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Standing up for Business in Newark

With the reigning chairman’s birthday coinciding with the new tax year, it’s no surprise that April’s Newark Business Club meeting took us on a tour of financial survival, writes Sara Chadd.

The new executive committee now has three accountants; chairman Michelle Allen of Wright Vigar, vice-chairman Simon Shaw of Duncan & Toplis and treasurer Malcolm Ellison, FCA.

April sponsors L & P Social Media are the latest co-operative venture on the block, a combination of Louise Hudson’s social media prowess with Paul Wilson’s media training expertise.

Together they should go far. Next, Sue Breedon of The Utility Warehouse had some tips on how to survive the recession with network marketing, one of the most financially buoyant activities of the present world recession.

Sue introduced network marketing as a way to recession-proof personal income. She said one in ten parents were now supporting their adult children with their retirement savings, and more than half the population in the over-40 age bracket had no or insufficient pension arrangements of their own.

The Utility Warehouse has been operating in the UK for 17 years and in 2012 was the fourth highest income-earner in the UK out of 1,000 top businesses.

Not surprising then that some top business leaders endorse and own network marketing firms, including US stock-magnate Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Alan Sugar and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

It’s an appealing prospect for income generation, because it’s a sector that has no favourites and treats everyone the same regardless of their background, but rewards those that perform.

Another story of epic survival came from Stephen Wightman, business development director of the Caledonian Group, based at Carlton-on-Trent, just north of Newark. Describing Caledonian rather humbly, I thought, as a building contractor, he said the group had seen three of its chief rivals bite the dust during this recession.

After radical surgery, Caledonian is now the only large specialist modular manufacturer left in the UK. The firm has nevertheless seen its fortunes shrink, but has still emerged with strong financial stability.

The miracle came about through fancy footwork, innovation and diversification. Caledonian revisited the education sector and achieved contracts worth £20m in student buildings in the last six months.

They built the £7.5million modular Farnborough Academy for Nottingamshire County Council last year. Their innovative Bathroom Pod section is worth £4million.

0Caledonian is also constructing a central London hotel with rooms for £40 a night.

Next meeting: Friday, May 2, 2014 - 7am
at The Everyday Champions Centre, Newark
Social media support for Newark businesses

Two of the Newark area’s leading social media experts have teamed up to help local businesses get the most out of their online marketing.

L & P Social Media is run by Louise Hudson and Paul Wilson, who have helped scores of organisations, small and large, grow their profile, audiences and win new customers through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

“When Facebook launched 10 years ago, very few people had even heard of social media and many business owners were sceptical about its value.

Today, social media is widely regarded as an essential marketing activity,” says Louise, pointing out that a major study last year by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK revealed that nearly 80% of consumers would be more inclined to buy more often in the future because of a brand's presence on social media.

Louise and Paul have been approached by many local business owners looking for guidance and assistance in this area.

“Building your audience and engaging with them effectively takes time and know-how,” explains Paul. “That’s where we can help. It’s all about agreeing a client’s objectives, preparing an appropriate strategy and then making it happen.

” The services L & P Social Media provide range from an initial audit of current activity, through the setting up of social network accounts to a complete social media management service.

“We always look at things through your customers’ eyes,” Louise added.

“With social media, people want to get to know a brand’s personality and even have some fun! It’s all about engagement.”

For more information on L & P Social Media, contact Louise Hudson on 07738 232223 or Paul Wilson on 0772 589 6888.  

 
     
   

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