Latest Posts

Newport Business Association makes better business with BNI connections

Newspaper Article:

 

Please give feedback on the following YouTube Videos

Great fun making the video shorts, had four businesses getting together. 

 

Comments so far:

“The NCTJ was delighted to provide the venue for Newport Business Association’s filming and support this local initiative. It all ran very smoothly and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished videos.”

Joanne Butcher, chief executive, National Council for the Training of Journalists

Tony Pullen: “It is very good and I think the grandiose Universal Studios opening is excellent. People like to enjoy a bit of fun and find it easier to trust someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously but is nevertheless good at what they do, Go for it Jezzah!

Jim Cliff: “Really excellent!  Although, obviously, I hate all the bits with me in them!”

Matthew Radway “I think it’s great but the mock-universal opening and film style credits at the end take away a little from the professionalism of it.”

Tony Pullen “Excellent – to the point, I hope it gets the views it deserves”

Anthony Rose: “Very good. snappy presentation and i like the key points emphasised just right”
Jane Hill: “Love it! Nice to ‘see’ you again :-). Good use of the old ‘on time, every time’ – did you know that Air UK used that tag line in the mid to late 80’s??? Great job Jeremy, I hope it brings you masses of views and business.”

Laura Jackson “great work, really good, straight to the point and the photos of the work that you do are brilliant :)”

Alan Brown: “Very good Jeremy – as usual. ”

Robert McCarthy: “Like the vid Jeremy.”

Newport Business Association makes better business with BNI connections

Tina Dulieu and the Epping Forest Charter for Business

New Member Article:

Tina Dulieu of Coaching Dynamics is also the Epping Forest Representative of the Federation of Small Business.  Tina attended the ‘Epping Forest Charter for Business’ launch.  This is an exciting initiative between the FSB, Epping Forest District Council and the Epping Forest Chamber of Commerce to help businesses stay viable, to grow and also to help keep business within the Epping Forest District. Here are key delegates signing the charter!  Tina Dulieu be seen on the far right of the picture.

Tina commented, ‘I am delighted to be part of this initiative as my every day role as a Business Coach is to help businesses develop and grow and I welcome any attempt to make the lives of our business owners easier and more profitable’.

Tina Dulieu and the Epping Forest Charter for Business

Affordable, quality wines to drink now or to lay down from competitive online wine merchant. from Wine2LayDown.com has updated their news.

Is Champagne really the best match for fish and chips?

 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to share with you my musings with my other half last Friday night. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

 Discussing the possible delights for supper (I had been enticed down the gym with promises of dinner…) we realised it had been a while since we had savoured the truly British Friday night supper that is fish and chips (not Cod, it’s endangered don’t you know, but other beauties such as Pollock and Coley with big fat hand-cut chips).

 Great, I thought. Health-conscious as I am, it is good for the soul to have a treat once in a while. I’ll just go check the wine rack to see what‘s in…Hubby didn’t seem to think there was a good wine match for fish and chips, so I mentioned in passing the theory that Champagne works wonders with such a dinner.

 Hence followed quite an interesting, albeit short, discussion. You see, in theory, Champagne works. The main factor in fish and chips, when considering wine and food matching, is the grease involved. You need a lot of zippy acidity to cut through all that fat. Champagne has this, and the bubbles help to lift and cleanse the palate and cut through the batter.

 Yum. In practice it works, too. I can honestly say that there is a charming novelty in sitting down to a humble bag of fish and chips with a bottle of fizz. Though in my mind, it has a romantic edge where you are sitting on the floor eating by candlelight having just moved in to your dream home surrounded by boxes, or during a power cut on a cold, rainy night when you are unable to use the oven.

 The more rational side of my mind says that humble food should be matched with humble wines. Fish and chips are not to be eaten with silver service, but out of newspaper with your fingers and a paper napkin. A cheerful Sauvignon Blanc will do just fine, or a really crisp Chenin with a hint of sweetness to enhance the gentle sweetness of the fish (especially haddock).

 So yes, it is fun to enjoy Champers with fish and chips, but not every day. It detracts from the ‘treat’ factor. Just make sure it is a non-vintage Champagne when you do decide to make the occasion. Save the Vintage Krug for another day…

 For the Big Spenders…

Celebrate in style with our elegant and crisp Roger Legros Non-Vintage Champagne, a steal at £19.

For Affordable Luxury…

Try the Cremant de Bourgogne Prestige, a Champagne – style sparkler from Burgundy. Made predominantly (90%) from Champagne grape varieties, it’s a bargain at £11.

Affordable, quality wines to drink now or to lay down from competitive online wine merchant. from Wine2LayDown.com has updated their news.

Creative Solutions are what businesses want when they just need things to happen

Want a new corporate identity, logo or stationery designed and printed?  We can do that. Need a brochure, leaflet or newsletter created and delivered from scratch? We can do that too.How about an event, with invitations, staging, PowerPoint or other presentations and follow-up press campaign? Yes, we can do that too. We’ve even designed the matching t-shirt.If it can be created we can deliver it cost-effectively and on time – every time.  That’s what we do.If you have a design problem, or a communication issue, or an impending exhibition that needs a creative solution and want someone that will just make it ‘happen’, give Jeremy or Tricia a call on 01799 541114. from Creative Solutions has updated their news.

Investor Relations and Corporate Communications support

Cambridge University, Cambridge Assessment

Value:

 £3,500

Project:

Conference design support. Develop corporate invites, signage, conference material and presentation graphics.

Logo development with print and presentation material with overnight turn-around of delegate pack and badges.

——————

City presentation to press and analysts

Costa Coffee

Value:         

£9,800

Project:       

Create presentation graphics and develop presentation with Costa Board. Develop and supply graphics for conference and run presentation for 5 main Whitbread and Costa presenters, manage web caste. Create, print and deliver 350 copies of 95 page delegate booklet overnight for conference. Develop post event material for press pack.

——————

Crime reduction pack 

Surrey Police

Value:         

£17,500

Project:       

Crime reduction pack for residents of Surrey. 8 leaflets in bespoke folder covering different aspects of crime. Print and deliver pack to Surrey Police HQ at Guildford.

——————

Lasting Legacy achievement memorabilia

Whitbread

Value:         

£28,000

Project: 

CEO achievement presentation material. Create boxed sets of bespoke achievement awards and books covering 12 years of Chief Executive’s time at Whitbread. Press cuttings, history and testimonial research. Develop theme for press and city analyst presentations, staff and events for CEO.

 

Creative Solutions are what businesses want when they just need things to ‘happen’

Want a new corporate identity, logo or stationery designed and printed?
We can do that.

Need a brochure, leaflet or newsletter created and delivered from scratch?
We can do that too.

How about an event, with invitations, staging, PowerPoint or other presentations and follow-up press campaign?
Yes, we can do that too. We’ve even designed the matching t-shirt.

If it can be created we can deliver it cost-effectively and on time – every time. That’s what we do.

If you have a design problem, or a communication issue, or an impending exhibition that needs a creative solution and want someone that will just make it ‘happen’, give Jeremy or Tricia a call on 01799 541114.
from Creative Solutions has updated their news.

Things to consider when redeveloping your website.

 

New Member Article:

Things to consider when redeveloping your website.Toucan INternet LLP

There comes a time when the corporate website that once met all your criteria starts looking a little like yesterday’s offerings design-wise and is now missing the mark from a marketing perspective. Tell-tale signs may be subtle such as the visitors bounce* rate increasing as the website fails to convince visitors that you are a worthy offering or the signs may be more obvious in that the website is just not up to date with expected content such as social media integration, compliance with popular browsers and standards or being ready for the mobile market place.

From experience the following is a consolidation of some of the points you may need to consider when undertaking the rework of your website.

Your Objectives
Define the objectives of having a website as once you’ve done this all the subsequent decisions you have to make fall in place as they are either in line with these objectives or they are not.

Your Blueprint
On large projects there can be much detail that really must be concluded before the project starts. Once concluded the entire web development team will understand exactly what has to be delivered and when, and as the website owner you will also know that it will meet your defined objectives.

The blueprinting process often opens up the minds to further specification improvements and content as it encourages all involved to review the finer detail of the website facilities.

Websites that are properly blueprinted have always turned out to be good performers and the relationship between the development team and the customer has been excellent.

Cost-wise; as the project runs to a mutually agreed plan there is far less scope for budget irregularities.

Your Current Website
When you put together your initial website, there would likely have been great thought and deliberation as to what was included and how. Despite the old website now looking dismal beside the competition’s new feature rich website, so many companies will totally disregard the good that is present in their old website. Be very careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Apart from quality content that may need to transfer to the new website after reworking, the search engines and other referrers will have linked to the pages in your website.

Your Development Team.
In the past your website may well have required the basic skills of a developer and maybe a designer. Consider the content and your aspirations and ask yourself if your current incumbent team is complete and can offer you:

  • Web development that brings commercial return
  • A team of people with whom you are comfortable working
  • The resources you’ll need to grow your website including:
    • Web coding so the fundamental HTML code is right
    • Programming so the website facilities function to your specifications including Mobile standards and general fall back solutions where Flash and other resources are not supported on the visitor’s browser
    • Copywriting that both fits your industry style and finds favour with the search engines
    • Photography so you avoid poor images that so often degrade what could be a quality website; afford professional or quality photography
    • Video as a powerful and effective way to engage the visitor and also finds favour with the search engines
    • Search engine optimisation
    • Search engine marketing
    • Social media

The Internet marketing team you choose for the next part of your journey needs to have a lot more bases covered than was the case a few years ago if you are to rise above the bland mediocrity of basic websites and have a true commercial success.

The Creative Design
This is the most subjective of all the components. Having a professional creative team that understands both design for web and the norms of your market places will undoubtedly make for a professional result that wins business. So many creatives are stuck in the “design for print world” and do not engage with the dynamic medium of a website. With dynamic new technologies such as jQuery and AJAX, webpages are written to dynamically change according to input giving more efficient pages and a much improved customer experience.

The creative team will work with you and your developers to conclude the navigation tree so that your information is presented in the most effective fashion and in such a way that we lead the visitor through the punchy introduction via the convincers to the call to action. If that simple process is not instinctively engrained in the team’s approach then find someone else.

The Platform and Programming
Do not be wooed by a web development team that wants to build your website with some obscure technology. Stay mainstream with all your resources unless there is a very good reason why not to. If you go “off piste” then you’ll find that there are fewer developers prepared to take your website on with a technology that they do not support and fewer pre-developed resources online so you’ll be paying for bespoke development from scratch for new modules. Examples of mainstream solutions include Linux with PHP & MySQL or Microsoft with ASP & SQL.

Your Online Marketing
The possible routes to market online are now extensive and affordable to all. Have a sound plan in mind that will accommodate all channels including social media, newsletters/mailings, website news, blogging, article publication and other avenues that fit comfortably in your marketing mix. Importantly remember that your website and online marketing are not to be done in isolation and absolutely must seamlessly integrate with your internal systems and traditional marketing. Choose a web development team that understands the benefits of combining multiple channels of communication and better still offers them.

The opt-in newsletter/mailings can be extended further by adding an autoresponder series so that your worthy pre-prepared messages are delivered periodically to your schedule.

Once a website is launched the online marketing offered by your web development team should monitor performance in line with the client’s objectives and the Internet norms and in turn make website changes according to the feedback received. Continuous improvement and following marketing opportunities are key to keeping your website commercially successful for years to come. Keep testing, measuring and improving.

Your Website Hosting
Budget hosting should be avoided; slow servers that are maxed out for profit will cost you dearly. Slow delivery of website content not only turns visitors away but also has an effect on your Google ranking. Your web development marketing company should be monitoring this as one part of your search engine marketing they do for you.

These are just some of the key elements from 16 years of experience and worth considering when redeveloping your website.

 

 

 

About the Author

Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP has 18 years direct marketing experience prior to embracing the new Internet marketing channels that emerged in 1995. He heads the multiple disciplinary team of professionals at Toucan Internet LLP supporting clients of all sizes and markets where the client is looking for a professional Internet marketing partner with a long proven track record.

To find out more about Toucan Internet LLP please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points
below.

t: +44 1279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

Things to consider when redeveloping your website.

Member Speaker 22nd September 2011 – Chris Barnes – Ashbourne Insurance

Ten Minutes Announcement:

Providers of both Commercial and Personal Lines Insurance.

  • Personal Service
  • Claims Advice
  • Rebroking
  • Fast Friendly Service
  • Efficiency

 

Providers of both Commercial and Personal Lines Insurance.
We have had over 25 years experience and pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with a thorough understanding of their insurance requirements, enabling us to offer them the right insurance solutions.

Member Speaker 22nd September 2011 – Chris Barnes – Ashbourne Insurance

The winner of the coveted Silver Sausage for the best 60 second presentation this week goes to……

Meeting Announcement:

Tina Dulieu of Coaching Dynamics – Specialising in Business & Executive Coaching – Challenging You To Be Successful!

This week she is particularly interested in introductions to recruitment companies who specialise in senior management positions

So who do you know in this particular field, it might be a client of yours, a supplier or even a business associate, please check your databases and let us help Tina grow her business by putting them in touch with her.

Please check out her page on the members section of the Gateway to Business Web site for her contact details and lots of testimonials from other satisfied client.

The winner of the coveted Silver Sausage for the best 60 second presentation this week goes to……

Member Speaker 15th September 2011 – Noel Greenwood – GWD

Ten Minutes Announcement:

Member Speaker 15th September 2011 – Noel Greenwood – GWD

We provide a fast, friendly and efficient service, whether working to our customers individual bespoke requirements or supplying our standard stock items.

We also offer the following services:

Mounting
Die cutting & die making
Foiling blocking & blind embossing
Carton glueing
Handmade rigid boxes
Packaging design

Member Speaker 15th September 2011 – Noel Greenwood – GWD

Additional Planning Application levy scheme approved

Newspaper Article:

Newark and Sherwood District Council in Nottinghamshire is set become the first planning authority in England to introduce a charge on development to help pay for vital community facilities. Its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) proposals have been approved by an independent planning inspector with one minor modification.

His report will be considered by the council this month (September) but the charging schedule is unlikely to come into effect until December.

CIL will be chargeable on the net increase in floor space and charges depend on the type and location of development. Retail developments will be charged £125 per sq m in the Newark urban area while residential rates will vary from £0 to a maximum of £75 per sq m, depending on location across the planning authority.

The charges collected by the council may be used to fund new infrastructure directly or may be redistributed to the appropriate delivery organisations.

The money raised, an estimated £35m over the next 15 years towards identified funding deficits, will be used to fund district-wide infrastructure that cannot necessarily be attributed to individual development sites, such as rural highway improvements and a new secondary school in Newark.

The council now hopes to help other authorities by offering a full consultancy service, covering all aspects of CIL adoption from inception to examination.

Adrian Kerison, the council’s growth point manager, said: “We are delighted with the inspector’s report. It represents the successful culmination of over a year’s work and it is gratifying that the methodology we have devised to underpin our CIL system has proved to be compliant with the regulations and statutory guidance.

“We now intend to share our experience with other authorities and offer a ‘one stop shop’ consultancy service in partnership with HEB Chartered Surveyors and Gleeds cost consultants.”

It is anticipated that the CIL will be reviewed every three years, in addition to the publication of annual financial monitoring reports, required by the CIL regulations.

Planning portal – RST Bringing you the Architectural news that matters

Ground-breaking levy scheme approved

Cost of building green now cheaper than ever

Green home costs dip

Building new homes to greener, low-carbon standards is getting cheaper every year, according to new research published in a report for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

This work, based on interviews with developers and the latest information about environmental technologies, showed the overall extra cost of building new homes to standards set in the Code for Sustainable Homes is falling year on year.

For homes built to Code level 3 standards, average extra costs have fallen by almost three quarters in the last three years – from £4,458 in 2008 to £1,128 in 2010.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said: “The progress that has been made does not only benefit developers building Code-standard homes, it also provides valuable lessons ahead of the transition to building new homes to zero carbon standards from 2016.”

Planning Portal – RST Environmental bringing you the information you need

Cost of building green now cheaper than ever