How to hire amazing people!

Round & About


In the first of a series of helpful articles, Oxfordshire business hero Peter Mols offers his words of wisdom to help you employ the best people to help your business grow

300- 1: The #1 rule for hiring amazing people.

In the last month, a staggering 300 people have applied for jobs with our small business, and today, I’ll share my #1 rule for attracting the right people to you.

As a business coach, the facilitator of mastermind groups and the founder of a kick-ass networking group, I speak to lots of people who tell me that they scaled their business, only to find the challenge of “managing people” too hard, and decided to scale back down to being a “solopreneur”. It’s a sad story, which, to be honest, is completely avoidable if they’d just followed my #1 rule. 

Decide on the “culture” you want for the business before you’re ready to grow.

In the past month, 300 people have applied for positions at Outside Ideas, and I put it all down to that rule. It’s not because we’re paying the most, it’s not because we’re doing groundbreaking stuff and not because we’re the #1 in our industry (watch this space:). It’s because we focussed on telling the story about the business, where were going and our culture.

I speak to lots of people who tell me that they scaled their business, only to find the challenge of “managing people” too hard.”

I first learned about corporate culture more than 20 years ago during my business degree, when I read, Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson, Branson’s quote, “Train them so well that they could work anywhere, treat them so well they wouldn’t want to” sticks with me to this day.

The reality is, that most business owners are so focused on “making the furniture” that they never find the time to decide on the crucial first step to growth: deciding who you are, what you’re great at, where you’re going, and what you stand for; and WRITING IT DOWN.

By missing this first step, they set themselves up for a life of long weeks, short holidays, and spinning all the plates. 

In “business coaching” speak, we call this process creating a Vision, Mission, and Values, and I start there with all 121 clients.

If you’re a business owner who’s thinking about growing, my challenge to you this month is simple, spend some time answering the following questions:

  • Where is the business heading, where do you see it in 10 years’ time? This is your Vision
  • What do you want to be “world-class” at? This is your Mission
  • What are your internal values as a human? These are your Business values

Next month, I can share my strategy for attracting the right kind of people to your business using the Oi Way of hiring great people, or I can discuss creating values for your business. You chose, and let me know at [email protected] 

Onwards and upwards, my friends!

Surrey Hills business award winners

Round & About


Local businesses named as 2023 recipients of the Gold Trade Mark Award by Surrey Hills Enterprises

Two local businesses, Vineyards of the Surrey Hills and Chimney Fire Coffee, were named as the 2023 recipients of the Gold Trade Mark Award by Surrey Hills Enterprises for their environmental sustainability and local support.

Vineyards of the Surrey Hills are a cluster of five vineyards, priding themselves on the quality of their wine. They welcome people to visit and taste their wines, accompanied by tours of their beautiful vineyards.

Chimney Fire Coffee focus on their sustainability, using 100% compostable materials for their coffee bags and work directly with their farmers and exporters to ensure ethical sourcing.

Surrey Hills Enterprises focus on aiding local businesses to help the rural economy and support independent Surrey Hills businesses. On 18th July, they held their annual celebration, where they announced the winners of the Gold Trade Mark Award.

Chairman of Surrey Hills Enterprises, Simon Whalley, was pleased to congratulate the two winners, saying how the award “recognises local quality, environmental excellence and support for the Surrey Hills and other local businesses”. The two winners were both credited for these merits.

Vineyards of the Surrey Hills were additionally congratulated for their exemplary collaboration between their five vineyards, and their range of experiences offered to the public. Chimney Fire Coffee was congratulated similarly, and their achievement of a certified B corporation accreditation was also acknowledged. Being a B corporation means they work within a network, working to transform the local economy.

Overall, a great achievement for these local businesses!

To learn more about these two businesses, visit:
Surrey Hills Vineyards
Chimney Fire Coffee

For more information about membership and the work of Surrey Hills Enterprises, visit Surrey Hills Enterprises.

Author: Daisy Harwood

Ask Mastermind9, guru Peter Mols

Round & About


Local business hero & dad Peter Mols, named the nationwide Networker of the Year and champion of small businesses, answers some questions to help locals in his community

Q. Hi Mastermind9, I’m struggling to generate new leads for my business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out of business and I have some very loyal customers. But with the current rate of inflation, and cost of living, my current clients can’t sustain me. And if things carry on this way, I might have no choice but to completely shut down, or find paid employment to subsidise my income.

I’m working hard; I’m active on social media, I have a newsletter and I’m attending networking events, but I haven’t had a single new client in the last 3 months. My pipeline is dry, and I don’t know what to do. Have you got any advice? Sincerely, AE.

A: Hi AE,

Lack of leads is a really common problem affecting most small business owners. You have to keep feeding the pipeline, and you have to find ways to do this constantly. We think one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is to have only a couple of ways to generate leads. That’s just not enough.

“You have to keep feeding the pipeline”

We would take a closer look at your social media, how often you’re posting, what’s the quality of your content. Are you adding real value to your audience? The same goes for your newsletter. What quality are you offering your readers, and how relevant is your content to them? Are you collecting feedback? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

And secondly, if you want to keep your pipeline running, don’t just rely on organic social media posts. Success in 2023 will come down to proactivity.

We’d consider the following:

• Get really clear on your customer avatar (here’s how)
• Creating a top 30 (a list of the 30 companies you’d like to work with)
• Getting a Google business profile and working hard to get lots of testimonials.
• Sending prospects in the post
• Creating downloadable content that speaks to your avatars pains or desires
• Create blog posts with Calls to Action
• Asking for referrals from your best customers
• Advertising in places that your avatar hangs out (ahem… such as Round & About)
• Attending trade shows or business expos.
• Doing more networking

We’re sure that by mixing up the different approaches to lead generation, you’re bound to start attracting some new customers.

We hope that this answers your question and gives you some new ideas or inspiration. Onwards and upwards my friend!

Mastermind9 provides mastermind groups for business owners who want to grow. We bring together groups of diverse and skilled business owners under Non disclosure agreement to create powerful trusting and supportive communities. Visit

Hogs Back celebrates 30 years

Round & About


Hogs Back Brewery marked its 30th birthday with a special ’30 at 30′ celebration, inviting 30 local loyal drinkers to join them for a celebratory pint

The 30 at 30 celebrations, held at the brewery in Tongham, brought back happy memories for guests, as they recalled where they had enjoyed their first pint of Tongham TEA.   

For Nigel, his first pint at the King William IV at Mickleham, was ‘love at first taste and it has been an enduring love story!‘.  Martin was ‘lucky to taste the first brew of TEA, with the original Hogs Back brewer’ and John remembered drinking it “with my father, explaining to me what real beer tastes like.”  Several guests had enjoyed Tongham TEA at weddings and birthday parties. 

Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We wanted to celebrate our 30th birthday with thanks to loyal customers who have supported us for 30 years – as without them, we wouldn’t be here today. 

“Over the years, TEA has been requested as the beer at many weddings and other celebrations, so for a whole generation of local people, it has a special place in their lives.  

“Many also spoke about coming here with their parents to collect a barrel of Tongham TEA and are now doing the same with their own adult children. We’re of course delighted to see this tradition continue, and by inviting some of these younger drinkers to join our celebrations, we hope that they too become lifelong Tongham TEA drinkers!” 

Ready for harvest

The ’30 at 30′ gathering was one of the last to be held in the Hogs Back hangar this summer before it switches from being a bar and event space to become the hub of the hop harvest, which starts at the end of August. Hop bines cut in the hop garden just yards away are brought back to the hangar where they are sorted, then dried and vacuum packed that they can add flavour and aroma to the brewer’s beers all year. 

Bringing in the hops from the 8.5 acre field is expected to take several weeks and will be celebrated at the Hogs Back Hop Harvest weekend on 24th and 25th September. The Hop Harvest Festival on the Saturday offers a fantastic musical line up including top Queen tribute band Majesty, while the TEA Party on the Sunday is more family-focused with a range of children’s entertainment. The full range of Hogs Back’s beers, including Green TEA, brewed with hops freshly-picked in the hop garden, will be available on both days: 

The biggest event on our calendar

Thompson said: “The Hop Harvest festivities are the biggest event on our calendar and were attended by 2,500 people last year. And as we’re the only brewer of any size to have our own hop garden, it is a uniquely Hogs Back celebration. 

“Hops, like all crops, need water to thrive and the recent drought will have an impact on this year’s harvest.  We’re not expecting to repeat last year’s bumper crop, but we will still harvest a good quantity of our own home-grown hops, which contribute to the distinctive flavour of our beers. And, as they are grown just yards from the brewery rather than imported from afar, they are reducing our food miles and helping us achieve our goal of being an ever more sustainable brewer.”   

Hogs Back will harvest three hop varieties this year: Fuggles, used in Tongham TEA; English Cascade, used in its Hogstar lager and Surrey Nirvana Session IPA and Farnham White Bine, a traditional local variety that the brewer saved from near-extinction. 

Contact Hogs Back Brewery

Visit their website

Socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Hogs Back’s ’30 at 30’

Karen Neville


Your chance to join the celebrations for three decades of Tongham TEA

If you live in or around Farnham, the chances are that one of your first pints of beer was Hogs Back’s Tongham TEA (Traditional English Ale). The ale was the first beer brewed at Hogs Back Brewery when it opened 30 years ago, and it enjoyed almost instant success, with the hog icon becoming a familiar sight in pubs across Surrey.

To celebrate its 30th birthday this year, Hogs Back is inviting 30 local drinkers who’ve been enjoying their beers for a while to join them – and bring a younger drinker with them, for a toast to the past, present and future success of the brewery, on Thursday, 18th August.

We remain an independent brewer, committed to our Surrey roots

To join the party just let them know where you drank your first pint of TEA, by visiting the website page.  We’ll invite 30 people to our special birthday drinks at the brewery, with a son, daughter or other younger relative or friend – aged 18+ – to pass the love of TEA down the generations!

Managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We’re delighted to be reaching our 30th birthday with plenty to be proud of.  Much has changed since the brewery opened its doors in 1992, but we remain an independent brewer, committed to our Surrey roots – as demonstrated by our continued investment in our site here at Tongham, including the hop garden.

We are both thanking the local people who’ve made Hogs Back the successful brewery it is today, and doing our best to make sure it’s still alive and kicking in 30 years’ time!

“Clearly, without people drinking our beers, we would have no success to celebrate today! So, we’d like to reward anyone who’s been enjoying our TEA for a while with a pint or two on us, and at the same time introduce our beers to younger drinkers. This way, we are both thanking the local people who’ve made Hogs Back the successful brewery it is today, and doing our best to make sure it’s still alive and kicking in 30 years’ time!”

Hogs Back Brewery opened in August 1992 in Tongham, near Farnham, in 18th century farm buildings that at various times had stored wheat and housed cattle and, appropriately, hogs. The first casks to roll out of the original brewhouse – now the site of the Brewery Shop – and into local pubs were TEA – which was renamed Tongham TEA earlier this year.

Tongham TEA remains the brewery’s best-seller, winning numerous awards over the years, and gathering a loyal customer following in Surrey and across the south. Hogs Back’s reputation as a brewer of exceptionally fine ales was bolstered by subsequent launches such as Hop Garden Gold and RipSnorter and in recent years the brewery has broadened its range, launching new beers such as Hogstar Lager, Surrey Nirvana Session IPA and A over T (Aromas over Tongham) which won CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain in 2020.


1992:    First barrels of TEA produced at the Manor Farm site in Tongham, where the brewery remains today. One of the first pubs to stock it is the White Hart in Tongham, where it sells at £1.30 a pint.

1995:    TEA named as runner up in Best Bitter category at the Great British Beer Festival, run by CAMRA.

2000:    TEA named as winner in Best Bitter category and then overall runner up Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival

2006:    A over T (Aromas over Tongham) named Supreme Champion Winter Ale of Britain at the CAMRA Winter Beer Festival.

2012:    Business bought by Rupert Thompson, who had worked in the brewing industry for many years on brands including Carling (Britain’s biggest beer brand), Old Speckled Hen and Hobgoblin.

2013:    Launch of Hogstar Lager, a 4.5% ABV lager brewed with five different hops and selected herb extracts and matured for over a month.

2013:    Launch of Hazy Hog, a cloudy cider

2014:    Planting of hop garden adjacent to the brewery, making Hogs Back the largest brewer with a hop garden in the UK. In 2015, Hogs Back harvest three hop varieties: Fuggles – used in Tongham TEA; Cascade – used in Hogstar lager; and Farnham White Bine.

2015:    Hogstar wins Gold in the Premium Pale & Golden Lagers in the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Awards. It also wins Gold in the SIBA South East Region Awards in 2018

2019:    Relocation of the hop garden to an 8.5 acre site next to the brewery.

2020:    A over T, a 9% ABV bottle conditioned barley wine, wins CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain

2021:    Hogs Back harvests its largest ever hop crop, and 2,500 people enjoy Hop Harvest celebrations over a weekend in September.

2022:    Hogs Back’s flagship ale, TEA, is renamed as Tongham TEA and given a new design. The traditional, graphic style shows an illustration of the familiar Hog mascot in front of the brewery, farm buildings and fields.

Contact Hogs Back Brewery

Visit their website

Socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Coffee delivery to perk us up!

Liz Nicholls


Roots and Rose is a brother and sister duo, want to take the hassle out of finding great-tasting coffee, by doing the hard work for you.

They both know the coffee industry having worked in it for over 13 years. They also understand many people working from home may need that pick me up.

Set up from their homes in Frimley and Woking during the first lockdown, Chris and Catherine Rose. They both know that now, more than ever, it’s important to sit and chat over a great cup of coffee (via Zoom!). Ranging from individual bags to gift boxes, there’s something for everyone.

Their gift boxes, named after the family dogs, consist of The Arnie, The Henry and The Tilly, ranging in size and amount. The Arnie includes three x 127g cafetiere coffee; The Henry offers three x 227g cafetiere coffee and The Tilly, 2 x 227g cafetiere coffee and a cafetiere. Due to the popular demand for beans, they have added the Jack’s Beans to their website with the Surrey Beans soon to be released.

The R&R subscription service is the best of Roots and Rose, direct to your door, every month. Each month you’ll receive a 127g or 227g bag of one of their three coffees (on a three-month cycle), with no minimum commitment.

All the coffee is ethically sourced, hand-roasted, and hand-packed in the UK. R&R roast to order which means it holds its taste and is super fresh.

To find out more and try for yourself, visit

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Charity champions 

Round & About


Photo: Winners, judges and sponsors of the LBCA Berks 2019

Berkshire businesses have been rewarded for their work to support local charities at the Local Business Charity Awards (Berkshire).

The winners were revealed at a ceremony held at SportsAble in Maidenhead with three awards handed out – the Jelf Award, the A-Plan Insurance Award and the Individual Award.

To enter,  Berkshire charities had to nominate a Berkshire business or individual who had done an outstanding job supporting them.

The finalists in the Jelf Award were Convatec nominated by Berkshire Youth; Gardner Leader nominated by Swings & Smiles; Nationwide Building Society nominated by The Dash Charity and Penguins Events nominated by Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services which won the Jelf Award.

Mike Owen, CEO South, Jelf, said: “Penguins Events have been the most incredible supporter of the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice. Their expertise in events management, providing audio visual and lighting at the charity’s annual balls and other special occasions, has allowed the charity to put on first-class events and raise significant amounts of money.”

The finalists in the A-Plan Insurance award were A Twist of Lime nominated by Baby Bank; Bisham Abbey Sailing & Navigation School nominated by Rivertime Boat Trust; The Swift Group nominated by Newbury Soup Kitchen and TSB (Reading Branch) nominated by Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS). The Reading branch of TSB picked up the A-Plan Insurance Award

Richard Easterbrook, Group Head of Commercial Insurance from sponsor A-Plan Insurance said: “For a business to take on a charity with which they have no personal relationship is quite rare and makes the efforts made by the small team of staff from the TSB in Reading even more impressive.
“From bike and bake weeks to promoting awareness of the charity’s work by having an incubator on display in the branch, the team have really put their heart and souls into supporting this vital Berkshire charity.”

The finalists in the Individual award were Adrian Smith from The Swift Group nominated by Newbury Soup Kitchen; Carol Irwin from Sainsburys nominated by PALS (West Berkshire); Ken Navin from Innovate Services nominated by Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services and Lisa Chaffey from Action Coach Reading nominated by Berkshire Vision.

The Individual Award was won by Adrian Smith.

Jeffrey Branch, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, who presented the award said:
“Two years ago Meryll Praill set up Newbury Soup Kitchen without any knowledge or experience of homelessness or the myriad of problems that leads to a person losing their home. The day she met Adrian Swift, Managing Director of the Swift Group was highly fortuitous; from the outset he has offered her guidance, support, introductions to relevant businesses and even the donation of a van to deliver the food to the homeless.  Berkshire is a better place because of men like Adrian.”

For more information about this year’s awards visit

Oh what a night…!

Liz Nicholls


As the ten of us representing the Round & About team sit at the table in the Grand Ballroom of the Park Lane Hilton, it’s fair to say that we already feel like winners…

Here we are at this black-tie industry awards giant, rubbing shoulders with the “big guns” of media, alongside tables of people from the likes of Google and Channel 4. Being part of a small team, we at Round & About have always punched above our weight when it comes to ambitions, results and success, but dare we dream that we could actually win..?

And, as we sit poised and happy, event host Colin Murray announces the results and we’re all reflected in golden glory. Round & About has scooped gold for Regional Commercial Team of the Year and Regional Media Brand of the Year as well as bronze for Regional Editorial Content Team of the Year…

The rest of the evening is a joyful whirl of congratulations, clinking of glasses, cigars and dancing well into the early hours.

“Standing with the R&A team, amongst some of the biggest names in the uk media, having just won two gold and a bronze award was a perfect 25th anniversary celebration,” says Peter Savage, our founding editor.

Indeed, this family business has grown from humble beginnings to a heavyweight industry contender, thanks to our team’s dedication to serving our customers and readers with a well-loved magazine that delivers every month. With sales and editorial teams working together, Round & About has earned the respect of the British Media Awards judges by increasing sales year on year, expanding the magazine into new areas, developing new projects and maintaining a high level of quality in print and production.

In April Round & About was 25 years old – and in that quarter century the team have seen huge changes in the media industry. All the hard work that it’s taken to build upon our successes and find a way to serve our communities and customers gave us a precious milestone to celebrate earlier this year… And Wednesday’s wins have given us golden memories to treasure going forward into the next phase.

Speaking of which, back to the grindstone to prepare our best-ever July editions!

Read more about the Round & About team

Celebrating 25 years

Round & About


Whoooosh… and 25 years have passed in the life of Round & About Magazine!

And you, dear readers, helped us achieve this!

25 years ago, in April 1994, I launched R&A on an unsuspecting audience in Oxfordshire… every home in OX10/OX11 received it, whether they wanted it or not(!) via the postman. It was to be full of local events and happenings; from shows to nearly new baby clothes sales. Every month since, we’ve continued to receive your news to use.

In a way it was a small revolution as most free-distribution magazines went into shops and garages but we were about the first to go via Royal Mail to every home in a postcode. The reason it was important? We needed to reassure advertisers people would actually GET their magazine.

Since then we’ve grown and grown, from 20,000 copies in our first postcode edition to a staggering 26 editions, spread across nine counties with over 562,000 copies delivered every month.

I play a much reduced part now. The challenges, stresses and strains of the modern world are now borne by my son Christopher. He and his team have taken the magazine to new heights and we hope that you’ll continue to find what we produce useful, informative, educational and FUN to read.

Over the years, many people have played a part in R&A. Some “old stagers” are still with us such as Steve Warner, Luke Maitland and Sarah Readings. It would not be right to leave this brief account without mention to the incomparable James Risk who did so much for us but died a young man three years back.

I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who made, or continue to make, our magazine live, and to my family for putting up with me during the tough bits. My thanks to you all….

Peter Savage

Read more about the Round & About team

Peter Savage, Founder


Comment below with your favourite edition, cover, story, memory or just what you enjoy most about Round & About!

South & Vale Business Awards

Round & About


The finalists have been revealed for the second South and Vale Business Awards building on the success of last year’s inaugural event.

The awards, organised by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council’s Economic Development team, are a celebration of the work of local businesses. 

The finalists were announced earlier this month with the winners to be revealed on Friday, 15th March in a glitzy ceremony at Williams Conference Centre in Grove. 

The most highly contested is set to be the small and medium-sized enterprise award with 98% of all businesses in the South and Vale falling into this category, such was the number of entries that applications were split into two – one for South and one for Vale. 

There are eight awards to be won, the finalists in each category are: 

SME of the year sponsored by Milton Park 

South Oxfordshire – Jonas Event Technology, Wallingford; SYLO Associates, Thame; You HR Technology, Wallingford 

Vale of White Horse – Montala, Watchfield; Ridgefield Consulting, Oxford; South East Workwear, Abingdon 

Large Business of the Year sponsored by Royds Withy King 

Bremont Watch Company, Henley; Gigaclear, Abingdon; Planet IT, Abingdon; Reaction Engines, Culham; Windles Group, Thame 

Social Responsibility Award sponsored by Bluestream Recruitment

  • For businesses with social goals

North Farm Stud, Wantage; Sandford Talking Shop, Sandford-on-Thames; SOFEA, Didcot 

Early Stage Innovation Award sponsored by Focus Oxford Risk Management 

  • Recognising the potential of globally important, world changing businesses

Huduma, Harwell; Oxford Nanosystems, Abingdon; Serelay, Harwell; ZapGo, Harwell  

Established Innovation Award sponsored by MSC R&D 

  • For businesses with established and commercialised innovation

HR Wallingford; Open Cosmos, Harwell; TPLC, Didcot 

Business Space of the Year 

  • Locations that offer businesses great homes 

Boston House Business Centre, Wantage; Howbery Park, Wallingford; The Self Storage Co, Didcot 

Business Leader of the Year sponsored by HSBC 

  • People who have driven their business creating benefits for the community, their employees and the organisation 

Ben Thompson, Thompson & Terry, Abingdon; John Harris, OBN, Milton Park; Richard Kennell, SOFEA, Didcot 

Employer of the Year sponsored by Richardsons 

  • Recognising the organisations in South and Vale that offer a great experience for their employees

White Horse Leisure & Tennis Centre (Better), Abingdon; Reaction Engines, Culham; SOFEA, Didcot 


Congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck for 15th March! 

    Tickets are available now for the ceremony, click here