Countdown to Canterbury UNconference 2016

(Blog by RIFT Accounting)

An international social media speaker, a castle proprietor and an award winning jeweller are just some of the people booked on to this years’ UNconference (17 November 2016) and we are starting to feel a buzz of excitement and anticipation as the event gets closer.

The organisers RIFT Accounting and Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, along with Paul Andrews from The Business Bunker Radio are certainly ready! Chris West from Canterbury City Council commented ‘With more people booked than attended last years’ successful event, and with additional tickets having been released, we are looking forward to an excellent day’.

So as an ‘attendee’ in a room full of business owners, business decision makers and entrepreneurs, what should we be considering to be ready for the day and get the most from it? Well there is the obvious, bring your business cards, lots of energy and an open mind.

So what is an UNconference all about?

‘The beauty of an UNconference is the unconventional approach that it adopts. It is an excellent opportunity to spend a day with successful business leaders, share their entrepreneurial journeys and encourage others to do the same’ according to Nettie Bunn from RIFT Accounting.

An attendee of last years’ UNconference summed the day up as follows; “It’s an UNconference, whoever comes along, they are the right people, and whatever happens, is the only thing that could have happened – so be prepared to be surprised!

Another top tip for the day is to follow the law of ‘two feet’ – “If at any time during the day you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are suddenly not learning or contributing, use your two feet and go to another part of the UNconference where you can do both.

Before the day, have a think about what it is you would ideally like to learn more about to apply to your own business – Is it to listen to others business journeys? Is it to know your way around social media better? Is it around communication, growing, selling a business? Whatever it is – don’t be afraid to say so on the day!

There will be opportunities to pitch your own business, possibly run a workshop or even have a stand throughout lunch to promote your company – just ask for further details.

For More Information

For any questions or further information – please go to the UNconference website and leave a reply at the bottom of the page and we will come back to you

If you want to start the conversation about your ideas now please send us a tweet at @RIFTAccounting or @RIFTAnnette.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the UNconference!

Register now for The Business Show 2016

The Business Show 2016 is where businesses like yours find the next gear. It’s a free business exhibition to attend and offers a wealth of opportunity, advice and information crucial for ongoing business growth within a challenging economy.

The event welcomes businesses from a cross-section of industries, and remains more committed than ever in providing you with everything needed to improve, evolve and expand your business.

Enterprise has never been more fashionable and it is reflected at the show. If you have a product or service that is suited to business owners you just have to have a presence. The two day event attracts more than 25,000 businesses who attend with the primary agenda of improving and expanding their business, and to anybody who has attended the show it will come as no surprise that it’s now the fastest growing business show in Europe.

 The Business Show 2016 is also free to attend, so click here to register for your complimentary ticket!

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Small Business Saturday UK 2016

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2016 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 3rd.

The grassroots campaign is run by Small Is Big CIC, a community interest company that is not-for-profit, existing only to serve the interests of small businesses. We have a number of fantastic supporters who help us to promote the campaign and some who help with the day to day running costs.

Their Small Business finder helps you locate a small business near you! If you’re a small business and want to appear on the finder, please sign-up.

To find out more about Small Business Saturday click here

Toby Roy – UnConference 2016 Guest Speaker

Toby Roy is the Managing Director of Catch IT Services, a provider of IT Hardware, Software and Managed Services based in Herne Bay.

His introduction to the working world began as an office junior fresh out of secondary school. Sixteen years on Toby has demonstrated acute entrepreneurship by successfully managing the rise of one of the fastest growing IT providers in Kent.

His varied experience in International trading and supply chain enabled him to make global connections proving to be the key to his success today.

Toby believes that remaining focused, taking calculated risks and having a dedicated team of colleagues are the reasons for his achievements in business.


Attend UnConference 2016 where Toby Roy will be guest speaking!

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UnConference 2016

You are invited to join us at UnConference 2016, our 2nd UnConference. Building on the success of last year’s event, UnConference offers a unique event where you get to set the agenda and make things happen.

If you have experience to share about how you took your products or services to market, bring them along, pitch them. Then through a lively facilitated process, see if they get voted in to form part of the day’s agenda! You will then get to speak during one of the short 20 minute breakout sessions that will occur during the day. Information from each session will be posted online to encourage follow up discussions and among attendees and other interested individuals.

Assisting with this year’s event are guest speakers Steve Ottewill, Toby Roy and Chris Mead.

Why attend UnConference 2016?

We think this is a great way to build new connections, create new business opportunities and share stories. Unlike a traditional conference it also acknowledges that expertise and knowledge is everywhere in the audience and not just the invited speakers.

What’s in it for you?

Attendance is free of charge – just bring yourself and that spark of desire to be a participant and not just a delegate. Running as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week we will capture the growing entrepreneur culture spreading across Kent and give you some new tips and skills to take away that will help turn your business up another notch.

How to book?

To book, please click here NOW and we will send you some more details about how the day will work in practice and some popular topics that people might want to hear about – in case they happen to be your area of expertise that you can bring to the party!

If you want to start the conversation about your idea now please send us a tweet us at @StartMy_Biz and @GrowMy_Biz.

Where and when?

Thursday November 17th, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Who we are?

We are Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz & GrowMyBiz, Rift Accounting and the Business Bunker, a powerful partnership with a shared passion for innovation and seeing Kent’s entrepreneurs succeed.

Steven Ottewill – UnConference 2016 Guest Speaker

Steven Ottewill is a Designer Silversmith who started his own business in 1993. It is based at Evegate, Smeeth on the outskirts of Ashford, Kent.

He attended The North School in Ashford and went on to study engineering at South Kent College. He studied Silversmithing for 4 years at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Rochester. Steve’s passion is hand raising silverware, hammering silver sheet into beautiful sculptured objects.

After spending 4 years in the trade working for other companies, Steve now runs a workshop of very experienced Silversmiths, Goldsmiths, Jewellers, Designers and Polisher and the company now works extensively within the Silversmithing and Goldsmithing Trade. The forward thinking ethos of the company is to integrate modern CAD and 3D RP techniques with the age old skills of Silversmithing.

During the last 30 years, Steve has designed and manufactured a succession of prestigious pieces that sit in Cathedrals and Universities, including a Chalice for Canterbury and Ewer for Southwark Cathedrals and Maces for Cumbria and Glasgow Caledonian universities. Sporting Trophies have included the design and manufacture of the nPower Championship and League 1 and 2 Football Trophies and the design and manufacture of the new Grand Challenge Cup base for Henley Royal Regatta.

Corporate pieces have included Champagne Coolers for Don Ruinart in the LVHM group and close work with the designers BarberOsgerby on developing the prototypes for the 2012 Olympic Torches. He became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and City of London in 2000 and became a Liveryman of the Company in 2015.

Attend UnConference 2016 where Steven Ottewill will be guest speaking!

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Expo 16 Feedback

Herne Bay’s annual business and community showcase event Expo 16 brought together a diverse range of businesses, community groups and charities for an afternoon of networking, sharing ideas, promotion and updating on major projects.
In this video exhibitors and visitors talk about the exhibition and provide some feedback.

Contributors include:

Girlings Solicitors
Equilibrium PR
Helping Seniors
Index Magazine
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
Serviceweb Ltd.
Beach Creative
Injection Development

This event was organised by StartMyBiz, part of Canterbury City Council Business and Regeneration Department.

StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz provide free advice, business workshops and free networking events, for people who are starting a business or people who want to grow an existing business in the East Kent, Canterbury District.

This video is a Smugshot Video Production: http://www.smugshot.co.uk


Business Support for Independent Whitstable Retailers

Canterbury City Council’s Business and Regeneration team have successfully secured Growth Hub funding from KCC to deliver an intensive programme of tailored business support for independent retailers in Whitstable. The program will be delivered by IBD group (http://ibd-uk.com/) and is made up of two workshops followed by 1-2-1 meetings with all sessions delivered by dedicated retail specialists. With only 10 places available, this intensive support package does require each business owner to commit to the full schedule of workshops and follow up sessions.

The two workshops will be held from 10am to 1pm to allow you to attend to your business in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

The initial workshop titled – “Planning for Success” will be held locally at the Horsebridge Centre, 11 Horsebridge Road, CT5 1AF on Tuesday 19 July 2016. You will leave the workshop with a firm goal and an achievable plan to implement and support your business activity. The session which is expected to last three hours will tackle the following:

  • Why set a goal and how to decide what that is – Understand the differences between money, people or product goals and target setting
  • How to plan for achieving your goal – Understand how to breakdown your goal into manageable tasks which are realistic to you
  • All roads lead to Rome – Understand how all the areas of your business help towards achieving your goal, which areas do you need to focus on to achieve the goals

The second workshop will focus on “How to Make Marketing Work for You”. This workshop will be held at Horsebridge Centre, 11 Horsebridge Road, CT5 1AF on Monday 25 July 2016. The end result will see you leave with a marketing plan for you to put into practice that fits with your business. The session is expected to last three hours and will tackle the following:

  • How to decide which marketing activity to do – Understand your customer, your brand and what need you fulfil
  • Why being consistent with two things is better than a splatter gun approach – Understand the different types of marketing and what fits your customer and business
  • Why having a target and setting a budget helps and how do you measure success – Make it realistic and achievable to stay motivated; hints and tips to take away

Following the workshops there will be a series of 1-2-1 sessions to support you further in implementing the plans that you have developed as well as providing you with the opportunity to discuss any other business issues that you may have. Please remember that we can only offer this to 10 businesses. If you are in need of business support but are unable to commit to this programme please do still get in touch with us to see how we can help you.

To express your interest or for more information please contact us by email at business@canterbury.gov.uk

A light lunch will be provided at each session.


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Expo 16 Highlights

Expo 16, supported by CoPlan Estates, returned to The King’s Hall in Herne Bay on Wednesday 18th May for the successful business and community expo. The event, brought together a wide range of local businesses and community groups for an afternoon of networking and promoting their services.

Watch the video above to get a glimpse of what happened on the day. Thank you to all the stall holders that took part.


Golden Tickets Get People Buzzing About Innovative Sweet Shop

Innovative Herne Bay entrepreneur Kris Searle and business partner Chris Welsh, have stepped into the shoes of Willy Wonka, releasing 5 Golden Tickets to win an invitation to the launch of their new audio sweet shop, Sweet Sol.

On Saturday 4th June, The Sweet Sol team will hide the 5 special Golden Tickets in 5 businesses in Herne Bay. At 10am they will release 5 cryptic clues on Facebook (sweetsolshop) and Twitter (@sweetsweetsol) or in person if you come to the shop at 116 High Street. You need to decipher the clues to work out where 1 of the tickets is hidden and, when you think you know, go to those business premises and claim the Golden Ticket for yourself! The first 5 people to find 1 of the Golden Tickets wins an invitation to the launch party, a selection of Sweet Sol treats and a VIP tour of the shop, plus you’ll get to meet Sweet Sol in person when he performs the grand opening!

Everyone who wants to win a Golden Ticket should meet at the Sweet Sol shop at 10am on June 4th.

The competition closes at 5pm on Friday June 10th.

The local community is already abuzz with excitement at the possibility of winning one of the Golden Tickets and the competition is open to everyone, nationwide, so get yourself down to Herne Bay on June 4th and grab a Golden Ticket for yourself!

Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz Projects are giving their support to the innovative entrepreneurs behind Sweet Sol on social media (@StartMy_Biz and @GrowMyBiz) and on their website http://mybiz-canterbury.co.uk.

If you would like to become a member of either project contact Natalia Sukhram 01227 862 053 or Natalia.Sukhram@canterbury.gov.uk