digitalbeans launches YourLocal.Delivery

Free website to support local businesses in Kent stay in business

digitalbeans, a leading digital agency based in Canterbury, has launched YourLocal.Delivery, a free website solution which will help local businesses in Kent who are impacted by the Covid-19 situation and unable to service their customers. This free of charge service from digitalbeans will allow restaurants, toy shops, art shops, garden centres, small convenience stores and those on Kent’s high-streets to launch their own online store, by signing up to the free website solution. 

YourLocal.Delivery is a swift solution for many local businesses who would not have been able to set up their own online service in such a short space of time. The bespoke free-of-charge package includes a branded web page, individual to each company, so they can continue to take orders, online payments and display listings of an unlimited amount of product/menu items. Each website will be created manually by a member of the digitalbeans, who are kindly giving up their time to support this service.

Once local businesses have set up their profile online, they will need to share the link with its local community, accept the order and then offer a click and collect or delivery option to the customer. Thanks to Spark Film Production, also based in Canterbury, each business will have the opportunity to receive a free marketing package which includes eye-catching visuals to promote their new online store.

The agency recommends that all Kent businesses, that are keen to use this service, are following the government requirements for food/product delivery and social distancing to ensure they are qualified to carry out this service to the local community. 

Piperis Filippaios, Managing Director of digitalbeans, says “The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life as we know it and for our high-street and local eateries, business is far from normal. A number of local businesses are starting to shift to digital solutions in an attempt to continue to serve their customers, including personal delivery services. Unfortunately, many are having to pay extensive fees to companies as they do not have an efficient online platform to host such a service. We have launched YourLocal.Delivery to help and encourage local businesses to continue during these uncertain times by getting online. YouLocal.Delivery will give local businesses the opportunity to continue selling products to the local community with ease and enable them to survive during this difficult time.”

Piperis Filippaios

More about digitalbeans HERE

Awards Evening and Reception

KF Celebrating the successes of 2019

2019 was a big year for the Kent Foundation, new services have been launched, and the number of businesses who accessed support through our mentoring program nearly doubled to 160 businesses. We are very proud of the achievements we have made, but more importantly, we are proud to be a part of the achievements made by young entrepreneurs and business owners in Kent. This is why we want to publicly celebrate with them, and recognise their achievements.

Young Entrepreneurs and business owners, Mentors, Trustees and the staff team gathered for our annual Kent Foundation Awards hosted by Ann Allen MBE, Chairman of Kent County Council at County Hall on 22 January.  We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of nominations this year and delighted to make awards to such worthy winners.  The room was buzzing with conversation before and after the awards ceremony and we managed to only overrun by nearly an hour!

It was a pleasure for everyone there to see the recognition given to both Kent Foundation Members and Volunteers. So much has been achieved in 2019 by the businesses that were nominated, and, through the support and appreciation of their Kent Foundation Business Mentors.

Finally, a big thank you to Kent County Council, and in particular Cllr. Ann Allen MBE for hosting this event. It has become a highlight in our calendar, and it would not be possible without your support.

Business of the Month

Optimum Performance – Jamie Bird

The Kent Foundation has got to know Jamie really well over the last year, and I am sure many of you will of met him at our Kent Foundation events, and a few networking groups too. To see his business journey first hand has been a privilege, and what he has achieved with the business has demonstrated to us how much it means to him, and ultimately providing a great service for his clients.

I’m Jamie, a sports performance and injury specialist personal trainer and my business is Optimum Performance. I work with athletes of all abilities who are aspiring to get to the next level.

Optimum Performance is still very much a new business. I say new because for the past two years we have been trading as ‘Bird Fitness’, a personal training company. To keep it short, most of our client base had goals surrounding either recovery from an injury or improving their performance in sports. So, the rebrand came about naturally and here we are today.

Optimum Performance is more than just personal training. In all cases we try to work with other experts to create a complete training programme that’s going to, firstly, excel our client forward and, secondly, complement any additional training that coaches, physios or massage therapists bring to our attention. We have created our OP Model and use this to train our athletes. This is what separates us from our competitors, a training model designed specifically for athletes.

On a personal level, there is nothing better than seeing someone succeed and knowing that you were a part of their journey, a part of a team that have helped them move forward. Our most recent success story is a competitive golf player Mark. He had great success in the US Pro-am Pebble Beach tour, coming 2nd in both his individual and team event. Check out his testimonial on our website.

I want athletes to have access to the best physical training that they can, to help with injury recovery, as well as keep injury away. Working with athletes there is a commitment level that is already firmly embedded; they want the best and will work very hard to achieve it. Looking to the future I aim for Optimum Performance to be the go-to place for sport performance and injury recovery.

Running the business at the start was quite challenging, as I had lots of ideas. The excitement and reality of being your own boss is very rewarding. If I was asked for some advice I would 100% recommend a mentor as an extra set of eyes that have the best intentions to help you succeed. Someone with the experience to be able to talk things through. I feel the Kent Foundation has greatly helped me gain clarity.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about us, check out our website www.myopfitness.com or socials @myopfitness – we’d love to hear from you and build some connections. 

Business of the Month

H&BAI – Sam Davey

The Kent Foundation likes nothing more than when a young person following in the footsteps of their Family. Sam Davey is one of them! Growing up in a family of business people it was inevitable he was going to take his own step into business at some point.

Sam Davey – From a very young age I have been surrounded by ironmongery and its many topics! Growing up the only boy in my family with a Granddad, 3 Uncles and a Dad that are all involved in the family business, Hinges & Brackets ironmongery stores. I was quizzed on a pretty much daily basis. So it was only right that I did my share by becoming Ashford’s Saturday boy when I started secondary school in 2005. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunities and guidance to try new things, and explore paths in the industry that most don’t get to. I believe with my lifelong involvement in the industry and the guidance from my relatives and colleagues, I am the perfect product for my environment. My abilities come from knowing how to tackle jobs and projects with a personal service that the internet can never beat.

I started my own company H&B Architectural Ironmongers Ltd in 2018 with a strong idea of what I want to provide, and what I want to achieve, satisfied customers is my business strategy. Two major factors in achieving that are service and products. I’ve always been a “proper ironmongery” nerd and thrive when I work independently. Coming from a retail perspective I could see that purely having a retail premises was not enough in a changing market. I supply good quality locks, doors and window fittings and uniquely I provide a fix and install service. With the ever-changing retail market in a state of flux worldwide and the continuous flood of information available on the web.  A new strategy is needed from most modern businesses that wish to keep up. What I believe is needed is an innovative new approach to the way we do business, combining old fashioned personal service and hands on experience that builds trust and relationships with the help and efficiency of the web to communicate and relay important information and ideas.

With deep knowledge and understanding of this industry I have gained expertise in the products that I favour to specify. I always recommend the best product for the situation depending on many factors that become vital; Quality, Design, Price, Lead time, Mechanical function, Finish Quality, Product guarantee, Product support and recognition.

Some quick fire questions from The Kent Foundation

What’s been your biggest success/proudest moment to date? My biggest success so far has been designing and supplying high end British made bespoke brass ironmongery for Rochester Brewery development.

What’s been your biggest challenge? Gaining and maintaining cash flow.

What are your plans for the future? I aim to continue growing and developing my business as the market determines.

I do want to give credit to, Stuart and my business mentor Bryan for making me confident enough to realise I can do it, and do it well! Meeting the Kent Foundation has given me the confidence to believe I can achieve everything I want to in and out of work. This last year, I built a business, bought my first house, got engaged. A helpful pat on the back has sent me into a sprint.

My business tip for other young people in business is find your passion, then look for the opportunities within it, stay committed, and focus on your own vision and dream.

Find out more about Sam’s business here

The Kent Foundation Business Awards

22nd January 2020

Last years winners! who should be in this year line-up?

The Kent Foundation Business Awards Evening Reception is the perfect opportunity for all involved with The Kent Foundation to look back over the last year (2019) and celebrate the achievements that have been made by the businesses we supported, as well as recognise and thank the contribution our business mentors make. It’s also a great opportunity to meet up with everyone involved in The Kent Foundation, from new start-up businesses to experienced business mentors whilst enjoying a glass of wine.

Nominations are open for following categories:

  • The Spirit of The Kent Foundation – Recognising the contribution of a Volunteer Business Mentor.
  • Kent Foundation Start up of the Year – For the achievement of a Young Person in Business (Mentee).
  • The BIG Impact Award – Someone who has gone over and above (Young Person in Business or Volunteer) to support the wider work of the Kent Foundation, or contribution to growing the economy of Kent.

To make a nomination please email us ([email protected]) with your nominee’s name, which award you would like to put them forward for, and a brief statement of why you believe they should be awarded it, in no more than 100 words.

All nominations must be received by Friday 20th December 2019.

Great to catch up with everyone too!

We really look forward to seeing you there!

3 Top Business tips from Katie at Paddlesworth Produce

We asked Katie Anderson at Paddlesworth Produce to give us her top tips for anyone starting their own business.

1. Don’t be afraid to fail. As long as you learn something from it, it is not a failure but a lesson! Starting your own business means you have to learn so many new things – accounting, marketing, manufacturing, delivering – the list goes on! So you are bound to make mistakes. It is easy to give up or get down when things don’t go to plan but it has really helped me to write down the lessons I have learnt from each of the many mistakes I have made to ensure that I have actually grown through the process.

2. Start-Up businesses are just trials. When I sat in my kitchen last year and wrote down the idea for my business it did not look anything like what I am doing today. Businesses have to evolve with customer demand and there is no point offering something that people do not want just because you do not want to deviate from your original plan. Recently when I attended an entrepreneur’s course, one thing that really stuck with me was that start-ups should be renamed as “trials” and they should be seen as ways to test the water and check if your business is viable. Don’t invest too much at the start and get caught up trying to work out every individual detail because it is more than likely that things will change so quickly in the first few months that it will have been a waste of your time and money.

3. Network. When I first started my business, “networking” was such a buzzword that I thought it must be a fad I should ignore. In fact it has been one of the best things I have done to improve my business. Even if you are a shy person, there are ways to network online such as LinkedIn and Facebook groups but I would really recommend face to face conversation for the best impact. Most networking meetings I have attended haven’t ended in immediate sales, however they have always been beneficial because they have helped me to gain knowledge, find inspiration, meet contacts and source suppliers. I cannot stress how much networking should be part of your business, even if you just go and moan about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur with other entrepreneurs, it can be a lonely world running your own business don’t isolate yourself! There are tonnes of groups in Kent to join and a quick google search should get the ball rolling.

Here’s the link to her story