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January 2013

Update

Tirelessly working to make your business the best it can be...

ALL YOU NEED

IS LOVE I was in the car last week when the Beatles’ classic “All you need is love” came on the radio. I caught myself inadvertently singing along and I was a bit shocked when the DJ announced that the song was 45 years old! 1967 – Where do the years go?

Take a look at your Business

Even now, after so many listens, it’s a song that I defy anyone not to feel uplifted when they hear it.

Tip of the month

So I was in a particularly perky mood when I arrived at my destination to see one of our existing Members. There were two main reasons for my visit, firstly to help crystallise and clarify a super powerful offer that we could put out on our newsletters and on the website to pull in more business for him during a specific campaign that he had lined up and, also to present him with a certificate, officially recognising his business as one of the very best in town.

The people behind the business New members this month

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www.thebestof.co.uk/lowestoft

We don’t give these away lightly, but when the number of positive, glowing reviews from customers reaches a certain threshold, it’s entirely appropriate that we confer genuine ”Best of” status on our fab Member businesses. On this occasion, the response I got when I produced the framed certificate from my bag was somewhat unexpected. “That’s amazing” he exclaimed, “no one’s given me a certificate since I was swimming at school in the 1960s”. And that’s when I realised that, just like Paul McCartney and John Lennon said, “It’s easy…all you need is love…” People need to be appreciated and told how good they are yet, as a society, we shy away from it.

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We’re much quicker to complain than compliment. We don’t hesitate to pick fault, yet miss oodles of opportunity to congratulate and commend on a job well done. That’s why I’m on a mission over the next few weeks to sprinkle my own particular type of love to everyone I meet. Don’t worry, I’m not going all hippy and bohemian on you – and I certainly haven’t been smoking anything – but wouldn’t it be just fab if we all collaborated and focused our efforts, for just a couple of weeks, on spreading the love around and making people feel great? I’m going to become expert at catching people doing things well, so I can tell them how fab they are – because I know, in a small way, it’ll make them feel better – just like I did when I was listening to that song on the radio and, just like my customer did when I gave him that certificate. It was an awesome feeling and I want more of it and I want to spread it around. Will you help me? Imagine what damage we could do to the gloom, doom and misery if we all got together on this one.

run up to Valentines Day. I’m going to work my little socks off to get as many people as possible in our area to “Show some love” to their favourite local businesses. I want to encourage people to fill in a postcard, or log on to our website and leave a nice comment about a great local business that’s done something well - including yours. So many entrepreneurs labour tirelessly day after day, month after month and, often for little reward. Well, over the next few weeks I want at least part of their reward to be the feeling they’ll get when lots of their customers tell them just how appreciated they are for what they do. Come on, join in. You can log on now and leave a review on any of your fellow businesses on thebestof. “Love, love, love, all you need is love…love is all you need…”

Have a great month...

As part of that, we’ll be running our 14 Days of Love campaign from 1st to 14th February, in the

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Offer of the Month 60% Off a New Patient Consultation with Full Examination at Country Chiropractic Ltd This includes x-rays if required and a full report of the findings. If you’re experiencing back pain or neck pain, contact the chiropractors at Country Chiropractic Ltd in Lowestoft - they work from a modern practice and will create a care plan to suit your needs. Valid until 28th February 2013.

Call: 01502 541911

www.thebestof.co.uk/lowestoft Update January 2013

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The People Behind The Business Paul Peek, a Lowestoft man with a photographic mission It never ceases to amaze us how some Lowestoft business owners are so well known and liked. And Paul Peek sits in that category so well. Mention his name around Lowestoft and it seems everyone either knows him or has had their picture taken by him. So we thought it was high-time we dragged Paul from behind the camera and turned the spotlight on him for a change. Paul has loved photography all his life, opening his first studio in Lowestoft back in 1989. Within ten years he was awarded the coveted title of ‘Craftsman of the Guild of Photographers UK’ - a fantastic achievement considering there were less than 100 Craftsmen in the UK at that time. In 2004, with the hype surrounding the hit film Calendar Girls, Paul was approached by local lady Gwen Wicks to help her create a Calendar Girls style calendar for 2005. Paul didn’t take much persuading - taking the pictures and designing the calendar too. The project was a huge success with the girls raising over £20000, most of which was donated to the Ellie Savage Memorial Trust. With the business expanding Paul moved into premises on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate, creating a beautiful contemporary studio for his growing team of young, creative and highly talented experts.

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Something that Paul hasn’t lost sight of is that his customers and their satisfaction with his work is all important. He prides himself on providing a superb customer experience which in turn leads to happy customers - ones that keep coming back time and time again. Paul feels his customers, whether it’s wedding, portrait or commercial photography, are amazing. He said, “My mission is to leave a lasting memory in the hands of the local community, bring a smile to every home and help local businesses capture and present the right image for their company. Having such wonderful customers makes that mission so much easier to achieve.” And having his commercial photography featured on our first ever billboard has made him “chuffed to bits!”. Some would say Paul is ‘sharp, focussed, perfectly balanced and at the ‘PEEK’ of his career...

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Working Well... We are delighted to hear of successes across thebestof Lowestoft network where member businesses have been benefitting from all the products and services that we provide. Here are a couple of great stories...

Billboard Did you see our first ever billboard over Christmas and New Year?

your e r a h “S d let n a s e ss succe Wendy Ian & at bits wh know stof are be of the rking wo u.” for yo

It was one of the billboards that’s right next to the Shell filling station at the bottom of Normanston Drive and was pasted up on 28th November and stayed up till 2nd January. We think this is the first time that Lowestoft business owners have been featured so prominently as this. And it’s proving popular with our member businesses too – we already have another 3 lined up for the next billboard!

An Evening With... We run our early evening events around eight times a year and these are proving to be great ways of forging new relationships for our member businesses. Designed to be relaxed affairs, we don’t expect anyone to ‘dress up’ – it really is about the people and not about appearances! We invite member businesses to share their experiences and tell everyone else how they came to be running their businesses, what they’ve learnt and what plans they have for the future. Not everyone is a fan of networking. But An Evening With thebestof Lowestoft doesn’t feel like networking – it’s relaxed, it’s informative, it’s fun and you get to meet other like-minded Lowestoft businesses owners. Our most recent event was held at OrbisEnergy and was attended by over 40 local business owners. Johnathan Reynolds, Business Development Manager at Orbis gave a brief overview of the £30bn investment in wind energy that will be coming through this area. But the focus of the evening was on how Lowestoft businesses could benefit – not by working directly in the renewables sector but by being ready to tap into the huge influx of workers that this investment would bring. Now is the time for local business owners to plan ways they can benefit from this huge investment. For some businesses this opportunity will be transformational and for others it will secure their future. But now is the time to be planning and early this year will be the time for implementing. It’s no use waiting another six months – time is of the essence!

At thebestof Lowestoft we are on the lookout for other great members. This month we are looking for....

• Restaurants • Printers • Childcare Day Nurseries • Beauty Salons If you know a business that fits the bill please contact the team...

01502 512 888

Give us a call if you’d like to have a chat about this… These are just a couple of examples of how we work for our member businesses on a daily basis.

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We’ve uncovered more hidden gems over the last few weeks. A big welcome to the following businesses who have joined us recently:

Give them a call & make them feel welcome Early Dawn Nurseries & Garden Centre

Cleaner Carpets Lowestoft

Early Dawn Nurseries & Garden Centre is set in beautiful surroundings where you’ll be sure to find something for your home or garden from their extensive range of products.

Cleaner Carpets Lowestoft is a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company based in Lowestoft. As well as carpets and sofa’s, they also clean rugs, car interiors, mattresses, drapery, tiles and grout.

Call: 01502 476340

Hair by Laurence

Finding a trustworthy hairdresser can almost be a mission impossible for many women but they haven’t met Laurence Dyer yet – the man behind the Hair by Laurence.

Call: 01502 574266

Beeline Refrigeration Ltd The experienced team at Beeline Refrigeration in Lowestoft specialise in the installation, repair and service support of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

Call: 01502 514756

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Call: 07586 433545

Carl’s Decor and Property Maintenance

Carl has got a good reputation locally and offers a wide range of services from painting and decorating to installing wet room style bathrooms.

Call: 01502 511020

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Your Facebook page -

flying or a flop? You don’t need me to tell you how important social media is becoming in business – and here at thebestof we’ve been ahead of most over the last few years at understanding how to utilise social media to drive a business forward. Facebook, of course, is the daddy at the moment, especially if your market is B2C and the two questions I get asked most about Facebook are;

What on earth do I write on my Page? and…

How do I get people to respond? Now, they’re both good questions so I thought I’d help you out this month and share the answers with you... Who are you talking to? If you don’t know who you’re talking to on Facebook then how can you possibly know what’s going to interest/ engage/ entertain/ challenge them? So – some proper thought around WHO your audience is please (or rather – who do you want them to be?) What is their lifestyle? What family do they have? What motivates them? What do they want to achieve? What do they love and hate? How can you help them achieve/ avoid key things? If you have already created an avatar of your ideal customer then you will be able to utilise this here.

makes you special, your ‘category of one’. It’s also intrinsically linked with talking to the right type of client, of course, so not surprisingly, points one and two are inter-dependent. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who just set up a Facebook Page and dollop out some stuff and then wonder why social media doesn’t work for them.

What do they want to hear?

So just taking into account these 2 steps will raise you head and shoulders above a sizeable chunk of businesses on there. If you want a good example take a look at the Entrepreneurs Circle page. Great levels of involvement and I know from the guys behind it that it works really well to bring in new business for them.

Now you know who you’re talking to, you need to think what you’re going to talk about. This will be grounded in and reflect the positioning of your business, your brand, your core values, your USP, what you offer that

Don’t forget also that your Page can, and really should, reflect the style and personality of your business. Forget the bland and the beige - make it stand out from the crowd!

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What’s your sales pitch? Can you describe what you are offering to the people who ‘like’ your Page? You should be able to give a little sales pitch for your Page describing the benefits of ‘liking’ it to someone who hasn’t yet done so. Not only is this a great exercise in its own right to get you really thinking clearly about the focus and goals of your Page but it’s also a useful thing to have ready for when you’re out in the real world meeting people face to face and asking them to like your Page, maybe at your premises, or theirs, or at events. There’s endless research on what makes audiences like Facebook Pages – a couple of the best are getting offers and exclusive vouchers, and connecting with the business and finding out more about them. What incentives are you offering to ensure people like your Page and are you articulating this message effectively?

What makes people respond? Rule no. 1 – remember that real people want to respond to real people. So don’t be afraid to show your personality. There’s nothing worse than a Page that’s full of posts just about that business. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – what would you respond to? You want to be working at getting a response – a ‘like’ is good, a comment is better, a ‘share’ is better still – as this is what gets your post and content seen by the friends of your fans and gives it the potential to go ‘viral’.

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Remember that your posts are now more likely than ever to be seen via the ticker feed on Facebook, rather than by people going to look at your Page directly. That means quick, attention-grabbing posts that are crying out for a response will win over long, wordy paragraphs, Think short questions requiring short answers that tap into your audience as people – ask about their opinions, what they dream of, what their favourite is, etc. Always try and talk to your audience in a very personal way. So If you post offers on your products or services, remember to describe the benefits to them, or when sharing a testimonial, try and make it relevant, so readers can imagine using your service or product themselves.

The best way to capture people’s attention? Pictures! Images are huge on Facebook! But this is not a place for stock photos - think again about the personal angle – how about pictures of real people using your product, or novel uses for it, people at an event, or your staff or suppliers, for example? Tell your behind-thescenes business story. Pictures will need a catchy headline or point made with them to really max the impact – this could be a link back to your website for the full story or just an engaging comment or question.

If someone does come across to look at your Page in all its glory, a good sprinkling of pictures will make it look really appealing and easy on the eye. Remember to both highlight pictures and pin to the top of your page to add some real impact and variety. Facebook now lets you reposition your photos as you post them, so you no longer have to suffer shots of headless colleagues!

And finally… When you do start getting responses to your lovingly-crafted posts, make sure to respond back. You’ll get the most out of the connection if you mention the people who have commented by name. And try to encourage the conversation to continue, as the more of a community feel that builds up around your Page by it being the host for interesting discussions, the greater the chance that people will come back for more!

Happy Facebooking!

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Thebestof Lowestoft is run by Wendy Takman and Ian Carter

Our aim is to provide the best businesses in Lowestoft with a

world class marketing service. We’ll raise your profile, connect you to new contacts and customers - and maximise your business potential. We really do care about every one of our Business Members and we are there every step of the way to ensure that thebestof works for you.

1. Testimonials 2. Dual-branded postcards 3. Mix and match 4. Commercial photos 5. Certificates 6. Brand Awareness 7. Campaigns 8. Call Tracking 9. An Evening with 10. Social Media 11. Blog 12. Events 13. Video 14. Special offers for members 15. Quote me

Our 17 marketing tools

16. Mobile Website and App 17. Website feature

Here at thebestof Lowestoft, word of mouth just got louder! Every business we feature has been checked out by us AND recommended by other local people so you can use them with confidence knowing they truly are one of the best at what they do...

Call Us: 01502 512888 Email: lowestoft@thebestof.co.uk

Coming Soon Stress Management – 14th January from 6.30pm. Venue TBA. Stress manifests itself in many ways – none of which are pleasant to experience. But it needn’t be like that. Lynn Willert will explain how hypnotherapy can be used to manage stress as well as being used as an effective means to stop smoking. And this lady is good…

First Aid for your Back – 28th February at Café Grand, London Road South from 6.30pm Ever had a pain in the back or neck? It’s not nice and it severely limits your mobility and ability to work. Getting to grips with manual handling and not injuring your back is essential. And equally important is finding someone who can treat your pain in the neck! Join us again at Café Grand for a joint presentation from Paul at Country Chiropractic Ltd and Nigel from NG Training.

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The Best of Lowestoft - update for January 2013  

News and articles about business in and around Lowestoft