News from BNI Members

It’s your online reputation at stake. Consider not, not renewing old domain names

What if your online reputation was sullied by association with pornography and the more seedy side of the Internet? Then compound that with being practically helpless to correct it.

To survive in modern business, we all strive to build a reputation that emphasises who we are and the values we hold dear. Our reputations are extensions of us online and influence whether people choose to engage with us or not. No matter what size of enterprise you are, your online reputation will influence your success in one direction or another.

Consider a business called “XYZ Enterprises PLC” and over the years they’ve gathered domain names in their portfolio for the main business, for niche marketing and for sub divisions. They make the pragmatic decision that a largely unused domain with an old website such at www.xyzenterprise.tel is no longer of any use so it’s not renewed.

The domain then expires after the registration period is over and it goes into a grace period of 0 to 405 days followed by a redemption period of between 14 to 30 days. After that it goes into the public pool again and anybody can register it for themselves.

Here is a live register of expired domains – https://www.expireddomains.net/backorder-expired-domains/?o=alexa&r=d

Consider the dismay when the owners of XYZ Enterprises PLC see that www.xyzenterprise.tel is now a gateway site into a porn-hub, furthermore it’s now registered in Russia so a polite “cease and desist” is not really going to have the desired effect.

The new owner is using the good standing and following of XYZ Enterprises’ old domain to drive visitors to this illicit website. They’ll probably be open to a large Bitcoin deposit from you to relinquish ownership or you may choose to address this via the registrar for remedial action on the grounds of cybersquatting or abuse. I’d not hold out too much hope for a result.

The moral of the story is to play safe, renew your domains that clearly point back to you and don’t get in to a pickle in the first place.


About the author

Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP; making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement.

Toucan Internet have been custodians of clients’ domain portfolios since 1997 and understand the intrinsic value of “keeping your nose” clean online.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
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Flowers, Chocolates and Quality Presentation Packaging

For good or ill the national obsession with chocolates and flowers continues – particularly at this time of the year.

According to recent figures – In the UK, 10% of all chocolate is consumed in the form of Eggs over Easter, with the country being the fourth largest consumer of chocolate (per head of capita) in the World, behind Switzerland, Germany and Austria. On average, each person in Britain eats approx. 9.5 kg of chocolate each year.  When it comes to flowers, according to aboutflowers.com a staggering 26% of ALL flowers are purchased from florists on Mother’s Day, surpassed only by Valentines Day.

Naturally as the UK’s premier manufacturer of presentation packaging this period is extremely important to us here at GWD Ltd .  Indeed we have a substantial number of florists and chocolatiers amongst our clients. Here are a few examples of products we have made over the past year.

Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK
Heart-shaped boxes made in the UK

This heart-shaped box with a window was manufactured here in Essex for flowers, specifically preserved flowers and rose heads. These have a life of 3 years or more and are used as table decorations, centrepieces and other ornamental uses. The packaging therefore, has to be robust as well as stylish.

Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts
Packaging for mother’s day gifts

The two photos above show round hatboxes that were produced for different flower growers/importers: Exprezzion and MM Flowers .  They were used in the sale of their flowers at two leading supermarket chains and for their online sales. Hat boxes, with or without lids, are widely recognised as a very up-market way of presenting flowers for that special gift or loved one, and GWD Ltd make them in a range of sizes, from 150mm diameter to 150mm high (and smaller if required) up to 300mm diameter x 300mm high (and bigger if required).

Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs
Packaging for chocolates and Easter eggs

The Easter egg boxes in the picture above show two high-end, bespoke, rigid Easter egg boxes (with separate box and lid) that were made for The Secret Truffletier who create handmade champagne truffles, Swiss Chocolates and luxurious dark chocolate truffle gifts. At the other end of the scale the image also shows a small fold-up carton for a much smaller egg. This was personalised for Claridges , the luxury hotel in Mayfair. It is an equally high-end product.

Whatever product your have, you can be assured that GWD can help you with the perfect presentation packaging to help it sell, online or in the shops. We’ve been creating packaging for florists and chocolatiers for over 30 years. Please get in touch.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

What are educational marketing videos?

What are educational marketing videos?

What are educational marketing videos and why should I be using them?

Educational marketing videos are a fantastic way to engage with people who are interested in your products and services. They may not be ready to make a purchase right now, but by becoming known as the ‘go to expert’ in your industry or sector, you can build trust and credibility which will in turn lead to sales when customers are ready to buy.

What is educational marketing?

“ A different way of marketing that involves sharing of information and education resources for buyers to gain credibility and trust from buyers.  Positioning yourself or your company as a go to source of information, and, in time, a go to source to purchase products or services.”

By creating educational marketing video content you can give your audience information and insights into your area of expertise which will benefit them.

Why is educational marketing effective?

Because you step away from your traditional role as a seller or marketer of a company. You act like an educational resource, providing your target audience or buyers with useful information they are looking for and the answers to their questions.

How can I make my educational marketing effective?

Make it free and readily available and ensure it is valuable to your audience

So why are educational marketing videos so effective?

  • Reach out to your clients
  • Increase your visibility
  • Raise your profile
  • Builds ‘know, like & trust’
  • Offering value rather than selling
  • Establish yourself as a voice of authority

Things to remember when creating educational marketing video content

  • Avoid selling
  • Avoid talking too much
  • Be truthful, honest and transparent
  • Offer something that is actually valuable

Examples of Educational Marketing Videos

Here at HNE Media Services Limited, we like to practice what we preach. Here are some examples of educational marketing videos which we have produced for our own marketing.

What to do next

  • Think about how you can ‘educate’ your target audience – what value could you offer your clients and customers or prospects?
  • Are your competitors using this type of marketing?, if they are, can you use educational marketing to differentiate yourself?
  • What topics or subject areas could you cover in a series of ‘educational marketing’ videos?

What are the options for creating educational marketing video content?

You essentially have two options, either do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. There is always the halfway house of filming the content yourself and then passing the footage on for editing by a third party. This can be useful if your time is best spent doing other things for your business which are more valuable than editing videos. For example if you charge a modest hourly fee for your time, or your time is limited, you may want to consider outsourcing the editing of your videos.

Top Tips for going down the DIY route

  • Consider attending a training course to learn how to film and edit to a good standard
  • Don’t release anything you aren’t happy with
  • Plan the video content that you produce in advance, have a day of filming and then release the material over time
  • Make sure your ‘educational marketing’ content and any other video content is of a good standard, bad videos can be brand damaging
  • Sound quality is really important, viewers of video content will forgive poor or wobbly footage but they must be able to hear you clearly!.
  • Invest in a good microphone for best results.

Top Tips for hiring a Professional

  • Plan your filming time to maximise your budget, professional video production can be more costly than the DIY route, but if well planned can be cost effective
  • Take the advice of the professionals you hire to guide you on the type of content, delivery and best ways to promote and share it – use their experience to benefit you
  • If you want to take advantage of more advanced technology and use a ‘green screen’ for example, you would be best consulting a pro to achieve the best result
  • Ask the pro for help and advice at the planning stage, chances are they are doing something similar for a different client, albeit in a different sector

We hope you have found this article useful. If you have further questions about the benefits of using educational marketing videos, or you would like to discuss how we can teach you or help you to create video content please click here to contact us

About the author

My name is James and I am the Director of HNE Media Services Limited, a Video Production and Training company based in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire in the East of England. I have been involved in video production for over 13 years and have been working with businesses to help promote their products and services for much of that time. If you need any advice about either the DIY route for producing your own educational marketing videos we are happy to offer advice. We also offer video training courses to teach you the basics of filming and editing. Alternatively we are always willing to offer advice and provide a quote for producing videos for you.


(c) HNE Media Services Limited 2017

01279 883 270

info@hnemedia.co.uk

What SSL

Background information on SSL Certificates

What are SSL Certificates?

SSL Certificates provide secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, the protocol which provides the encryption. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages or whole websites that require end-users to submit sensitive information over the internet such as personal data, credit card details and passwords. Pages such as payment pages, online forms and login pages should have SSL encryption.

Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

Data transferred in non-encrypted format can be intercepted between you and the webserver such that your communication and the data therein could be compromised and stolen. Online transactions may involve sending personal information such as credit card information, social security numbers, usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals who intercept unencrypted communications will gain full access to this data and can use it for fraudulent activities including identity theft and purchases. Trust and security are what make people confident enough to provide private or sensitive information online. SSL certificates demonstrates that a website or web page can be trusted. Any organisation must use an SSL certificate to secure their site if they wish to take online payments or expect their visitors to submit confidential information. Apart from building essential trust and security into your website, SSL certificates also help with SEO efforts as Google rates the use of an SSL as a positive ranking indicator.

SSL Products Overview

All SSL certificates are typically a combination of a Validation Level and Type.

Certificate Validation Levels

Extended Validated Certificates:

EV certificates provide the highest levels of security, trust and customer confidence for online businesses. EV certificates are issued only after the issuing Certificate Authority has conducted rigorous background checks on the company according to the guidelines laid out by the Certificate Authority/Browser (CA/B) Forum. Because of this, EV certificates contain a unique differentiator designed to clearly communicate the trustworthiness of the website to its visitors. Whenever somebody visits a website that uses an EV certificate, the address bar will turn green in major browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox however Chrome have dropped this pointing out that safe websites should be the norm on the internet. EV certificates are used by all major online retailers and banks and are highly recommended for businesses that wish to immediately build customer trust in their site. The browser address bar will include the company name with most popular browsers.

Organisation Validated Certificates:

OV certificates include full business and company validation from a certificate authority using their established and accepted manual vetting processes. Each OV certificate contains full company name and address details, which means they provide significantly higher levels of assurance to end-users than Domain Validated certificates. However, because they are not validated to the CA/B forum standards, they do not possess the ability to turn the browser address bar green.

Domain Validated Certificates:

DV certificates provide the same high levels of data encryption as the other validation levels however do not provide assurance about the identity of the business behind the website. Whereas EV and OV certificates are only issued after the applicant organisation has been manually vetted by a Certificate Authority, DV certificates are issued after domain control has been established using an automated online process. DV certificates are a popular choice amongst small-medium sized web sites because of their faster issuance times and lower price points.

Free Non-Validated Certificates:

FNV certificates are only available to Toucan Internet LLP clients and provide the same high levels of data encryption between the website and browser. There is no validation on the domain or the organisation but will engender trust with website users and assist as a positive ranking signal to Google. These have some value however any enterprise should consider a DV certificate as a minimum.

Certificate Types

Single Domain Certificates

A single domain certificate allows a customer to secure one Fully Qualified Domain Name on a single certificate. For example, a certificate purchased for www.domain.com will allow customers to secure any and all pages on www.domain.com. Single domain certificates are available in DV, OV,EV and FNV variants at a variety of price points and warranty levels. The straightforward nature of the single domain certificate makes it ideal for small to medium sized businesses managing a limited number of websites. However, businesses that operate or anticipate operating multiple websites may benefit from the added flexibility, convenience and savings offered by wildcard or multi-domain certificates.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

A Wildcard certificates allows businesses to secure a single domain and unlimited sub-domains of that domain. For example, a wildcard certificate for ‘*.domain.com’ could also be used to secure ‘payments.domain.com’, ‘login.domain.com, ‘anything-else.domain.com’ etc. A wildcard certificate will automatically secure any sub-domains that a business adds in the future. They also help simplify management processes by reducing the number of certificates that need to be tracked. For growing online businesses, Wildcard certificates provide a flexible, cost effective alternative to multiple single certificate purchases.

Multi Domain SSL Certificate (MDC)

As the name suggests, a Multi-Domain certificate allows website owners to secure multiple, distinct domains on a one certificate. For example, a single MDC can be used to secure domain-1.com, domain-2.com, domain-3.co.uk, domain-4.net and so on. Indeed, an MDC will allow you to secure up to 100 different domains (or wildcard domains) on a single certificate. Customers can easily add or remove domains at any time. This simplifies SSL management because administrators need only keep track of a single certificate with a unified expiry date for all domains instead of keeping tabs on multiple certificates. In addition, MDCs usually represent a cost saving over the price of individual certificates.

Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)

Unified Communications Certificates are specifically designed to secure Microsoft® Exchange and Office Communications environments. UC certificates use the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field to allow customers to include up to 100 domains on a single certificate – eliminating the need for different IP addresses per website that would be required otherwise. UC Certificates also support the Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover service, a powerful feature which greatly eases client administration. As with MDCs, a single UCC can greatly reduce SSL management duties while allowing customers to realise cost savings over individual purchases.

References, Sources and further reading:

https://www.cnet.com/news/say-good-bye-to-that-green-secure-lock-on-google-chrome/ https://www.instantssl.com https://opensrs.com
Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP; making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement.

About the author

“Guidance like this is important to our clients when we provide SSL’s for websites and web apps that Toucan Internet has developed.” Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s enabling technologies. simon@toucanweb.co.uk 01279 871 694
Author Simon Thomas 12th December 2018
https://www.toucanweb.co.uk

GWD, The Emirates FA Cup and Soccer AM

On Saturday January 5th Soccer AM, Sky1 and Sky Sports Football, featured presenter John Fendley discussing our presentation packaging on live television! For licensing reasons we’re unable to show the clip here, but in true Soccer AM style, John and his co-presenters and guests discussed the launch of the new soccer ball for the Emirates FA Cup, complete with packaging designed by GWD Ltd! What was that quote again: ”Lovely box, great bit of design.” Thanks very much, John!
presentation box for Mitre football
Presentation box for Mitre football
So how did we come to be here? Well, you may recall from our blog that in March 2017 we were commissioned by Mercieca Ltd  a UK-based integrated agency, who wished us to create presentation packaging for Mitre  – who were re-launching their Mitre Delta football, in that instance for the Sky Bet Championship and the Scottish Premier League. This launch was for The Emirates FA Cup (from the third round onwards – which coincides with sides from the top two divisions entering the competition and was held over the weekend of the 4th – 7th of January) for Mitre to promote its partnership with The FA.
presentation packaging for soccer
Presentation packaging for soccer
Mercieca were briefed to come up with an integrated campaign to promote the launch. The packaging was an important part of this activity which culminated with a showcase of the ball on Soccer AM, It was also included in the BBC FA Cup opening titles and across all televised matches and Match of the Day.
highest quality gift boxes UK
Highest quality gift boxes UK
The clever structural design, which we first created two years ago for Mercieca, creates an angled plinth for the ball to rest in that also doubles up as a display plinth. This also creates a closure for the lid, which can be lifted off easily to reveal the ball in all its glory. This construct is ideal for presenting the product in its best possible light, creating a ‘wow’ factor amongst clients and audiences. GWD created 75 of these boxes for the client. Chris Ward, Creative Services Manager at Mercieca said: “Another good job from you guys, the client is very happy with the boxes, they looked great.” If you work for a design agency or have a prestige product that would benefit from the highest quality presentation packaging, please get in touch with GWD Ltd via the details below. It is possible to work alongside our designers to come up with a unique box that is perfectly tailored to your product. We are not wholesalers but a manufacturer of presentation and promotional packaging; you are at source when you come to GWD. We design and make the vast majority of our boxes here in the UK, meaning we have no minimum order requirement and total control over lead times. Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Chocolatiers, Christmas and GWD Limited

So Christmas is here once again and at GWD Towers we’re busier than a whole Grotto of Santa’s Elves! Some of the Christmas packaging we make for our clients is designed and manufactured by the end of Summer, but because we deal with so many different kinds of businesses we are also at full tilt, right up to the last moment.

Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers

Christmas packaging, Christmas hampers

Not that this is a ‘Bah Humbug’ type of post, far from it Christmas is, naturally, a hectic time for the packaging industry and we’ve been very busy indeed this year creating hamper boxes, advent calendars and special presentation/gift boxes for products, as well as more generic boxes such as those in the image above. These are more generic products that shops or outlets pack themselves, perhaps adding a ribbon or similar embellishment.

Hamper boxes

Hamper boxes

We have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that we are one of the very few companies in the UK that can produce round ‘hat’ boxes, and these are very popular with chocolatiers and hamper companies, particularly for this season. The boxes above are produced for Betty’s of Harrogate, one of the premier chocolatiers and gift food companies in the country. Most years, Betty’s will contact us with new ideas or designs and the packaging will be updated.

Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes

Presentation packaging for chocolatiers and chocolate boxes

In the image above are some more boxes made for Betty’s further illustrating what we can do for chocolate companies. The rectangular box (top left) has a gold foil blocked clear window, allowing the chocolates to be viewed in their full glory. This is achieved with the use of a ‘cavity wall tray’, the gold frame, which sits inside the box, which is invisible until it’s opened. The smaller box in the photo is a generic, shouldered box made for Betty’s, that is turned into a Christmas box with the use of a sleeve. This is a great idea for companies who wish to brand their products for particular seasons or events – the box itself remains the same but the sleeve can be redesigned on demand.

Gift packaging suppliers UK

Gift packaging suppliers UK

We also supply smaller independent shops and outlets with our high-quality rigid boxes. These circular boxes (above), although quite complex to manufacture, can be produced in relatively small runs and are ideal for chocolates! If you would like us to help you present your chocolates (or indeed any other product) in it’s best possible light – please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

And Merry Christmas!!

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

 Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

I was lucky enough to be invited to Saint Lucia by Saint Lucia Tourist Board. Virgin was the airline of choice for this trip, although British Airways also fly to Saint Lucia daily from London.

The island’s international airport (Hewanorra) is in the South of the island. I love this small airport, off the plane and through passport control with luggage collected within 15 minutes!

Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

Basic facts

  • Saint Lucia is part of the Windward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
  • The island is only 14 miles wide, 27 miles long meaning it is easy to explore
  • The main language spoken is English. As a result of Saint Lucia’s dual British-French Heritage, a French based Creole is also spoken.
  • Official currency is Eastern Caribbean dollar. Prices quoted are mainly in US dollar which is widely accepted. Cashpoint machines dispense EC dollars.
  • Entry requirements: no visa is required for British passport holders. A valid passport is required for at least six months from the date of departure from Saint Lucia.

Why Saint Lucia?

Scenery: the magical Piton Mountains, lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, idyllic bays and sparkling waterfalls are absolutely stunning.

Accommodation: from boutique hotels, quaint cottages and spacious villas to all-inclusive resorts, luxurious apartments and hidden sanctuaries, Saint Lucia offers unique and diverse accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

Activities: Whether you are the adventurous type or prefer a leisurely activity with your partner or want something for all the family, there is so much to choose from.

Cuisine: whether you are fine-dining, sampling the many restaurants in Rodney Bay Village or eating local food at the Friday night street parties, the cuisine, influenced by Saint Lucia’s rich heritage is delicious. The Island’s Cuisine is a unique blend of West African, European (mainly British and French) and East Indian cuisine.

People: Saint Lucians are renowned for their happiness, friendliness and welcoming nature. Wherever you go you are greeted by a smile and a hello and a chat if you have time.

Top Attractions:

  • The magical Piton Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The Sulphur Springs, the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano
  • Pigeon Island National Landmark
  • Tet Paul Nature Trail
  • Diamond Botanical Gardens and waterfall
  • Tree-To-Bar (a chocolate making experience) at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

Adventure:

  • Zip-lining through the rainforest
  • Segway tour
  • Jeep safari tour
  • Quad-biking
  • Hiking
  • Mountain-biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Helicopter tour
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling, SNUBA and Sea-trekking
  • Wind-surfing & Kite-surfing
  • Yachting
  • Flyboarding
  • Motorized watersports

Nature & Relaxation

  • Rainforest Canopy Tram Ride
  • Mud bath at the Sulphur Springs
  • Bird-watching
  • Maria Island
  • Whale, Dolphin & Turtle Watching
  • Rainforest walks and trails
  • Numerous spa options

Shopping

  • Castries Market
  • Point Seraphine, Castries (duty free)
  • La Place Carenage, Castries (duty free)
  • Baywalk Mall, Rodney Bay (duty free)
  • JQ Shopping Mall, Rodney Bay

Evening Entertainment & Dining Out

Rodney Bay Village

When the sun goes down on Saint Lucia, it’s time for liming. That’s the local expression for just hanging out – ideally with a bottle of the local Piton beer or a refreshing rum punch. The liveliest nightlife on the island can be found in the Rodney Bay Village. Here, you may wish to start the evening with a cocktail at a fantastic beach bar, before heading over the the ‘strip’ where you will find several bars and clubs. If you are feeling lucky you can round the night off at the roulette and poker tables, or on the slot machines at the Treasure Bay Casino (www.treasurebaystlucia.com). Food lovers will have their taste buds tantalised with an array of fantastic dishes from a number of great restaurants on the island. Dining range from fine dining restaurants to seafood restaurants to steakhouses to Asian restaurants and, of course, the usual fast food outlets.

 

Gros Islet – ‘Jump Up’

This rustic and sleepy fishing village comes alive at weekends with its popular Friday night Street Party. Fun, food, music. Come and meet the locals and enjoy the St Lucian hospitality.

Anse La Raye – Fish Friday

A seafood lover’s dream featuring the fisherman’s catch of the day each cooked in their own secret sauces. Stalls line the main street in this west coast village with music adding that Caribbean vibe.

 

Dennery Seafood Fiesta

Every Saturday the East coast village of Dennery comes alive, a diverse offering of seafood is served and local music such as soca (the soul of calypso) and zouk (fast jump-up carnival beat) can be heard.

 

Saint Lucia – the Caribbean Island that has it all!

Events

 

Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival (May)

Since 1992 the island has hosted the most famous international Jazz festival in the Caribbean. Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival not only celebrates iconic Jazz artists, but also showcases performances from top singers and musicians within RnB, Soul, Reggae, Soca and Pop. www.stluciajazz.org

 

Carnival (June/July)

Saint Lucia’s month long, heady carnival season culminates in mid-July with steel band and soca monarch competitions, a carnival queen show and two days of intense street partying. www.stluciancarnival.com

 

Chocolate Heritage Month (August)

Are you a chocolate lover? Every August Saint Lucia celebrates its chocolate heritage. The island’s long rich history in producing some of the world’s most sought-after chocolate, dates back to the 1700’s. With a number of on-island experiences, this month of festivity offers plenty of fun.

 

Wedding Symposium (September)

Saint Lucia has won the Caribbean’s most romantic destination 8 times. This event highlights just why and workshops and seminars are run to ensure that Saint Lucia stays on top of leading trends.

 

Jouen Kweyol – International Creol Day (October)

This month focuses on Saint Lucia’s fascinating mixed African and French heritage. Kweyol is the French-based local dialect spoken by over 90% of Saint Lucians. The end of the month sees the peak of celebrations on Creole Day (Jounen Kweyol) when selected communities lay on traditional creole cuisine, crafts such as pottery and basket weaving, music, dance & games.

 

Triathlon (November)

Organised by Human Race, this is the foremost triathlon in the Caribbean. The triathlon centres around the historic Pigeon Island National Landmark, featuring four distances of swimming, biking and running. Pre and post event activities include a reception party, BBQ and boat trips. www.tristlucia.com

 

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (November)

The world’s largest transoceanic sailing event from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia. A 2,700 nautical mile crossing takes 2-3 weeks and ends in Rodney Bay Marina, where concerts and celebrations are held to welcome the sailors. www.worldcruising.com/arc

 

 

Accommodation

 

For families:

Windjammer Landings http://www.windjammer-landing.com/

Saint James’s Club Morgan Bay http://www.morganbayresort.com/uk/index.html

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa http://www.coconutbayresort.co.uk/

 

 

For couples (adult only):

Rendezvous https://www.theromanticholiday.com/

Le Sport the Body Holiday https://www.thebodyholiday.com/

Ladera http://www.ladera.com/

Sandals Grande St Lucian http://www.sandals.com/main/grande/gl-home/

 

For solo travellers:

Le Sport the Body Holiday https://www.thebodyholiday.com/

 

Luxury:

Jade Mountain http://www.jademountainstlucia.com/

The Landings http://www.landingsstlucia.com/

Cap Maison https://www.capmaison.com/

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa http://calabashcove.com/

Capella Resort & Marina by Marigot Bay http://www.capellahotels.com/saintlucia/

Sugar Beach http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/sugarbeach

 

 

There is a hotel for everyone in Saint Lucia and every single hotel is unique and offers something different. Luxury, boutique, active, all-inclusive, bed & breakfast, adult only, family, golf, sporting, spa, weddings. The hotels listed above are a small selection of hotels available.

To find out which hotel will suit your requirements and budget contact Your Perfect Travel, Saint Lucia Specialist, on 01279 787189 www.yourperfecttravel.co.uk email norma@yourperfecttravel.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Loans and Working Capital – How we can Help – SME funding UK

November 19, 2018

It’s that time of the year again. Whether the festive season fills you with a sense of joy or a sense of dread it can often be a difficult time for SMEs. Whilst B2C companies are hopefully booming, many B2B businesses can often struggle. Working capital is often cited as a major problem and this is where business loans or cashflow products can prove of great value in the short term and reduce stress for the business owners.


Working Capital & Business Loans


According to Bplans.com there are 6 prime reasons why SMEs fail in the short term, namely:

  • Leadership Failure.Lacking Uniqueness and Value.
  • Not in Touch with Customer Needs.
  • Unprofitable Business Model.
  • Poor Financial Management and lack of working capital
  • Rapid Growth and Over-expansion

It is the fifth point on this list I’d like to discuss in this article, specifically the lack of working capital. NB this also relates to overtrading.

Whatever the reasons for the lack of funds within the business (poor financial management, overtrading or otherwise), December seems to exacerbate them. Employees and clients tend to take holidays, marketing and sales teams lose enthusiasm, your clients may be putting off using your goods and services until the New Year…the list goes on. Here at SME funding, we would always recommend that SMEs utilise suitable professionals (bookkeepers, accountants, tax advisors) if the business owner is not financially savvy – but business loans or other cashflow products to alleviate working capital problems are also a valid option.


Funding & Business Loans


That said, raising funds via business loans can be a minefield. According to merchant bank Close Brothers: “only four out of ten SMEs have been able to secure funding from their chosen lender. Of these, 34 per cent felt that the capital available to them wasn’t enough to fund their investment plans, while a further 24 per cent said that the type of funding they had used was too expensive.”

This is where a specialist commercial finance brokerage like SME funding comes into its own. With access to over 200 lenders from banks, alternative and ‘fintech’ lenders through to specialist boutique funders there is seldom a situation where a lending solution cannot be sourced for a small to medium-sized business. Finance brokerages can often help even after the bank has refused lending. Most funding problems can be solved for most businesses in the UK, even start-ups, those with weak accounts, a troubled past or a poor credit history – including those with CCJs.

If you require help or advice about business loans (and there are many new funders offering fast and flexible products), SME funding can help you to select the one that is right for you. Applications can be made in minutes with approval and funding (subject to status) often on the same day.

Contact Us Today And Let Us Reduce The Risk And Save You Time And Money Sourcing Funding For Your Business!

New Presentation Box for Cornelia James

This blog has previously detailed work we’ve done with the wonderful Cornelia James, specifically here Cornelia James create exquisite, hand-stitched gloves and are holders of the Royal Warrant – granted to companies who have supplied HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years. Cornelia James were granted a Royal Warrant in 1979 and have held it ever since. It is not a prize but rather a recognition of excellence consistently achieved – recognised the world over as a mark of quality and excellence which cannot be bought at any price.

Gloves from Cornelia James

Gloves from Cornelia James

This year has been a busy one for the Royal Family with two royal weddings, the biggest being Harry and Megan’s of course. We did ask Andrew Lawson (one of the owners of Cornelia James) whether Her Majesty was wearing a pair of their gloves at either event, but were met with a smiling: “I couldn’t possibly comment” response, so we’ll let readers make their own minds up. What is without doubt though is that it’s been a good year for Andrew and co-owner Genevieve, not only with the royal family being in the public view but with their stylish product featuring on a luxury goods e-portal in China. “Nothing happened at first,” said Andrew, “but then it suddenly took off and China is on fire and going wild for Cornelia James.”

Luxury brands don’t get where they are without being very particular and protective about their design, and specifically in this instance, their packaging. GWD Ltd have been producing the presentation boxes for Cornelia James since 2013, but earlier this year it was decided that the old box should be redesigned into something that made more of a statement about the quality of the product. Specifically, the colour of the box was to be changed to what was described as ‘light cockpit green’. There’s a story in this…

Embossed paper with linen texture

Embossed paper with linen texture

During WWII the cockpits of Hurricanes and Spitfires were painted in a particular shade of light green. After the war large reserves of this paint was left over, so much so that Land Rover bought up a vast amount of it and used it on many of their post-war models. As such the colour has become synonymous with ‘Britishness’ and a ‘golden’ period in our history. Given that in 2016 an estimated 70% of all Series Land Rovers and Defenders ever made – 2,016,933 vehicles – were still on the road the colour has also become synonymous with reliability, quality and craftsmanship. In that regard there’s an obvious synergy with Cornelia James’ products. Similarly, the first Landrover was manufactured in 1948 and Cornelia James was established in 1946. In that period everything was rationed or in short supply – hence the making use of the available light cockpit green paint and the popularity of gloves as a way of sprucing up an outfit for fashionable ladies without using up too many precious ration coupons.

Glovemakers to HRH the Queen

Glovemakers to HRH the Queen

Finding the exact colour did not prove to be simple. Having an example of the paint is one thing, finding the exact PMS (pantone matching system) colour equivalent that works in print is quite another. However, we are nothing if not resourceful here at GWD, and the correct hue was eventually arrived at. The style of box was also changed from a simple box and lid, to a more elegant hinged lid box that closes with ribbon ties. The paper used to cover it has a linen texture, this gives the packaging a tactile quality which oozes class.

High quality presentation box for high quality products

High quality presentation box for high quality products

We are particularly pleased to continue working with Andrew and the team at Cornelia James and look forward to continuing the relationship over the years to come.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging.  You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website: www.gwd.ltd.uk

Promotional Packaging for Printers (and Anyone Else!)

It is well detailed in this blog and elsewhere that we like to consider ourselves experts in the field of presentation packaging, For example the packaging we created with the creative agency Fluid for EA Sport’s FIFA18 videogame. We speak less of our work in ‘promotional packaging’ –specialty promotional or corporate packaging that is often used for business-to-business (B2B) promotions, used to launch products and/or for PR, marketing and advertising.

Earlier this year we were approached by Anna Sedgbeer of Prontaprint Bishop’s Stortford an independent print and design company who service Herts, Essex and London. Anna was looking for a box that she (and other former Prontaprint franchisees) could use as a marketing tool for their clients.

Promotional Packaging for B2B

Promotional packaging for B2B

Promotional Packaging in Essex

Promotional packaging in Essex

Anna chose the contents for the box, in this case a branded pen, a box of mints and a ‘Little Book of Print’– a booklet highlighting their work and what they can offer their clients. Our job was to create a box to present these items in a professional and stylish way, creating a ‘wow factor’ when the box was opened. We created an internal platform and inserts to hold the contents in place as you can see in the images. They went with a fairly basic square box and lid, which was printed with the Prontaprint branding (on the lid) and the details of the different individual Prontaprint businesses on the bottom.

While this is not a particularly complicate project for GWD, it does highlight how we can help businesses present themselves to clients or customers. Sometimes a little ‘old-fashioned’ marketing can be very effective and promote your brand or company extremely well.

Cardboard Manufacturers In The UK

Cardboard manufacturers in the UK

Promotional items can for a very important part of a corporate campaign and our presentation packaging design department will rise to any challenge that your idea or promotional product might present. We are happy to work with any concept or item, and we’ll work with you – within your time frame and budget to create the best results. So, if we can help you or your clients with any promotional or presentation packaging requirements, please do get in touch.

Noel Greenwood is the Managing Director of GWD Ltd, the designers and manufacturers of presentation and promotional packaging. You can reach him on (01279) 416093 or at the company’s website:www.gwd.ltd.uk