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Inside this month
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!” 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.”
Take a look at your Business The people behind the business New members this month Tip of the month
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.
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, 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!
Have a great month...
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.
Offer of the Month Free Wedding Favour Bags!
Wedding Stationery by Amelie Rose
If you are planning your wedding, and looking for a great offer, then book with Wedding Stationery by Amelie Rose in June and get free favour bags! Voucher worth up to £150. Terms & conditions apply: Offer available only when purchasing table plans, menu cards and place cards. Free favour bags available up to the number of place cards ordered, maximum of 100.
www.thebestof.co.uk/ ipswich Update June 2013
The People Behind The Business George Debman Familiy Butchers, Cliff Lane, Ipswich Debman’s family butchers, located in Cliff Lane in Ipswich, are celebrating their 50th anniversary. I recently met up with George Debman to discover what living and working in Ipswich has been like and to discover some of his family’s secret to success.
What were your early memories of arriving in Ipswich in the early sixties? “We moved to Ipswich from London and dad had the desire to have his own business and we took ownership of the butchers shop in Cliff Lane in 1963”, George recalls. “ I was eight years old and lived next to the shop with my sister Janet and brother Roger” . Even at an early age George was keen to help the family business, so his duties then were to keep the shop clean and to deliver produce to the local housing estate on his trade bike.
Tell us about your first job George’s first job was with meat wholesalers Towers Thompson. This was not a happy time for George and with a combination of midnight starts to the day and too much repetition he soon realised that the one of the keys to a fulfilling life is to find a job which provides job satisfaction. After six months he returned to the family business where he was keen to make his mark.
The key to the business and success During 1990 George took ownership of Debman’s butchers from his father, keen to maintain the reputation for quality and service that his dad had established, and also implement new ideas. George understands that the sourcing of local quality meat is essential, and the purchase of prize winning cattle and sheep is the reason why there are so many rosettes and certificates on display in his shop. One of the other keys to the success of Debman’s Butchers that George quotes is, “the support of a team of people you can trust and rely upon, including those who work in the shop, the back office and suppliers.” They clearly have all played a pivotal role in Debman’s continued success.
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Family values and a celebration of 50 years in business eorge has always actively supported the local community; G through his work with the Federation of Small Business; as a local councillor; and a fund raiser for good causes. George is a popular and likeable character amongst the local community, and displays an enthusiasm and passion for all that he does. George values family life. Above all, he says “it is the constant love and support of his wife Carol, who has contributed most to the success of the business”. George celebrated Debman’s 50th anniversary in style by organising entertainment and, of course, a feast of food including a hog roast which he shared with family, friends and members of the local community that Debman’s Family Butchers have served for 50 years.
If you haven’t yet visited Debman’s Butchers or sampled their products then why not take advantage of the offer on the Best of Ipswich, and go along and say hello to George and the Team. www.thebestof.co.uk/ ipswich Update June 2013
Working well.. The Train, The Rabbit & The Boy From Ipswich In my lifetime, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I won something. An early memory was when I was a young boy at Murrayfield Junior School. I came third in an art competition, my entry was a wooden train that I had made. Another that comes to mind was winning an award at the Suffolk Show. Something that most people don’t know about me is that when I was younger, my father encouraged me to follow his footsteps in keeping rabbits. In 1975 my rabbit won Best in Show. Recently I was recognised by thebestof at the national conference with an achievers award, the citation reads, ‘This prestigious recognition is one awarded for the support, dedication and growth you have accomplished in your business.’ So why do I tell you about the train and the rabbit, and what do they have to do with winning an award from thebestof? It’s because winning something, whether it is a prize for making something, or a certificate and a rosette for raising an animal, or an award for one’s accomplishments, means something. Being recognised for your efforts makes you feel good. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to receive anything more than words, either verbally or in writing. When was the last time one of your customers thanked you for a good job? Do you recall how your felt? If you are like me, you probably get immense satisfaction from doing a good job, providing outstanding customer service. It’s a bonus when someone takes the time to say thank you, to express their gratitude for your work … it’s a good feeling when this happens. I share this with you because I am proud to receive this award and delighted that my efforts on behalf of you all - my business members, thebestof and the community that I serve, has been recognised. And because whether it is a train, a rabbit or the job we do every day, we all like to receive feedback and acknowledgement for a job well done. The boy in the photo may have aged, but the memories remain. Make sure you tell us when you get great feedback from your customers so that I can post onto your profile on the Best of Ipswich – together we can shout about how great you are!
www.thebestof.co.uk/ ipswich Update June 2013
Weâ€™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
Alton Five Star
Have been operating in Ipswich supplying and installing double glazed windows, doors and conservatories of all kinds for over 20 years. Their experience, expertise and commitment to customer service shines through.
Lattice Lodge Guest House Lattice Lodge is a beautifully
renovated and lovingly maintained guest house based in the heart of Ipswich and has been owned by Martin Pike since 2008. Whether you are staying in Ipswich, Suffolk for business or pleasure, you can be assured of a warm and friendly Suffolk welcome.
01473 712474 Anchor storage Conveniently located for access to the major road networks in the UK. We are able to save you time and money on your global imports and UK deliveries. One of the most reputable and reliable logistics services companies in the UK.
01728 860555 Billie Box A container hire company established in 2012 and owned by Jane Billing who has more than 25 years experience within the industry, Billie Box hire and sell 8ft, 10ft, 20ft and 40ft steel secure steel containers for shipping or storage, with swift nationwide delivery.
0800 121 7388
Sidegate Guest House Sidegate Guest House was built in the 1940s as a private home and over the years has been converted and extended into an award winning guest house which has a homely atmosphere and provides the highest standards of accommodation.
Wedding Stationery by Amelie Rose
Produces beautiful, handcrafted stationery for Weddings and Civil Ceremonies, Christenings, Anniversaries, and other special occasions. Whatever the occasion you can be sure that you will receive customer service and products you will be talking about for years to come.
07580 179366 www.thebestof.co.uk/ ipswich Update June 2013
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. www.thebestof.co.uk/ ipswich Update June 2013
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.
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 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.
thebest of Ipswich is run by Natalie and Kevin
Our aim is to provide the best business in Ipswich 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.
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Coming Soon June 25th – Office Drinks Business Networking – 6.30 - 9pm Each networking event has up to 25 small local business people meeting as groups of five around five tables. Throughout the evening you move through the five tables so that by the end of the evening everyone gets to meet everyone else. For fun, we have also included a pub quiz with the answers given at the end, and the occasional prize for the winning team! Office Drinks Ipswich Takes place at: No 16 Bar and Kitchen in Tacket Street, Ipswich IP4 1AX. Telephone 01473 272994 for further details or to book www.eventbrite.co.uk/org/3485594555