Thanet & East Kent Insider, 28th August 2010

Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber


Thanet & East Kent Insider


28th August 2010 Issue No.: 


1. Get a Share of £700,000

The senior management of Thanet College is dedicated to supporting local business. As well as attracting an increasing number of companies to its training courses, the college is reviewing its list of suppliers to see if it can redirect around £700,000 of spending towards locally-based companies. The Thanet & East Kent Chamber is delighted to have been selected as the host for this pioneering initiative and looks forward to facilitating the process at a Thanet & East Kent Chamber Business Breakfast scheduled for 21st September 2010. All companies attending will have the opportunity to learn if their products and services might meet the needs of Thanet College.  Potential suppliers will have to satisfy the senior management of the college that they can provide the right combination of price, quality and service to match the highest standards. To book your place at this business breakfast presentation, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Business Breakfast £700k”. Priority will be given to Chamber members with no membership fees outstanding.

2. A Window On East Kent

One company which can claim more than one window on East Kent is the Door & Window Company of Broadstairs. Now celebrating its 31st year of trading, this family firm has acquired an enviable reputation for keeping the customer satisfied. In an exclusive interview with the Thanet & East Kent Insider last week, director, Steve Palmer, said, “Over 90% of our sales are generated from repeat business from customers, their families and friends”. This may not be good news for advertising agencies and their outlets, but it has proved to be a sound policy for the proprietors at 8-10 Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs. Business has been sustained through the difficult trading conditions of the past three years through the simple virtues of offering excellent service with good quality products at a fair price. Happy to supply the trade as well as the home owner, Steve and his team have an enormous range of products on offer. Not everyone will want to examine the “128 billion designs to choose from” quoted in the on-line brochure, but when it comes to doors and windows, this firm has the knowledge and experience that lives up to its name. It also has some catchy slogans such as “What a difference a door makes”. If you want to know about a Dedicated Top Box Transom, an SPD multi-locking system approved by ACPO CPI or a 2 panel sunburst in White with Stippolyte Chrome hardware, the Door & Window Company will be happy to oblige. For details, telephone 01843 864307.   

3. The Chamber Expands

With many new members joining the Thanet & East Kent Chamber, we are expanding the management team. Joining the Chamber next month will be Roger Wildman. A resident of Cliftonville, Roger brings with him a wealth of experience of the operational requirements of companies large and small.  Following a solid background in banking with Barclays and HSBC, Roger developed his career in Sales & Marketing travelling extensively overseas before returning to Kent to work as Head of Business Development for a wealth management company in Tunbridge Wells and latterly in East Kent for Kennedy Scott Ltd. A keen golfer and sailor, Roger will begin his duties on 20th September  in time for the business breakfast the following morning and the Chamber Golf Day on 8th October. Following successful trial arrangements, Sylvia Fagg has been confirmed as PA to the Chamber Chief Executive and will be available weekdays from 0900 hrs to 1600 hrs to assist members with administrative matters and appointments.

4. Some Good News

The news released last week by the Office for National Statistics that our national economy grew by 1.2% in the period from April to June 2010 will come as no surprise to some East Kent companies. Boosted by strong inward investment, the Chamber is receiving some heartening news of strong performance from some East Kent companies. TV One, tel: 01843 873300, has its European base at Westwood Industrial Estate and is firmly focused on international trade. Rather than drinking tea and waiting for customers to call, the management of this enterprising outfit believes in meeting its clients in their backyard. TV One’s exhibition schedule for the next few months includes stands at BIRTV in Beijing,Integrate 2010 in Sydney, IBC 2010 in Amsterdam, the AMX Technology Show in Massachusetts, Content and Communication World 2010 in New York and InfoComm Asia in Hong Kong.  Anyone requiring proof of the success of its management team need only look at its current staffing requirement for a Research & Development Manager. Applicants should apply before 10 September. The successful candidate can expect a salary of between £49,000 and £55,000. There are three other posts up for grabs; a Windows Software Engineer £39-£45,000 p.a.,  a Hardware Design Engineer, £39 – £45,000, and a Research & Development Engineer, £29 – £35,000. As this Chamber has often stated, it’s happening now and it’s happening in Thanet and East Kent.

5. Manston Update

Regular readers will recall that daily flights connecting Manston and Manchester are due to begin on 6th September 2010. The inaugural flight from Manchester is expected to leave at 1040 hrs arriving at Manston at 1150 hrs. The Bombadier Q400 aircraft is then scheduled to collect the passengers boarding at Manston and depart at 1215 hrs, arriving at Manchester airport 70 minutes later. This timetable is expected to continue every day until 25th March 2011, except for Sundays when the flights leave a little later. At the time of writing, a one way flight to Manchester departing on 23rd November 2010 is available for £35.98 which is calculated as flight ticket £0.00; taxes and charges £25.99; baggage £9.99.  Full details of the daily flights to Manchester and Edinburgh are listed on the Flybe website at

6. Passport

Are we the first generation to find that a passport for your trip abroad costs more than the flight? It seems to be the case. To renew your adult passport with the Home Office Identity and Passport Service costs £77.50 for the basic service. It can take up to three weeks. The Thanet & East Kent Chamber can book a ticket today for a Flybe flight from Birmingham to Milan for a total charge of £51.99. The flight takes 2 hours and 35 minutes; the cost of just the flight ticket is a mere £11.48. It makes you think, doesn’t it?

7. Hooked On Sales

Being able to recognise an opportunity when it presents itself is one of the innate qualities of successful business people. With the inward investment promised to Thanet, there will be many local firms in a position to benefit from the opportunities presented by the increased spend from visitors and the purchasing power of new companies. Taking full advantage of the cash in a customer’s pocket requires salesmanship of a high order. Are the best sales people born or is it a skill that can be acquired? The answer is probably that those with a serious talent for sales will be among the first to wish to polish their skills. One Chamber member sent us an account of a Thanet graduate who would do well in any retail environment. We do have our doubts about this story, but readers must judge for themselves. A young Thanet business skills graduate went to Harrods looking for a job. The manager asked: “Do you have any sales experience?” The young man answered:  “I certainly do. I was a salesman in my Dad’s shop every summer for five years”. The manager liked the positive attitude and our Ramsgate friend landed the post. His first day at the UK’s largest store was busy, but he survived. The store’s Latin motto translates into English as ‘Everythingfor Everyone Everywhere’ which of course should provide comfort to any salesman at any time. As the doors closed at the end of the trading day, the store manager spoke to our Ramsgate rookie and said: “Alright then, how many sales did you make?” The young Thanet graduate replied: “One”. The manager looked to the heavens and groaned: “Only one, only one. I don’t believe it. Our sales staff usually make at least 30 sales a day, what have you been doing? OK now, tell me, how much did the toothbrush cost?” “It wasn’t a toothbrush”, came the reply, “but it did cost £132,282.80.” The manager gasped: “£132,000. What did you sell?”. “Well, first I sold him a fish hook, a Captain Hamilton Nymph No. 10 as I recall, and then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said along the coast; so it was obvious he would need a boat. We went down to the marine department and I sold him that Trophy 2502 Walkaround. Then he said he didn't think his sports car would pull it, so I took him to car sales and he bought that blue Land Rover Discovery 4 x4”. The manager was entranced and said: “You mean to tell me that a man came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a boat and a 4 x 4”. “On no,” said our Ramsgate wonderboy, “He came in to buy some mouthwash for his girlfriend and I told him he should get out more in the fresh air.”   

8.  Our Sponsors

Girlings Solicitors has been managing the legal affairs of commercial and private clients for over a century. Twenty-six partners and one hundred and twenty members of staff ensure a comprehensive range of services from the local offices in Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Margate. Offices in France and Spain complement specialist departments for charities, individuals and companies. For details, telephone 01843 220274. Express By Holiday Inn took on the daunting task of restoring the former Prospect Inn at Minster. The result is a spectacular hotel that combines the best of Oliver Hill’s 1930s design with ultra modern facilities and technological support. Conveniently located for business guests and holiday makers in East Kent, the meeting rooms and 105 bedrooms are available at competitive prices throughout the year. For details, telephone 01843 820250. Adecco is the world’ s largest HR solutions company offering a comprehensive service of temporary and contract staffing, permanent recruitment, outsourcing, outplacement, career services, training and consulting. Officially designated as a 2009 British Superbrand, Adecco is represented in Thanet and Dover by its Broadstairs office, tel: 01843 609292.CARISS design, install and support education and business computing systems as East Kent’s leading specialist company in Open Source Software.  To lower your carbon footprint, reduce your power consumption and adopt a thin client system, call CARISS, tel: 01843 823724. Mach Associates are the high-fliers in providing Internet technologies and specialist software solutions with a particular expertise in servicing the travel industry. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and with ISO9001 accreditation, Mach Associates also offers reduces telecom operating cost through VOIP/PBX phone systems, tel: 0870 321 9986. Sota Connect offers a comprehensive IT service covering best-value voice, data and Internet services for companies of all sizes as well as public sector organisations. The company operates two state-of-the-art data centres of over 10,000sq ft. Sota Connect owns and operates a unique 200km fibre network from London to Ramsgate with high bandwidth Internet access giving superfast Internet connections, tel: 0800 072 2420.



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