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THE RIGHT RECIPE FOR GROWTH

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THE RIGHT RECIPE FOR GROWTH

  1. 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 www.avalehub.co.uk www.medwayenterprisehub.co.uk www.sehl.co.uk 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 edcooper@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk t: 01280 825050 raywynne@medwayenterprisehub.co.uk t: 01795 411501 m: 07814 723261 east sussex Hub m: 07971 107202 paul.walsh@sehl.co.uk www.eastsussexhub.co.uk martin.brassell@avalehub.co.uk wYcombe Hub milton keYnes Hub 15 Hastings www.wycombehub.co.uk • Stephen Milne – Local Director www.mkenterprisehub.co.uk solent Hub creative media centre, m: 07891 227194 19 High Wycombe 6 Milton Keynes www.solenthub.co.uk 17 & 45 robertson street, bnu wellesbourne campus, stephen.milne@avalehub.co.uk 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 www.canterburyhub.co.uk 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 martin.brassell@wycombehub.co.uk university of Kent, Giles lane, chris.dunkley@mkenterprisehub.co.uk arthur.monks@solenthub.co.uk jimchristy@eastsussexhub.co.uk • 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, tony.diment@wycombehub.co.uk soutHampton Hub t: 01227 824641 d.f.butler@kent.ac.uk t: 01908 377744 david.burns@mkenterprisehub.co.uk www.southamptonhub.com 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, www.foodhub.co.uk gatwick diamond Hub oxFoRdsHiRe Hub university of southampton tHames valleY Hub www.thamesvalleyhub.co.uk 20 Reading use tHe knowledge base www.diamondhub.co.uk www.oxfordshirehub.co.uk 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: sdale@leatherheadfood.com INNOVATION AND GROWTH t: 01293 817700 m: 07712 193797 f: 01869 238001 • ohn Lee – Hub Director J www.surreyhub.co.uk Guildford m: 07989 512907 susanelliott@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk InnovatIon & Growth teams Get an IntroductIon 12 steve.wood@gatwickdiamondhub.co.uk t: 01235 838616 m: 07818 014222 surrey technology centre, • racey Sanderson – Hub Manager T • manda Geel – Portfolio Manager A j.lee@oxfordshirehub.co.uk 40 occam road, t: 0118 9357115 t: 01293 817702 • r Wendy Tindsley – Portfolio Director D surrey research park, traceysanderson@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk m: 07710 909586 m: 07807 054617 Guildford Gu2 7yG • tephen Foale – Portfolio Director S amanda.geel@gatwickdiamondhub.co.uk w.tindsley@oxfordshirehub.co.uk • 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 stevenfoale@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk mike@surreyhub.co.uk m: 07710 900640 colin.hayhurst@gatwickdiamondhub.co.uk 8 p.espejo@oxfordshirehub.co.uk 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 andrew@surreyhub.co.uk carlosrojas@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk • tephen Constable – S bIG corporate busIness isle oF wigHt Hub www.wighthub.co.uk 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 malcolm@surreyhub.co.uk m: 07973 655569 Innovation centre, t: 01235 838500 stephenconstable@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk 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 sdale@leatherheadfood.com trevor baylIs obe t: 01983 535846 m: 07785 977527 ken.dueck@wighthub.co.uk • oanne Jenkins – Portfolio Director J www.foodhub.co.uk our fIrst ever Guest edItor t: 01784 414985 2
  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 fav.or.it 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 allycharles@seeda.co.uk 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 allycharles@seeda.co.uk, or call 01483 484 200. of invention. on 01483 484 200, email info@enterprisehubnetwork.co.uk or log on to www.enterprisehubnetwork.co.uk Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 www.enteRpRiseHubnetwoRk.co.uk 1
  3. 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 www.enterprisehubnetwork.co.uk 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.” www.surreyhub.co.uk 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 www.surreyhub.co.uk ken.dueck@wighthub.co.uk Jan wherever we can.” jimchristy@eastsussexhub.co.uk www.financesoutheast.co.uk 2 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 www.enteRpRiseHubnetwoRk.co.uk 3
  4. 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 www.surreyhub.co.uk 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 www.gibsonindex.if5.com 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 www.gibson-index.com 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 martin.brassell@wycombehub.co.uk archie says “the high wycombe hub is excellent. colin.hayhurst@gatwickdiamondhub.co.uk carlosrojas@thamesvalleyhub.co.uk 4 Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 www.enteRpRiseHubnetwoRk.co.uk 5
  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 Fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it nick halstead, founder of fav.or.it, 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 Fav.or.it, 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. fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it’s integrated system is equally effective. themes and references. by selecting and categorising content, the fav.or.it 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 fav.or.it, 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 fav.or.it to jot down his top reasons for business a brand to do that?” blogging. Judging by fav.or.it’s growth, it’s well worth a read. Hub magaZine winteR 2008/09 www.enteRpRiseHubnetwoRk.co.uk 7

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