Wash Doctors launches in Wandsworth

This service is an on demand car washing app. It is a simple and efficient idea, all you do is drop a pin on a map where you car is approximately parked, put in your registration and they will come and clean it. They therefore provide a considerably more convenient service than waiting in a long line at your local car wash!

They also feel they are much more environmentally friendly than any current car washing service! They are using new solution technology to clean a car with less that 1 litre of fluid with no run off into the water supply.

Wash Doctors, a group of 5 under-25s, formed about 3 months ago and have so far had a great response from the local residents for the service.

Next In Tech Conference October 5th Coming Soon

Find out more about upcoming technologies and build your business!

nextintech logo

Wandsworth Digitech are launching a major conference next month. Called Next In Tech, and supported by Wandsworth Council, it aims to give businesses an insight into what will be upcoming technologies. With a pretty starry lineup it deploys people from Microsoft, Linkedin, MetroBank and numerous others.

Soraya Laverty, Co-founder of Wandsworth Digitech says, “The technology industry is moving at an enormous pace. No matter what business sector you are in, your company will revolve around technology that you use.” The conference is going to show businesses what are the trends they have to look out for.

Running from 9 am to 3 pm on Thursday October 5th 2017, and utilising the splendid venue of the Wandsworth Civic Suite in the Town Hall, the organisers expect 100-150 attendees. Laverty feels than any more than that would make the event more impersonal. There will be refreshments, and plenty of opportunities for networking between the scheduled sessions.

Seminars include: Turning adversity into success – From failure to the fastest growing tech services company in the UK by keynote speaker Mike Hockey, Co-Founder of IT services company Roc Technologies.

There will be a wide number of different topics covered during the programme, including General Data Protection Regulations, Preparing your Tech Business for Sale, Blockchain and Etherium, AI – The golden age of opportunity and using automation to improve staff engagement, and various panel sessions.

The profits will go to supporting ShareCommunity.co.uk, a Wandsworth-based charity which offers training and employment support for disabled people.

Soraya continues, “This conference will help to demystify tech, we will find out how those tech guys got to where they are, and make life easier for upcoming businesses in the Borough. I’m sure it will be an exciting event and I look forward to seeing people there.”

www.nextintech.co.uk

www.wandsworthdigitech.com

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

 

Exciting Half-Day Course: Drive Your Business to the Next Level

Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce have partnered with highly-experienced business trainers Beverley Corson and Bryan Charter to create the Engineering Business Growth Club. Beverley says, “Do you want to look back on the next twelve months and be proud and astonished by the progress you and your business have made?”

The objective of the event on 21st April is to give business owners the opportunity to invest time to think and plan their way forward for the next year.

Owners can be too focussed on the moment and the ongoing demands of their business, and this is where you will look at the bigger goals.

Beverley says, “We believe you need to have a clear picture of where you’re going and then develop a strategy for getting there. This in turn will help you to make better decisions in the moment about what to invest in, where to focus your efforts and where to invest your time if you want to grow.”

The half-day workshop, is being held on 21st April at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Battersea.

During this workshop business leaders will:

Review their performance over the last year and extract the key lessons to feed into even better results over the year to come.

Learn strategies, processes and activities that are worth doing more of so they can build on them. Learn from past failures and analyse issues to identify solutions and avoid mistakes.

Clarify their vision for the next 12 months and what the next level is in their business.

“After attending this event me and my business partner were totally clear on how we needed to move forward and what to focus on next – we’d recommend it to any business wanting to grow!”, said Dom Thorpe, of Wireless Fitness Ltd after attending the previous session of this workshop earlier in the year.

The event takes place at: Crowne Plaza London
Battersea
Bridges Wharf Battersea
SW11 3BE London
Friday, 21 April 2017 from 09:00 to 12:00

Cost £25.00 inc VAT.

To book

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-event-how-to-drive-your-business-to-the-next-level-tickets-32272162908

Businesses will also get an opportunity for ongoing development with the Engineering Business Growth Club. Both this event and the Business Growth Club are being delivered in partnership with Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce.

www.engineeringbusinessgrowth.com

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

Wandsworth DigiTech Networks with Technology People

Wandsworth DigiTech meeting; Photo Julian Jackson

On Tuesday Wandsworth DigiTech held one of its regular networking meetings. Supported by Wandsworth Council and Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, this is a new programme, only started three months ago, to help technology companies in the Borough reach their objectives.

Around 30 people were present, to listen to Dave Clarke of Benemen give an interesting talk about the benefits of various communication methods for business. Afterwards there was a Q & A where the usefulness of different solutions like Slack and G Suite were discussed in a lively manner.

There were lots of opportunities to network in a friendly environment. Most of the participants were from technology companies of various sorts, but there were some traditional-type businesses such as a property development and management company which was there to gain insights into how technology could improve their business performance.

Benemen run a cloud-based technology communications platform. Dave Clarke said, “One of the ways business has changed is the way the internet has allowed very small organisations to compete with very large ones.” He noted how different communications channels were flexible and relevant to different people and projects. “Communications is the difference between failure and success, and you really need to communicate with your customers on the channels they want to to communicate with you on.”

Networking at Wandsworth DigiTech; Photo by Soraya Lavery

Steve Pinto, CEO of Wandsworth Chamber praised a technology: “PISF2F brings out the synergy in business. It stands for ‘Professional Information Sharing Face-to-Face.’” That got a laugh – but Steve was making the point that even in a digital world, you still need personal meetings and engagement.

Soraya Lavery, COO of CPG Executive Consulting Ltd, which runs the Wandsworth DigiTech programme explained that their mission was to assist technology companies of all sizes to get where they wanted to go. There are around 3000 technology companies in the borough, and so there are many opportunities for synergies. “We want to build a big network that is self-sustaining.” They will be holding a Tech Summit in September to exchange ideas between participants in various organisations and companies.

www.wandsworthdigitech.com

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

Wandsworth Business Awards Triumph for Local Companies

This is the fourth year that Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce has presented its business awards. This year was the biggest yet, with 260 people attending a black tie sit-down meal, gourmet-catered by local foodies Anson and Curtis.

At the presentation taking place in the council’s Civic Suite, were many local businesses, competing for 12 awards in various categories, from Best Family Business to Best Hospitality.

Steve Pinto CEO, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, says, “Wandsworth Chamber were delighted to be able to continue the tradition of the Wandsworth Business Awards for the fourth successive year. The 2016 Business Awards and Gala Dinner celebrations exceeded all expectations with a record number of businesses and key stakeholders attending. These Awards highlight some of the most vibrant businesses in the borough and set a high benchmark for aspiring local talent. Our sponsors are very supportive and without their help these businesses would not have the opportunity to be recognised, so please visit our website and engage with our Winners, Finalists and Sponsors. …and if you run a business we would love to see you enter next year’s Awards.”

The awards are the high point of the local business calendar, with Wandsworth comedian John Maloney giving the awards a polished hosting and speeches by Chamber Chairman Douglas Shanks and President Jane Ellison MP.

Category and Winner:

1. Best Green Business

Wandsworth Oasis

2. Best Family Friendly Business

The Putney Clinic

3. Commitment to the Community

Battersea Power Station Development Company

4. Best Hospitality

Brickwood Coffee & Bread

5. Best Marketing

Boot Buddy

6. Best Customer Service

The Hive Honey Shop

7. Best Training & Development

Julius Rutherfoord & Co

8. Best Independent Retailer

We Brought Beer

9. Best SME Business

Assael Architecture

10. Best New Business

Crossfit Shapesmiths

11. Entrepreneur of the Year

Le Bureau

12. Business of the Year

Minar Jewellers

Tooting Market

The main sponsors of the awards were Wandsworth Council and Southside Shopping Centre. The awards show that Wandsworth is a thriving place for business and commerce, and they show excellence in the winning businesses and the many other participants who continue to make the Borough a great place to do business.

Photo by Charlie Round-Turner http://roundturnervisuals.com

http://www.wandsworthawards.biz

http://www.wandsworthchamber.org

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

Wandsworth Celebrates the Business Awards on 8th December

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Annually Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce celebrates the best in the Borough’s business by having a large and prestigious ceremony to recognise the best and blossoming companies in the area.

There are 11 award categories, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Best New Business and Best Independent Retailer. This will be a hotly-contested event, with a real diversity of different businesses being judged on their merits.

Steve Pinto, CEO of Wandsworth Chamber says, “This is one of the high points of our calendar, with businesses of all types being given awards which show their commitment to better business.”

The Wandsworth Business Awards 2016 Ceremony and Gala Dinner Dance take place on

Thursday 8th December 2016

18:30 onwards at the Wandsworth Civic Suite, Wandsworth High Street
London SW18 2PU. Over 250 guests are expected at the celebration.

Businesses that win can display their award and will be able to show that they have reached a standard of product or service admired by the rest of the business community. The awards are sponsored by Wandsworth Council, Indian Room, Indian Moment, South London Press, Banham Group, Southside, South Thames College and the University of Roehampton.

Register for this event at https://wandsworthbusinessawards2016.eventbrite.co.uk

Tickets: £69.00 – non-members: £69.00 (Excluding VAT).

http://www.wandsworthawards.biz

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

SWL.TV – Connecting Communities

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Many local businesses will be familiar with South West London TV, filming Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce events. Founder Peter Fison has just revamped their website to make it more interactive and “connected to the community.”

He has had an interesting career. His previous job in IT management was successful, but not entirely satisfying – he liked the buzz from being around creative people, so he set up a video business which evolved to become SWL.TV about three years ago.

The concept is to have three overlapping areas of content production: pure entertainment, such as filming local musicians, business video production – which is the bedrock of the company’s income stream, and community work, such as covering charity events. Peter says, “Ideally all three should overlap – for example local estate agents Seymour Green sponsored filming of the Wandle Trust’s cleanup of the river. That benefited all involved and the Trust got a nice little video to show what they do, which they couldn’t have necessarily afforded without the sponsorship.”

The new website is an extension of their aim to reach out to a wide audience across South West London. Although their over 400 videos were reaching a following on YouTube, Peter realised that by posting content to their own site and linking it with social media, he could better reach an audience in and around SW London. He jokes, “I wanted to showcase South West London, and YouTube was giving our viewers video suggestions about South West Carolina.”

He attributes some of the “shift in thinking” to the networking events of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, where he could see that there were lots of connected businesses and local organisations, which would be needing video communications.

The new website encourages user-driven content. Besides SWL.TV videos, local people can submit articles, photographs, and announce events in a community calendar. Obviously Peter and his team of creative people cannot film every event in the borough, but the new website allows users to connect even without video, for example by announcing their events and posting material, making it more participatory than just a “brochure” site.

SWL.TV works with various charities and community partners across the area. These include the Wimbledon Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the famous tennis club, AFC Wimbledon and Battersea Power Station Foundation, all of which work with local communities to fund valuable projects, as well as smaller charities such as Share, STORM Empowerment, and Oasis to name just a few.

Peter concludes, “I really enjoy making those connections, between disparate groups, so we can all work together. Wandsworth Chamber has been excellent for finding those connections.”

https://southwestlondon.tv/

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

John Simmons – 50 years of Craftsmanship in Wood


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John Simmons opened his first workshop in Wandsworth 50 years ago. He’s been in the Borough ever since, creating bespoke furniture and storage solutions for people who are short of space. He will design something to store clothes, records, even your Dyson, then build it and install it for you.

After he learnt his trade at the London College of Furniture in the 1960s he started working for leading furniture designer Robin Day (not the television personality) while also branching out and doing his own furniture design.

He says, “I basically do storage and space redesign. These days people need to store things in often awkward spaces. I will come along and design something that will look good and do the job.” He works to reduce home clutter, workspace untidiness, loft space furnishings, anything that needs creating in wood, using both traditional and modern methods.

johnsimmons

He continues, “These days, more than ever, space is a premium, however due to the increase in non-made to measure furniture there is a lot of wasted space. To meet the demand for more living space and better working environments, I solve ‘space’ problems by helping my clients maximise their living and working spaces and ultimately increase desirability and resale value of their property. I love to walk into your room or your awkward space, understand your bespoke furniture requirements and design how I can make your space work for you.”

Where does he get his ideas from? “Sometimes people show me a picture of something they have seen which they like, and I essentially copy that, but usually it is up to me to design what will look good and fit in the space.”

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He has been a member of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years. “I came along to a Christmas event, held in the Brewer’s Arms pub, found I liked it, and kept coming since then.”

Although he is concerned that he will not be able to work in his current premises if the rent goes up, and he also feels that there is a lack of provision for light industrial workshops currently in the borough, he says, “I am going to carry on making furniture till I die. It’s my passion.”

John is open for commissions, both large and small and you can see the high quality of his work on his website.

www.jmsbespokespace.co.uk

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

UnderTheDoormat raises £380,000 via Crowdfunding

A Holborn Penthouse available for rent

A Holborn Penthouse available for rent

UnderTheDoormat is only a couple of years old. The Wandsworth business has just raised over £380,000 through crowdfunding, over 220% of its target, to finance expansion. The idea behind the business is to provide a high quality one-stop method to let out your home when you are not there. Matthew Gardiner, Director of Acquisition Marketing says, “There are over 600,000 homes in London which are empty for four weeks or more per year. Often the owners don’t realise that there is a hassle-free way to raise an income from the property. That’s what we were set up to do.”

This is another of those ideas facilitated through the digital economy and the internet. UnderTheDoormat will organise absolutely everything about letting a home out – bookings, guest greetings, insurance, professional cleaning, so that the homeowners will have peace of mind when they join the scheme.

Many people prefer staying in a proper home, instead of a hotel, it may be less impersonal, have a garden for the kids to play in, or there may be dietary requirements that a hotel can’t easily cope with, there are a whole host of reasons why staying in a house or flat could transform a good trip into a great one. The success of AirBnB is testimony to that.

Primrose Hill kitchen

Primrose Hill kitchen

Matthew identifies getting the word out as the biggest obstacle they have met so far, “A lot of people do not know that they could rent their property out when they are away on holiday or business. Even fewer realise there is a company out there that will organise everything for them. so it is important for us to let people know there is this opportunity.”

The crowdfunding target, using Seedrs, was originally £175K but in the end 355 people from 28 countries raised over £380K in 2.5 months, will be used to rapidly expand their London presence. The company also has ambitious plans for international expansion and has recently hired a COO to spear-head that growth into other cities.

Matthew says that Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce was very useful in helping spread the word about the project through their networking events, breakfasts and putting the team in contact with people who have helped the project along.

This is a startup which looks like it is really going places. Matthew says, “we’ve an asset light business, that sustainably makes use of under-utilised property, pays homeowners to go on holiday and provides tourists with a truly local experience. That’s a business model with a lot of wins in it.”

Merilee Karr, the CEO of UnderTheDoormat will be speaking at the
“Access to Finance” Wandsworth event which will take place at Battersea Arts Centre on Tuesday 27th September at 6-8 pm.

The daylong event will feature seminars and 1-1 advice sessions and participating organisations include: ICAEW, NatWest, Funding Circle, the British Business Bank, Seedrs, GLE and Start up Direct.

The evening seminar (6pm-8pm) featuring Merilee  Karr will be a discussion on crowdfunding and alternative finance for SMES – Funding Circle, Seedrs, GLE and the British Business Bank will be members of the panel.

www.underthedoormat.com

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com

Foods to Brighten Your Day – with Health in Every Dish

Deaba2-carrotcake

Deaba’s Catering and Foods was born in 2009, when her job as a council licencing officer ended. When one door closes, another opens, and Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce member Deaba Akua could now start on her dream. She says, “Two years before I had been thinking of starting a catering business as cooking was a passion for me and I was not getting any satisfaction from my job as a licencing officer at the time. When my contract ended I decided to go for it and start my own business.”

The food she prepares and cooks explores and blends together foods of the world with what she calls “my special touch.” Deaba caters for events like weddings, funeral receptions, birthdays, office parties, workshops, home entertainment, with her unique range of dips, sauces, soups, spicy bread bites in ten flavours, canapés, savoury cakes and spicy plantain balls. In addition she runs a community lunch on Fridays at the Devas Youth Club (a Rotary Club of Battersea Park community project) in Wandsworth. She is also the official caterer at the Rotary Club in the London District Head Office.

Deaba was born in Ghana and studied history at University. She says, “I came to live here in 1981. I have worked as a secretary, administrator and my last job was a licencing officer. I have always had a passion for cooking since I was a child.”

Deaba1-sml

Most of her food is prepared in her own kitchen, then delivered to the venue. She has a range of rice specials, meat and vegan dishes, as well as curries. For afters you can sample carrot cake, plaintain and peanut butter cup cakes or her muffins.

Deaba says, “People say my carrot cake is to die for. My curries are special. My coriander sauce is a special blend. My pitta bites are yummy.”

To order her quality catering for a special event call Deaba on 07931 234776.

www.deabascatering.co.uk

Contact: Akua Deaba
Email:
deaba@deabascatering.co.uk

Author: This article was written by Julian Jackson, Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce’s resident blogger and copywriter – www.julianjackson.co.uk https://julianj.journoportfolio.com