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November 2013

Update

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

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

an d M ore...

www.thebestof.co.uk/hitchin

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e s i u o L d n K e it h a Offer of the Month

Half Price Visit

The Women in Business Network (WIBN) can help your business in many ways! As a networking membership organisation operating monthly business meetings, we bring together a wealth of expertise, like minds and collaborative opportunities. “I have picked up some great leads converted them to business and my membership has paid for itself� NPA Insurance Brokers Visit Hitchin, Stevenage or Letchworth groups for 50% by end of January 2014.

Visit www.wibn.co.uk or call Louise on 01462 757044.

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The People Behind The Business Meet Doug Brooker, Director at T Brooker and Sons Ltd Doug Brooker is one of the Directors at T Brooker & Sons Ltd. They’ve been in business since 1876 although Doug’s only been here since 1986! Most people will have been into the shop in Bucklersbury but did you know they have a huge branch in Bilton Road and a depot in Stevenage which specialises in paint and decorating supplies for trade and DIY customers. 1. Your claim to fame? Apart from meeting the Queen? Did I mention I met the Queen? I once played the romantic male lead in a Noel Coward play at the QMT the same month I played in Hitchin Rugby Club county cup winning side. 2. Your first childhood memory? Helping my brother escape from his cot. 3. What sort of training did you have before going into this business? I worked in a plastic pipe engineering company working mainly in the coalfields, I did stock control at a fashion stationery company plus various part time jobs delivering videos, bar work and decorating. 4. What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business? Understand fully the business you are going into, explore the market for that business and be very clear what you need to get out of it to make it work for you. 5. Who is the most interesting person you have met? Apart from the Queen? Did I mention we met? Everyone is interesting; everyone has a story to tell. Some are better at telling their story than others that’s all. 6. What’s your favourite spot in Hitchin and why? Oughton Head Common on a summers day? The top of Windmill Hill on a snowy day? The Victoria on a winters night? The stage at the QMT on first night? The bar at Hitchin Rugby club after a big game? Too many great places to choose. 7. What is the best thing that someone has said about Brookers? Apart from what the Queen said? Did I mention…? Oh yes, so I did. Customers frequently say ‘you’ve always got what we want,’ no-one ever asked for an elephant or a Faberge Egg though! 8. How would you describe Brookers in three words? Fan-bloomin’- tastic! d ul 9. How have things changed for your business over the past few It co ! u years? o be y It is much more difficult to do business; in a tough environment I do not want to expend time, money and energy on things that contribute little or nothing to the success of the business and if anything detract from it. 11. What’s the best thing about being a member of thebestof hitchin so far? The wealth of advice available from Keith and Louise and our fellow members. And the cake, let’s not forget the cake!

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Working Well... Introducing the Member’s Business App We recently launched a ‘members only’ app for those who have an IPad. Passwords and instructions will have been sent directly to you. The IPad has been chosen initially as it out ranks every other tablet in popularity, it’s ease of use and almost half of owners use it for business. If the App proves to be a useful tool to help you grow your business (and we are sure it will be), we will look to other devices. The content is broken down into 8 sections;• Membership

your e r a h “S d let n a s e ss succe nd Louise a Keith hat bits w know stof are be of the rking wo u.” o y r o f

• Campaigns • Being the Best • Getting Customers • NBTV • Entrepreneurs Circle Circulars • Request for Help • What is thebestof Content will be updated regularly. If you don’t have an IPad and would like to see the App and it’s contents, please get in contact with either Louise or Keith. Sorry folks, you have to be a business member of thebestofhitchin to be able to access to this resource!

New Premises and a New Title! Congratulations to long standing bestofhitchin member Claire Austin from Austins Family Funeral Directors who was awarded ‘Business Women of the Year’ at the Business Excellence Awards a few weeks ago. They have just moved to new premises on Hermitage Road in Hitchin so do pop into say hi to Jackie when you are next passing by.

Fame at last ....

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

• Driving Instructor • Personal Trainer • Courier • Builder If you know a business that fits the bill please contact the team...

01462 759 700

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Fran Hale from Copper Beach Vintage Tea Room and Art Gallery has found fame at last. She was featured in Hertfordshire Life Magazine having recently found her forte in painting. In the past few months, Fran has sold over 50 paintings. The gallery has been open for 8 1/2 years and the tea room was added nearly 3 years ago. Fran originally intended it as a working photographic studio for herself, but she quickly realised she wanted to display others’ art works and it’s only been this year that she’s discovered her own talent. Fran’s art sells around the country, from Cornwall to Whitby and her selfconfessed ‘crazy’ style is individual, colourful and engaging. And you really can’t go without enjoying a cup of tea and some of the home-made cake, which is just delicious.

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We’re consistently uncovering hidden gems. Say a big hello to this months stars.

Meet some of our

members

Give t hem a call and say He llo

Ed Lights

Tastebuds

You’ll find Eddy of Edlights in Hitchin to be one of the most friendly, honest, efficient and reliable electricians, and generally a nice guy to have working round your home. A highly recommended local electrician

Taste Buds is a friendly, cosy coffee shop located minutes from Bancroft Park in the heart of Hitchin, also providing catering for local businesses and private functions.

Call Eddy on 07847 506728

Call Charlton on 01462 55733

Little Memories Keepsakes

Professional Finishers

Catherine creates a range of beautiful keepsakes personalised jewellery items in solid silver featuring babies’ hand prints, footprints and fingerprints, plus lifesized castings of infants’ hands and feet.

Steve is a highly recommended painter and decorator with a cheerful & friendly attitude, but what really sets him apart is his breadth of knowledge & skill when it comes to wallpaper hanging and complex wall murals

Speak to Catherine on 01462 647396

Call Steve on 07958 576644

The Blue Tree Company

Shopper Anonymous

Friendly, professional and well-qualified tree surgeons, The Blue Tree Company provides tree surgery and garden maintenance services for homeowners in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and North London.

By delivering comprehensive and tailored Mystery Shopping feedback, Shopper Anonymous can help increase your profitability by improving your customer service experience.

Call Paul on 07900 342558

Call Brian or Fred on 01462 450203

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Video is the best thing next to ac t u to-fa al fac ce int eeract highli ion an ghts d the h uman of yo side ur bu sines s

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Thebestof Hitchin is run by Keith and Louise Yexley

Our aim is to provide the best businesses in Hitchin 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

We are excited about the new elements to thebestof which are coming your way in the next few months including a ‘Members App’ and ‘Community Hub’ a place for people to search for jobs, post family notices and buy and sell - watch this space! And in the meantime if we can help you and your business, please get in touch ... Call Us: 01462 759700 Email: hitchin@thebestof.co.uk Tweet us: @bestofhitchin Join us on Facebook: /thebestofhitchin

Coming Soon Christmas IS coming but it’s the 14 Days of Love Campaign in February 2014! Reviews are important - who makes a purchase or books a holiday now without checking out the feedback on 3rd party websites? And it’s the same for bestofhitchin members.

Now in it’s 4th year, our annual 14 Days of Love Campaign is back! Reviews collected from 1st March 2013 onwards count towards your scores so make sure you are still getting them from your customers in a regular flow but PLAN for the big push 1-14th February 2014. (this is relevant for ALL businesses, whether B2C or B2B. If you want your business to take part this year (and why wouldn’t you), please register with us. We will be offering promotional packs out including space on our Hitchin billboard again! www.thebestof.co.uk/hitchin Update November 2013 Bestof-Hitchin-November2013.indd 8

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Bestof hitchin november2013