING businesswoman is hoping a grant to provide sign language lessons to minority groups will be the springboard to greater communication with Surrey’s deaf community. As director of Dot Sign Language Ltd, Kathleen Grehan teaches students, theatre staff and even police officers on a weekly basis, but will now be able to teach more people in the Woking borough thanks to funding from Surrey County Council’s local committee. The grant has been allocated to help her reach in particular unemployed women, lone parents,

the disabled and ethnic minority groups, as well as offering introductory sessions to youth groups. With the support of her communication support worker or interpreter Kathleen, who is herself deaf, teaches British Sign Language (BSL). The language was made an official language 10 years ago on March 18 this year, however, BSL does not yet have the same legal rights as languages such as Welsh and Gaelic. The latest of Kathleen’s free taster sessions took place at Guildford Royal Grammar School where she showed pupils basic signs in the classroom as part of their Languages Day activities. She is keen to extend the BSL

lessons and awareness courses to local state schools. Awareness training has also been provided to staff at the Lightbox in Woking and Kathleen has run enrichment sessions for students at Guildford College. “I really believe that learning to sign gives people so much confidence that it would be ideal for those who are at a low point in their lives,” said Kathleen. “I still have strong ties with the community police, one police constable is now working towards his level two certificate in British Sign Language. “I would also like to encourage the fire service to attend a taster session as it would be so useful to deaf members of the community

if such service men and women could communicate with them.” Following the sessions at Guildford Royal Grammar School, Audrey Tournier, head of languages, said: “The boys realised that one can communicate with body language and they learnt how to talk about their hobbies in sign language by imitating actions associated to different sports. “They also could have a better understanding of the difficulties that deaf people face on a daily basis. “Relying on what one can hear is so natural and making them aware of those difficulties was crucial.” For more information, visit

New FSB chairman must keep one eye on the South East By Pete Bryant THE outgoing national chairman of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) hopes solutions to issues he feels predominantly affect companies in the South East will continue to be sought by the man stepping into his role. John Walker, who lives in Leatherhead, stepped aside for John Allan at the FSB’s annual conference in Leicester last month, having been chairman for three years. Mr Walker was previously the policy chairman of the FSB for nine years and said he had enjoyed his spell as chairman, describing it as an interesting and enjoyable role, and absorbing time-wise. Speaking to Business News Extra days before he stepped down, Mr Walker maintained the strengths of Surrey and the South

Former chairman of the FSB, John Walker.

East should be protected and weaknesses in infrastructure improved for the benefit of the national economy. “The South East is very much the powerhouse of the UK economy but I’m not saying it’s immune to the recession, far from it,” he said. “I think something needs to be

done about transport links. If we’re going to have a main motorway running through the county then we can’t have these delays.” Mr Walker’s first career was with a high street bank and he has been involved in financial services since then, yet he said he felt some of the practices of banks these days were alien to him. He added: “Out of all the issues facing businesses at the moment, the banks really need to address what they are doing to meet the needs of customers. “The greed of the banks in terms of things like the mis-selling of payment protection insurance has been outrageous. I would really call on them to meet the needs of businesses, which will in turn help them.” The FSB recently launched its Keep Trade Local campaign to encourage people to spend money within the communities they live. “Retailers are clearly finding

things challenging because of people using the internet,” said Mr Walker. “There is a changing focus of small business retailing. “But small businesses are the engine room of the economy and are creating most of the jobs at the moment.” Mr Walker will now enjoy some leisure time before looking at what he wishes to do in the future. Newly-elected chairman Mr Allan is a former FSB recruiter who has been a grassroots activist for 15 years. His previous roles have included being chairman and chief executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Merseyside Chamber and its representative on the organisation’s national council. He said: “The FSB has an important voice in promoting small business issues and holding the Government to account in the policies they produce.”

April 2013


CEO finds life hard on jobseekers’ cash A SUCCESSFUL chief executive in Cobham has described the ‘painful’ challenge of living on the budget of an unemployed person as part of an awareness campaign. Vin Murria, CEO of Advanced Computer Software Group, swapped her comfortable income for the £71 job seekers’ allowance (JSA) handed each week to those out of work. The week-long Trading Places challenge from Friday March 1 to 8 was created by the Fredericks Foundation, a non-profit organisation that provides microfinance support to those who want to start their own business but are unable to finance it. Participants had to use the budget to cover all their living expenses, including groceries, entertainment, mobile phone bills and leisure travel, while also gaining sponsorship of the same amount to help the Frederick’s Foundation with its work. The challenge was intended to illustrate how difficult it is for would-be entrepreneurs to save capital while out of work. Vin said: “I lived on porridge and soup, which is a ridiculous thing to do. On one day I had two lots of porridge and some grapes I stole off a colleague. “The difficult thing is you have to think about what you are doing all the time; that is what I found the hardest.

“Even something like going for a coffee – you can’t because it’s two quid. You’re thinking ‘if I do that then I will only have X amount left’. You have to think sensibly about what you’re doing and plan.” The inspiration for the challenge came from the 1980s film Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd in which a high-powered businessman’s lifestyle is swapped with that of a homeless person in a bet between two brothers. Despite the hardship Vin faced during the week of her challenge, she felt this should act as motivation for those on JSA to find work, although she also realised how difficult this task was with limited funds. “It is something you want to get off quickly as it is painful, and that is a good thing,” said Vin. “If you’re used to earning, living off that is very difficult and should be a big incentive to get off it. “I spoke to someone who was on JSA after university and he hated it.” She added: “I was trying to cover my travel costs as well and I realised if you were looking for a job that this would be quite challenging. “There should be effort put into allowing people to get to as many interviews and job opportunities as possible.”

Ditch ageing IT gear for an efficient way to work RE-EQUIPPING ‘Rusting Britain’ is vital to help business survive and even grow, with Surrey companies seeking support to upgrade their IT equipment. The negative term, describing the reluctance of firms to invest in upgrading their often slow and cumbersome computers, was used by the IT leasing industry’s voice, the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB). It advised businesses to stop putting a sticking plaster on aged legacy IT systems to help rescue the country’s virtually static economy. Angus Rendall, technology services manager at Surrey Business IT, said IT solutions could help businesses in the current economic climate. “As a small business ourselves we appreciate the importance of helping organisations to reduce IT costs and re-evaluate their business during the recession, to emerge as stronger and more efficient firms,” said Mr Rendall. “The focus of many of our clients has changed during the recession and the importance of improved business processes, which can be obtained from a practical review of IT structures and working practices, has been highlighted. Our objective is to help clients direct IT resources towards approaches that will help increase turnover, cash flow and make work flexible and efficient.” A Godalming IT leasing company has recorded four years of consecutive growth since the economic downturn, demonstrating companies are turning to leasing

as an alternative option. Profits at independent firm Reality Finance Solutions Ltd have risen by 15%, while in the financial year to August 2012 turnover was boosted by 26% to £16m, with the most dynamic sectors being education, manufacturing and engineering. The emergence of cloud computing as a mainstream technology has boosted trade. Jon Leslie welcomed the NACFB’s call to action, saying: “With the banks still failing their customers, who require funding, we are plugging a much needed gap and are very much open for business.” To educate companies on the benefits, and security, of cloud computing, IT solutions consultancy ramsac and legal practice DMH Stallard LLP are holding a complementary seminar on Wednesday April 24. Entitled Securing Data in the Data Explosion, the seminar will be held at ramsac’s office in Ashcombe Court, Godalming. The two firms have launched a report into data security and the cloud and will be discussing the findings at the seminar. “In an increasingly data driven age, implementing and delivering a successful data security strategy is key for any business to succeed,” said Robert May, managing director of ramsac. “The seminar aims to give those organisations with real concerns as they migrate from on-premise provisioning to cloud-based solutions the answers to a host of questions relating to the issue of security.”

Andrew Kettle, Hugh Shelmerdine, Julien Payne and Stephen Izod with prizes at Surrey Chamber of Commerce’s golf day at St George’s Hill Golf Club, Weybridge. Picture: Darren Pepe. (Ref: EN131045_003)

Golf day drives chambers’ members SURREY Chambers of Commerce members teed off at a golf tournament as they sought to find out whose sporting prowess could match their business acumen. Around 85 players attended the day organised by the Surrey Chambers Golf Society at St George’s Hill Golf Club, Weybridge, on Wednesday February 27, and a prize-giving ceremony

followed where the victorious few were presented with champagne, wine and golf balls. Julien Payne, of Galleon Care Homes, was the overall winner with a stableford score of 42, while Hugh Shelmerdine of Summit Asset Management, Chertsey, was the runner-up. Special awards were also competed for, as Rob Surgey of Burhill Golf Club won

the closest to the pin competition and Dominic Barrington-Brown of Reliant Property Services, in East Molesey, took the longest drive prize. A lunch followed the golf, attended by players and their guests. Richard Guillaume, who runs the golf society, said everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and lucky dips had also been on offer for those

players who did not scoop prizes. Another competitor was Jonathan Deverill, partner at law firm DMH Stallard, which sponsored this year’s competition. He said he had been pleased the weather had cleared up after a wet start to his round. “It’s a lovely course and it’s very well organised by the golf society at Surrey Chambers,” he said.


April 2013

Giving start-ups support to succeed As incubation director for SETsquared-Surrey, Sarah De’Lacy heads a team that supports and develops startup ventures in technology, health, engineering and space. She talks to Rebecca Younger about how the incubation programme has developed over the past 11 years HAVING worked with technology start-ups for more than eight years, Sarah De’Lacy knows a thing or two about setting new business strategy. The incubation programme she runs, called SETSquared-Surrey, was designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services to increase the likelihood that a start-up company will stay in business for the long term. Borne initially out of a partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey (Exeter University joined in 2011), the programme helps accelerate the development of technology-based start-up companies both from the University’s research base and from the private sector. The initiative – the largest government-funded,privately-backed support programme of its kind in the UK – was launched in 2002 and the first ever SETSquared

Centre opened in Nugent Road, on the Surrey Research park, that same year – later moving to Surrey Technology Centre in 2006. Since then the centre has supported more than 130 start-up businesses and helped companies secure more than £105 million of investment by delivering and providing all areas of business support. “Of those incubated ventures, 73.3% are still in business today and 90.8% have survived longer than three years,” explained Sarah. In fact, the SETSquared incubator programme has been so successful that in 2011, a similar initiative called the International Space Innovation Centre-Surrey (ISIC-Surrey), was launched for space-related start-ups. “This has really been growing since it was set up just two years ago,” said Sarah. “It works in the same way as SETSquared but is specifically for any space-related business. “That could be a company that

tracks vehicles – we even have one that uses GPS to track tigers, so anything that uses satellites.” As well as being instrumental in ensuring the success of the SETsquared-Surrey and ISICSurrey programmes, Sarah is also one of the founders of the Surrey 100 Club – the University’s Angel Club, which helps investors to connect with innovative fast growth early stage companies and entrepreneurs in the Surrey and South East region. “We host showcasing events six times a year and, through these, match ‘Angels’ with investable opportunities. It’s kind of like a dating agency for businesses as it were,” Sarah explained. “Since it started £17.5m of investment has been made by its Angels, helping to create around 300 jobs.” One thing Sarah, who was on the judging panel at this year’s Surrey Advertiser Toast of Surrey Awards, has noticed in the time she has been working to support new start-up businesses in the

Sarah De’Lacy, centre, presents Cara Sayer of Snoozeshade and her team with the up to £1 million award at the 2013 Surrey Advertiser Toast of Surrey Awards. Picture: Steve Porter. (Ref: SA130023_90)

county, is that despite the role of women in business being taken much more seriously than in years gone by, she still sees many more men starting up new firms than women. However, she said Surrey is a great place for women to be successful in business. “The way the world has moved

on and changed means women get more opportunities to excel in business than they used to. “The winner of the Toast of Surrey Turnover up to £1 million Award, for example [Cara Sayer of Snoozeshade] has gone global with her business and has really put Surrey on the map,” she added.

“I have to say that the women I have and do work with in Surrey are some of the most professional and hard working people I have ever met.” n For more information about the programmes Sarah is involved with, visit, and Sponsor’s feature

Where there is a will, there is a civilised way

Guy Perkins, of TWM Solicitors, advises people on how to put their affairs in order.

THE ‘toxic mix’ of money and fractured family relationships is one that TWM Solicitors’ Guy Perkins knows very well. Head of the Dispute Resolution team at the Surrey and south west London firm, and qualified member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS), he works alongside fellow ACTAPS member and associate solicitor Siobhan McDonnell. Guy began specialist trust and probate training 10 years ago when there were very few such practitioners around, and has seen extraordinary examples of why it is so important to be stringent when it comes to making a will. “Specialism is an assuring thing, in the same way as if you went to hospital you would want a specialist doctor looking after you,” he said. “Getting someone through the process and making them feel comfortable is a challenge, but one I enjoy.” In Surrey, a high divorce rate and multitude of valuable assets means claims against wills have become increasingly common. The county’s ageing population

means people are vulnerable for longer, with dementia a more common feature in cases the firm sees. The availability of do-it-yourself wills from the high street has also contributed to a rise in the number of disputes, while, with inheritance being seen as a means of making up for a lack of current pension provision, the sense of despair that meets an unbalanced will is stronger than ever.

“A lot of people, when they first come in, want to contest a will simply because they think it’s unfair. We have to tell them we can’t challenge on these grounds.” In broad terms, TWM Solicitors deals with the validity of wills, looking at whether or not they are valid and the potential consequences if they are not. Unlike other countries, in the UK a person is free to leave their estate to whomever they like provided the will is valid. This freedom can lead to unpopular decisions being made,

but ones that cannot be challenged legally unless the will is invalid. Feeling short-changed by an inheritance decision is not enough to launch a successful challenge. The Inheritance Act (1975) does, however, allow a claim to be made against an estate if a person such as a spouse, civil partner or child has been left with insufficient resources. Guy said: “Will disputes are decided by a court of law not of morality. “A lot of people, when they first come in, want to contest a will simply because they think it’s unfair. We have to tell them we can’t challenge on these grounds.” Undue influence is often alleged if it is believed a beneficiary has manipulated the will-maker’s decision in order to gain more inheritance. Again, though, the allegations are often misplaced. “This has to be more than just a beneficiary talking to the testator and ‘bad mouthing’ the other family members,” said Guy. “Sometimes there will be a threat of violence, for example. “One case I came across involved a family buying their elderly father a computer to occupy

him, only for him to fall in love with a young Filipino woman who eventually inherited his entire estate. “Since it was found that he knew what he was doing, there was nothing we could do about it. “The family were beside themselves.” TWM promotes mediation as a means of settling disputes and brings together different parties to discuss the situation as early as possible to avoid a long, expensive and bitter court case. A short meeting is offered initially to discuss whether there is a valid case, at which point bespoke arrangements can be made to suit the claimant. “It’s amazing how many people don’t make wills,” said Guy. “One of our strong messages is to put your affairs in order, sort out powers of attorney and make a will, because if you don’t it is people like me who will benefit. “I see the consequences of people not putting their affairs in order. It’s expensive, financially and emotionally.” n Guy Perkins can be contacted via email at guy.perkins@twm or by calling 01483 752700.

April 2013


Steps to reduce our footprint

Cardboard desk has strength to win award By Pete Bryant AN office workstation made from cardboard has won an industry award for an Ockley-based furniture company. Flute Office founders Rod Fountain and Mary Dorrington Ward scooped the 2013 FIRA Innovation Award for the FlutePRO, which is the result of four years of research and design and more than £1 million investment. The award, presented by the UK Furniture Industry Research Association, recognises products with innovation, safety and performance that mark them out as exceptional. It is the first time a piece of furniture made from cardboard has ever won the award. “We foresee a new office landscape in which nothing is permanent and where everything is designed to be used only for as long as needed,” said Mr Fountain, CEO of Flute Office. Ms Dorrington Ward, said: “We realised that what we used to sell – expensive, heavy, inflexible, unsustainable furniture – was not going to survive the rapid changes in business and working culture. We wanted to design a desk that was sustainable and recyclable to meet the growing needs for sustainable procurement and manufacture for commercial furniture.” If a customer’s requirement for the furniture changes, Flute Office takes it back and uses 100% of the raw materials to make a new prod-

Flute Office CEO Rod Fountain at the company’s Ockley-based headquarters with examples of the award-winning furniture they make. Picture: Terry Habgood. (Ref: SA132027_5)

uct meeting a new specification “The idea of owning your office furniture and being stuck with it as your business evolves will seem very quaint in years to come,” said Mr Fountain. The company states there is a list of benefits to its furniture, including a saving in weight, rapid assembly without the need for any tools, reduced facilities management costs, flexibility of colour and finish and an option to use the desk top as a drywipe board. The product has had to pass the same British and European standards for strength, stability, safety and fire resistance as any other desk in order to be deemed fit for purpose for commercial use. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the desks can take a top load of 1,700kg, despite weighing only 15kg itself. Phil Reynolds, chief operating officer for FIRA, said: “I am really pleased to present the FIRA


Innovation Award to Flute Office for this innovative new product. “Our judges were extremely impressed by this product, especially the brackets using one piece of folded card, a unique feature which gives the desk its strength. This enables it to compete with

office furniture made from more traditional materials, with the bonus of being a sustainable option.” Mr Fountain said: “We are very proud to have the industry recognition the FIRA award gives us. People are generally wary about using cardboard products but when they sample it there is usually a ‘wow’ moment and any fears quickly disappear. “Fast-growing companies often don’t know what their future needs are going to be, even just a few months down the road. The psychology of this is basically let’s do something now that will be fit for purpose and inspiring while we decide what might be appropriate for the longer term. “But there is a real expectation the ‘temporary’ solution will turn out to be so good and so flexible people will want to stick with it.”

The award-winning FlutePRO desk weighs just 15kg.

Energy advice in store A GUILDFORD businessman has opened the UK’s first dedicated renewable energy store. Green Square, in Raynes Park, south west London, opened on March 19 and offers households products that can generate income from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Homeowners can receive fixed payments for heat generated by their property. Richard Hiblen, director of Green Square, said: “We are delighted to be opening the UK’s first dedicated renewable energy store. Our goal is to show every homeowner how to make their home sustainable for the future while providing thousands of pounds in extra income.” The store stocks a range of

products including heat pumps and Xcel Heat Bank technology, as well as pellet biomass stoves and solar thermal technology, which can be used to supply a household’s hot water. Mr Hiblen has worked in the industry for 13 years and offers advice on the use of new technology to reduce bills – whether for domestic or commercial purposes. Such technology also reduces reliance on fossil fuels and cuts harmful emissions. He has qualifications from HETAS and BPEC in biomass, heat pump and solar thermal, and in eight years at the Specflue head office he received a number of industry awards. Further information on Green Square can be found at

Jump in CCTV interest A RISE in the number of CCTV enquiries has been reported by Absolute Security, as businesses sharpen up their security. The Godalming-based firm has received interest from a range of businesses, including those requiring car number plate recognition technology as part of their security arrangements. Through high definition CCTV, those at garages and car dealerships are able to quickly identify suspect vehicles with precise recording of number plate details. Absolute Security chairman, Andy Rees, said: “There’s been a lot of interest in CCTV from businesses of all sizes looking to protect their premises, people, stock and equipment. New technology such as high definition cameras are particularly popular.” Other CCTV advances attracting business owners’ attention include the ability to run systems through their company’s IT

network to minimise cabling in their premises. High definition images can often be captured by fewer cameras, making it a better option for tight budgets. Modern infra-red CCTV models now use LED bulbs in their light element, which are more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional bulbs. Absolute Security is also helping businesses toe the line when it comes to the Data Protection Act. Organisations that process and collect CCTV images as part of their security are required to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Recent prosecutions by the Information Commissioner has led to Absolute Security holding workshops to help businesses understand what they need to do to ensure their CCTV system complies. These are being run at the Godalming site and at those of its customers.

Clinic offers first-hand addiction advice By Pete Bryant

Former addict Peter Davies runs Addiction Care in Wey Court, Guildford. Picture: Steve Porter. (Ref: SA131520_1)

DISTRACTED at work? Productivity low? Or increasingly calling in sick? If someone appears sporting these symptoms in your office, it is possible they could be struggling with an addiction. From the shop floor apprentice to the high-powered chairman, addiction is a problem that can affect anyone and manifest itself in a number of ways. Peter Davies, a man with firsthand experience of the damage addiction can cause, is now seeking to help those in similar situations through his clinic Addiction Care in Wey Court, Guildford. Mr Davies, who ran the Manor House Hotel in Shere Road between 1993 and 1996, lost more than £1 million to cocaine and alcohol addiction. At the height of his illness he was spending more than £3,000 on cocaine and consuming more than 600 units of alcohol every

month, and, after a suicide attempt in 2002, he entered rehab. Now clean for 11 years, Mr Davies, 56, has retrained as an addiction counsellor and worked at the Priory hospital in Woking before setting up his own private centre in October last year. Help is available for addictions such as alcohol, drugs and compulsive eating or bulimia, as well as less recognised addictions including co-dependency and relationships, spending, exercise and computer games. Mr Davies said one of his key focuses was to help employers who were often unaware of such problems among their employees. “Addiction is using a substance, object or event to change the way you feel,” he said. “Why do people spend? Why do they play computer games? This can be no different to a heroin addiction. People use them to knock away their feelings.” He said the consequences of addiction can begin to

affect people in their jobs but these issues often run far deeper than the addiction itself. “Imagine an iceberg,” he said. “Taking away the addiction is not the solution. Normally there is something there lurking. “I’m dead against detox. People say they will never drink again afterwards but the other issues they have in their lives mean they eventually turn back to their addiction.” In Mr Davies’ experience, just over half of his clients’ addictions involve alcohol, while drugs make up 15 % to 20% of cases. Two fast-rising addictions, he claimed, are gambling and sex, with 60% of his website hits on the gambling advice page. Tailor-made options are available for those seeking rehabilitation. While flexible arrangements to lessen the impact on a business are offered, it is possible for a person to undergo the therapy during a period of annual leave without informing their boss.

HR and occupational health teams from companies can also attend workshops at the clinic or

on-site in order to support their employees with the skills they have learnt.

Four tell-tale signs of addiction Pre-occupation “A GAMBLING addict might be driving to work thinking about the racing or what dog they’re going to bet on. When they get to work they might have the racing information up on their screen. They might rush off to the betting shop rather than socialise with their colleagues. Part of them is preoccupied with thinking about gambling, or a row they have just had with their partner about it, rather than the work they are doing.” Obsession “When a person becomes obsessed the addiction is all they can think about. Volcanoes could erupt outside and they would walk over them. The addiction

gradually shifts them away from attention on their job.” Compulsion “The addict will make the decision not to go to work. The employer might find that they are phoning in sick or missing Mondays or Tuesdays. They can’t stop what they are doing or when they are doing it.” Consequence “People lose promotions, change jobs or area to try and leave gambling behind. But it always catches up with them. The relationship between employer and employee is steeped with problems but by laying them off, the employer loses the time and money invested in that person.”


April 2013

Everybody speaks English, right? By Louise Punter

Surrey Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Officer

How companies overcome language barriers for export success small and medium enterprises (SMEs) agree that the future is global, especially in economically difficult times: 62% of all SMEs

plan to begin trading in a new foreign country in the next three years, and the trend goes clearly towards the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China). But does everybody speak English? The research suggests that, while many clients and suppliers may indeed have staff who are very proficient in English, using a foreign language and knowing about the foreign culture is a vital way to successfully enter a foreign market. For example by way of providing translated and localised

advertising and promotional materials and a translated and localised website. So, how can companies handle the language and communication challenges they face in a way that is sustainable for them? This question was addressed at an event on January 17, entitled 2013 New Year Resolution: How to Achieve Increased Exports Through Better Communication with Clients, Suppliers and Partners (Surrey). The seminar was hosted by

RBS in Guildford Business Park and co-organised by the Surrey Chambers of Commerce and UK Trade and Investment South East Region. Cost-effective strategies include using students with language skills for short or longerterm placements, and having at least a part of your website professionally translated into one or more target market languages; as well as, where appropriate, setting up local websites with relevant search engines. And, of course, try to learn at

least the basic pleasantries in the foreign language of the target market. Or maybe fund a language class for key staff. If your company wants to start exporting, or to trade in a new country, you can find help via the Surrey Chambers of Commerce and UK Trade and Investment South East Region for advice on issues such as identifying local partners, trade regulations and tax. The University of Surrey offers a wide range of language classes, both group classes in the evening

and one-to-one or small group classes that can be tailored to your needs. Managing language and cultural challenges proactively can make real difference to any business. As one manger from Surrey put it: “There are lots of Europeans that speak English as the first language they learn so you can get away with it, but you can’t maximise your opportunity and there is a big difference between getting away with it and what you could potentially do.”

MAY April

1 Wed

Delivering Business Growth in 2013 & Beyond: A Framework for Success Venue: The County Club, Guildford GU1 3HJ Time: 8.45am – 12.30pm Sponsored by Vaughan Gordon Associates



9 Thu

Chamber Connections – Epsom Breakfast Venue: The Royal Box, Epsom Downs Racecourse Time: 8am – 9.30am Sponsored by: TWM Solicitors



12 Fri

Meet the Buyers Venue: The Holiday Inn, Woking, Time: 7.30am – 10am


16 Tue

Chamber Connections – Guildford Breakfast Venue: The Mandolay Hotel, Guildford GU1 2AF Time: 8am – 9.30am



18 Thu

Chamber Connections – Elmbridge Breakfast Venue: The Hilton, Cobham KT11 1EW Time: 8am – 9.30am



10 Fri

Chamber Connections – Reigate Venue: Market Stores, Reigate Time: 8am – 9.30am



19 Fri

Chamber Connections – Surrey Heath Breakfast – New Venue: Camberley Heath, Surrey Time: 8am – 9.30am



14 Tues



23 Tue

Surrey Chambers Golf Society Venue: Foxhills Golf Club, Ottershaw KT16 0EL Time: 1pm – 8.30pm Sponsored by: Balls Solicitors

Property Group Lunch Venue: Guildhall, Guildford Time: 12.15pm – 2.30pm Sponsored by Hart Brown



15 Wed

Business Women in Surrey – Networking at Pennyhill Park Venue: Pennyhill Park & Spa, London Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU Time: 3.30pm –5.30pm



24 Wed

Members Networking Evening Venue: The Manor House, Godalming GU7 2AS Time: 6pm – 8pm Sponsored by the Manor House, Godalming



16 Thu

Surrey Chambers Golf Society Open 18 hole Stableford Golf Competition followed by dinner and prizegiving Venue: Combe Hill Golf Club Sponsored by Wadham & Isherwood



25 Thu

Chamber Connections – Redhill Breakfast Venue: Donyngs Leisure Centre, Redhill RH1 1DP Time: 8am – 9.30am



17 Fri

Chamber Connections – Woking Breakfast Venue: The Holiday Inn, Woking Time: 8am – 9.30am



26 Fri

HR Forum in partnership with Herrington & Carmichael Venue: The County Club, Guildford GU1 3HJ Time: 7.30am – 9.30am



22 Wed

Chamber Connections - Betchworth Breakfast Venue: Hartsfield Manor, Betchworth Time: 8am – 9.30am



26 Fri

Horley Business Expo Breakfast Venue The Holiday Inn, Gatwick RH6 0BA Time: 7.30am – 9.30am



23 Thu

Members Networking Evening Venue: The Radisson, Guildford Time 7pm –9pm




Be part of the network - find out how Surrey Chambers of Commerce membership can help your business at

April 2013

Investment watch


Keeping an eye on the markets

Cyprus bail-out fuels market correction potential By Philip Scott

Head of Advisory Stockbroking at Simple Investments Current Overview A tumultuous fortnight has gripped Cyprus and the financial press accordingly. If ever investors needed a reminder of the continuing difficulties in the Eurozone, angry Cypriots have made it clear. In unprecedented style, a raid on savings accounts has been proposed as an integral condition for financial assistance. Limits on bank withdrawals has also gone against standard European protocol which allows for the unlimited and unrestricted movement of funds. While Cyprus itself only accounts for 0.5% of Eurozone GDP, has a template for future possible bail-outs been created? Much larger debt problems engulf countries such as Italy, Spain or even France. The market has been anxiously deliberating on the possibility of such raids on bank accounts in these countries going forward and the implications of such a course of action. Logically the prospect of

potentially another credit crisis has crept partly into investors’ minds, but one would hope the European authorities will show sense and not act in haste. Much work has been done to stabilise the region and it would frankly be madness to jeopardise the progress to date. Cyprus is likely being handled as a special case. The market at large has remained relatively well supported this month notwithstanding some sporadic volatility. The ongoing lure of robust income yields, central bank liquidity injections and money moving out of bonds continue to act in tandem, providing an ongoing bid to the market. It must however be said that there is an increasing belief that some form of correction lower is possibly due and this view appears to have gathered momentum (in particular) over the past couple of weeks. Five year FTSE 100 index highs on the LSE and all time highs for markets in the US have been reached, but markets seem to be stalling and it is not surprising, with Europe instrumental in this stagnation in my view. Key to further progress for equities will also be how the US

economic updates fair over the next few months. Deficit reduction will now be an ongoing necessity and the impact of this to the world’s largest economy will be closely scrutinised and discounted in asset prices accordingly. The prospect of a faltering US economy and the simultaneous resurgence of Eurozone debt problems could be a double whammy in the near term that could definitely hit markets. As investors, the important thing is to be prepared in the portfolio for such a move and I continue to hold material cash balances for clients. Stock Specific Comment I have noted the 20% slide in the price of FTSE 250 listed Balfour Beatty over the course of the month. Weak results in early March, flagging up challenging UK construction markets has battered the shares. At 234p, the stock now trades on under eight times 2013 expected profits, paying a well covered 6.15% yield. A solid balance sheet and international diversity in revenues also appeals. I see reasons for improvement

in their core markets with government infrastructure spending set to increase and it is well known that Middle East countries such as Qatar want to invest in the UK. Thus I see scope for earnings to improve over the next 12 months. In addition, I was pleased to see some director buying of the shares last week. Back to what looks like technical support on the chart also, I have been buying into the shares for recovery. A similar percentage fall in the price over the month of FTSE 100 miner Rio Tinto has not gone unnoticed. Apprehension relating to the price of iron ore and slowing Chinese demand are back impacting the price. We have seen this all before and I have been adding positions for recovery on this weakness.Rio has the scale to weather commodity price volatility better than others in the sector and now trading on a forward multiple to 2013 earnings of just 6.5, too much caution is in the price in my opinion. This report was written by Philip Scott, Head of Advisory Stockbroking at Simple Investments on 28/3/13 when the FTSE 100 was trading at 6415. Philip Scott of Simple Investments.

4G technology set to deliver even faster broadband speeds By Pete Bryant

Jonathan Bennett, of Miller Brands, and Jenny Hanraads, relationships officer at The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home.

Miller tops up IT gear for ex-forces home A WOKING based firm is donating IT equipment to a home for disabled former armed forces personnel. The beer company Miller has selected The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH) as its charity of the year. It is donating laptop and desktop computers to the home which provides nursing and rehabilitation care for physically disabled ex-servicemen and women.

Jonathan Bennett, head of corporate affairs for the company, said: “At Miller Brands we recognise the important role large organisations can play in supporting local charities. A key part of this is offering practical support, as well as funds, to our charity of the year and we hope that in doing so we can make a real difference to the wellbeing of the residents and staff at the QAHH.” The home’s relationships

officer, Jenny Hanraads, said it was delighted with the donations of equipment. “As a charity we have limited funds to purchase such equipment and we are extremely grateful to have a helping hand from Miller Brands. The PCs will be used by volunteers to assist in fundraising activities, helping us to raise the £1.3m needed every year to help our country’s veterans live with the independence and dignity that they deserve.”

ULTRA broadband offering data up to five times faster will soon be available in Guildford and Woking with 4G set to arrive. Businesses in the two towns have been promised by EE, the company behind the project, that the technology will make it possible to complete more tasks than ever on the internet, saving them precious time and money. Work is under way to set up the necessary equipment on masts and underground in the two towns, and the switch-on of 4G is scheduled to take place within the next two months. The 4G technology is the latest in the mobile phone network industry and offers data speeds on mobile devices of 15mbps, compared with the 3mbps of 3G. “What it gives you is speeds faster than some people have in their homes,” said Martin Stiven, VP Business at EE, speaking to Business News Extra about the imminent switch-on.

“I always like to think about the opportunities in a number of ways. If you think about email and attachments, you won’t have to wait to open them now. Something you wouldn’t have opened before you would now.” Devices will be offered that connect to the 4G network and allow other mobile devices to ‘hang off’ them, acting like wireless internet hubs. This will be of particular benefit in areas where the infrastructure for super fast broadband is not in place. Research was carried out by EE into how businesses were benefitting in other countries that already used 4G. Most respondents said they could now get more work done on the move and some had built the technology into some of their products. For example, some BMW cars now have 4G devices built in to allow those inside to connect to the network wirelessly. Some ambulances are now also equipped to allow paramedics to send information to hospitals

where a diagnoses can be reached before the patient has even arrived. Mr Stiven anticipated that the Woking-based McLaren Formula 1 team might be one to benefit from the availability of the technology. “What’s great about 4G is that businesses start to do things you didn’t think they would, because they can,” said Mr Stiven. “You can do things on the move rather than in the office. “For small businesses in particular it will offer cloud-based IT solutions to be accessed. Anything that they can do on the move that they couldn’t before has to make them more efficient.” Woking and Guildford are among 27 towns and cities being added to EE’s 4G coverage by June this year, with competition from other network providers expected soon. Currently around 50% of the United Kingdom is covered by the technology and full coverage is expected to be achieved by EE next year.


April 2013 Sponsor’s feature

Cloud back-up gives you added peace of mind Arcom IT’s data storage solutions work alongside the firm’s cloud back-up.

Simple data storage provides greater capacity Data is big business. These days it has even started to be called ‘Big Data’. Of course, if you have Big Data you need somewhere to put it. Arcom IT provides world-class data storage solutions from EMC, the market leader in storage solutions. Arcom IT supplies affordable unified storage platforms for smaller businesses, which give you automated, application-ready storage with software that is easy to manage, provision and protect all your data. Arcom IT’s data storage

solutions work alongside the firm’s cloud back-up, offering Surrey businesses the peace of mind that their data is secure, scalable and available 24/7. People want to store their data and as a business owner you will be hard pushed to control what is stored as some are afraid to delete old documents in the fear that one day they may need them again. An oil company executive recently revealed he had never deleted one email from all the emails he had ever received. This is a huge amount of data. An extreme case, but it happens,

and you do not want 50,000 emails clogging up your office server, do you? With technologies such as deduplication (eliminating duplicated or redundant information) you do not need to worry quite so much about what is being backed up. Hundreds of local businesses now use Arcom IT’s storage solutions and are taking advantage of the flexibility and expansion possibilities now available. With hosted solutions you do not now need to worry about the capacity of the server you need to buy. Let others do the worrying.

De-mystifying the Cloud. Cloud event at The Lightbox on 23rd April.

Local technology experts Arcom IT will be joined by leading technology vendors to give you a jargon free, educational seminar about the benefits of “cloud” computing. Networking breakfast included, and a chance to look around the award-winning Lightbox art gallery and museum.

The leading analyst firm, Gartner, estimates only 35% of small businesses actually have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan for their IT system. There is an oft-quoted statistic accredited to the Home Office that 80% of businesses that have an IT disaster without a recovery plan go out of business within two years. There is no way of knowing the accuracy of this statistic but it is certain that a system failure would cause pandemonium within most businesses. Many companies still use tape back-ups and this is highly risky as tapes are very often left on the premises, people forget to do the back-up and tapes have a horrible habit of corrupting leaving data difficult to restore. With digital data growing at a rate of 80% each year and businesses like yours being responsible for maintaining 85% of that information, traditional back-up solutions can be expensive and take weeks to implement, leaving your business vulnerable to revenue and productivity loss. Data loss happens; hard drive

Andy Houston.

crashes, spilled drinks and accidental file deletion can occur at any time and put your company’s future in jeopardy. Cloud back-up can address these issues as well as being able to manage multi-user environments and schedule automatic back-ups. Arcom IT can monitor the health of your back-ups from the convenience of a single webbased admin console. With strict security policies, military-grade encryption and a world-class data centre you will have optimal data protection of your business’ computers and servers.

Analysts, the Aberdeen Group, have published statistics showing the average downtime after an IT disaster for a company using Cloud Back-Up is 2.1 hours, compared to eight hours for a firm not using Cloud Back-Up. Why is this? Non-cloud users may depend on traditional and time-consuming tape back-up methods with complex recovery paths for their disaster recovery plan. Companies using cloud computing for disaster recovery benefit from the elimination of tape back-up, making for faster online back-up and recovery times. So what is driving business users to the cloud? A key business driver behind cloud computing initiatives is the need for disaster recovery or a back-up solution. As entire systems become electronic, greater dependence on the uptime and availability of applications and data means the demand for faster and accurate recovery is growing. Cloud computing can deliver both, making it the most efficient method for a disaster recovery plan for your business.

Start time – 07:30 Arrive and breakfast (bacon rolls, pastries, tea and coffee) 08:00 Event start – 10am finish TOPICS

Microsoft Cloud Solutions Hosted IP Telephony Virtual Office/Cloud Backup To book your place, please call Arcom IT on 01483 505055

W: | E: | T: 01483 505055

Arcom IT Ltd, Export House, Cawsey Way,Woking, Surrey GU21 6QX

Andy Houston, of Arcom IT, assesses the benefits of cloud back-up when implementing a disaster recovery plan

Arcom IT Sussex Office, 2 Tarmount Lane,Tarmount Studios, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6DA,

Arcom IT Gibraltar Office Unit 2b, Garrison House, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar.

The free breakfast seminar run by Arcom IT will be held at Woking’s Lightbox art gallery and museum.

The experts are coming to help you Tuesday April 23 will be a very special day for local business. A free seminar run by Arcom IT is available for business leaders to attend, where speakers from leading vendors Microsoft and Gamma Telecom will discuss how cloud services such as hosted email, VoIP and virtual office can increase productivity and efficiency while reducing capital expendi-

ture, allowing you to focus on running your business, not IT. This is a free breakfast seminar where guests will have a chance to network with local like-minded business people. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask the experts any questions they may have, and afterwards take a tour of the award-winning Lightbox art gallery and museum.

The seminar starts at 7.30am with the networking breakfast and will finish at approximately 10am. Please call the team at 01483 505055 to register your place, or email Previous Arcom seminars have always been over-subscribed so it is advised to get your name down early on the business seminar list to avoid disappointment.

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