Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weymouth business exhibition looks set for success


On 1 June over 70 businesses will be exhibiting at the very first Business 4 Business show in Weymouth.

The event is proving so popular that it's oversubscribed. A lengthening waiting list has formed of firms who'd love an opportunity for a stand, but left it too late to book.

If you're in business, or interested in getting into business, this is an event you can't afford to miss. It's a huge opportunity to talk with firms from across South and West Dorset. You might also be able to benefit from special prices and discounts only available on the day.

Entry is absolutely free, as is parking at the venue, the Redlands Community Sports Hub in Weymouth.

A generous cross-section of commercial sectors will be represented: solicitors, graphic designers, marketers, florists, restaurants, stationers, printers and more. Support organisations including the FSB, Chamber of Commerce and Dorset Business will also be on hand.

Doors open at 10am, when the show is opened by Barry White, newly appointed  Chairman of Open 4 Business, and the show is expected to be buzzing until its 3pm close.

We hope that this first Business 4 Business Exhibition is a roaring success and that it paves the way for other exciting events in the future. Unfortunately, because it's taking place during school half-term holidays, some local business representatives won't be able to attend, including Bizoh.

If you run a business in Weymouth, Portland or south Dorset and you want the commercial environment to get better, you should pop in to Business 4 Business on 1 June. It'll show your support for local entrepreneurs and business owners and you never know, you might make some useful new contacts or  pick up a bargain.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dorset Women Business Awards

Congratulations to all those enterprising Dorset women who were recognised at the second outing of the Langtry Manor Business Women Awards, held last week.

Here's a full list of the winners, with links to their websites.

New Business Award (NatWest Bank)

Heavenly Bump Maternity Wear – Amy-Kate Crane & Kirsty van Deurs Goss

Business Woman of the Future (Women in Business Network)

Hannah Leary, Creator of “The Adventures of Sam

The PR Initiative (P-PR Media Solutions Ltd)

The CobWebs Company – Su Cowell

The Special Woman Award (Job Shop UK)

Natasha Jones – Leaf Charity

DotCom Business of the Year (Bournemouth Town)

Landlordtolandlordsales.com – Sharon Canning

Green Business Award (The Green Energy Centre)

Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park – Sandra Palmer-Snellin

Best Employer (The Coast FM)

Tanner & Tilley – Roger Tilley

Small Business of the Year (Federation of Small Business)

Chapter 2 – Karen Bidgood & Tracey Cooke

Entrepreneur of the Year (Princecroft Willis)

Kia Smith – Kiki’s

Business Mother of the Year (The Daily Echo)

Angela Fletcher – Rock Recruitment Specialists Ltd

Lifetime Achievement Award (The Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce)

Cheryl Hadland – Hadland Care Group

The Extraordinary Achievement Award
A special award from Tara Howard of Langtry Manor Hotel and Jackie Phillipson of PPR Media Solutions Ltd

Joanna Bishop – Bournemouthtown.co.uk

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free Business Consultancy In A Bubble On A Dorset Beach


Transparent PR gives advice on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast

Transparent PR is giving free PR and Communications advice this week bang in the middle of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site at Burton Bradstock beach. The forward thinking company is helping local businesses through the recent economic downturn by providing free consultancy advice this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 20-22nd May, from their innovative mobile office on the beach.

Teaming up with the National Trust during their Spring Tide festival, helping promote local businesses, Transparent PR is a Public Relations and Communications company in Dorset, turning tables on the norm and giving businesses what they need to jump-start themselves into new areas of awareness. Providing clear cut thinking and up front costs, Transparent PR ensures the once misty path ahead is again visible to all needing promotion and communication advice.

With experience working for large international companies as well as local start-up businesses, firms large or small should take this Transparent PR opportunity to get a free consultation, free quote, or free comparison with services already received. Visiting the one-stop-shop consultancy bubble next door to Hive Beach caf矇, for three days only, local companies can take advantage of hard-earned knowledge, surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery the UK has to offer.

Considering the Olympics is just around the corner, the eyes of the world will descend on Dorset as the sailing event is held just down the coast at Portland. Transparent PR advocates the need for businesses to understand the opportunities available, making the most of this springboard platform to ensure they stand out from the crowd. And so for a glorious walk or to meet a company willing to help with the latest ideas, just come down and see what Transparent PR is doing on the beach this weekend.

Make an appointment for 20th, 21st or 22nd May and receive a free consultation with Cat Lain, Director Transparent PR. Call 01308 861475 or email [email protected]. To find out more information on Transparent PR go to //www.transparent-pr.co.uk/.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Date Announced For Olympic Torch To Visit Weymouth

If you want to make the most of the Olympic's in Weymouth and Portland, put 11-13 July 2012 in your diary now

Alternatively, if you would prefer to avoid this sporting extravagenza, book to be somewhere else on those days. Because that's when the Olympic torch relay comes to town, along with the inevitable media circus.

These are important dates for any business concerned about the positive, or negative, impact of the Olympics on their trading, Retailers, hoteliers and restaurants will be hoping for greater footfall, while many other firms could be worried about a general decline in trade as the public focus on this unique spectacle.

The pace is increasing in the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics. With just a year to go until the torch begins its journey, Olympic fever is sure to build.

The procession of the Olympic flame across the host nation as an important element in the theatre of the world's greatest sporting event. Lit by the sun's rays in Greece, the flame is will be transported to Britain where, on 19 May 2012, it will commence a 70 day perambulation around our country.

Thousands of people will have the opportunity to be torch-bearers for a short distance. Members of the public are being recruited for the task and you can nominate someone through the Olympic Torch Relay website.

Business owners in Weymouth and Portland should be already be preparing for all the the Olympics will bring to the area. However sceptical they may be of the long-term benefits, there's no doubt that the summer of 2012 will bring unprecedented media attention to this area and it's up to us, the local residents and firms, to make the most of it.

Remember those dates: 11-13 July 2012.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Put Your Business in the Frame

Is your business making the best use of an essential marketing tool – photography?

Napoleon Bonaparte said: “A picture can speak a thousand words.” A statement that is as true today as it was in the early 19th century. Thankfully pictures today are a little easier to come by than they were in Napoleon’s day with photographic megapixels bursting out of every device from mobile phones to games consoles. With the advent of the internet and the ubiquity of websites advertising everything from funeral homes to florists, photography is a vital tool in communicating what businesses have to offer to the outside world.

Professional photographic services are not cheap. This is because photographic courses are not cheap, nor are cameras, lenses, equipment and the necessary insurance policies required to cover all manner of mishaps that can occur on the job.

For a small business or start up business the cost of hiring a professional photographer to shoot products or locations may be too expensive but by following a few tips and hints you yourself may be able to take a great series of photographs for use on a website or brochure.

The magazine format

Pick up any magazine, from the Sunday glossies to the latest issue of Vogue and you’ll see a ‘storyboard’ of images. Say, for example, that a cookery feature is being illustrated. You will usually see a wide-angled shot of a kitchen with the chef and some of the ingredients in the introduction. This tells us what the article will be about. Next will follow a photograph of some of the raw ingredients- a close up of a sliced tomato or a fresh fish perhaps. This shows us what the chef will be working with. Then will come a photograph of the finished dish, the product, in all its glory.

By taking a wide angle, or broad view, of the story we can lead people into what we want to talk about as though we are opening the door into our office or shop. Showing close up pictures of our products, be they lilies, wing nuts or kitchen units tells our audience what we work with and the finished product shot, of a hand tied bouquet, a car or a kitchen shows what we can do.

If we can keep this storyboard format in mind then we can clearly and effectively communicate our work to others.

Lighting

Good photography happens when there is good light and the best light of the day happens in the early morning and the late evening. These periods are called ‘the magic hours’ as the light is at its softest and shadows give depth and definition to the subject being photographed. Good studio lighting works to emulate these conditions but, by getting up that little bit earlier, we can use natural light to create beautiful photography without any flashing lights or light meters.

Composition

Imagine a grid like a noughts and crosses board across your viewfinder. This grid represents the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds leads our eye into a photograph and is used by ensuring that the subject of our picture features in one of the intersections of the noughts and crosses grid. This positioning pleases the eye and can turn even a photograph of a wing nut into a thing of beauty.

By using these three elements of basic photography in your web presence and corporate literature: the storyboard, good lighting and composition, you will effectively communicate what your business is about to potential customers all over the world.

This is a guest post by Katherine Wildman, specialist in content curation and photography. You can follow her on Twitter: @skinnycap

Monday, May 9, 2011

Daniels Fish and Chips Lands National Award


As I passed my local fish and chip shop the other day I realised that something had changed.

A huge sign in the window announced: 'Best UK Fish & Chip Shop Chain - Winner 2011'. My local chippy had achieved national recognition.

My local is actually one of a chain of five shops established by Daniel. He opened his first on Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, in 1996. That branch won regional awards in 2009 and 2010 but to win a national prize is a new, and significant, achievement.

Anyone who's seen one of Daniel's shops knows they are distinctive. He's brought the chippy into the twenty-first century, equipping his stores with a cool, contemporary look more frequently associated with smart bars and clubs.

He's embraced technology, with touch screens, a website that addresses issues such as sustainability and healthy eating, and a YouTube video. His stores have banished the 1970s image of fish and chips shops, wrapping a traditional treat in modern flavour.

Daniels Fish and Chips is a great example of a proven commercial idea not afraid to move with the times. As a result the chain has won a leading national prize, which brings with it free publicity and additional incentive to draw in customers. People buy from suppliers who are recommended to them, either by someone they know or through the validation of a third party.

If you run a business, it's good to ask yourself who is recommending your service to others. And to reflect on whether you're changing with the times.

Andrew Knowles
Freelance writer for business