A guide to business broadband

No matter what industry you’re in broadband is absolutely vital for today’s business owners, but it can seem complex and expensive. Whether you’re considering an upgrade on an old connection or need a super fast service for a new venture, here are a few things to know when selecting a business broadband service.

What is business broadband?

After looking at a few business broadband deals you may be left wondering how they differ from home connections. They can be offered by the same providers, may use the same routers and deliver similar performance. But there are some important differences which set business broadband packages apart.
Support is one factor. Businesses have very different support requirements and with a business broadband package you should be getting an appropriate level of customer service which is better able to handle time sensitive and complex problems.
Business broadband may also provide superior contention ratios. Contention ratio is the number of users sharing the network in each area. Home broadband tends to be quite highly contented, which means at busy times the performance can fall for everyone. But with a business service you may have either a lower contention or an uncontended link, helping the connection to remain stable throughout the day.
Businesses are also more likely to require a faster upstream connection than typical home users, so business broadband often provides an improved upload speed (though this may sometimes come at the expense of download rate).

How to choose a business broadband service

– Speed

A key question with any broadband service is of course how fast it can go, and whether that’s suitable for your needs. Business users should think about what kind of download rate they may require, if the upload speed is going to be quick (important if you’re going to be sending large files to clients) and whether it will be able to cope if you expand and take on more employees. The more users and devices on your network the greater the demand, so you should think about both current and future needs.

– Type of connection

Businesses have access to the same broadband technologies as home users – ADSL, cable, fibre, satellite and mobile – but also some additional options aimed at businesses.
Smaller organisations will be able to manage with a regular ADSL, cable or fibre connection. That will provide a download speed up to 152Mb and uploads up to 20Mb, with lots of affordable deals to choose from.
If your business is in an area without fibre or cable access you may be restricted to a maximum speed of 17Mb up/1Mb down using a single ADSL line, in which case you could explore something like line bonding (where multiple lines are combined into one) or Annex-M, an ADSL service which trades download speed for quicker upload rates. Satellite broadband may also be suitable as this can provide very good performance just about everywhere, though its high latency is unsuitable for certain tasks like remote desktop access.
Businesses can also opt for a leased line. These can be expensive but this is a dedicated connection suitable for more specialist needs, perhaps offering very fast connectivity or dedicating bandwidth to services like VOIP.

– Support

When it comes to support you may want to ask the provider a few questions before signing up. Do they have a dedicated support team? What are the working hours? Are they UK based or international? For the entry level business broadband services your support options will be fairly basic, but more specialist business connections such as leased lines may provide far more experienced teams and even include an uptime guarantee with financial compensation for loss of service.


, , , ,

Photographer Tim Stubbings Sponsors StartMyBiz & GrowMyBiz

We are delighted to announce that respected Canterbury photographer Tim Stubbings is sponsoring the StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects to support local entrepreneurs and show his appreciation for the area that has given him so much inspiration for his work.

Tim told Canterbury City Council that what he loves most about photographing the local area is that, “combined with my natural curiosity, we live in a place that’s rich in material – from the arts, to heritage and of course retail. Despite living here for 20 years, the streets and towns that I think I know well always bring up something new.” This passion for the District shines through Tim’s work and makes him one of its most interesting and relevant Commercial photographers.

Tim was keen to sponsor StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz because as he observes “It’s common for new graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs to not have the confidence to take early risks and instead move straight into mainstream employment. By providing access to local knowledge and resources the GrowMyBiz and StartMyBiz projects could make all the difference turning an idea into something that sells.”

If you’re a local entrepreneur and would like to find out more about the benefits of sponsoring StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, then please email Natalia Sukhram Economic Development Officer MIED on or call  01227 862 053.

You can see Tim Stubbing’s stunning images spanning Editorial and PR, Brochures and Publications, Corporate Portraits, School Prospectuses, and Real Estate and Architecture on his website.



, ,

Marketing that Works

Marketing that works is one of a series of free workshops hosted by StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, aimed at helping to support local businesses. These events benefit start-ups who will learn to set up and implement marketing that brings them their first customers and established businesses who want to improve the effectiveness of their marketing.  Julie Waller and Gerard Jakimavicius who offer the workshops are experienced trainers and run the workshops in a relaxed informal manner making people feel at ease so they get the most out of the day.

#Pitch2Win and Appear on Business Bunker Radio!

Kent #UNconference & #Pitch2Win

We’re delighted to announce that Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects have teamed up with Business Bunker Radio to give 2 lucky business owners the opportunity to appear on the show, share the story of their entrepreneurial journey and gain visibility for their business.

As most of you will know from our recent Press Release, in honour of Gobal Entrepreneurship Week’s theme “Make it Happen” (16th-22nd November) we have partnered with RIFT Accounting, Business Bunker and Advantage Business Partnerships to create a new and more exciting business event format, the Kent UNconference. As an attendee, on the day of the UNconference, you get to pitch for the opportunity to talk about your journey as an entrepreneur and share how you have overcome some of your biggest business challenges. Everyone then votes on their favourite pitches to set the agenda for the day with the delegates themselves as the speakers.

As if the UNconference itself wasn’t exciting enough, today we are launching a Twitter “#Pitch2Win UNcompetition”, giving 2 of you the chance to record a segment talking about your business, your successes and the challenges you’ve solved on the live Business Bunker Radio Show (Kent Business Radio, Tuesday’s 1-3pm).

How to Enter #Pitch2Win & Your Prize
All you have to do to pitch to be on the radio show is
• Go to your Twitter account and send a tweet to either @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMy_Biz,
• You must use the Hashtag #Pitch2Win
• Your tweet must outline the biggest business challenge you have faced and overcome in 140 characters or less.
• You can enter as many times as you like with different mini pitch ideas.
• Other Twitter users who are engaging with the #Pitch2Win and #UNconference hashtags will then “vote” for the 2 best “mini pitches” by Retweeting them.
• The 2 entrepreneurs with the tweet or “mini pitch” that get the most votes from Twitter users, will be selected to record a segment for the live Business Bunker radio show.
• The same 2 entrepreneurs will also automatically be given a speaker slot on the day of the UNconference.

Terms & Conditions of #Pitch2Win
• Entrants must be 18 or over.
• You can enter as many times as you like with different mini pitches outlining various challenges and solutions.
• Please note that while you can send a couple of tweets asking your followers to RT your #Pitch2Win you CANNOT retweet your own #Pitch2Win yourself lots of times or ask single followers to RT your #PitchtoWin hundreds of times as this contravenes Twitter rules! The idea is that Twitter users will genuinely vote for the best idea. See the Twitter rules here.
• The Twitter #Pich2Win closes at midday on 2nd November.
• You must make sure that you can be available to record your talk for the radio show on Friday 6th November from 3-7pm an available to speak at the UNconference on 19th November.
• The time of the recording may be subject to change depending on the schedule of the Business Bunker presenters.
• In the event of a tie whereby more than 2 ideas get the same number of votes (Retweets), the judges will contact all potential winners and make a final decision on who will win the opportunity to record a segment for the radio show.
• The winners will be announced on Twitter and Facebook.
• The 2 winning pitches will then be broadcast on Business Bunker twice in the run up to the UNconference
• The 2 winners will automatically be given a speaker slot on 19th November at the Kent UNconference
• The #Pitch2Win will be judged by Jane Ollis Managing Director of RIFT Accounting and Paul Andrews presenter of Business Bunker Radio and former Entrepreneur of the Year. The judges’ decision is final.

This is such a great opportunity for you to engage the local community, raise awareness for your business, attract more clients, highlight the lifestyle of an entrepreneur and network with like minded people. So, what are you waiting for?
Be a trailblazer and get on Twitter now and start tweeting @StartMy_Biz and @GrowMy_Biz your amazing stories so we can get you on the radio to share your experiences with your local community!


GEW_country_logoBusiness Bunker


Entrepreneurs to Set Their Own Agenda at the Kent UNconference

GEWUK and the Kent UNconference
GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK is nearly here and this year’s theme is “Make it Happen”, so entrepreneurs will be delighted to know that accountancy firm RIFT has teamed up with Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects and Business Bunker at Kent Business Radio, to create the brilliant and unique Kent UNconference!
Bucking the usual trend for rather tame business conferences, the Kent UNconference offers an exciting alternative format by allowing attendees the opportunity to “pitch to speak” for up to 15 minutes on the day. Then all delegates vote for the best pitches, choosing speakers who can offer insight and solutions to the business challenges that are most relevant to everyone in the room. As Paul Andrews, presenter of Business Bunker and a former Entrepreneur of the Year explains, “We want to create an event that gives local business owners and thought leaders the opportunity to tell us and one another what they see as the current business Zeitgeist, the way forward and how they see their markets developing. In addition to delivering invaluable information to the attendees of the UNconference, this will give us a snapshot of current business thinking and challenges and help us create even more relevant and informative content for Business Bunker and future live events.”

2 Trailblazers to Appear on Business Bunker Radio!
If your journey as an entrepreneur has been interesting and eventful and you’ve always wanted to be on the radio, then you’ll be very happy to hear about the Kent UNconference “Pitch to Win” on Twitter which will see 2 lucky entrepreneurs appearing on Business Bunker Radio.
All you have to do to pitch to be on the radio show is hop on Twitter and send a tweet to either @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMy_Biz, using the hashtag #Pitch2Win, and briefly outline the biggest business challenge you have faced and overcome. The 2 tweets or “mini pitches” that get the most Retweets will be selected to appear on Business Bunker and will also automatically be given a speaker slot on the day of the UNconference. The Twitter #Pitch2Win closes at midday on 2nd November and you must be available to record your talk for the radio show on Friday 6th November from 3-7pm and to speak at the UNconference on 19th November. The full rules and Ts &Cs are available on the StartMyBiz Canterbury and GrowMyBiz Canterbury blogs.

All Entrepreneurs Are Experts
The Kent UNconference is sponsored by dynamic business growth experts Advantage Business Partnerships and promises to be a highlight in the 2015 business calendar, tackling the most important challenges for local businesses and opening up the lines of communication between entrepreneurs so they can support one another. As Jane Ollis, Managing Director at RIFT Accounting observes, you should “Come to the day prepared to contribute because if you are out there running a business, you have an important experience to share. You can either pitch to run a session or just join in the conversations. Either way you will be giving something, but taking away a lot more”.
The Kent UNconference will take place on 19th November at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and we are most grateful to our Partners and the venue for helping to Make it Happen! To register for your free ticket for the Kent UNconference, go to: or if you have a query call Jane Ollis at RIFT Accounting on 01233 653006.

To enter the Pitch2Win to appear on Business Bunker, send your tweets to @StartMy_Biz or @GrowMyBiz and for tips and advice check out the blog and event pages on and





Campaign Films – How Movies Can Be Worth More Than A Million Words

Anton French is a self-employed film maker and Brighton Film School alumni, who runs his two film production companies, Curious Films and Campaign Films, from his home in Kent. Curious Films makes films for and with the local community and other arts professionals, Campaign Films is an independent production company that creates promotional films and other commercial work for businesses, local authorities and charities, supporting people of all ages and abilities in the community.

Research, Script, Lights, Camera, Action

Anton discovered his passion for film while working as an advertising account manager. He began to realise that he no longer wanted to administer other people’s work; he wanted to unleash his own artistic capabilities and create his own films! His highly-experienced team includes a BAFTA award winning writer; a business strategist with expertise in disability, community, local authority and health; and a marketing and research expert with a keen interest in philosophy. Their creative talents combine to enable them to create excellent, broadcast-standard, high-definition films with the right cast and location and great catering, even for clients on a low budget.

Anton and his team always go the extra mile to provide a great customer experience, developing the full potential of their clients’ campaign films by thoroughly researching their target audience and ensuring that the creative piece will engage the right people, in the right place, at the right time. For both promotional and informational films Campaign Films creates imaginative, innovative and accurate scripts in-house and works closely with every client to develop their ideas for the screen. As a local businessman himself Anton says he, “Understands the needs of local businesses. Whether you’re just starting out in a new venture or if you’re established and looking to expand, your potential clients need to find you and engage with you. Film allows you to grab the attention of your clients straight away and to involve them in a way that a body of text just can’t accomplish.”

Creative Gifts

As a hugely creative person Anton admits that one of the hardest aspects of being an entrepreneur is that he is not financially motivated and only wants to make money so that he can continue to produce excellent work that his clients love.  There is also a fair amount of competition locally. This is true for a lot of creative professionals and the key to success lies in forging relationships with clients who offer interesting opportunities and value your unique creative gifts and working on your motivation and self-discipline. Business workshops and regularly seeing a mentor are great for keeping a strong business focus.

Growth Planning

Anton first heard of GrowMyBiz by word-of-mouth through a client. He says that the Project has provided him with invaluable information about business support groups in the area and connected him to people who have helped him make decisions on how to grow Campaign Films. He says of the Project “It has been inspiring find out that Canterbury City Council is focused on growing the business community through helping individuals such as myself. It has certainly helped grow my confidence too. I have also been able to develop the marketing for the business further due to the contacts GrowMyBiz has given me –  it’s an excellent advisory service that is readily accessible.”

If pictures say a thousand words, then films say a million more! Film is proven to be the most popular and successful form of online communication that gets the highest engagement and most social media shares, so take a look at Anton’s website here and give him a call to see what he can create for your business.

Social media – a beginner’s guide to building your brand

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest may seem daunting, but small businesses need to focus on managing social media if they are to keep up with the competition.

Read more

Boots On, Start Up & Grow at Global Entrepreneurship Week

ENTREPRENEURS the world over are preparing for an exciting Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) and those in Canterbury are not going to be disappointed, as business support initiatives StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, have created an inspirational line up of workshops and seminars for their annual Boot Camp.

One of the highlights of Boot Camp this year has got to be Get Growing: Great British Business Road Show. The half day workshop will address one of the toughest questions for entrepreneurs who are ready to expand their business, “When I’m already working full time in my business, how do I make the time to grow it?” Penelope, the clever app and telephone service that makes your small business look bigger, will kick off the day’s proceedings. Then speakers from Elance, FreeAgent and Constant Contact will be giving top tips on time saving through outsourcing, business finance and digital marketing. In addition to their talk on why businesses fail, Advantage Business Partnerships are providing a free business growth assessment worth £199.00 for every attendee. It’s set to be a high octane, interactive event topped off with an exciting prize draw to win £500 and a networking lunch where entrepreneurs can find prospective business partners.

Clare Smith and Joanna Jones from Dover Arts Development will be demonstrating the far reaching benefits of creative mind mapping, guaranteed to help both creative and more practical, problem-solving minds implement a successful business strategy. As joint Directors of DAD the duo have some impressive projects under their belts including Nautical Threads exploring Dover’s history, DAD4DADs examining the family role of the father and Six ways to Wellbeing aimed at improving mental wellbeing of young people. Their approach to running their own business is thoughtful, collaborative and emotionally intelligent and these are the skills that they will be passing on to entrepreneurs at Boot Camp.

StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz have yet to reveal many other quality business events that will help you start up and grow, so watch this space in the run up to GEW for more information on how your business can benefit from Boot Camp!

StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz are supported by Canterbury City Council, Canterbury 4 Business, University of Kent, Canterbury College, Kent County Council, Canterbury City Partnership and Canterbury Christ Church University. RIFT Group, Canterbury HR, Tony Avery from Creative Corporate Solutions, Phil Auden from Pinchpoint Coaching Alison Young from Aly Young Law and the team at the lovely Abode Hotel Canterbury have all provided invaluable support for what promises to be another brilliant Boot Camp.

Boot Camp runs from 17-23rd November 2014. You can register for all events via the StartMyBiz website here: or by contacting Chris West on 01227 862 532 and (07786) 852 061

, ,

Social Media Beginner’s Guide

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest may seem daunting, but small businesses need to focus on managing social media if they are to keep up with the competition

For startups and small businesses, gaining traction on social media may appear fraught with difficulties. We held a live Q&A on the topic, with advice from a panel of experts. From gaining followers to picking the best channel for you, here’s what they suggested:

Gaining followers

“When your followers engage with you, make sure you respond. You will gain new followers more quickly if people see that you take the time,” says Erica Douglas, marketing consultant to small businesses. “If you want to speed up this process you can use Facebook advertising.”

Small business owners tempted to buy their followers should think twice, panelists advised. Claire Mitchell, who runs The Girls Mean Business, says: “It’s much better to have a smaller number of perfect fit fans who love you and your business than thousands of people who don’t really care.”

James Kelliher, chairman and CEO of Whiteoaks, agrees. “On Twitter you’re far better having 10 high-quality followers (eg. customers, prospects, influencers) than 100 non-qualified followers,” he says.

Entrepreneurs should beware of using their Twitter feed as an extension of the sales team. Thomas Brown, director of strategy and insights at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, says: “The biggest mistake a business can make is seeing Twitter (or any other social media platform) as a broadcast channel. It’s not – it’s a place that people get together to have conversations and share. If you want to contribute to that, you’ve got to understand the etiquette.”

I know nothing about social media – where do I start?

If your head’s still stuck in the days of dial-up internet, navigating the plethora of social media options will require time.

Douglas says: “I would take a very methodical approach. Look at your business plan and identify who your target market is, then try and establish which online marketing methods you will use to best reach this market.”

This could mean starting a blog, opening several social media accounts and monitoring engagement or reaching out for expert advice.

“There are lots of business networking groups that run very low-cost but effective social media training – it really shouldn’t be expensive or overly intensive,” says Mike Tinmouth, head of social and PR at Azimo.

Brown adds: “Don’t fall into the trap of seeing social media as some sort of dark art of digital. The basic questions remain the same: who are your potential customers/guests? Where are you likely to find them? What do they do there? Is there a role you can play?”

If you are tempted to outsource social media from day one, the panelists advise against it.

Lloyd Price, co-founder and COO of Zesty, says: “In the early stages you are building trust and your online reputation so want to be in control of the content, engagement and relationships being built across your social media channels.”

How often should I be posting?

Once you have chosen your platforms, a host of follow-up questions present themselves. How frequent should your posts be, and what type of content is most appealing?

A word of warning for small businesses – one of the main reasons people stop following a brand is because they post too frequently, according to Rachel Kneen, who works in the social media team at O2. “As a small business I would post no more than five times a week on Facebook, but on Twitter I think you should push out at least three pieces of content per day.”

She adds: “Facebook has an algorithm called EdgeRank which stops people seeing all of your posts. The more you engage with a brand, the more likely you are to see their posts. If people aren’t engaging with your content on Facebook, chances are they aren’t seeing it.”

A beginner’s guide to Pinterest…

While many of us have got the hang of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest can still cause confusion. Pinterest describes its service as a “visual discovery tool”, where users create and share boards or ideas.

Kristian Lorenzon, head of social media at O2 Telefonica UK, says: “Content on Pinterest lives on for a long time, you’ll find that people will be pinning your content months down the line.

“I would recommend having a mixture of your own images and others (re-pinning is a great way to be discovered by others) to capitalise on this.”

Make sure you use the right language and tags so that people can discover your products, and consider engaging in one-to-one chats with people on Pinterest, Lorenzon adds.

… and LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented networking platform, where it is often important for small businesses to have visibility.

“Creating a fantastic LinkedIn profile is vital,” says Adam Gordon, managing director of Social Media Search. “Get connected with every potential buyer and influencer and they become your audience when you share terrific content, daily.”

He adds: “People are selective about connecting with people they don’t yet know. They need you to appear useful and relevant if they’re going to let you into their network. Take relationships offline with the most important people in your network.”

Bear in mind that LinkedIn works like a search engine and SEO rules apply, says Kneen. “Think about what keywords you want to appear in rankings and repeat them where you can. This could be in your headline, job titles and descriptions.”

It is important that your company page is up to date, containing the right branding, links and business details. Kneen recommends sharing three updates a week on your personal and business profiles.

Can I post the same content on different channels?

Beware of posting the same content on every channel possible, says Gordon.

“Some of your content will be appropriate for all channels, some will not. I would almost never post the same content on LinkedIn as I would on Facebook but I would post it all on Twitter.”

Price adds: “If you’re finding it hard to differentiate between channels, it’s always a good idea to look around and see what kind of content is shared by companies in your industry and what kind of content gets the best response.”

Just remember that social media should not replace sales campaigns, says Kelliher. “They complement each other. Once the right people are engaged there is nothing wrong with using other traditional tools like phone, email or face-to-face, to target and convert sales.”


Sponsored content

This content has been sponsored by 02 Business, whose brand it displays. All content is editorially independent.

Perfect Pitch – The StartMyBiz Boot Camp Finale Hits the Right Note with Entrepreneurs

ON A HIGH after a succession of impressive, high octane business events, Canterbury’s local entrepreneurs had high expectations for the StartMyBiz Boot Camp grand finale as Global Entrepreneurship Week drew to a close last week. The group of budding entrepreneurs were not disappointed as a team of business experts offered up excellent advice and practical skills coaching at the highly informative Pitching Den event. With no dragons or lions in sight, the StartMyBiz Pitching Den created a relaxed, calm space where local entrepreneurs with business ideas could learn how best to present themselves and their ideas in person.


In the morning attendees were divided into 2 small groups to discuss the secrets of delivering the perfect pitch in any business situation, from hiring and getting hired to securing finance and investment. This was followed by a practice session and a networking lunch leading up to the highlight of the day as each attendee delivered their pitch to the panel of experts and received up to 20 minutes in feedback.


The impressive team of experts included Tony Avery of Creative Corporate Solutions, the Chairman of the Canterbury CityPartnership Bob Jones and Michael Rutherford from Quanta VC. As if this dynamic team of coaches wasn’t enough the Boot Camp delegates had the honour of being coached by surprise guest Liam Gooding from ( who popped into Boot Camp to say hello and very kindly gave up his entire afternoon to give his insights into the perfect pitch.


The panel of experts gave some great advice to the up and coming business brains of Canterbury. Bob Jones top 3 tips for a successful pitch are short and sweet and effective, Know what you want to achieve; know your product and know your audience. Tony Avery advocates Seeing your products and services from a potential buyers perspective and being able to give absolute clarity of the benefits.  Michael Rutherford cited the highlight of the Pitching Den day as seeing the visible sense of achievement and reward on the faces of the participants as their confidence grew during the sessions. When asked why he became involved in StartMyBiz Michael went on to acknowledge the vital role the Project plays in the local community. The strength of ‘StartMyBiz’ is that it engages business leaders in a no-nonsense, real world approach to guide, develop and actively encourage new business talent to realize their ambitions” he said. He added with obvious passion, We all talk about the need to see a more vibrant, dynamic and diverse local business community. It’s time to stop talking, take the task to hand and join those leading from the front.


The entrepreneurs were delighted with the Pitching Den event and paid great tribute to the organiser and the experts who spent the day coaching them. As local businessman Richard Murray observed It was great to get the opportunity to discuss my business idea with such a wide variety experts in the business field. Not only did we learn how to put a pitch forward to investors but how to pitch your services to businesses that are going to use your services. Attendee Helen Cumming also had nothing but praise for the event adding. This has been a fantastic opportunity to gain information very quickly, make contacts for further support and a great confidence builder.


If you would like the opportunity to benefit from StartMyBiz Canterbury’s future events and initiatives and you need help kickstarting your brilliant business idea you can contact Project Leader Natalia Sukhram on