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New Year = Time for a revamp!

29 Dec

Your New Year Business Resolution – 5 things to do in 2016

How was 2015 for you and your small business?

January heralds a new start to a new year and that means it is an opportunity to do something to revamp your small business.

Here are 5 things you could do that on the back of what you have achieved in 2015 could bring some benefits in 2016

Update your website

Your website is your window to the world.  Giving your website an update is essential every new year. Making sure your 2016 products, services and prices are up to date is vital.  Changing a few images and bringing some freshness into the website really can make a difference. Then updating the content and ensuring your keywords are in place and just having fresh copy really lift your website and allow your business to lift off further from where you left it in 2015.

Revamp your Social Media

Along with your website your social media is important. Many companies forget that their social media also needs refreshing; a fresh image and some fresh wording describing your business just add some polish.  In 2016 make a concerted effort to use social media more, maybe spend a little time reading up and then putting an effective social media plan in place.

Re Brand

Your brand defines you. If your small business has been around while or even if it has only been operating a short time taking a look at your brand in line with your updated website (see point 5) and making a concerted effort to use social media more really is worthwhile.  A re-branding sounds hard work and sounds painful but having the right brand that conveys the right message about your business could just mean the difference between growing or standing still in 2016.

Plan your year ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail and a new year is the perfect time to plan the next 12 months for your small business.  Whether you are a one man band or a small team, putting your goals, objectives and milestones down in writing in a formal plan gives your small business direction that is measurable. With a well-planned year and regular updates to the plan throughout the year your business is under control for the next 12 months the right strategic decisions can be made.

Get advice from someone outside your business

For many small businesses hiring a consultant seems like a crazy idea because the money can be spent better elsewhere. Yes this is true but there are plenty of people and organisations such as friends, accountants, chambers of commerce and banks who will give you valuable business advice on a variety of topics that can truly help your business for little or no charge. Nearly everyone knows someone that may be a specialist in marketing, social media, websites, planning or even trading overseas – take a look at your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask someone if they can help you. If you don’t ask you don’t get and you will be amazed at how many people will want to see you a success and who would feel proud to help you be that success.

2016 is going to be an awesome year ahead, these 5 simple tips could make it even more awesome and most of them will cost every little and each will bring outstanding returns on your investment.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses, charities, performers and individuals who need to be in the midst of the Social Media buzz.



Social Media 2013

22 Dec

With the New year just around the corner, you have an opportunity to start with a Social bang!


Stop procrastinating & get your Social Media marketing moving…

Let’s be honest, you have probably dabbled a little with a tweet here & there or you may have set up a Facebook page & put some copied info on there every now & then but have you really set any targets for these mediums?

If this sounds a bit like your venture into Social Media in 2012, you may feel it has let you down with little or no tangible results… BUT I challenge you to look a little closer to home……

I ask you to consider that you may have set yourself up for a fall as soon as you started.

This is why a good (NOT expensive) Social Media campaign in 2013 should show you how results can be achieved.

The advent of Google’s Algorithm “Penguin” made lazy SEO method’s a thing of the past, with sites needing more engaging & current content to stay fresh. This has ensured the internet is a fast moving ever changing place’ pushing Blogging up into Google’s eye as a source of current information along with anything containing info & graphic’s; People-centric backlinks are in many cases (especially small businesses) out weighing the usefulness of the previously much relied on generic computer generated backlinks..

In the New Year, I will review the currently available mediums for Small businesses to showcase themselves on-line.

You all know the usual Facebook / Twitter etc etc – BUT there are others & there are some which will be very important going forward.

I am also very aware of financial constraints of Small Business, being one myself & having had my fair share of slow payers etc, I understand better than most that lack of resources can impact heavily on your marketing (sadly often seen as the first line to cut in difficult times).

Its also very apparent that consumers attention spans are becoming shorter & shorter & this is why you need to grab them very quickly… maintaining your reputation online while creating engaging content can be a very fine balancing act & one you should get professional help with.

This is also crucial as not all Social Media channels will be relevant to your customers… Get this right & you are half way there!

I hope all my readers have a Great Christmas & please follow me through to the New Year.

I would be honoured to help you with your Social Media Strategy in 2013 – please feel free to contact me.

An Italian night to remember

20 Dec

Ahh my friends,

Christmas has not just crept up on me, it has positively run up and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, screamed in my ear “I’m here” and then given me a bit of a beating in the pocket!

I have been so busy, I forgot to do Christmassy type things.. Or maybe forgot is the wrong word, I have been procrastinating in the vain hope that “Tomorrow” I will have more….

More money to buy presents, more time to wrap them, just MORE everything….

BUT I have also (very worryingly) not spent time with important friends and family..

So with that in mind, I was determined to take my best friend (my rock over the last year of building my new business) out somewhere nice.

So I looked around for somewhere to go, I wanted somewhere reasonable to eat, with an atmosphere befitting a pleasant girlie catch-up evening.

Italian made immediate sense to me… I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found that a good Italian meal can raise the lowest of spirits; can make the best parties better and if you are lucky, the passions of the Italian disposition can be transferred into the food and provide a unique & sumptuous experience.

Therefore after some research, I found Rossopomodoro, whose website promised the Italian passion I wanted with the added bonus of being only a 20 minute drive away!

Therefore, this Tuesday evening, I booked a table for 2 at the Chelsea restaurant.

When we arrived, the restaurant was pretty full, (YEP – on a Tuesday, which is always a good sign!) but we were seated immediately at our reserved table and made to feel very welcome as we were promptly & politely asked if we would like a drink. (Of course being a girlie catch-up, wine was on the cards… And very nice it was too)!

The layout was welcoming, tables not too close together to be uncomfortable, BUT close enough that I could have a sneaky peak at what others were ordering/eating (cheeky, I know).

I also spent some time watching the food that was regularly coming from the “open” kitchen area and every portion was generous in size & looked mouth-wateringly good to say the least.

Now let’s be honest – there’s nothing better than someone else cooking a meal for you, so a nice meal with good company in a relaxed environment is always very welcome.

So with that in mind we both scanned the menu and the Calamari immediately caught both our eye’s, and so we both ordered it for starters.


When it came I couldn’t have been more impressed, the presentation was beautiful, even for something so simple and believe me it tasted just as good as it looked.

With the portions being just as generous as I had suspected on my arrival – I have to say it was one of the most indulgent starters I have had and well worth every penny!

MY friend hadn’t considered the portion sizes when she had ordered her main course and as the Imagesumptuous Fusillo arrived (Fusilli pasta with buffalo ricotta cheese, Neapolitan pork sausage and  Neapolitan broccoli, served with pecorino cheese) I could see this may be a struggle but one you could only wish to indulge in!

My main course was Braciola (Beef stuffed with pecorino cheese, peanuts and raisins stewed in a tomato sauce, served with mini roast potatoes) which again was an ample portion and a meal I will remember for a long time to come.. Absolutely stunning.

The meal ended on a real high, with my friend ordering the traditional lemon sorbet and I had Tiramisu (How can you eat at an Italian & not have Tiramisu)?


The texture and consistency was of the sorbet was perfect. In fact she commented that it was “The best I have ever tasted” which added to my experience of an ample portion of gorgeous, warm velvety Tiramisu; made for a perfect end to a perfect meal.

Overall, I was very impressed with the restaurant, which made my Girlie night out so much more enjoyable.


On another plus side, my friend has suggested that she may be to take her very fussy husband there.

Well one thing is for sure: no one will be leaving hungry.

Hashtag STUFFED!

Thank you Rossopomodoro for a great evening – I will be visiting again.

If you decide to go, please let me know about your experience….

A little extra help when you need it….

11 Dec


Are you full of Christmas cheer?

Usually, I AM Mrs Christmas, However this year has been my first as a “Small Business Owner” & I have been completely responsible for my own success (or failure); along with being responsible for my family & their wellbeing; my homelife & the balance we should all have; pets, bills, health issues & a partridge in a pear tree!

So I’m afraid Christmas just seemed to pile on the pressure. So whilst I was researching for a client of mine (unrelated to Christmas, but Karin went off on a tangent!) I decided to research how other small business owners cope with being so “responsible” for everything…

I have found online groups for “ideas” ranging from marketing, cheap packaging, discounted stationary & online advertising forums, all of which can be helpful.  I have also found networking meetings (some at a cost) which again can be invaluable (if they are relevant).

But I wanted something which would just give someone like me a “shoulder”, Something that didn’t need me to think too much about the why’s & where-for’s nor require me to be “clever” & “prove” myself in my own business arena when I was there, as networking meetings can sometimes do….

So I asked for ideas in a few forums & I asked some of my clients & “Coaching” has been suggested to me..

Now as a lay person, Coaching can sound very “you can’t cope” – BUT I know sometimes, I just need someone to help partner me through issues.

Now let me be clear. I DO NOT mean Counsel me in any way shape or form, as anyone who knows me would scream out hysterically – “NO WAY”… I am my own, very independent & sometimes obstinate person. But Just to have someone outside my immediate family/friends circle (who let’s be honest, as small business people, we all rely on a little too much sometimes) to help clarify a way forward or help see a challenge in a new way, could be absolutely invaluable!

Relate this to a business situation you have faced, one where a fresh perspective may have helped you navigate through a situation you found difficult, without feeling you were taking advantage of a friendship or worse, letting someone into a situation you didn’t really feel comfortable with.

I have found that over the last 8 months or so, running a small business has been the most frustrating, rewarding, time consuming, challenging, fantastic thing I’ve ever done. My family would tell you I am chained to my laptop, yet seem happier. However if coaching could help me get priorities in order & help me bounce idea’s around, so I didn’t have to mull them over a million times before making a decision, How much more time would I have to enjoy my new found freedom?

So if you are still with me, I researched to find a coach for business women like me.

I found Margot Bloom 

A UK based service that just seems to “get  it”.

By that I mean she seems to understand the fact that sometimes women in business have different stresses & she understands the fact that we are all happier when life runs smoothly, the smallest of things can upset the whole day.

Mrs Bloom has a philosophy; If mum’s happy, everyone is happy!

Also never one to be swayed by websites, I of course looked for reviews & I found these

Mrs Bloom Reviews

Please take a look at her site; I am so impressed, as she caters for every level of a clients need, Such as 30 minutes with Margot webcasts, to Intensive yet relaxing weekends away.

BUT my favourite & the one I can see really helping many of the business women I speak with is her RUBY PACKAGE

This package is a monthly subscription to Margot’s coaching services – you chose what level and type of support you need on a week to week basis, which has a special offer at the moment of the below for just £8.88 for the first month & £38 per month thereafter.

For this you will receive –

2 hours phone/Skype time with Margot | Email support | Access to Margot’s toolkit of self-help eBooks, worksheets and exercises

1 to 1 time with Margot, which can be taken in multiples of 15 minute slots – 1 email reply per week is included, further replies are treated as 15 minutes of  1 to 1 time – Access to toolkit is unlimited.

Please let me know if you take up this offer – (Click here), or indeed if you partake of any of Margot’s Coaching; I for one will be watching her webcasts from now on & am seriously considering her services

PS for my male following, Margot wouldn’t leave you out; of course you are invited along too

However – if you want me to research one aimed for you highflying businessmen, Just let me know!


Christmas is COMING!!!

13 Nov


If you are anything like me, Busy constantly (or thats what it feels like) – Christmas hasnt crept up this year – its positively RUN UP on us all!

So, I have been looking for some novel, inexpensive & unique idea’s to help me manage all the things (not just present shopping) that I have to get organised!

With this in mind – I have found the following website – Not only do they do beautiful ecards for every ocassion, they have the perfect selection of customisable Christmas ecards.

Now I was a bit sceptical about ecards – thinking they may apear a bit thoughtless & last minute, BUT believe me, this site offers such variety & as said previously, each ecard can be fully customised (With Gorgeous music), so I believe they are not only perfect for the most deserning customer / friends /family member they clearly say “I’ve thought about you XXX”.

I also (whilst wandering round the site) discovered the story behind the team, which is beautiful in itself & made me want to buy from them – As  you know – Im a great advocate of people buy from people & this Husband & Wife team not only have beautiful cards for your pleasure, they have an OjolieBlog & Twitter for you to peruse, thereby opening their arms & welcoming you into their world (Figuratively speaking) – Showing you the story of the cards from inspiration through design & through to the end product.

The Christmas ecards are wonderful, Take a look here – OjolieChristmasecards.

And when you do, take a look at this one – Reindeers – MY fave!!!!!

Dont be suprised if you receive one of these from me…

Highly recommended!


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