BIZ – 2 – CONSUMER Power Group Meeting
16th January 2012
- Richard Reed – Prestige Holiday & Travel Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brian Painter – Pilgrim Hypnotherapy email@example.com
- Dawn Ribnell – Metlock Printers Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marcelle Saad – Marcelle Saad Diamonds email@example.com
- Hugh Nicholas – Qudos Photography firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Plumley – Integrate Networks Ltd. email@example.com
- Sarada Chaudhuri – The Event Detective firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Probert – Utility Warehouse Discount Club email@example.com
- Geoff Todd – Terra Firma Landscape Services firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graham Thurston – Carpets Direct email@example.com
- John Tisshaw – Warlingham Wines firstname.lastname@example.org / Forever Living Products email@example.com
Round up of previous meeting
Richard did a quick recap as follows:
- The meetings will be bi-monthly at 5pm on the 3rd Monday (next meeting will be on 19th March)
- The venue will remain at The George & Dragon, Mountnessing for now, but members are welcome to look for alternatives that may be better
- Sarada is currently doing the minutes for this meeting, but ideally it would be good to rotate this, so Richard requested volunteers
- The purpose is to build better relationships within the Group, particularly between those with natural synergies between their businesses
- Richard also reminded the Group about the importance of networking, and being committed to it, with reference to a free guide that Sarada had circulated on networking. Geoff mentioned that networking had helped his business tremendously, particularly when he added gritting services to his gardening/landscaping services.
Potential new members
The Power Groups are open to both EBF and non-EBF members, and current Group members are encouraged to try to bring at least one new member along.
Potential new Power Group members have been identified:
- Limousine business, who is keen to attend, but currently his schedule conflicts with the Monday meetings
- Daniella Crick, florist at Flowerhouse is very interested, as her family commitments currently conflict with EBF membership and attendance
Marketing the Power Group
David had drafted a document about the purpose of Power Groups, which is to be used as a base for marketing this B2C Group. He provided each attendee with a copy, and talked through the different areas. Feedback and suggestions are invited from all the B2C members, and they are to email either Richard or Dawn.
Dawn mentioned that Scott runs social media strategy sessions, as part of his business, and it would be a good idea to invite him to run such a session for EBF/Power Group members.
Hugh talked about his access to marketing knowledge, via contacts and training with companies such as The Marketing Compass, and is happy to share this knowledge with EBF/Power Group members.
Hugh and Sarada talked about effective social media/online marketing methods. These could be translated into promoting the Power Group/EBF/members’ businesses such as including a short video/audio profile of our businesses, why people should join EBF etc. These could be uploaded onto a specific Power Group section of the EBF website, for example. Dawn mentioned that Scott originally had an idea to video members talking about their business e.g. during their 60-second slots etc. It was agreed that Sarada, Hugh, Scott and David would liaise on this area.
Richard reminded the Group about reviving regular 1-1s with each other. David agreed to compile a grid of Power Group members to cross-reference people who’ve had 1-1s, and requested that we keep David updated as we have them.
As agreed at the last meeting, each member gave us 3 minutes on their business, what they’re looking for etc.
Hugh (Qudos Photography)
Has 30yrs experience in the photography industry, is currently looking for 3-4 day work from commercial clients, and also teaching photography to individuals, schools, etc. Hugh is replacing his portraiture services with these particular areas.
David mentioned an EDAP programme at Ford Motor Co. i.e. a scheme for employees to learn a new skill from a selection of approved experts. This would be very useful for Hugh to get involved with.
Geoff (Terra Firma)
Deals with commercial clients and consumers, with a wide range of services, as well as doing the clearing up. Their policy is that a customer shouldn’t even have to pick up a broom afterwards!
Very wide range of services e.g. structural landscaping, garden maintenance, special installations, staging etc. from concept to completion. Some of their installations have been for special events such as weddings e.g. the section between the house and marquee etc.
Terra Firma is a family business – Geoff’s son even has a degree in the horticulture/landscaping field.
Dawn (Dawn & Associates)
Is a ‘traditional’ marketer, i.e. offline marketing such as print, press etc. but also strategic marketing, copywriting and copyediting. She complements Scott’s internet marketing expertise, and works with non-profits and commercial clients. Her work with both areas is similar i.e. for charities, it’s about increasing donations; with companies, it’s about increasing sales.
She also works with Hugh i.e. bringing in his photography skills for the client as necessary.
Brian (Pilgrim Hypnotherapy)
Although the majority of his practice is around hypnotherapy, he is also a Certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner. NLP explores the links between how we think, communicate and our behaviour/emotional patterns, and is used to address a range of emotional issues. He is also qualified in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which involves tapping on various acupressure points on the body, to address various issues.
He also specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which helps clients overcome various issues based on traumatic memories/experiences. It is based on the principle that the practitioner can observe the client’s eye movements, which will change depending on their recall of pictures, sounds, feelings etc. and can help them accordingly.
His main business comes from clients wanting to stop smoking, and even though he is predominantly B2C, he does have some commercial clients.
He always offers a free initial consultation, where he asks client if they think they can work with him, and then asks them to think about it before making a decision.
David (Integrate Networks)
The consumer side of his business involves PC upgrades, repairs or selling clients a new computer if that doesn’t work, and his prices are generally cheaper than the high street. He supplies Dell and Aspire products.
He offers free mini-audits for homes with multiple computers e.g. file-sharing, home networking, internet safety e.g. firewalls, DNS filters, parental controls etc.
Since many consumer clients do an element of work from home, David can advise and offer remote access, both free and paid-for solutions, back up processes (he does an unlimited package of £4.95/month for backups), synchronizing data, VPNs etc.
Ultimately, David’s aim is to help people become more efficient when working on their home computer.
John (Utility Warehouse)
John is a representative of UW, which is owned by Telecom Plus. They provide phone, broadband, gas and electricity for residential and commercial clients. Phone/broadband is proprietary i.e. Telecom Plus, but they will get you the best deal from other providers with your other utilities.
John meets with clients to find out how much they are currently paying for utilities – 99% of the time he can save them money, and maximum savings are made if you are a ‘multiple customer’ e.g. take out more than one service.
They have been a Which? recommended provider for energy and home phone/broadband for the past 3 years. They can also give savings on storage heaters – this is not available for commercial clients, as they can only fit standard meters.
They also have a Pay-As-You-Go card scheme, where you top it up with credit, and can use it to get up to 25% cashback at 40 high street retailers. They have a UK-based call centre, and you generally only wait 10-15s before you speak to someone.
Richard (Prestige Holiday & Travel)
Richard is an independent travel consultant, and is paid when he brings business from the consumer to the supplier.
He can generally get good savings on flights e.g. he has a Virgin flight supplier who gets the same rate regardless of availability – if you were to go direct to Virgin, you would be charged an increased rate as the availability reduces.
He always uses trusted suppliers, and hasn’t had anyone lose money because of a supplier going bankrupt. Richard has also helped customers to get money back from travel insurance claims.
He doesn’t just focus on big, long-haul holidays i.e. he will also cater to clients wanting short breaks, as it can lead to more. The majority of his clients come through repeat business.
Richard prefers to tailor-make the itineraries for his clients, and will never put together a package that he wouldn’t go on himself. His ideal client is someone who believes they deserve an exceptional holiday – the best times and best memories.
Marcelle (Marcelle Saad Diamonds)
Not shown by request.
Sarada (The Event Detective)
Aithough Sarada mainly focuses on business events that are used for training, marketing etc. she will also help clients who want to organize a special social event, such as a retirement party, wedding, birthday etc.
She has been in the event industry for around 10 years, and has worked on large- and small-scale projects. Although she has her own network of suppliers, she is always keen to meet new ones via Group members.
She offers 3 levels of service:
- A DIY package, where clients can download training materials to learn how to run the event themselves – she is currently working on one at the moment
- A Consultancy package, where clients have access to Sarada 1-1 for advice on problems they may run into with their event, or if they need help with theming, concepts etc.
- A ‘do-it-for-you’ package, where clients provide Sarada with a brief of what they want and when, and then hand over all the responsibility to her to make it happen.
The meeting ended a bit later than usual (!) but it was a great meeting with lots of interesting contributions.
The next date was set for 5pm, Monday 19th March at The George and Dragon, Mountnessing