“Member listings cannot be taken as consent for third parties to use the data for marketing or data sharing purposes. Any unauthorised use may run the risk of prosecution.”
After 14 years of working as a corporate PA in London I set up my own business in July 2017. I now work with small to medium businesses who have realised that to be more productive, and use their time in the best possible way they need to outsource some of their work. I specialise in traditional PA tasks such as diary and inbox management, travel and research. I also offer business support services and am very proficient in setting up and maintaining CRM systems, email marketing platforms and campaigns and updating websites to name but a few things.
The tasks that always stay on a to do list and get moved from one day to the next, are general the jobs and tasks that I love to do!
|Years in business||2+ years|
|How did you hear about the chamber||Via Brentwood Business Showcase|
|Reasons for joining||I am looking to increase my network, make more connections and hopefully be able to recommend more people or get some more clients myself. I currently only attend one local networking event and have been recommend to join the Brentwood Chamber by quite a few different people now. After chatting with Sally at the Brentwood Business Showcase, it sounds like a very supportive network of people and something that I would like to get involved with.|
Alec’s Restaurant Bar & Grill opened in 2010 and has established itself as one of Essex’s leading fish Restaurants. Attracting customers from near and far, Alec’s prides itself on quality ingredients and exceptional service.
Unwind with a premium bottle of wine or signature cocktail in the comfortable lounge or bar area, before taking a seat in the elegant main dining room, which can accommodate 120 guests.
Roaring fires in the winter and a delightful outdoor dining area in the summer, only enhance the elegant building.
The menu at Alec’s Restaurant Bar & Grill is traditionally British and sets out to provide simple, quality fresh food. Although predominantly a seafood restaurant serving the finest fish and shellfish, mouth-watering meat dishes add to this impressive menu.
Alec’s Restaurant is proud to follow the MSC code of conduct for sustainably sourced seafood. Plus, all seafood and fish are wild and ‘day boat caught’ from across Britain.
The finest, most succulent cuts of meat are sourced from across the globe, with Welsh lamb and ‘USDA’ strip loins from the USA frequenting the menu.
From the freshly baked bread to all dishes cooked to order, you are guaranteed a fine dining experience to remember.
I heard about the chamber by googling business groups in Brentwood (I was previously a member of the British Business Group while residing in the UAE and it was great for networking).
Our primary reason for joining would be for networking with other members, and having the opportunity to host and attend events.
I previously worked for many years in London with a stressful job in Finance with long hours,commuting, strict working deadlines which meant that I was not able to take holidays when I wanted because of work responsibilities. I have always been interested in Health and Fitness and decided I wanted a change of career and retrained as a reflexologist and massage therapist adding further qualifications as I started to build a client base. I have worked in gyms, clinics and provided massage therapies for Spas and for carers, charity and corporate events.
|Years in business||15 years practicing Remedial massage and Holistic therapies|
|How did you hear about the chamber||I attended Brentwood Business Showcase a couple of years ago and also attended a couple of networking events|
|Reasons for joining||I am interested in connecting with local businesses and building up a relationship with people and seeing what services they provide and how we can help each other.|
Alpha Vesta CIC was incorporated and created as a Community Interest Company in February 2019.
We have a very clear aim which is to reach victims of domestic abuse before they reach crisis point through creating awareness, understanding and training across communities through their workplace.
With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experiencing domestic abuse at some point during their adult life, home isn’t always the safe place it should be. The impact of rising domestic abuse is felt and ripples through communities at a rapid rate, costing the country an estimated £66 billion per year (Home Office, 2019). The average unit cost of a victim of domestic abuse is calculated at £34,015 whilst preventative costs were a mere £5 per victim.
We provide CPD Accredited Training, Consultancy and Policy Development in Domestic Abuse for businesses and organisations across Essex. The direct impact on the workplace is improved staff well-being and confidence, reduced absence, reduced lateness, reduced insurance premiums as well as a safer workplace. 75% of women being stalked by an ex-partner will be stalked at work and 21% of victims of domestic abuse will regularly miss time off work due to concerns about their children, court hearings and meetings with school or health services. This puts added strain on the victims workplace as well as the victim themselves.
Our ethos is that if workplaces adopt a culture of understanding and support from within their own organisation, supporting their employees and work colleagues through training and robust policies and procedures, this ripples out into communities through everyone they come into contact with through their work and beyond.
Years in business – 1.5 years
How did you hear about the Chamber – Through members – Sheila and Stan Moses – Mellow Moments
Reason for joining – networking and understanding challenges to businesses around HR
Anne has significant NHS experience. She was an Accident and emergency nurse specialist for 14 years and NHS manager with 4 years spent in project management .
She has worked in the acute hospital seating and community sector as a health visitor and manager of a children’s services team . Anne has also worked as a family planning nurse. She has significant experience in working with women and families especially in the arena of perinatal mental health . Latterly Anne has been working as a quality improvement trainer and coach.
In addition Anne has a background as an Active birth teacher, yoga for pregnancy teacher , breastfeeding educator and teaches The Wise Hippo blueprint for birth and early parenting programme.
Anne coaches 1:1 in person or via Skype/Zoom. She also coaches small groups and provides VIP days .
Anne’s extensive NHS experience means there is very little she has not seen or heard and which can knock her off kilter .
Ardleigh Green is Havering’s local supplier in quality. Discount cleaning materials and equipment for both the domestic and commercial industries. We welcome both trade customers and the public with a vast product range offering to suit all types of customer needs. We are also introducing to the local market place innovation in the form of chemical free cleaning, eco-friendly paper products and award winning floor signage.
Growth over the last twelve months in revenue, sales profit and market share
At Ardleigh Green we measure growth in several aspects of the business. Based on comparisons from the financial year 2014 to 2015, from 2015 to 2016 and from 2016 to 2017 (2017 gathered data is as accurate to the date of entry or predicted figures calculated from current data)
- Customer numbers have risen by 29.9% 2014 to 2015, by 26.4% 2015 to 2016 and 13.9% 2016 to 2017 (figure being based on data correct as of date of entry)
- The average spend of the customers through the front door has also increased year on year, to date in 2017 the average spend has gone up by 9%
- Revenue has increased year on year, 314% 2014 to 2015, 33% 2015 to 2016, 13.3% 2016 to 2017 (figure based on predicted figures for 2017)
- Purchase of chemicals/products has grown by an average of 30% over each of the years
- Gross profit has risen by 216% 2014 to 2015, 53% 2015 to 2016, 21% 2016 to 2017 (figure based on predicted figures for 2017)
- Value of stock held increased significantly, as a result we have had to take over further accommodation on the existing site to cover the need.
- Shareholder funds have significantly increased, however, rather than taking the funds these have been reinvested into the business during 2017 for marketing
(Please note that all percentages are calculated year on year, therefore, the percentages are harder to achieve)
When looking at market share, the marketplace of janitorial supplies is vast and to measure us at present we would only represent a small percentage. However, given the sudden increases across all aspects of our company, it is safe to say our market share is increasing.
Growth in personnel / strategic partners
Since opening in September 2014, Ardleigh Green has increased its’ staffing levels by having one person managing and maintaining the shop, a dedicated warehouse/delivery driver and a dedicated engineer that handles all assessments and repairs on vacuums. In 2016 we had plans for us to extend our opening times and open on Saturdays, in 2017 this was achieved and we are now open on a Saturday morning 9am to 1pm, staffing has expanded to cater for these additional hours. To further support the growth within personnel, we have just recruited and awaiting the start of an IT guru who will be responsible in developing our social media foot print and raise the awareness/presence of Ardleigh Green on the internet. In addition to the IT aspect of the business, we expect to soon be looking to recruit a sales and marketing specialist to further boost our brand bringing old-fashioned values back to the market place and combining web experience and face to face interaction creating a balance of opportunities.
In regards to strategic partners, all of our existing suppliers have now given us trade accounts and we are no longer paying on a pro-forma invoice basis with them, in some cases the suppliers have increased our credit limits due to the need to hold more stock. We have also seen quicker delivery times from suppliers as stock turnover increases. There has been a need to increase the number of suppliers which have given access to a bigger range of products that we can offer, this means we buy direct from the main producers rather than buying products through a third party, enabling us to provide products a more cost effective price. We now offer products that are Chemical Free and Alcohol free, therefore, being more environmentally friendly and increasing the clientele base, meeting the social awareness and need to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the future for everyone.
Sustaining significant on-going growth
At Ardleigh Green we continuously review ways in which we can sustain continued growth. We aim to ensure that the Ardleigh Green brand continues to develop within the increasing marketplace. We have identified the following as areas for development:
- New product ranges – sourcing from new and existing suppliers, ensuring high quality is maintained and where possible customer requirements are satisfied. Bringing in innovative products and also creating opportunities for existing products to be presented and sold in a different format, microfibre ‘swiss rolls’. These can be seen in appendix 1.
- Equipment evolution – identifying how equipment can improve productivity
- Investment in the premises including revamp of the shop and making the customer journey from the thoroughfare enlightening by way of offerings
- Staff training – developing knowledge base of new and existing staff members.
- Uniforms – revamp of the current uniform to bring the brand association in line with company expectations.
- Delivery vehicles – we are looking at switching over to electric vans to facilitate involvement in reducing environmental impact. At present due to the range the vans are able to cover this does not yet enable us to transfer over but the directors are monitoring this and a change in delivery fleet will be made as soon as the vans are able to complete a full delivery round for us
- Service levels – ensuring that all customers, whether trade or domestic or new or old, will receive the same excellent service levels at all times
- Variety of additional services – including safety data sheets and risk assessments to ensure customer compliance. Bespoke services can also be arranged, an example being, infection control procedures implemented at a local doctor’s surgery to assist in their compliance with their CQC inspections. In 2017, we have worked with a local prestigious school, to ensure that only Chemcial Free Cleaning Materials are used when the pupils are in attendance, thus reducing the potential risk of allergic reactions. Making a company stand on the sale of items such as Acids and Blades, the company reserves the right not to sell such products.
- Savings to customers – we don’t have “flashy” brochures to advertise our goods or services, this enables us to keep our costs down and pass these savings on to our customers. Promotions are regularly run in store as additional savings to customers. Please see appendix 8 for an innovative way of producing our price lists and the sale of existing products.
Funding through profit re-investment to maintain and secure growth
Both owners of the business are dedicated to ensuring that there is adequate funding in place so that the company doesn’t stagger into development but is supported adequately. This is to ensure that the company grows at a sustainable level to safeguard the balance of services, customer care and support. The owners are consistently looking at opportunities to increase our market share, including the purchase of additional complimentary businesses. Our pricing mark ups range from 30% – 300% dependant on the product thus assisting in maintaining and increasing revenue.
One other way we look to maintain significant growth is by ordering complete pallets of items, as opposed to mixed pallets. This way our suppliers are able to offer us larger discounts therefore resulting in increases in profits to maintain the funding and facilitate the growth, whilst also maintaining prices to customers ensuring they still receive good, competitive prices.
During 2017, Ardleigh has invested its shareholder funds to increase marketing, this has included being an exhibitor at the Cleaning Show in February 2017, Radio Advertising (please see script in appendix 10 and 11, attending the show case at the Queens Theatre in October 2017 which was run by the Havering Chamber of Commerce and an innovative way to produce prices lists, this has been demonstrated in the section above.
Ardleigh Green has also identified that the although it has the use of Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter and other online platforms such as the website, Ebay, Amazon etc to promote our products and services it is currently not producing the level of results we have identified that is possible. Therefore, Ardleigh Green has invested some of the funds mentioned to employ someone on a part time basis with the knowledge of how to ‘play’ these platforms to increase our profile and attract customers that we would not normally have been able to reach.
Changes that will be required within our business to manage the increased growth
We understanding our business model needs to review and adapt to assist in increased growth ie offers and methods of promotion need to change, this is displayed in all the appendices. Any changes within the business needs to be introduced in a manner that will not affect business growth. Thus our plans involve all parties within the business to offer input for discussions, planning and potential implementation.
As with any company, we have short and long term plans. Our short term plans include expanding our staffing to compliment the increase in growth we have seen, particularly from the past twelve months. Currently we have one dedicated warehouse/delivery driver, but this will need to increase to a second person who does deliveries so the warehouse person has time to concentrate on stock and orders. Our shop staffing will see an expansion to cope with the walk in customers. Our medium to long term plans include increasing stock levels, whether this is in quantities or variations, although this has significantly increased since we started, there is still further innovative stock that can be promoted to both our domestic and trade customers. There are also plans to increase our vehicle fleet to facilitate demands. We aim to purchase vehicles will be electronic in a bid to be in line with being a responsible retailer in looking after our environment.
Obstacles have you faced in developing your business and how have you overcome them
In the early stages of the business development our main obstacles were suppliers. They didn’t know us and we didn’t know them, so it has taken a committed effort to work closely with the suppliers to encourage them to support our business model. We are pleased that all of the suppliers we work with are fully committed to our journey.
With regards to staffing, we have been extremely fortunate to locate the correct staff, although we have found the interview process a challenge as it has not always been the most successful medium. One other challenge we have encountered is educating the staff that have little or no knowledge within the cleaning industry and janitorial supplies, this has been overcome by investing in external supplier training programmes, educational software and in-house training. Retaining existing staff is a common issue in most industries, we have implemented a profit sharing scheme to help boost morale and to keep the staff interested and challenging themselves.
Other obstacles we have faced since opening are:
- Persuading companies to change from their existing janitorial suppliers to us; we have overcome this by looking at what services we can offer that make us unique. i.e. free safety data sheets, free delivery with no minimum order, free advice regarding method statements and risk assessments, free equipment assessments, maintaining low prices and showing money saving advantage.
- Getting customers to walk down the driveway into our shop – we are set back from the road and customers initially appear daunted. We have renovated the front of our premises to appear more inviting and appealing to customers, including the general public, who at first were not sure we would sell to them. We have also created a car park sign, that has offers on it, to show that there is a large driveway in front of the shop, showing customers that parking is easy and assists them being a customer.
- Advertising to the general public – annually, we hold a Christmas event to welcome the public into our shop and to introduce ourselves and give a little something back to the local community. Christmas 2015 our event was held to raise £600.00 for the Mayor of Havering’s chosen charities in conjunction with Tesco, other local businesses and the local police. We also invited craft stallholders to join us to help promote their businesses. Stallholders were not charged any pitch fees, no admission fees were necessary and children were able to see Father Christmas for free. Raffle prizes were all donated by businesses within Ardleigh Green and Hornchurch and all money raised from the sale of raffle tickets was donated directly to the Mayor’s Charities. We welcomed over 250 visitors during this event and all feedback provided was greatly received. Christmas 2016 chose the Ardleigh Green Family Centre as the charity to benefit from the event. The Ardleigh Green Family Centre kindly let us use their facilities on the day, we again had assistance from Tesco, Time FM and many of the local companies donating raffle prizes etc, we had Olaf in attendance, Elsa and Anna performed and Father Christmas saw over 100 children with over 300 visitors. We raised £750.00 which was present to the centre to assist in them remaining open. Over the last year we have been more involved with the Family Centre and they are again the chosen charity for this Christmas Event. We are pleased to say that we have same companies involved, as they have been in the past 2 years, in fact, this year they have approached us to help rather than us go to them. At the point of entering the business awards, we already have 36 children booked in to see Father Christmas. Entry to the event is free, to see Father Christmas is free and every child gets a free present. We have a singer all day and we also have James Phelan who will be doing close up magic tricks for the adults and children.
Although this Christmas event is Ardleigh Green giving back to the communitys, it is an excellent way to promote our business, as we do not know who could be attending with their child, this could give us a single or multiple opportunity to expand our business further.
It is pleasantly surprising how rapidly we have managed to grow the business and in such a dramatic way and seeing the fruits of our labour flourish in these ways.
We are passionate about what we do and have the pleasure of working closely with gifted designers, architects and project managers with whom we share a vision of transforming bulk timber into durable, beautiful structures.
Our saw mill can produce timber to clients specification, for construction purposes, landscaping, bridges, gates, fencing, and decking. Alternatively, we can machine clients own timbers arising from tree felling, demolition, sea defences etc.
We have in stock approximately 1,000 cubic meters of reclaimed hardwood and softwood timber salvaged from landfill sites, demolition jobs, lock gates, sea defences and tree felling. We also have reclaimed hardwood and softwood railway sleepers (treated and untreated), telegraph poles, tree trunks up to 1.5m diameter and large constructional timbers, up to 400×400.
We have a zero waste policy; ensuring every part of the reclaimed timber has a second use. Larger sections go back to the shores to help rebuild the coastal infrastructure and the smaller sections are used by Architects and Designers, as mentioned above.
A leading training provider offering a wide range of courses, including all the Adult and Child training courses. We have three CAST IRON guarantees 1 We save you money with cost effective subsidised training 2 Student satisfaction or your money back (the only provider with the confidence to offer this) 3 flexible terms and arrangements to meet your needs.
We are used by a variety of organisations including other training providers; national charities; restaurant chains, and many other businesses.
I want to join the Chamber to meet new contacts and further my interests. I believe, like Barking and Dagenham Chamber my business can be of use to the chamber.
I was aware there was a chamber but after meeting one of your exec at another networking event, I decided to join.
I established my business in 2001
Please feel free to contact me on: