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  • 1. HUB HUBMAP ENTERPRISE HUB NETWORK DIRECTORY THE MAGAZINE FOR THE SEEDA ENTERPRISE HUB NETWORK WINTER 2008/09 aYlesbuRY vale Hub medwaY Hub sittingbouRne Hub 14 Leatherhead 18 Newbury & Basingstoke leatherhead enterprise centre, liberty house, new Greenham park, 1 buckingham 5 Chatham 9 Sittingbourne leatherhead food International, newbury, berkshire rG19 6hw university of buckingham, university of Greenwich at medway, newton house, building 550, randalls road, leatherhead, • d Cooper – Hub Director E buckingham mK18 1eG chatham maritime, Kent me4 4tb winch road, Kent science park, surrey Kt22 7ry t: 01635 500301 t: 01280 825050 • ay Wynne – Hub Director R sittingbourne, Kent me9 8ef t: 0845 3451682 m: 07899 794794 • artin Brassell – Hub Director M t: 01634 883615 m: 07939 508210 • aul Walsh – Hub Director P t: 01280 825050 t: 01795 411501 m: 07814 723261 east sussex Hub m: 07971 107202 wYcombe Hub milton keYnes Hub 15 Hastings • Stephen Milne – Local Director solent Hub creative media centre, m: 07891 227194 19 High Wycombe 6 Milton Keynes 17 & 45 robertson street, bnu wellesbourne campus, hastings, east sussex tn34 1hl 02 wing, the michael young 10 Portsmouth Kingshill road, building, the open university, portsmouth technopole, Kingston t: 01424 205388 high wycombe hp13 5bb canteRbuRY Hub walton hall, crescent, portsmouth po2 8fa f: 01424 205401 • artin Brassell – Hub Director M milton Keynes mK7 6aa t: 02392 846 199 • im Christy – Hub Director J t: 01494 430080 2 Canterbury • hris Dunkley – Hub Director C • rthur Monks – Hub Director A t: 01424 205388 m: 07971 107202 m: 07770 733247 THE RIGHT RECIPE A mEASURE OF SUCCESS biosciences building, t: 01908 655263 m: 07799 860818 t: 02392 658208 university of Kent, Giles lane, • r Tony Diment – Local Director D Eastbourne canterbury, Kent ct2 7nJ two enterprIse hub companIes 16 • avid Burns – D m: 07710 271676 FOR GROWTH • avid Butler – Hub Director D Interim Portfolio Director minster house, york road, soutHampton Hub t: 01227 824641 t: 01908 377744 eastbourne, east sussex bn21 4st t: 01323 739591 share theIr vIews on the hIGh southampton Food tecHnologY Hub Growth coachInG proGramme How Hub companies can 11 chilworth business Incubator, gatwick diamond Hub oxFoRdsHiRe Hub university of southampton tHames valleY Hub 20 Reading use tHe knowledge base science park, G16, building l027, 3 Crawley 7 Bicester southampton so16 7np 17 Reading the university of reading, basepoint business cherwell Innovation centre, • teve Davis – Hub Director S reading enterprise centre, london road, & Innovation centre, metcalf way, crawley, (main office) 77 heyford park, upper heyford, t: 02380 763794 m: 07979 645473 university of reading, earley Gate, reading, berkshire rG6 6au reading rG1 5aQ • imon Dale – Hub Director S to gain new innovations FUTURE SUPPORT FOR west sussex rh11 7XX • teve Wood – Hub Director S bicester oX25 5hd t: 01869 238088 suRReY Hub • usan Elliott – Hub Director S t: 0118 9357318 t: 0118 378 7704 e: INNOVATION AND GROWTH t: 01293 817700 m: 07712 193797 f: 01869 238001 • ohn Lee – Hub Director J Guildford m: 07989 512907 InnovatIon & Growth teams Get an IntroductIon 12 t: 01235 838616 m: 07818 014222 surrey technology centre, • racey Sanderson – Hub Manager T • manda Geel – Portfolio Manager A 40 occam road, t: 0118 9357115 t: 01293 817702 • r Wendy Tindsley – Portfolio Director D surrey research park, m: 07710 909586 m: 07807 054617 Guildford Gu2 7yG • tephen Foale – Portfolio Director S • ike Lunch – Hub Director M t: 0118 9357369 t: 01483 685232 m: 07769 937708 PUNCHING ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT • olin Hayhurst – Portfolio Manager C • laci Espejo – Network Manager P t: 01293 817702 m: 07807 054617 m: 07802 909090 m: 07710 900640 8 Didcot • ndrew Cross – Portfolio Director A • arlos Rojas – Portfolio Director C t: 0118 9357369 m: 07717 740670 smes reveal how they’re wInnInG harwell Innovation centre, (second operating office) m: 01483 685232 • tephen Constable – S bIG corporate busIness isle oF wigHt Hub building 173, curie avenue, harwell • alcolm Loucks – Portfolio Director M Portfolio Director science & Innovation campus, m: 07802 793797 t: 0118 9357369 4 newport didcot oX11 0QG m: 07973 655569 Innovation centre, t: 01235 838500 monks brook, 13 egham st cross business park, newport, Isle of wight po30 5wb f:01235 838501 royal holloway research & enterprise centre, • imon Dale – Hub Director S t: 0118 3787704 GUEST EDITOR • en Dueck – Hub Director K orchard building, egham surrey tw20 0eX m: 07825 016837 trevor baylIs obe t: 01983 535846 m: 07785 977527 • oanne Jenkins – Portfolio Director J our fIrst ever Guest edItor t: 01784 414985 2
  • 2. WELCOME TO HUB MAGAZINE tHe diFFeRence WINTER 2008/09 a Hub diRectoR can make summed up in one line. GUEST EDITOR FEATURES TREVOR BAYlIS OBE 6 WHY BUSINESSES SHOUlD BE BlOGGING thames valley hub company is revolutionising the corporate world of blogs. 8 A mEASURE OF SUCCESS one coach and two enterprise hub companies share their experiences on the high Growth coaching programme. gRowtH 12 THE RIGHT RECIPE FOR GROWTH Fudge kitchen and the Natural Resources Institute make Business Plus work for each other. 15 CONTROl YOUR CASH FlOW support and advice on smoothing out the peaks and troughs of a steady income for your business. HEllO, AND A WARm WElCOmE FROm mE AND ‘HUB’, THE ENTERPRISE HUB NETWORk’S mAGAzINE. 16 PUNCHING ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT two surrey enterprise hub companies explain how they’re winning time I’m delighted to have been asked to guest edit ‘hub’, especially as I’m told corporate customers. I’m the first one ever, which plays nicely to my ego! something all us entrepreneurs cannot do without! 20 INNOVATION & GROWTH TEAmS Innovation and growth throughout the south east will be supported more importantly, I’m thrilled to get involved, as I believe organisations differently in 2009. like the enterprise hub network are vital if uK plc is to really profit from its innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. I’m an old stick-in-the-mud on this 24 WEll CONNECTED When you start a business you imagine the challenges. How do I prove my idea works? What’s the best way east sussex enterprise hub and internet services provider beaming issue and you can read more of my thoughts on page 25. to protect it? Where can I secure funding? Questions that demand answers if you’re to succeed. reveal the benefits of a long and fruitful relationship. other than my own piece, I’d like to draw your attention to hybrid marine, What you could never have imagined is that the answers are available, close to hand and free. a company featured in ‘hubbub’. I’ve always been a keen swimmer and always had boats, so a parallel hybrid electric propulsion system for boats Hub Directors are hugely experienced businessmen and women. They’ve built their own companies, managed others and achieved growth by successfully commercialising ideas and innovations. particularly caught my eye. It’s also a wonderful invention and success story. REGUlARS other than that, there’s plenty for us innovation and technology driven business people to get our teeth into. especially if you read the article on Through the Enterprise Hub Network located throughout the South East, Hub Directors can provide 2 HUBBUB page 8 all about the high Growth coaching programme that features more personalised, specialist support for your business, accessing a wide range of experts and experience. food, a manufacturer of truly yummy cakes. or so I’m reliably told! news from around the enterprise hub network. 4 INNOVATION NEWS In short, they can help you keep your business on track. And better prepared for national and international enjoy the read! Keep up with the enterprise hub companies leading the way growth. And that’s fact. Not a line we’re handing you. Trevor Baylis OBE in innovation. THE HUB mAGAzINE TEAm AT SEEDA 22 ASk THE EXPERT Isle of wight hub director Ken dueck shares his expertise AllY CHARlES PHOTOGRAPHY If english is not your first language, we pr & marKetInG manaGer Km photos can provide a summarised version of this and discusses marketing. Global competItIveness, seeda document in punjabi, hindi, Gujurati, If you would like more information, t 01483 484200 e Printed on revive 50:50 Gloss. this magazine is printed on recycled urdu, polish and bengali. the document is also available in large print, braille, disk 25 GUEST EDITOR paper certified as an fsc mixed sources and audio cassette. for a copy, please trevor baylis obe explains why teachers are the mothers telephone the Enterprise Hub Network DESIGN & WRITING small bacK room grade paper, containing 50% recovered waste and 50% virgin fibre. email, or call 01483 484 200. of invention. on 01483 484 200, email or log on to Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 1
  • 3. HUBBUB news from the enterprise hub network. THE HUB NETWoRK: GooD gRowtH all mapped out Results FoR good woRk the annual customer satisfaction survey has just GeosolveIt is a specialist independent reported back and the early signs are that the consultancy providing geographic information enterprise hub network is performing very well. management solutions and associated business support services to both the private and public the 2008 survey was conducted online via a sectors. five-minute questionnaire targeted at portfolio companies and potential prospective portfolio GeosolveIt’s solutions enable organisations to companies. In total, 236 companies responded. successfully map, visualise, analyse and interact with their data and assets. solutions can range the purpose of the customer satisfaction survey from a single desktop application through to a is to measure the enterprise hub network’s fully integrated, enterprise wide solution. performance against KpI (Key performance Indicators). the KpI measure for 2008 is 84%, which is, as a surrey enterprise hub portfolio company, encouragingly, up from last year at 82.5%. GeosolveIt has recently achieved Iso 9001:2000, which recognises GeosolveIt’s excellence in General overall satisfaction figures are also very delivering services. high. almost half those questioned, 47%, said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the service they as managing director nigel robbins puts it, received. another 39% reported they were “our clients need to know that they will be dealt ‘satisfied’. this equates to an overall satisfaction with through approved procedures and in a timely score of 86%. Interestingly, the three services with fashion. Knowing we have processes in our sHowcase launcH FoR HYbRid business is important, but our key driver is to ensure our customers receive exceptional service the highest proportion of respondents reporting they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the MARINE, AN ISLE oF WIGHT ENTERPRISE in all we do.” nigel adds, “that way we ensure we build long-term relationships where we act as a cHannel 4 Recognition FoR enterprise hub network were: ‘access to an experienced individual to act as an individual Hub companY trusted supplier.” scReenplaY pRoductions sounding board’, ‘face-to-face coaching on a day-to-day basis’ and ‘assistance in developing Joanne Jenkins, portfolio manager at the hub a business plan including investment strategy’. “thIs Is the end of fIve years’ hard we’ve every chance of becoming a formidable adds, “GeosolveIt has come a long way but their Jan JunG Is chIef eXecutIve of Jan set the business up on the back of 25 years’ force in the marketplace. particularly with the experience as a writer, director and most recently For more information: worK and I’m delIGhted to launch hard work is paying off.” the company has screenplay productIons, an east soaring cost of oil and more stringent regulations producer. but screenplay is not a standard wIth such a respected partner as recently secured a number of government susseX enterprIse hub company. concerning emissions.” contracts and has been seeking new innovative production company. Jan explains, “we’re talent beta marIne. we’ve every chance of areas for growth of GeosolveIt’s services. driven. we want to work with the best, develop becomInG a formIdable face In the Graeme has worked with Ken dueck at the Isle of the best material and only make the most marKetplace...” wight enterprise hub. Ken outlines where the hub this strategy is starting to reap dividends with a has managed to support Graeme to date, range of new clients, including a newly formed talented programmes.” that places an emphasis on finding and nurturing new talent and Jan has istYlista looks good hybrid marine is an electronic design house specialising in control systems using microcontroller “I introduced Graeme to a mentor, tony smith, and manchester housing association, as well as a developed a dedicated service called screenplay FoR Funding I know Graeme has thoroughly appreciated having number of emerging international opportunities. technology. their parallel hybrid electric talent to facilitate that search. It’s a service that founded in 2007, istylista is an online, automated, someone to bounce ideas off. but where I believe the propulsion system is the result of five years work has caught the eye of channel 4 as screenplay personal stylist service for female fashion followers hub has added great value to hybrid marine is with and was launched at this year’s southampton has been shortlisted as one of channel 4’s ‘most anywhere in the world. funding.” Ken continues, “we’ve worked alongside For more information: International boat show promising companies’ and has recently featured Graeme developing the presentation of his business Hub Manager: Joanne Jenkins istylista is a surrey enterprise hub company and have (12-21 september 2008). on ‘Industry Insider’ on 4laughs. so that investors find it an attractive proposition.” recently secured some significant funding. after hybrid marine collaborated with beta marine, Graeme adds, “the hub has been critical in getting Jan sees screenplay’s work extending further, a pitch to finance south east, istylista has been a producer of marine propulsion engines, the company to where it is today. without funding too. Jan explains, “the south east is caught in awarded finance through the seeda backed for the final development stages, assembly, from finance south east’s commercialisation fund, london’s shadow when it comes to production commercialisation fund. the commercialisation fund testing and marketing of the parallel hybrid we would not have been able to position ourselves infrastructure yet the region has an abundance can award up to £60,000 for early interaction business electric propulsion system. It’s the world’s most so well in the marketplace at such an early stage of talent that the london market swallows up.” ideas that need to be proved or financial through technologically advanced and cost effective of our growth”. now Graeme has launched at the Jan is keen to reverse that trend and has worked market traction. In this respect, istylista was the perfect parallel hybrid solution and the collaboration southampton and amsterdam boat shows, one with Jim christy, hub director at the east sussex candidate for the money as customers can only engage makes fully integrated, off the shelf hybrid of the world’s first hybrid propulsion systems is set enterprise hub, to promote the south east as a with the brand online, receiving up to ten clothing solutions available to the mass market. to propel him and hybrid marine ahead for sure. viable production cluster. “Jan is attempting to suggestions a month picked out by istylista’s ‘human’ identify production companies in the region, stylist and viewed by logging onto a personalised Graeme hawksley, managing director of hybrid unify their interests and form a trade association, online changing room. marine, explains. “this is the end of five years For more information: which is hoped will attract the attention of hard work and I’m delighted to have launched For more information: For more information: Hub Director: Ken Dueck commissioning editors. we’re very happy to help with such a respected partner as beta marine. Hub Director: Jim Christy Jan wherever we can.” 2 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 3
  • 4. INNOVATIONNEWS Companies throughout the enterprise hub network are turning innovative ideas into CommerCial suCCesses. BRITAIN’S BIG LITTLE gatwick diamond Hub gets plentY oF R.u.m. no piRates companies tHeiR teetH into denFotex the GIbson IndeX contaIns denfoteX was formed In 1998 and surrey enterprise hub company triometric creates the names and profIles of specIalIses In the development unique real user monitoring (r.u.m.) products for high-value web applications. the triometric over 30,000 start-ups, smes, and manufacture of products for analyzer captures and reports on web application unIversIty spInouts, technoloGy- dental and medIcal applIcatIons. usage, errors and performance as experienced by led consultants and busIness real users. last month, denfotex launched a revolutionary partnershIps. new dental product, which will very likely have the triometric analyzer is made up of three a major impact on the dental marketplace and, software components: triometric monitor, which It is the brainchild of marcus Gibson, a former encouragingly, will reduce pain for patients. monitors and measures web users’ behaviour; financial times technology correspondent and passionate supporter of britain’s small companies. the new product ‘pad plus’ (pad stands for photo triometric management station, which processes activated disinfection) is a patented technique, the information from the monitor and triometric “I wanted to catalogue the great little companies reporter that generates and presents reports. based on several years of development and trials, in britain,” explains marcus. “they are part of the which eliminates all oral bacteria. awareness of r.u.m. is steadily growing as country’s crown jewels, and we should recognise their contribution to the british economy.” pad technology is based on two components: companies begin to realise the benefits. an aqueous solution of dilute, medical grade awareness that has recently helped secure the Gibson Index is the first comprehensive, Invensys, mondi and fiat as triometric customers. tolonium chloride (a vital stain) and a led red national, small company database anywhere light system of a specific wavelength to activate in the developed world, and took marcus and the solution. Introduced into the infected region, For more information: his team of researchers 10 years to compile. the pad solution selectively targets and tags all the Gibson Index, though, delivers more than bacteria. when the solution is activated by the calling time on old scHool call centRes recognition. smes can register to be included in the Index. a significant number have greatly pad light it releases singlet oxygen, which ruptures the cell membranes of the bacteria benefitted from exposure to larger organisations thereby killing them. the pad light is delivered in voXIQ Is set to revolutIonIse the the voxIQ system integrates speech technologies, there is space, peace and quiet and it works such as QinetiQ plc and reckitt benckiser, which around one minute by a handheld device and the winning at tHe olYmpics worK of call centres and theIr artificial intelligence and databases. It means that very well for us. the hub has also been great are searching for new technology- and whole process is harmless to normal tissue and customers’ eXperIence of usInG relevant information appears on screen for for bouncing ideas off.” innovation-led suppliers. smes can register at: completely painless. pad treatment thus as one of the leading players in international a call centre agent automatically. as a customer them. founded and run by archIe wycombe enterprise hub director martin brassell eliminates much of the need for drilling and wifi interconnection, coordinate worked with speaks, the system identifies key words and macaulay, voXIQ was a Germ of says, “the combination of knowledge-based filling, for post treatment medication and it china mobile, china’s largest wifi provider, to automatically stores them, saving time and subscribers to the service include government an Idea about ten years aGo. increasing the call efficiency. software and a core speech recognition engine organisations, corporates, academic institutions, reduces treatment times. make ready their wifi network in each of the six provides a compelling application for commercial olympic cities. Kai liang, senior vice president of archIe has patented hIs archie can illustrate the benefits with a simple exploitation in call centres and command and financial houses and economic development denfotex is a Gatwick diamond enterprise hub agencies. as marcus puts it, “they represent portfolio company and has worked with the hub coordinate, explains the challenge. “It was a huge technoloGy In 14 countrIes example of an insurance broker. “when a customer control environments. the company has raised a significant business opportunity to any over the past year. colin hayhurst, hub portfolio task. china mobile launched its 3G network, the and holds an eXclusIve lIcense calls and begins a conversation with the agent, some £600,000 of investment from management, government reshuffled the telecom industry, small company.” manager, outlines some of the work he’s done from bae systems, hIs former the mention of key words such as ‘car insurance’ friends, family and the angel community and has wide ranging telco upgrades were implemented with denfotex. “pad has the potential to transform employers, to develop hIs enablInG and ‘ford mondeo’ will cause the system to display met all of its development milestones.” marcus also produces the Gibson Index newsletter, prior to the Games, and the ramifications of the the dentistry industry and is a platform technology technoloGy. appropriate forms on the agent’s computer screen currently, archie is working with a sash window a 30-page monthly publication distributed free to which, in future, could be used to treat other sichuan province earthquake and increasingly and it will populate these with existing customer around 300 technology directors at major british tense security were very evident.” manufacturer developing his technology as a infections. however, to exploit denfotex’s and product information retrieved from databases. companies and subsidiaries. personal assistance tool. the company’s surveyors significant development and technical work in despite the complications, coordinate further words such ‘disability’ or ‘racing’ might also need to record 22 different pieces of information the dental market, further funding was required.” successfully configured, tested and connected be recognised and further information would be from a customer visit, which they then filter back To register your company at the Gibson Index, colin continues, “despite the current climate we more than 20 international operators with china retrieved to notify the agent of ancillary conditions to head office where the data is turned into please contact Marcus Gibson have recently helped denfotex secure £380,000 mobile’s wifi assets within three weeks. of the insurance.” drawings and ultimately new windows. voxIQ’s of funding which has helped them complete voxIQ has benefitted from premises at the platform will enable an account manager to development, launch their product in several thames valley hub has helped coordinate secure wycombe enterprise hub’s ‘hatchery’. record, store and send information without the countries and put them in a position to $50K to date and some angel funding. moreover, It moved from london for an improved start-up need for wifi or hot spots. accelerate sales.” the hub has increased coordinate’s credibility with environment. the enterprise hub has provided the potential investors. portfolio director carlos rojas when paul Kitching, md of trad sash window’s, explains, “we ask the questions investors ask. company with a detailed review of its business was asked at the recent thames valley Innovation and by helping coordinate prepare the answers, plan and undertaken a company valuation conference how much it had cost him, he we’ve helped them become less of a risk.” exercise. the hub has also played an important responded with “the question is irrelevant, you For more information: For more information: role in connecting and introducing the business should have asked how much it is saving me.” Hub Portfolio Director: For more information: Hub Director: Martin Brassell to providers of capital and prospective investors. Colin Hayhurst Hub Portfolio Director: Carlos Rojas archie says “the high wycombe hub is excellent. 4 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 5
  • 5. BUSINESSADVICE Blogging is not the sole domain of the young. Nor is it restricted to social media. Increasingly, blogs play an integral role in a company’s communications platform, offering a business, regardless of size, a cost-effective, highly responsive marketing tool. What’s more, Thames Valley Enterprise Hub company has developed technology to place them at the forefront of a second generation of bloggers – business bloggers. corporate blogging can be highly effective both for a brand, the system is a powerful internally and externally, playing a central role tool, as nick illustrates. “take the launch of a new in a company’s marketing activities. like all handset by a mobile manufacturer such as nokia. AT A GlANCE marketing, however, blogging is only effective the system could search for interest if it is planned, targeted and measured. In other around the handset and channel it into a unique • logging enables businesses to B words, its success is dependent on the work done site, effectively building a tailor-made mini demonstrate and communicate before the actual blog is written. community around the launch. similarly, with their expertise in a certain area a tv channel like five, for example, the nick halstead, founder of, puts it simply. often enabling them to dominate system could search fans’ and celebrity sites for “thanks to the advent of new technology, blogs comments on a programme in order to build a a niche market. have moved from being purely a social tool to a bespoke community.” business tool.” nick regards blogging as an • y building individual communities, B opportunity that offers businesses of all sizes start-ups and smes throughout the enterprise small businesses can foster immediate benefits, as nick explains. “a blog hub network would do well to take note of collaboration. can raise a company’s profile on a search engine. nick’s advice. blogging is particularly useful for but also enhance its profile and interface with businesses developing a new product or service • company’s reputation can be A key audiences.” or relying on its specialist knowledge to attract enhanced and trust can be built. customers. often the challenge for these “In other words, using, companies is to provide evidence, to demonstrate • logging is great for search engine B a business blog can respond to that an innovation or technological breakthrough rankings so others will find you consumer behaviour. What other works commercially. blogging allows a company more easily. form of marketing can quickly and cost to demonstrate its expertise quickly, cost- effectively allow a brand to do that?” effectively and interactively. think of a blog as • logs allow a brand to project B the most dynamic case study and you can begin to see the effect. its personality. was set up in mid-2007 as a spin out from a former project to see how forum systems could likewise, companies promoting a new product • inally, don’t get hung up on F be improved. the system aggregates or service can receive valuable feedback from the word ‘blog’, it’s just a tool. content from several blogs to a single interface customers and opinion-formers, and gain So evaluate what your business to allow a blogger to access, read and reply to advocates into the bargain. personalised content from numerous blogs needs and focus strongly on using a blog works across borders, too. owners a blog for that purpose and it will without having to visit each individual and managers looking to internationalise website. this delivers a better experience as be successful for your business. their businesses can communicate freely with information is refined to their particular interests audiences not just locally or nationally but and stored in one place. anywhere in the world, simply but changing for a business wanting to publish a blog, the emphasis of a post to include international’s integrated system is equally effective. themes and references. by selecting and categorising content, the For more information: thames valley enterprise hub has been working Hub Portfolio Director: system allows a business to publish a blog around with nick, too. “the hub has been great to us. not Stephen Foale a particular subject relevant to the business. only did he help me secure a £150,000 investment Thames Valley Enterprise Hub what’s more, by tracking reader attention data, but he’s assisted me with the day to day financial a business can publish a blog ranked by reader management and forecasting, the tools I need to popularity. nick sums up the benefit. “In other continue to grow the business,” explains nick. words, using, a business blog can respond to consumer behaviour. what other form of fortunately, nick took time out from growing marketing can quickly and cost effectively allow to jot down his top reasons for business a brand to do that?” blogging. Judging by’s growth, it’s well worth a read. Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 7
  • 6. the hIGh Growth busIness coachInG proGramme Growth is essential to the development of all smes. but often that involves owners managing business functions outside their core competences. the high Growth business coaching programme provides smes with high growth potential access to expert support in the form of an experienced business coach. as this programme completes its second full year, we take a look at two of the companies involved to see how their coach, andrew cross, has helped their business achieve success. A mEASURE OF SUCCESS andrew cross has worked with the enterprise hub an order for an additional 200 cakes a week. network since 2005. he is one of six coaches in the caron picks up the story, “the first big move was high Growth business coaching programme and to hire a master baker. It was a huge strain on is currently working with four companies. all of the business at the time but I knew I needed the coaches have vast and varied experience in additional skills to keep up with demand.” running fast growing companies themselves, in the way caron worked with wholesalers proved andrew’s case as marketing, commercial and very popular, too. “we’ve never dictated to them managing director roles, mainly in life sciences. and said that’s the range, take it or leave it,” says when it comes to coaching, andrew is very clear caron. “we work with our wholesalers, asking about his role. “I discover what it is that’s holding them what they want so that they receive a a business back and work with them to help bespoke range.” remove that barrier. of course, the obstacles the turning point arrived when caron got involved differ greatly from company to company.” with a local food marketing initiative called “The first big move was to hire a ‘a taste of sussex’, part of sussex enterprise the master baker. It was a huge strain seeda backed food and drink business support on the business at the time but I knew organisation. they ran a ‘meet the buyer’ event with budgens, who were looking for a high quality I needed additional skills to keep up cake supplier to complement their economy with demand.” range. more food ended up supplying eight more food manufactures high quality cakes budgens’ stores. “suddenly, we were supplying employing traditional, handmade baking thousands of cakes. and budgens, who had methods. caron howe, founder and managing never sold cakes at £5 before, asked us to supply director, knew she had a great idea when nationally,” recalls caron. another, equally customers started queuing around the block for successful, ‘meet the buyer’ event introduced her chocolate caramel crispy cake from her café caron to waitrose and another national contract. in chichester. “nobody was really using today, more food turnover £2.4 million and have handmade production. competitors of similar reached capacity at their current premises. products use mass production techniques that, ‘a taste of sussex’ via business link introduced inevitably, damage quality,” explains caron. caron to the enterprise hub network, where having sold the café to concentrate on supplying she met Gatwick diamond enterprise hub a local wholesaler, caron found herself baking director steve wood. steve had already started cakes out of a small manufacturing unit using one to work with caron as a portfolio company oven, a microwave and a single table. but the when he recommended she apply for the high cakes were delicious and very soon the more food Growth business coaching programme, but name was synonymous with quality. It wasn’t long caron expressed reservations. “at first I really before a second wholesaler came on board with wasn’t sure I had the time to commit to such a Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 9
  • 7. above: caron howe of more foods. right: a display at Gordon murray design. above: a model communicating advances in green automotive design left : the Gordon murray team above left: Gordon murray speaking with prince philip programme but now I don’t think I could ever sufficient attention in order to support such rapid andrew also acts as coach to Gordon murray andrew reveals what he discovered getting to business model. for the first time ever in the stimulating. and the hub is always there when have done without it!” steve thought more food business growth.” design. operating from shalford in surrey, know the management team. “their skills and automotive industry, we can license the way we you need it. you’re not left high and dry after the was an outstanding candidate for the high Gordon murray design was founded in July 2007 capabilities are immense. Gordon murray alone manufacture, just like they do in the electronics programme finishes.” andrew initially focused on finding more food a Growth business coaching programme despite and currently employees 29 people with a has worked for brabham and mclaren for 17 and industry. with something that unique, it was vital financial director and through a seeda contact andrew identifies a common trait between both fierce competition for places. as steve explains, collective experience of over 440 years. they 18 years respectively. they’re a focused and highly we protected the business.” huw adds, “we would was able to introduce david James, who now Gordon murray design and more food, “managers “there were only 20 places this year but more specialise in the development of whole car motivated team having enjoyed in excess of 1,850 have probably got to an Ip solution by ourselves works two days a month. caron explains what of businesses must be really open to new ideas, food satisfied the criteria, being an established programmes as opposed to being a consultancy man years of working together.” but not as quickly. often solutions are right under a difference david has made to the business. which is not always easy, not when you’re used to business with a turnover between half and five for major car manufacturers. their work is highly your nose but it takes a third party perspective to million pounds and expecting continuing high “I now have a 36 month forecast and monthly innovative. the t.25 city car is set to revolutionise “We would have probably got to an reveal them to you. that’s what andrew has micro-managing everything.” control and reporting. led by david, I’m now IP solution by ourselves but not as growth in the next few years. It was obvious more the car market. being available for around £5,000 added to the business.” and what of the high Growth business coaching spending a lot more time on financial control, quickly. often solutions are right under food would benefit from intensive coaching.” and with extremely low running and lifecycle co2 programme as a whole, what’s the real advantage which would never have happened without your nose but it takes a third party the challenge ahead for Gordon murray design impact, it has a lightweight design and introduces for companies such as more food and Gordon “But as with so many creative people, andrew’s involvement. my passion was for baking is in convincing the right people of the validity massive savings to manufacturing costs. perspective to reveal them to you. murray design? andrew sums it up, “the real the financial reporting, costing and cakes, but if you can’t afford to run the business, of a project such as the t.25. andrew explains, you haven’t got a business.” the ramifications for the motor industry and the That’s what Andrew has added to strength of the high Growth business coaching “I’m working with huw to discover where best to margin management wasn’t getting environment are huge. the t.25 offers significant the business.” programme is precisely the lack of measures promote the business, to what industry sectors sufficient attention in order to support david has played a vital role in the search for advantages for parking and congestion while for short term success. there’s no long list of not surprisingly, with such a depth of knowledge, and in which markets. the united states could such rapid business growth.” new premises, too. caron continues, “now the protecting personal mobility and the fun of driving. Gordon murray design is aiming high. “we want to be huge, for example.” objectives, no agenda or vested interests. numbers are bigger, any mistake costs the the only measure of success is the company’s andrew spent considerable time getting to know be the world leader in automotive design and caron is quick to point out the importance of business a lot more money.” In fact, caron had huw has found being part of the high Growth own success, most likely beyond the end of the the management team at Gordon murray design reverse the current trend for sub-contracting by her involvement with the high Growth business been able to call upon quite a formidable team business coaching programme extremely programme.” little wonder huw says he’d in order to gain a thorough understanding of the having a complete in-house capability for design, coaching programme. “more food started as throughout the search for new premises. “I went rewarding. “we’re all tremendously experienced recommend the high Growth business coaching business and key factors influencing their growth. prototyping and development,” explains huw. a family business and quickly outgrew both its to look at a possible site recently and asked here but we want to continue to learn. the programme, “even if you don’t think you need it!” huw owen, managing director of Gordon murray core competences and premises. we weren’t andrew, david and steve to come with me. andrew relates the issue huw and his team were exchange of ideas within the high Growth design, notes this was one of the key points that financially efficient and had no idea how It was really useful to get their different opinions,” struggling to solve. “they were finding it difficult business coaching programme has really attracted him to the programme. “I personally get to source, negotiate and perform a major says caron. finding new premises is crucial to to value their Ip and put in place licensing benefitted the business.” huw continues, For more information: a lot out of the sessions with andrew but the high relocation. It’s here andrew has added such more food’s future growth, as they need to obtain agreements. It’s not something any of them had “being able to chat and bounce around ideas and Hub Director: Steve Wood Growth business coaching programme is not a tremendous amount.” british retail consortium (brc) accreditation, done before. they knew they needed specialist thoughts I find really useful.” caron howe agrees, primarily for a md’s development but for the the Gold award for food production. “we have support.” andrew introduced Ip and licensing “the coaching process really helped me get the “caron’s great strength is her creativity; her business as a whole.” to move to reach the next part of our growth experts to Gordon murray design, which stuff up in my head down onto paper.” innovative recipes and determination to use potential,” explains caron. “without brc approval contributed to securing a licensing agreement only the finest ingredients, allied to the use but what are the specific benefits for a company we won’t secure the larger contracts from alongside the first contract. of traditional baking methods, is the key to her in Gordon murray design’s position. huw explains, waitrose and budgens. but we can’t obtain brc success.” andrew adds, “but as with so many Gordon murray, founder of Gordon murray design, “the coaching programme is a bespoke service at our current home, it’s just not set up to do that.” creative people, the financial reporting, costing picks up the case. “we’re not just introducing a unlike a training course. It is sales driven advice and margin management wasn’t getting new, revolutionary car but a new, revolutionary in a small and intimate environment. It’s really 10 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 11
  • 8. THE RIGHT RECIPE FOR GROWTH running a business is full of frustrations. chasing funding, customers and growth are just some of the tests sent to examine the most determined of owners. Imagine though, you’ve achieved growth and success over a number of years, know exactly where you need sian holt met Jim Garrahy in a pub. Jim growth of the business would be achieved. owned Jim Garrahy’s fudge in america; a we got plenty of requests to supply markets, to take the business but are missing a vital ingredient. this is exactly highly successful brand distributed via outlets delis and food hampers but could never fulfil the position sian holt, owner and managing director of fudge Kitchen, at america’s great theme parks. before long, sian them.” despite demand from the wholesale was managing Jim Garrahy’s first uK based outlet market, sian faced a fundamental problem. found herself in. successful, clear about her direction yet lacking at blackpool pleasure beach and learning a lot “the original recipe gave the product a five to the technological knowhow to change her business, sian successfully about fudge. seven day shelf life. all the time we’re producing applied for a mini Ktp or business plus, and found that elusive growth. “Most people believe fudge and selling in our own shop that’s fine. as soon as I want to distribute to other outlets, the shelf life, is a British invention with its origins or lack of it, is a huge problem. I knew I had to in Devon or Cornwall,” explains Sian. increase the shelf life if I was to grow the business “Actually, it came from America and into a wholesale operation.” dates back to 1830 and a bungled sian could simply have added butter to the (fudged) batch of caramel, which is ingredients but she was determined not to alter where the confectionery acquired its the taste, texture or appearance, as this was her common name.” point of difference. so at this time, sian thought packaging was the answer and had visited various uniquely, and crucially, Jim Garrahy’s fudge suppliers with a whole gamut of weird and not so is made without including butter and sold wonderful packaging solutions. none of which got unpacked in hefty slices. butter keeps fudge anywhere near providing an adequate solution to softer for longer and is commonplace in other, increasing the shelf life. non-premium products. consequently, sian’s out of desperation, sian trawled the Internet fudge looks, feels, tastes, smells and is presented for packaging experts and came across linda completely differently to anything else out nicolaides, principal scientist in the natural there in the market. resources Institute (nrI) at Greenwich university. having bought Jim Garrahy out of the business, at the same time, she attended last year’s sian now owns seven shops throughout the uK, speciality food fair where simon dale, hub all in high tourist areas where fudge Kitchen’s director, introduced himself. “I came across sian unique recipe and retail theatre prove very handing out samples of quite delicious fudge popular. “we manufacture in store, right in and chatting to all and sundry. I was curious front of customers. It’s all part of the experience and introduced myself.” that helps differentiate our product,” explains simon and sian already had plenty in common. sian. “and without butter, the melted ingredients despite a palpable love of fudge, they shared need plenty of working, or creaming, to break the an acquaintance. dr. richard fuchs, head of sugars down and produce a really delicious and packaging at Greenwich university and a smooth fudge.” colleague of linda nicolaides who had been the original store was opened almost 25 years ago. approached by sian, also works with simon, despite sian’s obvious success, she knew she had sitting on the food hub steering group. between to change the business in order to grow it further. them, a route to solving sian’s shelf life problem as sian puts it, “shops are very expensive to became quickly apparent. simon dale explains, acquire, set up and run. It takes anywhere “by the time I met sian she was already talking between five and seven years to really see a to Greenwich university about a Ktp (Knowledge return on the investment” sian continues, “I knew transfer partnership). under the terms of a Ktp, sometime ago wholesale was where the future education Institutions, independent research and 12 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 13
  • 9. BUSINESSADVICE contRol YouR casHFlow BEFoRE IT CoNTRoLS yoU! technology organisations can apply for a grant “We’ve thoroughly tested the Clearly, Fudge Kitchen is in a great position for a partial contribution to project costs carried to move forward and grow the business. Key out in partnership with a business. new recipe and I’ve sent Julie to the success of any KTP is the commitment The business is then invoiced for the balance. round all the stores to teach demonstrated by both Sian and Julie. Sian They’re perfect for SMEs with growth potential to them it.” explains further “Julie has become one of us, benefit from the expertise of academics” Simon one of the team. She’s worked out of the Many businesses at the start of 2007, 99.9% of uK businesses In addition, hub directors throughout the “It’s caused quite a ripple throughout the were smes. they employed 13.5 million people enterprise hub network are available to lend assisted Sian with her application for a KTP that business as some of my managers have been Canterbury store, managing her research among are profitable or 59.2% of the total private sector workforce and advice and support where possible. as martin the daily production for the shop while the staff eventually led to a place in Business Plus, with me since the beginning, making their fudge there has fully embraced what she was when they go contributed as much as large business to the uK brassell, director of the aylesbury vale and a SEEDA funded programme similar to a KTP that fosters first interaction between businesses and to the traditional recipe “But now they’re all up attempting to do.” under. A lack of liquidity, often economy, 50% of Gross value added. In other wycombe hubs, comments, “high potential to speed, each shop is effectively a wholesale words, small business is big business in the uK. businesses have to plan particularly carefully in a knowledge base partner, in Sian’s case, supplier as well as a retail environment. I’ve Good project management is also essential for brought about by poor cashflow this turbulent period, as their cash burn rates tend however, according to the International monetary Greenwich University. estimated there’s a 3 to 4 per cent incremental the success of any KTP. “Julie can write manuals management, usually strikes the fund’s (Imf) most recent world economic outlook, to be much higher than the average sme, and new for breakfast!” raves Sian. “She’s brought a lot Under Business Plus, Sian met Julie Crenn, increase in profit for each shop.” of organisation through compliance in our death knell for a business. As the world economy is, “entering a major investors are generally reluctant to fund survival rather than growth. the enterprise hub network a food technology graduate in the NRI at Simon Dale’s involvement with Fudge Kitchen production process. Stuff we were doing before the economy trips into recession, downturn” in the face of, “the most dangerous can offer knowledgeable assistance, which is as Greenwich University, and handed her a tough shock” to rich-country financial markets since the brief. “Sian wanted to increase the shelf life of hasn’t ended with Sian’s successful application but never recorded. It’s made us far more as sales slow and credit becomes 1930s. In september alone the uK economy lost useful and important in an economic downturn to Business Plus. As a portfolio company, Simon professional as a manufacturing outfit.” the fudge without altering any other aspect of has introduced Sian to Keith Smith, a former increasingly scarce, companies 159,000 jobs, the most in a month since 2003. as it is in more prosperous times.” the product. She didn’t want to change the look, Bird’s Eye Director of Sales and Marketing and Simon Dale sees plenty of success in the need to think more carefully all of which is worrying news for britain’s small a series of new guides written and produced by texture, colour or taste” clarifies Julie. This made partnership, too. “Give a business knowledge businesses and the government. hence the the Institute of credit management are also likely Julie’s job that much harder but she very quickly Sian’s mentor. She’s found Keith’s marketing and increased learning, add market intelligence than ever about ways to smooth department for business, enterprise and to be of assistance to businesses seeking to knowledge invaluable, particularly in tandem dismissed the idea of packaging. “Packaging is with the Dunnhumby market intelligence data and you can open up new routes to market and out the peaks and troughs and regulatory reform (berr) recently announced understand their cashflow options, and make sure always going to be expensive and I soon realised that Simon has also provided Sian access to. create greater growth. That’s precisely what ensure a steady stream the measures listed in the table below. they are taking all the necessary precautions to that fudge is influenced by a huge number of Fudge Kitchen has done.” Certainly for Fudge protect it. the guides, which can be found at factors: temperature, humidity, the flavour Sian describes what it has meant, “It’s really Kitchen, it’s one hell of a recipe. of income., helped me understand fudge buyers’ habits ingredient and even the time of day it’s made. and the market as a whole.” The introduction are concise, easy to understand and designed to • anks accessing government capital support B For more information: Manipulating any one of these might bring about of Dunnhumby data, which is really Tesco Club The mistake many businesses will commit to maintain the availability and give straightforward and speedy cashflow advice the change to shelf life Sian was after.” with simple checklists and top tips. Card database, has helped change Sian’s Hub Portfolio Director: Simon Dale managers make is to think active marketing of competitively priced Based at the Canterbury store, Julie would test thoughts about how to create the wholesale lending to smes at a level at least equivalent batch after batch, changing recipe ingredients, operation. “originally, I thought wholesale would there’s little they or anybody else to that of 2007. a new small business as martin concludes, “hubs exist to support, encourage and help developing enterprises amounts and combinations to produce new mean centralising production to supply volume can do to improve their cashflow. finance forum will bring lenders and to achieve high growth. many of our client results. After a while, Julie formed a hunch that to the supermarkets. But now, having worked Fortunately, there’s a plethora the business community together. companies take years, not months, to build up the solution rested with the sugars present in with the Food Hub, we’re keeping manufacturing fudge. “Sugar is a natural preservative so I in store and supplying smaller, local outlets such of support and advice available • entral Government will pay all bills within C to the point where they can start trading. In the 10 days, and work to speed payments across current climate it’s particularly important to suspected I could alter the shelf life by changing as delis, famers’ markets and cafes. It’s a better for SMEs, including a new range ensure businesses take all the necessary the public and private sector. the sugar composition.” More than that, Julie’s fit with our philosophy of including quality, fresh, of guides from the Institute of measures to look after the basic essentials, keeping mum as she finally hit upon a recipe natural ingredients and providing an experience • usiness Link will provide free Health B that produced a shelf life of 3 weeks. around the product,” says Sian. Credit Management. checks for all businesses on demand: and none is more important than cashflow. so even if cash doesn’t appear to be an issue Sian is delighted. It would appear the partnership with Greenwich hands on advice from qualified experts right now, reading these guides now could be and working with Julie has really fired Sian up. to help identify problems early and survive time well spent.” “I’ve got loads of ideas. Now we can successfully in the current financial climate. manufacture for the wholesale market it opens • hrough Train to Gain, SMEs in England T up all sorts of possibilities, like Make At Home can now access extra support to ensure Institute of Credit Management guides Kits,” enthuses Sian. “And I’ve already got Julie employees have the skills and business on managing cashflow can be read and working on a third generation recipe with an knowledge they need. downloaded from: even longer shelf life for the export market.” 14 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 15
  • 10. for any start-up or sme, winning and keeping customers is all important. but when you’re small and resources and budgets are tight, how do you open the doors of the large corporate customers? when you’ve little or no track record and trust is yet to be established, how do you break into the big league? particularly when smaller clients are more plentiful and seemingly easier to pick off. siptel and netociety are two portfolio companies at the surrey enterprise hub with enviable client lists having been successfully punching above their weight. STEVE RASmUSSEN, founder and owner, sIptel lImIted siptel is a new generation, independent It, and targeted larger, corporate clients because we and running the business.” steve continues, voice and data solutions company providing fully knew this area would offer us greater potential for “I had never run my own business before. It wasn’t converged solutions to businesses. some of their growth,” reveals steve. “the way I see it, every my background. the hub has assisted and helped customers include tuI, rothschild’s bank, 2012 customer has to be a reference customer.” me with certain questions that I’ve had while and battersea power station. what’s more, siptel setting up.” having got the first corporate customer, steve set is a certified partner for manufacturers such as about developing the business and ensuring siptel siptel is now a portfolio company within the avaya, cisco and microsoft. all of which has been sustained its growth. “I had to build the right team surrey hub and has received support as and established in a little over four years’ trading. around me. that was the most critical part of our when steve has felt the need. “we don’t have a so what’s siptel’s secret? founder and owner growth to date.” siptel makes a point of using the dedicated marketing manager but wanted to do steve rasmussen says he started out on the right technology it recommends to customers. some pr and build useful press relationships. foot. “we actually set up in november 2003, five so ensuring members of staff understand the the hub assisted by introducing us to a pr expert months before we started trading. but that was systems and products siptel sells is vital. steve and allowing us to work with him,” says steve. but deliberate. we had invested our own money and goes on, “we actually use all the enterprise grade the hub has played a more general role, too. mike wanted to establish all the systems we required equipment ourselves. this shows the customer we lunch, surrey’s hub director explains, “steve first. come april 2004 when we started trading, we really understand the technology that we’re would be the first to admit the people he’s met didn’t just have all our internal process systems delivering. we always say we’ve implemented, within the hub have many more year’s experience and infrastructure in place but also our branding, used, broken, fixed and lived with the latest than he does when it comes to running a business plan, website, servers, everything. you technology. It’s a real differentiating factor for us. business. so he’s found it very useful to be able name it, we had it in place before the company so much so, customers actually relish the position to ask how he should approach certain issues. even had a customer.” steve’s approach was we’re in, using the technology that we actually use.” It’s not full time mentoring, it’s not part time obviously comprehensive and thorough, adopted mentoring but support as and when steve from his corporate background “you can do it with “Start-ups in our business tend to needs it.” little planning and preparation,” steve continues, target the smaller end of the market, Going forward, siptel is in a strong position “and some people do it off the back of an order, PUNCHING ABOVE but we deal with mid to corporate to enterprise the SMEs, small one and two man bands. despite the recent downturn in the economy. businesses, they’ll see through anything that’s We took up a different market position currently experiencing 300% growth, an not quite right.” and targeted larger, corporate clients incredible figure for such a young company, because we knew this area would offer steve explains why he’s optimistic. “we’ve zero hyundai engineering & construction, a five us greater potential growth” debt, cash in the bank and overheads covered by billion dollar business, was siptel’s first customer; YOUR WEIGHT! recurring revenues.” so has he got any tips for a piece of business that immediately put them understanding the technology, presenting the other start-ups trying to secure that big contract? among corporate clients. “we got to implement, solutions in a professional and correct manner “you can’t attack all the big players without some support and set up hyundai’s london office,” says gives siptel’s customers great confidence. that of the smaller players. you have to start steve. but exactly how did siptel secure such a siptel is not a huge corporate itself, also benefits somewhere to bring in revenue and to secure win? “we took our proposition out to a number of the business, as steve outlines. “we can move cashflow.” but at the end of the day, steve’s potential customers. people with a real drive to very quickly. our agility and speed out guns all personality is what drives the success of the want our services,” explains steve. “It was about our competition.” a fact that is as much to do with business. “I have a very positive mindset. sales, getting in and talking to people.” but surely, their mentality, as it is their size. as steve puts it, but I’m also a pragmatist as you can’t be over once you’ve opened a door, you need a good “I don’t take no for an answer!” confident or over zealous. otherwise you can presentation? “you can’t mention you’re a start- make a foul mess. you must take your time and up. you’re selling the entity of what you’ve just steve first came across the enterprise hub a methodical approach.” set up,” explains steve. network when he was looking for premises. “I was looking to locate somewhere in the steve had done his research, though. “start-ups m4/a3 corridor. the surrey technology centre in our business tend to target the smaller end of was attractive because of its proximity to the the market, the smes, small one and two man enterprise hub and a network of small businesses. bands. we took up a different market position I envisaged support that was crucial to setting up 16 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 17
  • 11. STEPHEN DANElUTTI, founder and manaGInG dIrector, netocIety lImIted “We target large companies as they’re has appreciated the networking opportunities and improved upon the situation. “enterprise 2.0 the ones with the greatest problems, particularly his relationship with portfolio director software, so labeled as it is based on some core with poor communication and the malcolm loucks. as stephen explains, “I really web 2.0 principles, can be molded around people inefficiencies this creates. And they enjoy the networking events. they cover a wide and processes more easily. therefore, the user is range of topics, from sales to Ip and funding, in control and can easily change features and have lots of customers they wish to which is where malcolm has added so much to functions to adapt to increasingly changing communicate effectively with.” our business.” stephen continues, “we’ve recently business requirements. by virtue of its flexible applied for some contingency finance that architecture and extendibility, halvr takes this stephen danelutti worked in large, blue chip malcolm made us aware of and has helped breed of software to even greater heights.” companies until he set up netociety, a company us apply for. the process couldn’t have been that supplies social software to businesses to aid halvr uses social software that social networking smoother and that’s largely down to malcolm.” communication and collaboration with staff and sites such as facebook already use but with one customers. stephen picks up the story, “most large the hub has played a far more significant role crucial difference. stephen explains, “whereas companies experience problems with people not in the growth of netociety, too. as malcolm says, facebook and other social networking sites are working well together. rather, they work in silos.” netociety weren’t the ideal hub company to start public platforms, halvr operates trusted motivated by an interest in technology, stephen with. “when mike lunch the hub director first met networking that’s robust, secure and started getting into the Internet. stephen netociety they didn’t fit all the criteria for a hub customisable.” for malcolm, this was the key. continues, “the Internet, in the beginning, company. we work with high growth companies “If you’re targeting ftse 100 companies as tended to be a broadcast medium, little more that have an idea that can be commercialised. stephen is, trusted networking is vital for than an online brochure. I was really interested netociety were resellers, tailoring existing businesses as security of data is paramount.” in the Internet beyond that and how it might work technologies, albeit for large corporates.” stephen has two halvr trials for high profile as an interactive platform.” through some open and honest conversations, customers already underway, which at this stage the hub team suggested a new direction for stephen’s job before netociety was at sony. cannot be mentioned specifically. but just how netociety. malcolm continues, “we floated the “my role moved into the area of collaboration. is netociety getting a foot in the door? “we use idea of netociety developing their own product. I set up a crm programme and worked with a lot of the technology we sell,” says stephen. vc money is often dependent upon strong Ip and technologies to help the brand interact externally “I’m forever blogging and webcasting, getting our it makes the company more scalable.” stephen with customers and internally with employees.” story out there, networking with people and now and his team had already thought along these stephen liked what he saw. “I identified an people are starting to approach us.” lines. “we would have gone this way anyway,” opportunity for a new breed of lightweight, says stephen. “but it has happened a lot quicker a recent report released by forrester research social and web-based solutions, so I left sony being challenged by the enterprise hub.” on the 20 april 2008 has predicted that enterprise and set up netociety with three others.” spending on collaborative software technologies halvr, netociety’s new social networking netociety immediately started working with is going to increase over the next five years. this platform built on very flexible and scalable large, corporate clients. “we started by reselling increase will include more spending on social architecture, is the result of those discussions. technology. free and open source social software, networking tools, mashups and rss, with the as stephen puts it, “halvr has a lot of the core applications and platforms, and customising them end result being a global enterprise market of components, widgets, plugins, mashups, etc. that for clients.” sony, thales, british airways and $4.6 billion by 2013. “our challenge is to gear up are added in very flexible and extendible ways.” british american tobacco feature among and scale up to meet that demand,” says stephen. stephen continues, “halvr allows customers netociety’s client list. “we target large companies If that involves further collaboration with big to develop and tailor a platform to answer their as they’re the ones with the greatest challenges companies, manufacturers and even the particular needs, and facilitates subsequent and opportunities, with poor communication enterprise hub, netociety is in for a rosy future. further development should a customer want it.” and the inefficiencies this creates. and they after all, collaboration is their strength. have lots of customers they wish to communicate stephen explains the benefit to businesses. effectively with where the web is a key component “In the past, enterprise 1.0 software vendors in their customers’ lives,” says stephen. created and embedded features and functions in their applications that they thought would support stephen discovered the surrey enterprise hub their customers’ operations. customers and users, while searching the Internet for general start-up often under direct control of an It department, For more information: information. netociety was invited to become a where told what to use and how with very little portfolio company and was assigned a mentor, flexibility to change features and functions.” Hub Director: Mike Lunch david halliwell, who is now a shareholder and stephen goes on to explain where halvr has supports the company in various areas. stephen Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 19
  • 12. INNOVATION & and economic partnerships. they will all share Businesses within the Innovation & Growth Given the size of Innovation & Growth teams and a vision and common interest in developing teams will benefit from ‘communities of the expertise available, support for businesses the economy through targeted support of high innovation’. What, in this context, will be more intensive than previously under the growth businesses.” is a community? enterprise hub network. targeted businesses will GROWTH TEAmS possess the greatest growth and value potential. “Innovation & Growth teams will see communities consequently, a community of success and as a local network that brings innovative What will the new Innovation & Growth Teams progression will percolate throughout Innovation businesses, the knowledge base and business strive to achieve? & Growth teams, fostering cross-fertilisation of support practitioners together. the activity will ideas and best business practice. raising the “first and foremost, Innovation & Growth teams focus on knowledge transfer, developing levels of collaboration and knowledge transfer will build local communities of innovation, commercial opportunities, collaboration to deliver INNOVATION & GROWTH TEAmS. THE FUTURE SUPPORT FOR within industries and across market sectors will peer groups of innovative businesses connected commercial outcomes, identifying new business also better support the use of open innovation into the knowledge base, industry sectors opportunities, developing business leadership INNOVATIVE COmPANIES THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH EAST and market specialists. each team will work with 250 businesses, connecting a community and innovation skills, developing innovative solutions to address local economic issues.” throughout the south east’s business community, and further enhance growth. the teams will represent a new, publicly funded service that of 2000 businesses across the region. their overall will provide an integrated platform of support target is to increase the revenue generated by The Enterprise Hub Network is about to undergo an exciting and significant new or significantly improved products and Business link will play a new and more active to a wide range of businesses seeking to access change. As part of the government’s goal to streamline publicly funded support services. they will be charged with engaging role under the new, streamlined structure of new markets, to introduce new products and services and to grow their operations within schemes by 2010 and clarify business support, SEEDA is inviting applications with businesses that possess the characteristics business support. How will this change the the sub-region.” to grow dramatically. their performance will be way entrepreneurs and growth businesses from sub-regional partnerships to form a comprehensive network of eight assessed on the amount of funding that the access support? Innovation & Growth Teams. These new, responsive teams will focus on growth supported companies are able to raise in order “the government’s business support simplification Where will businesses with high growth to drive innovation and growth. consequently, areas in the region and will fuse the current range of business support activity. Innovation & Growth teams will measure the programme (bssp) is a national redeployment of potential go to find an Innovation Innovation & Growth Teams will deliver targeted specialist support to aid the effects of the investment of time, specialist publicly funded business support that was & Growth Team? launched two years ago. the aim is to rationalise growth of businesses and ultimately the economic prosperity of the South East. knowledge, funds and connections by calculating the number of different products and services in “there will be eight teams strategically located Increase in Gross value add, which is the public across the region. they will be focused on places The improvements also involve a broader, more dynamic approach to promoting sector way of showing increase in economic order to make the support structure less confusing. where the key drivers of innovation, like business It’ll also allow funding of this activity to be more innovation and growth. Marilyn Huckerby, Head of Business Innovation activity and incorporates revenue generation targeted and cost effective. the department of clusters and the knowledge hubs, come together. and Growth at SEEDA, highlights the opportunities for businesses throughout and number of employees.” business enterprise & regulatory reform (berr) any business that fits the high growth criteria will either be in one of these locations or will be close the region. and the department of Innovation, universities & enough to for them to actively engage in the skills (dIus) working with the regional development How will Innovation & Growth Teams deliver networks and receive relevant support. agencies have 30 products/services that will be against these goals? when the teams are in place they will all have rolled out over the next 12 months under the local contact points but it will also be possible to “a dedicated set of experienced people will rationalisation. business link will be the primary reach them via business link, in their role as the identify companies with growth potential where access point so all marketing material around this Why introduce new and streamlined Innovation & Growth Teams will work with Innovation is the successful exploitation of new primary access channel for publicly funded there is some perceived barrier or challenge that simplified portfolio of products/services will have Innovation & Growth Teams? new definitions of innovation and growth. ideas. this recognises the importance of the business support.” is holding them back (i.e. they are not steaming business link as the initial contact point. What exactly are these definitions and how creative spark, new knowledge and new ways of ahead on their own). referrals will come from their role is then to provide information, diagnose “the change unifies various strands of funded do they improve upon current understanding? thinking. “new” in this context can be new to the a multitude of sources: business link, local and determine what the key issue is and then support for businesses with high growth potential Where can business leaders throughout the sector or the organisation, taking an idea from partners, through local networking events, broker the businesses to the most appropriate into one cohesive, regional network of Innovation “the new definitions of ‘innovation’ and ‘growth’ South East find further information about another context and adapting it to another. seminars, local authorities and any organisation support whether this is publicly funded or from & Growth teams. each team will comprise of are broader in order to better target high growth the changes? Improvements in products, services and quality that has contact with local businesses. the private sector. for high growth potential high calibre people with very credible business potential. the new ‘innovation’ definition doesn’t often come from innovations in business Innovation & Growth teams will provide a tailored businesses in the seeda region, business link will “your local enterprise hub director will be able experience and will better represent use of this just cover high technology products but also processes, models, marketing and enabling package of support to get the businesses over or direct companies to Innovation & Growth teams.” to keep you up to date on progress towards the expertise, knowledge and best practice sharing new ways of doing things. for example, amazon technologies. Innovation happens in all service around their barrier (often applying an innovative formation of Innovation & Growth teams. and accelerate businesses through the growth developed a new business model that is enabled and manufacturing sectors and in the public solution) in order to accelerate their growth and they’ll also be able to explain in more detail what stages, from start up to corporate. Innovation by technology to sell consumer goods. and third sectors. embed new ways of thinking and sound business What are the benefits of the change to the added benefits to the high growth business & Growth teams will focus intensive support on anita roddick, founder of body shop, came up 2000 businesses with very high growth potential, with the concept of developing ethical cosmetics growth principles. this is highly targeted support Innovation & Growth Teams for a business community will be. to maximise their impact on the economy.” and selling them through a high street retail facilitated by a number of extremely credible currently receiving support from their local The new Innovation & Growth Teams will people with huge experience in creating Enterprise Hub? chain. these are both examples of business be formed by sub-regional partnerships. and growing businesses or successfully To find the contact details for innovation. the aim is to generate greater “most companies will still fit the criteria around But what’s a sub-regional partnership? developing and launching new products. your nearest Enterprise Hub visit: revenue from new or significantly improved high growth potential and will continue to receive products and services. this will come from new “sub-regional partnerships are local organisations, In addition, businesses will benefit hugely support such as mentoring, coaching, specialist business models, going into new markets and from both the public and private sector, that come from networking and peer group interaction.” advice and the opportunity to network with developing new processes. the new definition of together to support local high growth businesses businesses further along the development and ‘innovation’ is from the Government’s Innovation in order to build a strong local economy. they will growth path. the local Innovation & Growth team strategy: ‘Innovation nation’ (march 2008).” be lead by a business champion but will involve will have more capacity and expertise in house the knowledge base (universities, research than the current enterprise hubs, so an even centres etc), business link, local authorities richer vein of support for businesses to access. 20 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 21
  • 13. ASK THE EXPERT THE ImPORTaNCE Of maRKETINg. What exactly is a marketing plan and why is it so What should an advertising, design or PR agency deliver? important to a business? “a good agency should deliver commitment to your business, “a marketing plan is a unique tool as it forces a business to understanding of your business and your target markets/ marketing is widely aCknowledged as a key part understand their potential customer base: who they are, what stakeholders and creativity that helps your business to stand they want, how many there might be, what they’ll pay and how out from your competitors.” of business suCCess. without it, efforts to attraCt to reach them. the work that goes into a marketing plan is Customers, Create demand and enhanCe relationships essential for understanding how valuable a business might What is the importance of a brand? with existing Customers are likely to be ChaotiC and become, what the best routes to market are and what investment is required to reach this market.” “a brand is the recognisable character of a product, service ineffiCient. marketing, however, is rarely part of an or business. to compete effectively, this ought to be a positive, entrepreneur’s Cv. moreover, the perCeived Cost is attractive character, based on verifiable product or service What role does a marketing strategy play within often prohibitive. in the first of a regular series, we a marketing plan? experiences. without actively projecting this character, you will not stand out in the market place, nor will you give prospective plaCe hub direCtors, their knowledge and expertise “a marketing strategy is essential for prioritising how a customers the confidence to trial your products or services. under the miCrosCope and examine their talents in particular business will seek to compete on the grounds of an attractive brand also needs to be based on coherent values a partiCular field. first up, marketing. its particular competitive advantages within its marketplace.” and qualities otherwise customers, prospective customers and commentators will doubt your trustworthiness. finally, you What is the difference between marketing and advertising? can’t escape having a perceived character so make sure it’s a character you want to be associated with!” “advertising is about communicating a business’s product or service benefits to the target market and generating enquiries How important is an effective website? and sales. marketing covers a much wider range of activities that are relevant to identifying the target market, “a website has become an essential item of corporate understanding what they need and will pay, who the credibility. a company doesn’t have to have every fashionable competition are and how to reach, influence and interact web application going but think carefully about how your kEN DUECk with that target market.” customers/enquirers/trialists would expect to be able to hub dIrector interact with your business online. then execute the Isle of wIGht How can customers and their needs be identified? appropriate level of technology with good design, high levels of usability and robustness.” Ken moved to the UK from Canada “to find your customers, find out who’s buying something to study at the University of Sussex. similar to what you offer. understand your competitors and Assuming a business has never run a marketing campaign, Subsequent opportunities to stay their customers. there are many research routes to identifying how and where should it start? and work in the UK led to 17 years in potential markets. some involve fairly straightforward desk marketing communications, mostly at research but you can also undertake face-to-face research “It really depends on where you need to get to! have you leading advertising and direct marketing with potential customers. If you’re already in business with done your marketing plan and agreed your strategy? use agencies such as ogilvy & Mather a customer base, get everyone in the business to listen to experts to help you with high quality execution in the areas customer complaints or frustrations to find out where you might of sales, advertising, pr, websites etc. If your funding is really and TBWA. In 1998, Ken joined Syzygy be able offer solutions. you can never know enough about your tight, find friends or relations with expertise to test out your London, a small Internet development customers and their behaviour.” ideas first.” company where, as Commercial Director, he helped grow the London business Is a USP still relevant? Is there free advice on and funding for marketing that from £1m to £6m turnover. a start up or SmE can apply for? “a unique selling proposition or usp is still relevant today but it may not be a single feature/benefit of a product or service. “there is free advice available from enterprise hub directors, It may be a combination of features and benefits. It could be, many have extensive marketing backgrounds, and online from for example, a combination of quality and service, or business link and other sources. In recent years, quite a few web functionality and design. every business needs to understand sites were launched in both the us and the uK to promote what its competitive advantage or advantages are and then entrepreneurship and business start-ups and these often have capitalise on them.” some basic guidance and tools. the commercialisation loan fund managed by finance south east is one source of funding that can What parts of the marketing mix should be employed? help businesses pay for the launch of new products or services.” “as a rule, a business should use the routes and methods that For further information on the worlds of advertising, design provide the most cost-effective return on investment. bear in and marketing, why not visit the industries’ governing mind, however, that the most cost-effective approach overall body’s own websites: will almost always be a combination of routes and methods that reinforce each other.” Institute of Practitioners in Advertising: Design Business Association: Chartered Institute of marketing: Direct marketing Association: 22
  • 14. SPOTLIGHTBEAMING LAST WORDSBAYLIS OUR gUEST EDITOR COmmENTS ON ISSUES affECTINg BUSINESS NETWORKS THIS aUTUmN. TEACHERS ARE THE mOTHERS OF INVENTION! “virtually all firms start out of invention: an academy of Invention. as what I would call artisan pupils would be taught the rise of britain as a businesses. by that, I mean great trading and manufacturing nation. It would companies are set-up by place an emphasis on woodwork, metalwork, someone who has a particular engineering and design, and look at the history skill, profession or trade. and development of historically important In their early days, artisan inventions such as the clock, the steam engine entrepreneurs spend most and the internal combustion engine, and require well connected of their time producing their product or delivering their students to actually make them. It would also plot the development of taking a good idea service. I used to fall asleep in and proceeding to prototype, patent and Sonia Blizzard runs Beaming, a niche Internet services provider supplying high quality my clothes, wake in the middle manufacturing. If you don’t agree with me, of the night, brew a fresh pot consider this. of the world’s ten largest voice and data products to businesses and consumers. So perhaps you’d expect Sonia of tea and continue working. corporations by revenue, nine make big, to be well connected. But starting and running your own business, regardless of the like all artisans, I loved what heavy things. like cars or ships’ turbines or market it operates in, can be a lonely job. Sonia has developed a relationship with her I was doing. computer hardware or consumer electronics. these companies rely on their engineering local Enterprise Hub in Hastings that started by chance and now, like Beaming, grows however, artisan businesses don’t tend to grow and their technology for their wealth. only one, very large because the management skills are ever stronger. generally weak and little time is devoted to wal-mart, is a service company. look at the most profitable companies and again the facts speak planning. In short, us artisans need support. by the time sonia blizzard left her role at bt she gave sonia some priceless advice and even her business customers. “sonia’s solution was to Trevor Baylis oBE needs little for themselves. In the top ten, only three are but this nation is appalling when it comes to had had enough of the corporate world. “one has managed to secure some free pr coverage in the provide fantastic business support. beaming, as introduction. In a varied and colourful service companies. looking after its artisan. to be seen to be working at bt,” sonia explains. local newspaper, activity that worked far more a small, friendly, agile company, can add great career, Trevor has achieved much. It is starting to happen. britain is becoming a “plus, I was very ambitious. but I got to a point effectively than the advertising sonia had been value in that area of the market,” recalls paul. since 1945, over half of all successful inventions He has represented Britain at swimming, originated from britain, only a fifth from the usa nation of inventors and the number of people where I thought, why am I working so hard for paying for. “after the marketing clinic, the hub shareholders I rarely see in an organisation with assigned a mentor to me and the business for six the hub has played an additional, even more served in the army, established and just a twentieth from Japan. but look at who submitting ideas for patents in the uK has never fundamental role for sonia. “working from my successful businesses and, of course, been higher. but we’ve got to do more. we must a philosophy that’s different to mine?” months. they had a marketing background and benefits. approximately 56% of all Japan’s exports garden shed, running my own business I felt quite invented numerous ingenious products get invention into our schools, colleges and really helped me overhaul that side of the are based on british inventions. the ideas of artisans. starting beaming allowed sonia to control her cut off, quite lonely. I missed the interaction I was universities and teach ‘invention’ as part of their business,” sonia explains. most prominently in 1994 when his work/life balance better and put into practise the familiar with at bt. the hub provided that. I met take my own experience. the clockwork radio curriculum. there are those who say you cannot Clockwork Radio shot to prominence. ideas she valued. “I could never understand why “Good mentoring is not providing people from different backgrounds who had is manufactured in south africa because many teach invention, but I say to them, but then surely bt never used the technology it sold. how is that created very different businesses to mine but who Trevor has also suffered through his the answers. It’s creating the space british firms rejected my idea. and the situation you cannot teach art! you can teach: history of a recommendation? at beaming, we only sell the faced exactly the same kind of problems as I did.” passion to create new and meaningful is only going to get worse as first china then India for Sonia, or whoever it is I’m working invention; inventors and what happened to them; technology we advocate using ourselves.” but sonia continues, “I felt I could conquer the world products. The difficult path to progress and emerging nations such as brazil and mexico intellectual property; the importance of patents; with, to do their thinking.” sonia’s experience of the big company corporation when I started out, like every entrepreneur does. is a familiar one for Trevor. He’s been master the act of low-cost manufacturing. and business plans and prototypes. If you can has influenced more than her range of products. paul sayers was sonia’s mentor and was immediately people at the hub said it’d be tough, but go for it. rejected, ignored, ripped-off and stolen have bachelors of art why not bachelors of “our customers know our staff by name. what’s impressed. “nobody knows beaming better than others I met at the hub matched my enthusiasm If uK plc is to stop losing its entitlement to the from in the past. Today, Trevor Baylis invention? they say art is pleasure and invention more, every employee has a voice and is free to sonia. she’s got great experience and runs a and excitement. It became my support network, innovations of its entrepreneurs its got to stand Brands exists to help evaluate, protect by us more. the first thing it should do is make is treasure and this country has to recognise that. suggest things that might change and improve pretty tight ship. my role was always to ask fuelling me with ideas. the hub really had my and commercialise inventors’ new ideas. it easier to protect ideas. entrepreneurs should If a small fortune can be spent on dead sheep the way we do business,” sonia offers. “I always questions from a third party perspective. best interests going forward.” felt my voice was lost at bt.” then allow sonia the time and space to think But, as the first of our Guest Editors, have the same automatic rights to copyright as in formaldehyde then a little more can be spent sonia is currently on the high Growth coaching Trevor argues there’s plenty more the on inventors. it through.” paul adds, “Good mentoring is not songwriters and authors. It would also help if sonia was responsible for the outsourcing of some programme funded by seeda and provided by country can do to support the government made ndas (non disclosure providing the answers. It’s creating the space Inventors have the most extraordinary ability of bt’s large contracts. she took this experience the enterprise hub network. the programme for sonia, or whoever it is I’m working with, to its entrepreneurs. agreements) de rigueur, so that an entrepreneur to change all our lives both socially and directly into the creation of beaming. Initially, assigns a coach to sonia for a period of intensive do their thinking.” could refuse to reveal his or her invention to a commercially. If the uK is to survive, then it must sonia ran everything from her garden shed and assistance and requires sonia to form a new and corporate without one. that’s what I offer through pay tribute to those ordinary guys and girls with outsourced the call centre function. her first paul is excited about the direction sonia has productive relationship with her coach. Given trevor baylis brands. and I know the enterprise their great ideas. introduction to the east sussex enterprise hub taken beaming, as he explains. “when I first met sonia’s record and the fact that the word hub network does a lot of work in this area with came with the need for a virtual address. sonia, beaming was very competitive on price. ‘beaming’ actually refers to communication its companies. “I popped in and out of the media centre collecting but then the competition dropped their prices and between two wireless devices, it seems she’ll For more information: my mail and noticed the hub, who has its offices suddenly sonia needed to differentiate beaming be ok. connections are sonia’s thing, after all. making it easier to protect ideas is only part there, offered a free marketing clinic.” sonia again. Given the consumer market is dominated of the improvements, though. If we’re really continues, “I had been running some local press by the likes of bt and vodafone, sonia had to find going to benefit from our innovations as a nation advertising that really wasn’t working for me, an alternative strategy to price as she was never For more information: and ensure that ideas conceived in britain are which is no surprise because I knew nothing about going to match them.” sonia’s response was to Hub Director: Jim Christy, developed here and generate jobs and benefits marketing,” confesses sonia. the marketing clinic concentrate on another valuable connection, with East Sussex Enterprise Hub for the economy, we have to create a love 24 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 25