Monday, 16 December 2013

Last Minute Christmas Gifts to get you out of trouble!!

Instead of going to Amazon, why not choose a different kind of gift voucher this year. Here are a few ideas to start with and maybe I'll add some more as I discover them...

Lampshade Craft Course & Soft Furnishings Gift Voucher

more about
Gift vouchers for craft courses and soft furnishings

more about Lampshade making course

Make a 30cm drum lampshade at a 3 hour workshop which guides each person through the process of creating a lampshade from the fabric selection or using materials from home. The course includes:
- placing & cutting fabric
- attaching lampshade laminate
- finishing the inside of the lampshade.

All materials & refreshments are included for £35:
- lampshade kit
- a choice of fabrics & selection of trimmings
plus tea or coffee & cake.

For more details, to order a voucher or to book a course, call Mrs Steed on 01371 872697

Makeover and Photoshoot from £19

Book by 24th December - £38 for TWO people to experience up to 4 hours with trained make-up artists and stylists.Included for each person is an individual print for to from the photoshoot.

An enjoyable gift for friends, sisters or mother-and-daughter to share.

For more information on this and the following gift ideas, call 01923 44 0000

Paintball for 4 (Nationwide sites)

Half price if you book this offer by 24th December.

Only £20 per person (for 4 people)

Includes all equipment andlunch.

Over 50 locations available nationwide


EyeSkate in London from £8 to £13 per person, until 5th January.
Full details: Eyeskate London

B&B North London, £18 per person per night, 10 minutes walk from Camden Market.
Book by 29th December for dates up to 30th April.
More details: B&B London

Best wishes for Christmas and a Happy 2014 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

To F/up or Not to F/up?

We've just been given the go-ahead to build a website for a new client. The original contact was made in November 2012 - I found the email in the 'referrals' folder. While I was there, I looked through some other referrals that haven't (yet) developed into new clients.

These are examples of genuine un-converted referrals from happy clients who have recommended The BPc:

July - a website client recommended us to a local village pub. We contacted them once and followed up once. Nothing heard at all from them.

June - we had a meeting with a local accountancy firm following a recommendation from a social media client. They are currently very busy and advised that it may be quite some time before they have time to re-vamp their website for a properly optimised site. We keep in touch every few weeks.

April - initial discussion (on-going) with local hairdresser who has no website, following a recommendation from another of our clients. We keep in touch every couple of months.

Between September and November last year, we had three referrals that have never gone further, there are many others prior to those. We are pleased that our clients continue to recommend us and, in fact, some clients have sent a number of people our way. We've never paid to promote our services since the company was formed, over 20 years ago.

We write blogs quite a lot, though ;-)

The question is - how often should they be followed up? We reckon that unless we are encouraged to keep in touch, twice is about right. Feel free to comment...

Friday, 23 August 2013

Twitter. Why do you want more followers?

A tweet appeared on my timeline recently "I need more followers" and I wondered why. I guess that tweeting away if nobody is reading is akin to talking to oneself but surely the followers will follow if there is a reason to do so.

So, why do you need or want more followers? Perhaps the ones you have don't interact - do you interact with them?

To find tweeters with some common ground, search for your local town or the football club you support, look at their profiles or follow them for a while (you can always un-follow - and don't worry if you lose some followers along the way).

Why do you need more followers? For business marketing purposes, this is understandable - it's a measure of the popularity of your brand and an opportunity to market to a wider audience. It's also an opportunity to interact with your customers and potential customers or provide them with a service. You may be interested in How to Increase Your Twitter Followers.

Some people are obsessed with increasing their number of followers on a personal level. In order to do this, many who are not wittily original or otherwise interesting (or famous) often use the strategy of following as many people as possible in the hope that they will be followed back. What's the point? These are value-less followers because people who are following numerous accounts are clearly not interested in reading all the tweets.

Of course, the canny ones who follow thousands will create a list or lists of tweeters that they are really interested in so that they can easily be read, and the other tweets ignored.

Whenever someone follows my twitter account, I do them the courtesy of checking them out and deciding whether I want to follow them back. Usually, if I find their tweets interesting, informative, relative, I'll follow back but I will un-follow if they tweet too many times a day or just keep plugging the same thing: boring! There are several people who followed me then stopped following me, reasons unknown, but it doesn't matter - in the same way that not everyone I meet becomes a friend.

I like to feel some connection with people I follow and therefore my main disappointment is that I don't get much interaction. For example, if I'm interesting enough to follow, why not respond or retweet?

You can follow The BPc at

Comments/responses are welcome ... 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Is Branding More Important than Customers' Needs?

During the process of designing and creating a Brand for products, many other factors take priority over what the customer would like.

For example, if a global company sells a range of beauty products, they would have to put specific information on the packaging for various countries, which means that the packaging may be larger and incur additional costs when multiplied by millions - what normally happens is that the font size used is as small as they can realistically manage. This makes choosing a new product off the shelf a very difficult task for people over middle-age, unless they are used to wearing their glasses on shopping trips.

Additionally, a super-chic brand likes to keep packaging uniform so that the brand is identifiable at a glance. If branding dictates that a box should be pink with red, white and blue polka-dots, customers can easily spot it amongst all the other brands.

However, when you take home your spotty boxes and throw them away, you are often left with identical product containers inside, with just the 8pt font to indicate whether it is night cream or day cream, eye make up remover or nail varnish remover.

Some companies get it right and consider the more mature client who uses the bathroom sans reading glasses - a dark blue label for night cream and a sunny yellow label for day cream with SPF 75 (possibly lobster red labelling for day cream with a low SPF? Haha!) These companies probably have a staff with mature ladies in positions of influence - even if it is the boss's wife!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

0845 'phone numbers

I have long avoided calling 0845 numbers. They are a total rip-off and it makes me angry that we are forced to PAY to WAIT for service - it's like paying for every second we queue for tellers at a bank or check-outs at a supermarket! You can't help wondering if revenue-generating waiting times are deliberately longer.

Even the government's HMRC condones, in fact uses, 0845 numbers. I can see that the original concept was to cover costs of the service but it is an unfair system when there is no alternative. With no choice, the caller has no control over the amount he/she will spend - how long in the queue, the quality of the response at the call centre, etc. - or if it will be value-for-money and time well spent.

So... a plea to businesses: don't sign up for these services because you will lose customers. Dave Millet of the Branduin Business Support team seems to be the person who can help small businesses with their telecoms decisions (no, he's not paying me for this but he has helped a couple of our clients).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

New Year's Resolution

Well, we've been paying for the new site for more than two years now and haven't progressed. It really needs to move upwards on the 'to do' list.

We started to develop it in WordPress and probably set out to accomplish too much all at once. Perhaps if we just put up a two-page site for now, we could build it modularly. In other words, follow our own advice to our clients who feel overwhelmed at the prospect of pulling everything together.

In our case, we rarely have more than a couple of hours available before a client requires our attention - and the clients must be our first priority for, without them, we really would need a spectacular website in order to attract new clients!

Resolution for 2013: Publish the new website.

Meanwhile, feel free to read our blogs:
... and definitely Follow BPcUK on Twitter. Thank you!