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May 2013

Update

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

Choose The Form Of The

Destructor! Those of us who remember great films from the 80s will probably have a place in their heart for Ghostbusters. Over the recent bank holiday, I was chuffed to bits to see it on the TV schedule and duly settled down, popcorn in hand for an hour and a half of pure fun. It was all that has ever been. I laughed in all the same places and revisited all the old quotes, “Smells like barbecued dog hair” is still one of my particular favourites! Then it got to the best bit in the entire film!

“Choose the form of the Destructor!”

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/epsomandewell

In less than a minute a hundred foot tall Mr Stay Puft the Marshmallow Man is stepping on a Church as he makes his way towards our heroes. Oddly enough, as I am seemingly, totally immersed in the film a quote popped into my head, “It’s choice - not chance - that determines your destiny.” So now you’re probably thinking ‘What’s that got to do with anything?’ Well, pull up a chair and I’ll explain… In the film, the Ghostbusters are asked to choose. They then all try desperately to avoid thinking of anything to prevent the inevitable final battle. Of course, Ray can’t help but think of Mr Stay Puft, something he remembered affectionately from his childhood, something that could never harm them.

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Oh how wrong was he;

the giant Marshmallow Man appears, hell bent on death and destruction, the ground shaking beneath his feet. The Ghostbusters’ strategy here is clear. They decided the best course of action was to do nothing and in doing so avoid The Destructor….. it didn’t work! What did work was making the choice to risk everything and fight back. It’s all too easy in business to do the same thing. We put off making decisions thinking that doing so will maintain the status quo. We say, “I haven’t decided yet” thinking that we have made no choice. The truth is, we have made a choice, a choice to do nothing and leave the outcome to chance. Well as far as I know, chance doesn’t care if we stay in business or not.

If you’ve got a decision that you’re avoiding making, you might want to try tackling it like this: • Give yourself a deadline - Preferably a short one…. that sense of urgency will give you clarity. • Understand the problem – make sure you know what you want the outcome to be and why • Investigate the options – know the consequences of your actions and accept them •

Act! Make the decision and own it. If you’re in control, I promise you, even a bad decision will be less damaging than chance being in control

I will never enjoy making difficult decisions, but if the alternative is a metaphorical hundred foot Mr Stay Puft, I’ll take control everytime!

The key to success is action. If we make a decision and own it, it may not always be the right one, but at least we will be in control of it instead of it in control of us.

Have a great month...

Nig e l

Offer of the Month FREE Initial Clean at your Business Premises Bite the dust – the Commercial Contract Cleaners who are ‘Raising Standards’ in cleaning. Need new cleaners at your offices or premises? Bite the dust offer you a FREE initial clean so you can see the high standards they achieve. For full details and T/C’s of this great Offer – give them a call and book your FREE CLEAN.

Offer ends 30th June 2013

Telephone: 01372 826 625

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The People Behind The Business Mike Tickner – the face of the KT Partnership You may have seen the BestofEpsomandEwell smart car buzzing around Epsom – but it has a rival. The KT Partnership smart car – and we admit it, they got their first!. Inside that car will be a man whose face is probably very familiar to you – Mike Tickner –the main man in the KT Partnership. As Mike walks down the High Street he finds himself saying Hello to so many people, an indication of how well known he has become. Mike and his team believe in the local community, even the business name KT Partnership reflects this, KT being the main post code in the area. “We have always had our client base at the heart of the company. While we work nationally, locality is incredibly important to us. We have made a lot of our locality both physically and in terms of our community approach to sales. Our philosophy focuses upon building and maintaining a long term, trusted relationship with clients. It’s about adding value after all if it is all about price then it is a zero sum game. But underlying all this, I believe, is our passion for what we do.”

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Mike is the first to admit he is working within a good catchment area. For the most part, it is replete with potential clients who have good credit profiles, disposable incomes, and generally good equity in their property. But as he points out any client base is only as good as you make it. To this end he has spent years developing his local network, not only among residents but importantly among local accountants, estate agents and solicitors. As well as business networking, Mike also finds himself very busy with his young family, including toddler twins, and can be seen at many local social events. Mike and the KT Partnership also believe in helping others and are stalwart supporters of ’Action for Children’, having organised golf days and raising nearly £2000 last year for this great charity.

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Working Well...

Reviews – worth their weight in gold. KT Partnership know reviews and testimonials work. A recent review mentioned their broker Keith – and was very complimentary about his service. A local consumer saw the review on our website, and as a result contacted Keith in person . “I would recommend Keith Harris’s mortgage services without hesitation. When I was looking for a mortgage and needed it sorted quickly Keith was really on the ball. Even though it was only a small piece of business for him he was so helpful and quick to respond throughout the whole process. His rates were also superb and much less than I had been quoted elsewhere. He really has the pulse of his market place compared to others. The KT Partnership are very efficient and professional, I would and do encourage any other business or individual to use their services..” Des B. They met up and Keith was able to obtain that elusive mortgage. We tell all our members, reviews and especially recent ones do work. How many websites do you visit which have undated or very old reviews on them? What confidence does it give you in the business? So a steady your e flow of new reviews are needed to show that quality of service is r a h “S d let n being maintained. a s e ss Even during times of great business, still ask for reviews, it will hold succe now what you in good stead when work runs thin. el k of

If someone is good – make that introduction. KT Partnership is a mortgage broker, but their customers need other services to streamline the process of getting their new home. Through our knowledge of other great local businesses, we were able to introduce surveyors Siefers Harrison, and they now undertake surveying work for the partnership. Another element of home buying is conveyancing, and here we introduced Banstead Solicitors Cuff and Gough.

If you know a great local business – make that introduction.

Don’t Cold Call – Build Relationships Nick Stefka at Box Office Supplies used to spend half of his day cold calling. A frustrating and often demoralising job, it may get across a little about your business but not about you. Nick is a really amiable chap and when you get to know him, you can see his enthusiasm and love for his business and customers. Having introduced Nick to the world of networking, it has enabled him to build relationships with other local businesses and promote his products and services. As a result, Nick has not made a cold call in over a year!

Nig est b e h t f bits o orking are w u.” for yo

At thebestof Epsom and Ewell we are on the lookout for other great members. This month we are looking for....

• Florists • Bridal Boutiques / Dress Hire • Vets • Electricians If you know a business that fits the bill please contact the team...

01737 350079

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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 Citisport

Farm Fencing

‘A Life of Health & Fitness’. Citisport is a local physiotherapy practice in Epsom that works as a team to get you fit again. Whether a sports or on-going injury, or advice to prevent these, the therapists at Citisport can help.

Think gardens, think pets, think outdoors, think Farm Fencing in Tadworth. For fencing, gates, sheds, gardens, pets and equestrian supplies, country wear and more, Farm Fencing holds a wealth of choice for you.

01372 743166

01737 812124

Boscoreale Ristorante Italiano Boscoreale in Kingswood captures the essence of Italy in its food and ambience. They are also known for their great tribute nights when you can dine in the presence of greats like Rod Stewart, Adele, Amy and many more.

01737 351157

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Home Instead Senior Care Epsom “To us, it’s personal”. Many elderly people need help to retain their independence. Home Instead Senior Care have highly trained CAREGivers who can provide Cleaning, Cooking, Personal Grooming, and that important element – Companionship.

01372 741544

Sunflower Corporation

Waterhouse Cafe

The Sunflower Corporation understand events – from start to finish. They can organize everything, or any part of the process, and all with ease – taking this stressful task off your shoulders. Give Hannah a call.

The Waterhouse Café in Kingswood is relaxed and welcoming. Drop by for coffee or a snack. Very family friendly, they also have a Supper Club every Friday and Saturday night, for everyone – including the kids.

0208 3380198

01737 350444

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Go Loco for

Buy Local! As you already know I’m a massive fan of all things local. Recently I’ve seen some good articles from celebrities like Mary Portas on what’s happening to our town centres. It’s lovely to know that people do understand how important our high streets and local businesses are to our communities. Let’s face it, local communities are part of the fabric of our society; they have helped create what it is to be British. Now I’m not going to start waxing lyrical about the ‘Great’ in Britain to the strains of Rule Brittania, but actually, it is those communities that have given us our history and traditions that attract 31 million visitors to the UK every single year (that’s half of our entire population by the way). Compare that to Spain’s 45 million visitors. A country two and half times the size with infinitely better weather!

The sad thing is, our high streets are in decline; and as the Banks and the struggling national chains move out we are either left with rows of empty, unloved buildings or Payday Lenders and Betting Shops. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with the odd Payday Loan firm or Betting Shop. A place for everything, and everything in its place. However, as Ed Milliband rightly pointed out in April while speaking in Ipswich; these types of retailers have increased by 20% in the last year, leaving our high streets devoid of variety, individuality and more importantly, people. “Every day I am asked to predict the future of the British high street. I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I do know is that high streets won’t be only about shops.” Mary Portas. Too right Mary! Our high streets are about way more than that. Originally our village greens, town squares and high streets formed the centre of where we lived. It was where we connected with other people and found out about what was going on in our town, as well as buying our groceries.

It was the noise of the market traders, the bustle of other shoppers, the wave from the butcher as you walked past, the smell of the freshly baked bread from the bakery…..it was about the experience. That experience and tradition doesn’t have to be consigned to history, we just have to drag it into the 21st century, however much it kicks and screams. So now you’re all thinking, that’s great, but how on earth am I supposed to do that? I’m a printer/ accountant/tattooist and my business isn’t a 4th generation family concern. Well that doesn’t mean that you can’t reflect the values and the history your community stands for. Each area has its own unique culture, its own achievements and its own local heroes as well as the universally British values of honesty, freedom, equality and justice. Every community has a story but without the story teller it will be lost forever.

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You want to go where everybody knows your name Nothing can replace personal relationships in business, it’s one of the reasons Social Media has grown at such a meteoric rate; humans are social animals. Small, independent businesses have the advantage of being able to create personal relationships easily, something that chains really struggle to do. So don’t forget to strengthen it at every opportunity.

Be the face of your business As independent business owners we all have our own style, our own personality and our own values. We need to shout about them at every opportunity. The area we grew up in helped shape that style and those values so chances are, your customers will connect with them.

Freedom of Choice requires something to choose from Every small business is different! Those differences are what make our high streets interesting and make you unique.

Your History is our History Ok, maybe you moved into the area recently so history for you is thin on the ground. Your premises, your street or even

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your product and service do have history though, so utlilise it. Whether it be what you have on your wall, what you use in a blog, even a ‘Back to the 80s’ offer you might have, all these things tap into that history that is part of our lives.

Give a damn and do something about it Don’t just care about your business and your customers. Support your local community projects, buy from great local suppliers, support your local charities, remind other people about why the area is great and effect changes that will make it even better. Whether it be getting together with other businesses to encourage the council to improve parking or something as simple as adding a couple of hanging baskets to your frontage to make the area look more appealing. All the little things add up to something big.

Making an exception can make you exceptional There’s a local newsagent and grocer not far from where I live. They don’t offer a delivery service, and yet, I regularly see the owner personally taking groceries round to the older residents. For that reason alone, I make a point of spending money with him every week

which also means I can avoid the ‘Express’ round the corner! And finally (please forgive me for the shameless plug), but supporting our Buy Local campaign, 3rd to 9th June, and encouraging others to do so is another way of raising awareness of our high streets and drawing attention to the things we can do to restore them to their former vibrant selves. Every pound that is spent locally is reinvested in the town up to ten times over and locally sourced products are easily traceable (the farmer down the road has never kept horses) and are better for the environment. This is our opportunity to join together to support our home; we need to grasp it with both hands! Over the next month I will be making it my mission to gather as much support as possible for our Buy Local campaign, raising the profile of our shops and businesses and showing the world what a wonderful place to live this is! However, I can’t do it all by myself, I need you to join in! Heck let’s make a party of it if we can! If you’re not already displaying your Buy Local sticker with pride or ordered your Buy Local Pack, please do get in touch. If we all join together it won’t take much to make a real difference.

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thebestof Epsom and Ewell is run by Nigel & Maggie

Our aim is to provide the best businesses in Epsom and Ewell 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 Epsom and Ewell, 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.

Tele: 01737 350079 Email: Epsom@thebestof.co.uk

Coming Soon

An Evening With thebestof Epsom & Ewell Cocktail & Canapés Networking Event

At The Chalk Lane Hotel – Epsom. Wednesday 29th May & Wednesday 26th June 6:00 to 8:30pm

Our monthly local business networking event is on the last Wednesday of every month, and is set to become the premier event locally, where businesses will be able to meet in a social environment.

Put the dates in your diary! www.thebestof.co.uk/epsomandewell Update May 2013 Bestof-Epsom and Ewell-May 2013.indd 8

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