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Archive for July, 2010

Very recently, thanks to Staffordshire University and their support of the Bizfizz project, a short course (5 weeks) was held at the Arts Media and Design Faculty for a group of Bizfizz clients to learn how to use the free tools on the internet to create websites for their new businesses and how to use social media for marketing.

Many businesses now need to consider how their business model needs to change or adapt to ensure that they are taking full advantage of the Web and how it can easily and cheaply, offer them markets they previously didn’t reach.

Adeptly facilitated by Clare White and Carl Plant, and assisted by Lou Reynolds and myself, the clients embarked on a real journey of discovery. Whilst there was a considerable range of skills in the room, none had attempted settting up their own sites and connecting them in a way which would deliver any kind of meaningful web presence.

Some were a little nervous about the weeks ahead, but nevertheless enthusiastic and attentive. Each of the sessions gave one more piece of  learning which built into the clients whole web profile. As with so many people new to these tools, they were delighted at what was available out there and how simple much of it is.

Here is a little about those lovely people who have started their businesses;

Firstly, June Bentley. Like so many, June was fed up with redundancy and lack of  job opportunities locally, yet possessed skills which she could turn into a small business having been a machinist for over 30 years. June can undertake anything from wedding dresses to upholstery, soft furnishings and alterations, all of which she does beautifully. It is Junes dream to open her own shop, which, all being well, she hopes to do within the next 12 months.

June Bentley gathering information during the Bizfizzit course

 Some thinking going on

June set up her Twitter profile @sewgood, and then found useful sites for offering her bespoke products (a range from handbags to wedding accessories), explored ways to create a small website (currently under construction) and gave a wonderful presentation at the end of the course on what she’d learn’t and how she could use it. Already June  is using the internet much more confidently, and is no longer afraid of anything online, a terrific outcome.

June can be contacted on : 07934 334975 for all your sewing needs!

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Rob Winnard who attended the course has kindly put together a little about his story, so here it is in his own words:

My Motivation for starting this business:

   After spending a short spell as an unemployed sales representative and finding it difficult to get back on the ladder where I left off I was made aware of Loxos through one of my Fathers contacts and quickly decided that I would try my hand at selling this exciting, high quality product; professional changing stations which are designed to withstand all high traffic areas such as Child Day Care Nurseries and relevant hospital wards. The model range covers from newborn through toddlers and up to age 4 – 5.

    After a trip to the factory in France in late 2009 with my sales and marketing pitch in hand I was successful and signed contracts to cover all sales for the UK and Ireland in January. After a cold winter converting an old barn at my parents house to a rather nice office I was able to begin my sales and marketing campaign (ongoing) in March.

 The Story So Far:

  Since starting in early March we have been lucky enough to have made our first few sales and are beginning to see hits to the web, and also enquiries increase steadily which should hopefully, with some hard work, convert to sales. Our first hard copy advertisement will appear in the July issue of “Flying Start Magazine” for all those in the industry to see……. conversion to sales remains to be seen!!

I have also been working long and hard at marketing the EarlyQuip name through a combination of e-mails and phone calls to day care groups, independent nurseries, architects, construction companies, schools and anybody else I have found that may have a need for one of our stations. We are also now in negotiations with a Bristol based company whom have a history of supplying similar goods to NHS projects which will be the place to find our much needed volume sales making it a very important area in which to be specified.

  With the help of BizFizz and Staffs University the name “EarlyQuip” can also now be found on Twitter and blogging at WordPress.com to try and increase awareness of our products and also give others an insight into the man behind the business as well as the business itself. This activity has helped increase my online networking activity as all new contacts may have a new and very important piece of information that leads to new business!. With a little more work all these sites will be linked to each other to ensure all paths lead to the (once) lonely Island that is my main web page (www.EarlyQuip.com).

    The course for me has been very helpful in helping me understand what is really out there in the social media (business) world so I try to do a little each day to ensure that I am not left behind when trying to aquire the constant market information needed “straight from the horses mouth”. With a mountain to climb I now find myself only a couple of feet from the base but now armed with the tools I need and with a much clearer path to the top !! Baby steps , baby steps !!

An example of one of Earlyquips products This is one of the range of products available from earlyquip

Robert Winnard, UK Sales Manager

EarlyQuip – UK Loxos Agents

T: +44 (0)1298 687111
M: 07909 234 569
Shay Side – Elkstones – Longnor – Buxton- Derbyshire- SK17 0LS.
www.earlyquip.com
www.loxos.fr

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More clients to follow soon………………………

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