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November 2012

Monthly Update

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

The Artist I love going to the cinema. I love everything about the movies and the big screen, and it’s a great way to relax after a tough day at work because my mind is completely taken over by the film. It’s escapism on tap and I have no problem suspending my disbelief for a couple of hours – as long as there’s a Diet Coke and some popcorn! But last weekend I stayed home and watched a DVD. Somehow I missed the Oscar winning film The Artist when it came out earlier this year and I was keen to see what I’d been missing. You’ll remember The Artist, it’s the silent black and white movie that won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director – which is why I wanted to see it. It was a stunning film, made even more so because it was so completely different to anything that I think I’ve ever seen at a mainstream cinema. I’m not giving too much away when I tell you the plot is about the demise of a great silent movie actor whose career is effectively ended with the arrival of “Talkies” in the late 1920s. It’s set in Hollywood and as his career wanes, one of his dancers sees her career rapidly take off with the new talking media. There’s a wonderful twist at the end and the most delightful Jack Russell dog who, frankly, steals the show. However, this is not a film review, so let me get back on track. George Valentin is the name of the character around whom the movie is based.

Take a look at your Business The people behind the business New members this month Tip of the month

an d M ore...

He’s the silent movie star and at the beginning of the film he is enjoying huge success. He has fame and fortune in large amounts – all acquired through his success at silent movies. However, as I’ve already said, times are changing and the “Talkies” have begun to emerge. Rather than embracing this new media, however, Valentin resists it with great vigour. He sticks with what he knows and understands. After all that’s what he’s comfortable with and it’s brought him great success. Even when he gets dumped by his studio he pursues silent movie projects on his own and there’s a very poignant scene in the film when you see the previously packed cinema with only half a dozen people watching his latest film whilst, next door, the new “Talkies” have it packed to the rafters.

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But in the last 10 years all of that has changed. Yellow Pages is dying, there’s another local newspaper closing every week in this country (and those that are left are read by the wrong demographic for most businesses) and word-of-mouth in the 21st Century is, of course, social media. The arrival of things like the internet, Google Ad Words, Facebook ads, Banner retargeting, use of SMS text, voice broadcasts, email marketing – these are the “Talkies” of our time.

It struck me that this is such a wonderful simile for so many businesses in the UK today. There are lots of business owners who are hugely skilled and talented at what they do (just like Valentin was) but their stubborn refusal to move with the times – especially with regard to their marketing – means that their success is hugely compromised and their lifestyles diminished as a result. Look at it this way, for 70 years after the war, if you were a local business in the UK, all you had to worry about in order to achieve success was three things: you took the largest ad you could afford in Yellow Pages, you relied a lot on word-of-mouth and if you were really ambitious, or a bit flashy, you took out an ad in the local paper. That was all you needed to do.

In short, pretty much everything about being in business is changing – just like in Hollywood in the late 20s, when everything about making movies changed as well. Those who adapted and changed with the times were the ones that flourished, those that didn’t saw their careers die. And so it will be the case for our generation in business. The good news is, even if you haven’t done much with any of this “new fangled stuff” yet – it’s not too late to start. The ending of The Artist is genuinely uplifting and so it could be for you too … and here at thebestof we’re here to help you in any way we can. We’re as progressive as progressive can be, we’re plugged in to what’s working and we’re only a phone call away.

Have a great month...

d i v a D & r o n Ga y

Offer of the Month Full Circle IT Solutions FREE IT Review (Worth £75) ...Plus a 1 month trial of our on-line backup system. When was the last time you reviewed the state of your business’s IT & Systems? Our review is designed to help you to make sure IT is working for you, helping you to work more efficiently and effectively. Includes Anti-virus, Passwords, E-Security and Sharing. Ask us to visit to undertake your FREE IT review TODAY. Call (01204) 684051 or drop us a line –Terms and conditions apply.

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Monthly Update Novemebr 2012

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The People Behind The Business Mark Pollitt the Managing Director of Digicomm BCS...

....established the Unified Communications company in 2001 ago following his time as the European Technical Director with Avaya. Mark’s philosophy has always been to provide ‘the best’ and most appropriate solution for his customers, so that they can get on with their business knowing their Telecoms, IT services and support are in safe hands. Digicomm specialises in Unified communications which essentially means all systems are integrated and work efficiently together, this can include, telephone systems, telephone numbers, internet access, email, voicemail, hardware, software, mobiles and video conferencing, to name but a few! In addition to running a successful business Mark spends a great deal of time undertaking work for charities. He is a member of the Turton Rotary Club and at Christmas time can often be seen dressed as Santa Claus collecting money for the clubs many great causes. Another charity on which Mark spends a great deal of his time is the Bolton Lads and Girls club. In the past he has completed many challenges but 2013 will see his biggest challenge yet; a 375 mile, three week bike ride across the Himalayas!


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ou! be y

Mark’s underpinning philosophy is to do things ‘right’ to ensure a high level of quality for his customers. All staff at Digicomm undertake constant training to ensure product knowledge and excellent customer care. Mark’s commitment to quality hasn’t gone unnoticed as the company has twice made it to the final of the National Comms awards, and this year Digicomm picked up the UK’s ‘most loved’ telecoms company award as voted by his clients. Although Digicomm and charity work are hugely important to Mark, he is first and foremost a family man. Mark has four beautiful daughters and although he may think he is a little bit hen pecked at times he wouldn’t change it for the world. Mark lives in Lostock with his children and partner Regan.

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Working Well... Social Media 1-2-1’s All businesses working with thebestof bolton are entitled, as part of their membership package, to take up a social media training session. We know the value of this type of 1-2-1 training, if bought in externally, would be hundreds of pounds, and we offer this to all our members at no additional cost. Those members who have taken this up have seen real benefits to how they can market their business through social media. “Gaynor has dragged me kicking and screaming into Social Media and gave me a brilliant 1:1 session on Twitter. I have been happily tweeting ever since and beginning to start to see results. Gaynor is very approachable at any time I have any queries.“


‘Getting The Most From Your Membership’

our y e r a “Sh let d n a s sse succe r & David Gayno hat bits w know stof are be of the rking wo u.” for yo

We have a monthly session, designed to ensure our members get the most out of their membership with thebestof bolton. These sessions are for new and existing members and their staff. We use lots of examples and anecdotes to bring the membership to life and demonstrate the range of marketing opportunities open to them. Who else do you know that offers this sort of service?

“Having been a member of thebestof bolton for over 15months, both myself and a senior partner from AFG LAW attended their ‘getting the most from your membership session’. It was a great opportunity to meet other members, revisit the products and services offered by thebestof bolton and served to remind us how we can use our membership more effectively. It was great to see how many people our message can potentially reach and the importance of the things they ask us to do such as collecting testimonials, attend networking events and keep them up to date with any news from our business. The session was only 1.5 hours, well put together and informative and we feel it was well worth the investment At thebestof Bolton we are on the of time to focus on growing our business. We congratulate lookout for other great members. David and Gaynor on giving their members added value to their membership - it is rare to find organisations who takes the time This month we are looking for.... to do this.”


• Tattoo Studios

Business Growth Workshops

• Printers

At thebestof bolton, we deliver a programme of Business Growth Workshops covering a wide range of popular topics, such as ‘Your Database Being Your Most Valuable Asset’ and ‘Creating Killer Offers’.

• Farm Shops

The feedback we have received from these seminars has been fantastic, with many businesses requesting more on a number of key business topics. Keep an eye on your e-mail inbox as we are due to announce a six month programme of workshops. Again, all are added value to members at no additional cost. “I thought today’s workshop on creating killer special offers was great, really educational. Without thebestof Bolton, I would not know where else to go for discussions like this”

• Pet Grooming If you know a business that fits the bill please contact the team...

(01204) 382785

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Monthly Update Novemebr 2012 18/10/2012 15:01

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 BSS Coaches

Premier Stores Bed and Sofa Bed Centre

BSS Coaches are Bolton’s local experts in coach hire, having been established in the town for over 50 years. BSS Coaches offer an unrivalled service to commercial clients, schools and private groups. BSS Coaches put safety and comfort first, ensuring your journey is enjoyable. BSS Coaches put safety and comfort first, ensuring your journey is enjoyable.

Premier Stores Bed & Sofa Bed Centre are Bolton’s biggest bed, bedroom furniture and sofa bed specialists, with over 50 years experience in the business and a wide range of products on display in their town centre showroom. They offer a range of Tempur beds and mattresses, unrivalled in the North West.

(01204) 876693

Bolton Markets

Bolton Markets, including Bolton Market, Farnworth Market, Horwich Market and Westhoughton Market, are a prominent network of markets with over 300 stalls in Bolton and the North West, selling a range of items including fresh food, local produce, clothing, toys, household goods and jewellery, plus much more.

(01204) 876695

Bring Digital

Bring Digital, based in Bolton, are SEO specialists who are passionate about what they do, and enthusiastic about the way they do it. They will get you and your website in front of your customers on the web, exactly where they’re looking for you.

(01204) 684562

(01204) 684563


EI4Change specialise in emotional intelligence, offering a different approach to working with personal development, coaching and training. They are focused on helping you to become more familiar with emotional intelligence by offering you tools and resources to help you understand and improve your own emotional intelligence.



wh compat a any


VERy helpf ul

(01204) 684564

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What you are up against I get direct mail from Charles Tyrwhitt most months. They send a lot of mail. Not only that, but it’s really good direct mail which, I expect, generates them a lot of sales. Now some of you may be thinking what on earth has a men’s shirt retailer got to do with my business – and the answer, I think, is “Quite a lot actually”. You see, companies like Charles Tyrwhitt and Laithwaites Wine set the standard by which all marketing communication is judged. And that means that if your marketing does not communicate as effectively and engagingly as these guys do, then it will not be as effective. I’ve shown a couple of examples of Tyrwhitt mailings on this page. Take a look first at the envelope that the package arrives in (it’s got the close up of the shirt & cufflinks on it. On the front of the envelope, not only is there a very clear offer (and I love the use of the words “prompt orders”) but there’s also that wonderful statement “Why Proper Shirts Matter”. Think about this for a moment. Think about the positioning that this mailing has when a man (or a woman for that matter) is sifting through the mail and deciding what to open and what to throw away. The implications of those four simple words on that envelope are significant. They are positioning Charles Tyrwhitt very clearly. They are sending a message to the customer that their life will be improved if they wear proper shirts … this is really smart. Really simple. But it needs a lot of thought. Next, look at the back of the envelope. It’s got on it the sort of content you’d normally find on the front of a glossy magazine. Look at the words that have been used, every one of them crafted to entice whoever is holding this envelope to open it and gorge on the contents inside. Each of the six short sentences on the back of this envelope are designed to give six separate reasons why the customer should take a look inside. Very important this – those phrases on both the front and back of that envelope are designed to get the envelope opened – NOT sell the shirts. So many business owners forget this. When they’re putting marketing material together,

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they try and sell the product in the leaflet or the flyer when, in truth, the purpose of the leaflet or the flyer say, is simply to get the customer to pick up the phone and have a conversation. I see this time after time, week after week with lots of businesses.

Golden Nugget 1: Make sure you are crystal clear what the objective of your marketing piece is. In this case, someone at Charles Tyrwhitt has spent considerable time and effort designing the words and layout that will go on an envelope – the objective of which is to get it opened. This matters. A lot. When I opened the envelope, what was actually inside it was a 36-page catalogue. A4 size with plenty of nice photography and lots of shirts, cufflinks and ties. Everything mentioned on the envelope is included and, in truth, the catalogue feels a bit more like a magazine than a standard catalogue. What really caught my eye though – and is truly world class marketing – is page 4, which I’ve reproduced in full for you on this page. Its heading is “What Makes a Charles Tyrwhitt Shirt a Proper Shirt?” and then there is a list of the 10 “quality credentials”. What this page does is tell their customers why they should buy a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt as opposed to any of

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the other dozens of manufacturers available in the high street. Look closely and carefully at how each of those 10 points are constructed. Did you see how each one begins with a feature and then links that feature to a benefit? This is another basic marketing premise that so many business owners get wrong. It’s easy – and lazy – to just list your features. But people don’t buy features. They buy benefits and if you don’t articulate your benefits in a crystal clear manner then you’ll be missing out on sales. Period. Let’s look at some of the examples here: 7. Crossover stitched buttons (feature) … don’t fall off (benefit); 4. Twin needle stitching (feature) … for a clean, smart look (benefit).

5. Side gussets (feature) … for reinforced strength (benefit) and extra long shirt tails (feature) that stay tucked in (benefit).

You get the picture? The significance of this is that some of your customers will buy Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. They’ll receive marketing material from Charles Tyrwhitt. It doesn’t matter that you don’t sell shirts – it matters that your marketing is not of the same standard as they’re used to and therefore your business will not be perceived in a comparable way. In many respects, it’s like comparing amateur dramatics to a West End show. See two performances in the two different venues on two consecutive nights and you’ll be left in no doubt as to the massive difference between them.

Golden Nugget 2: I’m on a lot of mailing lists. I go out of my way to get on people’s lists so that they send me their marketing material. That way, I’ve got a good feel as to what’s going on out there. When I see good stuff, either in the mail, or in an advertisement say, I keep it in my ‘Swipe File’ so that when I’m building my own marketing, or helping one of our thebestof businesses with their marketing, I’m not starting with a blank piece of paper, but I’ve got different points of inspiration and ideas from which I can draw. If you’re a business owner and you’re serious about taking your business to the next level then you know that the quality of your marketing will play a big part in this and building your own Swipe File can make getting that quality marketing right much, much easier. And it’s fun! Bestof-Bolton-Nov.indd 7

Monthly Update Novemebr 2012 18/10/2012 15:01

thebestof bolton is run by David and Gaynor Ramsden

Our aim is to provide the best businesses in Bolton 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

At thebestof Bolton, visibility is everything! Helping our recommended businesses to set themselves apart from their competitors, we not only provide a unique vehicle to communicate a business message, but also support our members in developing winning strategies and achieving phenomenal growth.

Call Us: (01204) 382785 Email:

17. Website feature

Coming Soon Getting The Most Out Of Your Membership:

Member Only Business Growth Workshops: 9am-11.30am G-Casino Bolton

2nd Tuesday of every month

Wednesday 7th November

A no-cost, member-only event, bringing new and existing members and key employees together for a fantastic marketing session maximising the benefits of working with thebestof bolton

Pricing - Taking Control Of Your Profits Decisions on price and how you present that price affects nearly everything in your business. The biggest single factor controlling your price is YOU!

Member and Non-Member In Business In Bolton:

Wednesday 5th December

Tuesday 27th November 4.30pm-7pm

Networking - Love Or Loathe?

At the fabulous THE Chinese Buffet, join thebestof bolton and BforB for an early evening of relaxed networking and delicious food.

This will help you get the most from any event you go to. For new and seasoned networkers alike, find out why networking could keep you poor!

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The Best Of Bolton November 2012  

The Best Of Bolton printed newsletter sent out to our business audience across Bolton featuring articles and business tips around business g...