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The

y r t r a w tS e

March 2011 FREE toDraft Edition

residents RRP ÂŁ0.50

LINK

Distributed to the entire Stewartry community, every household and business. That’s nearly 13,000 addresses!

Supporting the local community by linking Social and Business Networking

Draft

New Monthly magazine - Check out what the Link could do for you

Free promotional online marketing plus opportunities for FREE editorial

We would love some photos of people enjoying our local amenities - do you know the next front cover model?

VXR is pleased to sponsor Stewartry Link this month


Business Index: Accountancy Serenity Bookkeeping ............

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Find the local supplier you need quickly in this handy guide...

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Disco, mobile RK DJ .....….………………...…

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Office Services Virtual Executive Resource….

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Has there been someone who has given you really

Readers Recommend:

good service? Give them a mention here and let everyone know...

### #####, Heating Engineer, contact: #### Mrs ####, Dalbeattie, says she was so pleased with ### ####’s work she would recommend him to anyone after cleaning up the botch job by her previous installer. Ask your customers to recommend you and get a

FREE MENTION. We will include your business name and contact details as well as why a customer thinks you are so good. It will also be posted to all social networking followers direct as soon as we get the recommendation..

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Main Feature this month: Why should Businesses spend money on marketing in a recession?

Editor’s Note:

Welcome!!!

Welcome to the first edition of The ‘Stewartry’ Link, I hope everyone finds it both useful and fun. The idea of the magazine is to bring to every reader something from our local community, what events are being planned, what happened at the last function (including photos), a new business or an addition to an old one. Anything that you may find of interest, as well as encouraging the use of local suppliers. This also means that if you are planning anything or having something of interest to say that you want to tell others about feel free to post it to me. This could be a school, business or charity, anyone who would like a bit of free PR! We will also post activities on Facebook and Twitter, so even if they don’t get published we can get the message out there. And that includes those last minute offers businesses would like to extend our readers... So please sign up and follow our posts and tweets.

Regular features include: Readers Recommend……

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Food Fanatics

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Diary Page

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Business Bites

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Puzzle Page

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Front Cover: Thanks to one year old Dean Linwood and his Mum enjoying the park in Castle Douglas

Let’s face it as a thriving rural community we need Be the first to find out about to use what tools we can to keep our economy offers and events... going and our spirits up in this time of economic doom and gloom, and as a born and bred www.facebook.com/stewartrylink Stewartry Girl it is something close to my heart. Invite Jo as a friend to get direct messages So please join me and the Link team in supporting www.twitter.com/stewartrylink the Stewartry community. @Stewartry Link Many Thanks Jo, The Ed.

Support local suppliers by being Sociable

Stewartry Link takes no responsibility as to the accuracy of advert contents or submitted articles and is purely the opinion of the company or author

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Dates for the Diary

2 - 25 April - Wildlife Fesitval, www.wildlifefestival.org.uk 2 -3 July - Cancer Research UK Relay for Life, Bladnoch Park, Wigtown, 07834 693420, relayforlife2011@hotmail.co.uk

18 - 28 July - CD Civic Week 22-23 July - Wickerman Festival, Dundrennan, www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

23 Sep-2 Oct: Wigtown Book Festival, 01988 403222, mail@wigtownbookfestival.com, www.wigtownbookfestival.com

For more events and details check out the events calendar on www.stewartrylink.com/events.html 4


This eighth page would cost

£48 one time £39 per month This quarter page would cost

£80 one time £64 per month over 3+ months

over 3+ months

There is no VAT on these prices. Ask about other options such as sponsorship, front page adverts and FREE Marketing articles and competitions

This half page advert would cost

£144 one time £116 per month over 3+ months

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Business Bites: In this section we intend to look at any business news that may be relevant to readers such as new business, services or products available to the area. This would be a good stage for your business and telling everyone what it does. As it is more of an article the space would be offered as Free Marketing if your story was interesting enough… and it is surprising what spin you can put to a story. Remember when we all first heard of cold filtered larger? It was the next big thing in brewed beverages and yet cold filtering was part of every manufacturer’s process. All that happened was some advertising guy had the bright idea of telling the public… so is there something about you business that most people don’t know about? You’d be surprised. And in the local community, even something as simple as taking on a new employee can generate a bit of interest. Of course publishing a magazine does not some cheap so we would ask that you at least take out a quarter page size advert, but you could have an entire page dedicated to you and your services, including graphics and photos . Additional Free Marketing… However as part of the Stewartry Link customer base (as opposed to the reader base) you would have included as part of your published advert free social networking Direct Messaging. This means that any of those last minute deals (reaching the month end targets, or filling up tables at quiet times) special offers or reminders of your special events can be immediately sent to all Stewartry Link followers on both Facebook and Twitter. This could be part of your planned strategy that we know about in advance and schedule in, or it could literally be a last minute dash (eg ‘Today only’). Whatever the case, you may be surprised to learn that social networking is becoming just as important as having a web presence. Please read the article overleaf on Social Networking for more detailed information. 6


“Is there anybody there?”

Marketing During a Recession? Is it worth the money or should it be the first thing to cut out the budget? When times are tough many businesses decide marketing and advertisement budgets need to be slashed or removed altogether, but if money is tight for you then obviously money is tight for customers, which means you have to fight even harder for every penny you can get. If you stop marketing how will customers find you instead of your competitor? Studies* have shown that in previous recessions businesses that continued to invest in marketing, on average, continued to see growth, while those who pulled their budgets saw sales dive in line with the downturn. That is not to say that businesses should continue blindly as they did before the recession, I advocate that a ‘Smart’ approach is used which can ensure you maximise every penny spent. SMART Marketing: S - Stratagise One key point is ‘Research your customer M - Maintain market spend thoroughly’. Is your target market’s needs A - Assess and allocate the budget R - Research your customer thoroughly changing with the recession, is there new T - Target and reach out to them technology that you or they could make use of to improve costs or service? And by using new concepts such as social networking (eg Facebook, Twitter) ‘Targeting and reaching out to them’ these days has never been easier or cheaper and it allows immediate feedback, what they think or want, allowing you further indepth knowledge about your customers as individuals. So how do small businesses use or even find the time to develop a social network marketing campaign? … *Penn State’s Smeal College of Business entitled Research: Proactive Marketing During Recession

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Social Networks? Social Media Marketing?

What does it all mean?

and your business have to say. You can listen to their comments, suggestions and questions and immediately respond in the most appropriate manner. You don’t have to guess what everybody is thinking as you do in a preplanned strategy, you can allow it to become more “Social Media organic and involved for the customer. is Like a

First of all, “What is Social Networking?” These days the term is used for the social networks set up on the internet, and as the old definition would suggest is used for people with similar interests or backgrounds to connect with each other. Social Media Marketing is how a business can use these social networks for marketing, similar to the traditional business networking. It can inform directly a huge number of people in an instant in a personal way driving leads and customers back to your business.

Cocktail Party: Listen Then Respond”

The additional benefit tha no other format does in the volumes social networking can handle is an immediate feedback from customers and potential customers. Social Media is like the biggest cocktail party you can ever imagine, filled with people who actually want to hear what you 8

The top graph opposite shows how big a success these social networking sites are for businesses, particularly those targeting customers rather than B2B operations. The research also goes on to show that frequency affects the efficacy and effectiveness of such activities. As with anything, the more you put into it the more you get back. Despite this most companies still only post once a week, so many are missing an


opportunity. But smaller businesses have limited resources and it can be difficult to even find enough content to post something everyday never mind keeping up with all the other zillion things you need to accomplish. From the graphs we can also see that for B2C organisations Facebook and Twitter are currently the most effective whereas LinkedIn is better for B2B, as it is specifically geared towards individuals wishing to network as professionals rather than social acquaintances. You may also be surprised to see the age groups are right across the board, in fact ages 30-59 seem to be taking over the under 30’s when it comes to the amount of time as well as the number of users spent on social and media marketing. And the biggest benefit cited for social media marketing was increased exposure‌ letting people know who you are, what you do and how good you are at doing it. References from Hubspot,com and SocialMediaExaminer.com

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Puzzle Page Sudoku: Tough A 1

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9

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Each Row, Column and 3x3 square must contain every number from 1 to 9 with no duplicates

6 1 2 6 5

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9 1 3 7

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2 4 6 1 5 3 7 9 4 3 7

Sudoku: Easy A

Each tree has one tent attached to it and each tent is attached to a tree either horizontally or vertically. No tents are adjacent to each other, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. At the beginning of the puzzle you are shown all the trees and then need to deduce where each tent is. To help you, the number of tents in each row and column is displayed. The first tent has been drawn in for you in square 8H

10

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2 D

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3 1 2 5 1 9 4 3 6 7

1 8 5 4 1 8 3 7 5 2

6 1 5

Invite Jo to be a friend on facebook or follow Stewartry Link on Twitter and clues will be posted throughout the month.

Tents: Camp one tent next to each tree. A

B

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www.facebook.com/stewartrylink

2

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www.twitter.com/stewartrylink @Stewartry Link

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1

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0

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3 2

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You can request Stewartry Link posts are sent direct to your mobile so you get all the offers and info in a text message.

Full answers will be published next month.


SERENITY

106 Millburn Ave Dumfries

Hannah Smith

Bookkeeping

Serenity Bookkeeping has several years experience in all aspects of small business accounts for several local businesses, this includes: Sage Software VAT returns Wage Runs Invoicing Payment Runs Tax Audits

An entire office at the end of your phone... Freelance admin, clerical, receptionist, and executive support. Any admin work undertaken on a freelance basis. Business consultant to hand to ensure optimum efficiencies are met allowing you more time to concentrate on your core business activities. Spreadsheets, Mail Merge, Databases, email, phone answering

Put some Serenity back into your business and let me take care of all your accounting needs

Marketing campaigns, Branding, Customer Relationship Management, System Analysis

hannah@serenitybookkeeping.co.uk www.serenitybookkeeping.co.uk

Get the X-Factor for your business

07737 059 335

www.virtual-x-resource.com info@virtual-x-resource.com 01387 254792

Tel: 01556 568122 Email: info@rkdj.co.uk

Mob: 07912 391204 Web: www.rkdj.co.uk 11


An entire office at the end of your phone... Is a receptionist a luxury for your business? Do you struggle with Admin after a hard day's work? Do you miss work by missing calls? You would like to expand but not enough resource? You suddenly have extra work but it's temporary or not enough for additional resource? You require specialist skills for a one-off job? Virtual Executive Resource provides a full office and admin back-up remotely. No additional overheads or employee legislation, with the use of email, the Internet and modern phones you can have the additional resource to help you and your business at a cost much less than an employee. No matter where you are based or what office facilities you have, or even if you don't have a computer, anyone can have a virtual office as each customer states how they would like their bespoke office to run. And if you ever want to expand your business VXR is able to support you in a consultative way ensuring you have the structure and procedures that is the backbone of any business in place, ready to hand over to any new employees you may have in mind.

Get the X-Factor for your business www.virtual-x-resource.com info@virtual-x-resource.com 01387 254792

Stewartry Link March 2011  

Local Community Magazine Linking Social and Business Networking in the Stewartry area, South West Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway)

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