I'm sure you've noticed that after browsing online for something, similar things seem to magically appear in your inbox?
You may be aware that Amazon tracks all of it's customers browsing history so that they may offer them items more closely matched to their likes?
This technology is being used by many online suppliers in an attempt to ensure that they, rather than their competition get your business.
Whilst this can be useful in helping you to focus on the things you want rather than the ocean of other products available on the web, it can become a nuisance. Particularly when your email in box is bombarded with spam!
Without getting overly technical, all web browsers keep a history of your searches. This means that they can also keep a record of sites you've used your email address(es) to log into. Vastly increasing their ability to send you spam. By the way, when your PC starts to run slowly, this is the first thing we try to clean up!
If you use Google Chrome however, they've introduced a useful little tool called 'Incognito window'. This deliberately keeps no history meaning you can browse or do online banking and be happy that no history is kept when the browser is closed.
What's in a Business Name?
I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about business names, all part of having a under occupied fertile imagination! However, when it comes to naming a business of my own my creativity comes to a full stop.
Unless you are fortunate enough to own a business such as virgin, eBay or Coca Cola many small businesses remain invisible to most of the world. Almost everyone living in Britain knows that M & S sells knickers, not because their name suggests it such as the Tie Wrack did, but because they have money to spend on national advertising campaigns.
My previous boutique was named Kit and Caboodle. I thought this was a name that explained the business 'kit' as in clothes and Caboodle 'everything else' an explanation for all the shoes, hats and accessories that we sold. This is per the dictionary definition of caboodle. Quite a few people thought the shop was a sewing shop - why I am still not sure?
So as I prepare to name my new business, I am thinking what is the status quo? Should a SME business name say what the business does, such as 'Design Nation' an interior design company. Or should the name just be something catchy, or trendy such as 'Purple Rinse' a shop selling retro clothing and music. Perhaps the name should include the address such as 'Bath Road Market', in Cheltenham. Louisa's Funky Vintage & Craft Fairs includes my name in an attempt to make the business personal, so that people can associate the business to a real person.
But does any of this matter?
I can understand that 'Shaky Hands' wouldn't be a good name for a hairdressers or barbers shop or a business name such as 'Colour Blindness' wouldn't enlist trust in an electrician or interior designer,
But just how much impact does a SME business name have?
Will a business name that includes the address signpost more people to the business, yet it may say little as to what the business does or sells? Should the name include what type of business it is? Should it include 'buzz' words that might date quickly?
It is beginning to feel to me that the area of business names could encompass a whole field of sociological / psychological study. But for now I am in need a name for my business, that perhaps should include what the business does, where it is and something catchy and trendy!
What do you consider a good business name? All suggestions and thoughts are welcome.
Louisa's Funky Vintage & Craft Fairs
Savaged At Birth!
Some of you may know about my passion for Classic Cars - particularly the MK 2 Cortina. Or to be more precise, the incredibly rare Savage V6 3 litre (of which I’m a proud owner). CAN 187H is my pride and joy, a car that has been part of my life for the last 24 years. It’s given me an immense amount of pleasure during this time. We’ve had great fun and visited some fabulous places in Europe (not to mention all over the UK).
Owning a classic car: not as expensive as you’d think
Owning a classic car doesn't have to be an expensive experience. You can use one as a daily driver, or for weekend transport. Just choose a car that suites your budget, requirements and desires! These are the most important factors, along with keeping it good running order. With some time, dedication and TLC, you can have a car that will give you an infinite of fun (whilst drawing admiring glances from the public).
You can see and learn more about my Savage V6 Cortina MK2 atwww.urensavagev6cortinamk2.co.uk
In December 2008, I had the misfortune to fall from the roof-level of my mum’s house on to a small flight of steps, resulting in me breaking my back. To say that I was lucky is an understatement! In retrospect, I was close to being paralysed, or worse.
Thankfully, the Midlands Air Ambulance lifted me from Drybrook to Frenchey Hospital, This valuable service got me there in around 20 minutes. X Rays, MRI and CTC scans showed I hadn't broken anything else, I guess a broken back was enough! The doctors ordered over 7 months off work. However, I also had to wear a special back brace for 3 months, which prevented me from bending and doing all the usual things… as well as driving.
Naturally, I’m extremely grateful to all the nursing staff for looking after me. The Midlands Air Ambulance service literally saved my life!
Rally Nite: A celebration of rally escorts & more…
So, bearing all of the above in mind, allow me introduce you to Rally Nite - a celebration of rally escorts and lots more besides. This is a show for the petrol heads amongst you, but if even if you're not; it's still well worth the trip. This event will be taking place at the Brewery, Cheltenham.
See top classic rally and classic cars all in one place
You can look forward to more cars in the Après bar. Here, you will be able to see a film show, auction and tributes by Tony Mason, Ex Top Gear presenter, and co-driver to the late Roger Clarke (who he navigated to victory in the RAC rally of 1970).
Rally winners & other treasures
Hannu Mikkala's London to Mexico World Cup Rally winning MK1 Escort (replica) will also be attending the event. There are even rumours that the 3 Minis from “The Italian Job” may make an appearance (to be confirmed). However, I can say that you’ll be able to see an RS200 rally car and many more gems.
Bristol Street Motors (Main Sponsors) and the Ford Motor Co. road show will be covering Rally Nite. It’s going to be a very special occasion, because they’ll be unveiling their brand new 500 bhp fastback Mustang (a UK first). Yes, this will be the very first sighting of their new model, and I'm very proud to say that Ford andBristol Street Cheltenham have invited me to display my Savage to the show! This will be a special evening for me, as this show will be raising funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance
So, this is very fitting considering the fact that needed their help back in 2008.
The Air Ambulance road show will be in attendance, holding a raffle during the evening.
Local singer Jo Silver will be singing, and a world famous magician will be working his magic and trickery around the bars and restaurants.
To top it all off, Richard Hammond, Stevie Windwood and Sir Jeff Hurst have been invited and, it's hoped that they will attend.
So please do come along say hello, and enjoy an evening of motoring nostalgia!
The Brewery Cheltenham
Monday 1st December
Open time 6.00pm
Another Local Treasure
Following on from a delightful visit to Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens a couple of weekends ago, this last Sunday with the weather being bright and sunny I decided to venture to Dewstow Gardens and Grottoes in Caerwent. The aesthetics of the tea room is not to the standard of Wydncliffe, but the food was good with scrumptious cakes to tempt.
The Gardens and Grottoes are a tranquil delight, just what is needed to calm the mind and soul after a hectic week of business. I found the gardens to be magical and relaxing, there is a bugs trail to occupy the younger visitors, whilst the adults enjoy the spellbinding setting. The history of these gardens is intriguing too, it captured my imagination, wondering what drives a grown man to create such a magical place in his private garden, which accordingly was kept private until it's rediscovery until relatively recently.
I would highly recommend anyone with a free afternoon visiting this local curiosity, though do check the website as the Gardens close during the winter months. www.dewstowgardens.co.uk
Would you know if your child was dyspraxic?
Following a diagnostic assessment on a forty-year-old Mum of three which found her to have dyslexia with co-existing dyspraxia, this was her response:
“I looked up dyspraxia as you mentioned it in the report and that definitely fits for me to a degree but I was shocked that it described my daughter completely! She is above average at school in everything except sports, is 14 still struggling with shoelaces and riding bike etc she has very emotional outbursts still that I know she can't control but just thought she was like me as I struggle with controlling emotions also. I really think I should have her tested as she is starting GCSE this year, her biggest anxiety has always been tests and exams and the school have never supported her with this despite my continuous telling them of her distress. All the school do is moan about her handwriting which is bad and she struggles with speaking clearly, but because she is smart no one has ever suggested getting her tested
She was born two weeks early and very traumatic she did not crawl and has extreme sensitivity to noise and food. I would be interested in your opinion as to the benefits of testing or not.”
This is not untypical for several reasons:
1. 70% of people with dyslexia have at least one co-existing condition (in this case the Mother)
2. The person I did the diagnosis for had not thought she was dyslexic because she could read well and it had never been picked up before
3. She had concerns about her youngest child, but had not mentioned any concerns about her eldest prior to the report
4. The characteristics outlined in her email are strong indications that her daughter has dyspraxia – though obviously it would require a full assessment to be sure.
I’d urge any parent with concerns to at least investigate further. There are lots of good websites and resources, but there is also a great deal of mis-information. Teachers are generally not given training on how to spot or work with specific learning differences such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, so we can’t always blame them. However, if the system of initial teacher training were to include mandatory training on the subject, they could have a much better understanding and be able to support such learners more effectively without the child needing to be labelled.
I offer training to schools, colleges and workplaces, and the ones who have received in-house training or attended workshops, have found it very helpful. They have been able to implement support with little cost. In fact, it could be that any outlay on training and a few resources would soon be re-cooped:
· children would be happier as their learning needs were being met
· they would learn more effectively
· they would become less disruptive or stressed
· less time and effort would be spent on having to manage problems
· the school would be more inclusive which would attract more parents to sending their children there
Regarding the mother thinking she could not be dyslexic as she could read – well that’s another blog.
An RCD, or residual current device, is a life-saving device which is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires. RCDs offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.
What does an RCD do?
An RCD is a sensitive safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault. An RCD is designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults. For example, if you cut through the cable when mowing the lawn and accidentally touched the exposed live wires or a faulty appliance overheats causing electric current to flow to earth. It can trip in a little as 10ms (Milliseconds) which will limit the amount of current passing through your body (30 milliamps) They are designed to limit the current to 30ma as it only takes 80ma of current to cause death by asphyxiation from an electrical shock.
How does it work?
An RCD constantly monitors the electric current flowing through one or more circuits it is used to protect. If it detects electricity flowing down an unintended path, such as through a person who has touched a live part, the RCD will switch the circuit off very quickly, significantly reducing the risk of death or serious injury.
What are the main types of RCD?
RCDs can help protect you from electric shock in potentially dangerous areas like bathrooms and gardens, and there are various types of RCDs that can be used to make sure you are always as safe as possible.
These are installed in the consumer unit (fusebox) and can provide protection to individual or groups of circuits. A fixed RCD provides the highest level of protection as it protects all the wiring and the sockets on a circuit, and any connected appliances.
These are special socket-outlets with an RCD built into them which can be used in place of a standard socket-outlet. This type of RCD provides protection only to the person in contact with equipment, including its lead, plugged into the special socket-outlet.
These plug into any standard socket-outlet. An appliance can then be plugged into the RCD. They are useful when neither fixed nor socket-outlet RCDs are available but, as with socket-outlet RCDs, they provide protection only to the person in contact with the equipment, including its lead, plugged into the portable RCD.
Are RCDs reliable?
We’ve found that fixed RCDs are about 97% reliable. This improves if they are tested regularly. If you have fixed RCD protection, it will reduce the risk of electric shock to you and your family. It can also protect your home against the risk of fire caused by faulty wiring or appliances.
Remember – Although RCD protection reduces the risk of death or injury from electric shock it does not reduce the need to be careful. Have your wiring checked at least once every 10 years to ensure the safety of you, your family and your home. If you find a fault with your wiring, or an appliance, stop using it immediately and contact a Registered Electrician.
Don’t forget to test – You should test all fixed and socket RCDs about every three months. Manufacturers recommend that portable RCDs are tested every time you use them. Beware – If you hold the test button in for a long time and the RCD does not switch off the electricity supply, then get advice from a registered electrician. The test button on all of these devices will only let you know the mechanics of the RCD is functioning correctly it will not let you know if the RCD is operating in the correct time (ms) or the correct value (ma). Theses test can only be performed by a qualified electrician.
Local Electric Limited are a Coleford electrician service offering all kinds of electrical services from singles sockets to full house rewires. Specialising in EICR (Electrical Installation Conditions Reports) for pre property purchase reports to landlord safety certificates, all at competitive prices.
Not knowing what to do on the Bank Holiday Sunday, we decided to search out some gardens I had heard mentioned, somewhere in Chepstow. My partner has very good knowledge of Chepstow using the Chepstow road network on a daily basis. Even so it still took us quite a while to search out Wyndcliffe Court Gardens, but when we finally arrived at our chosen destination......wow! It is a local treasure, but in my opinion under promoted and non existent signposting! It really is a hidden gem and the tearoom with tables on the patio is a pure delight to a tearoom fanatic such as myself.
Having previously discussed tourism on the Tuesday evening at CAP, I felt that Wyndcliffe Court Gardens are just another example of how, we in the Forest and Wye Valley undersell ourselves. For anyone who hasn't visited this local treasure I highly recommend a visit on a bright dry sunny day. It is also a fine example of another local enterprise.
'Ode CAP Thursday Club'
At six o’clock, the annoying sound
Of an alarm clock crashing to the ground,
I thrash around to mute the notes
And now it’s buried in my Totes!
My wife complains, I say with wit,
“I’ve already put a sock in it!”
It must be Thursday, joy of joys,
As I find the clock and kill the noise,
I’m off to CAP to hear Paul say,
“The best way to start your working day”.
As Paul decides who’ll take the floor,
Cecile the Books bursts through the door;
Her admin systems are the best
But late again she has a rest!
Every member talks in turn
That about their business we might learn;
Sharifa’s bow ties, Laura’s knitting
And Andy B with Ariel fitting.
There’s Grantly Rogers, Pet Supplies
And Tracy Ashford’s legal eyes.
Sharon’s there to sell your house
Megabyte Ben will clean your mouse.
A back passage that is shiny bright?
Dave Leopold will see you right.
Andrea sends you somewhere sunny
Whilst Charlotte P in on the money;
Andy tells of Graphics Shack
And Alison wants her Lemon back.
Photography? Please keep it local,
A point on which she’s very vocal!
No matter what you must insure
We have a Rev who knows the score.
To make the most of staff resources
With Karen Gane you should join forces;
Think you’re dyslexic, please don’t jest,
Kris Ventris Field will run a test.
Then Eric W says out loud,
“I’ll stick your data on a cloud”.
Power of Attorneys, protecting the weak?
Just contact Val if its help you seek
And should you need to advertise
Forest Jo will put you wise.
If your web traffic is to slow,
Andrew Callard’s in the know;
Nick Johnson is the mortgage king
Whist Ian does his social thing.
Want your kids to have a ball?
Paul’s Best Parteez does it all.
Who else is there for goodness sake?
Ah, Sarah Jones, she’ll bake a cake.
I guess that just leaves little me
Your friendly face from Leigh-on-Sea.
DRIVING WITH CLEAR VISION
Your windscreen is a very important part of your car. It forms the integral strength between the cars bulkhead and the roof. Sort of a role cage!
When you get a stone chip, usually caused by debris thrown up by either a passing vehicle or an on coming vehicle, the surface tension of the glass has broken.
The glass has now become extremely unstable and can crack at any time, the problem is, you don't know when!
With all chips there is always an impact point, the point where the glass was hit. This can be varying in size, depending on the size and shape of the debris and how the glass was hit. This will also determine on how the final finish will look like.
When a chip is caused, air is introduced in to the damage, this air must be extracted in order to fill the fracture properly.
Once the damage has been repaired properly, it should last for the life time of the glass.
Here are a few important factors to remember
Stress - a Monster or a Mouse
Stress is a word that comes up a lot in all walks of life, but particularly in business. It has been found to be one of the major causes of poor productivity, illness and absenteeism.
Relaxation is heard less often and when it is spoken, maybe it is with a wistful tone or with a glass of wine in hand! Nothing wrong with the wine, (in moderation, it is a suppressant not a relaxant), but when was the last time you felt properly relaxed and what does that term mean to you?
To be a bit technical for a mo - sorry it comes from being a Biologist in a "previous life".
Strictly speaking being truly relaxed means switching into one of two nervous systems - the Parasympathetic. This is the house keeping mode as it were. All systems are in repair, rejuvenate, revive and relax mode. There is no sense of alarm. The muscles are neutral, the mind calm and one is filled with an ''Inner smile" ( See William Bloom "The Endorphin Effect"). Think of antelope peacefully grazing in the Savannah.
The other nervous system is the Sympathetic, though it is sympathetic only to your survival. Return to the antelope a moment. All peace and quiet, then one of them hears stealthy footsteps in the long grass nearby. "LION!" Instantly, adrenaline courses through the blood stream, heads go up, heart rates increase, blood pressure goes up to bring a quick supply to active muscles, backs and legs tense… and in a springing bound the whole herd has gone.
Generally, you don't meet too many lions in your day to day life, but many situations make you feel as if one may be around the corner. The trigger varies from person to person, but something rings alarm bells, in an instant adrenaline is released and all of the above physiological changes, and many more, take place. True, you think more clearly, work more quickly, but you can't run away or turn and fight (well not usually if you want to keep your job/client/customer), neither do the stressors go away, if anything they can increase in number. So all these "stress hormones" keep circulating all day, especially if one deadline piles up on another.
OK. So you need some adrenaline to perform well, even to get out of bed in the morning. However, if you have a lot of it all day, day after day, without ever turning it off or releasing it through vigorous activity (a brisk walk, run or a visit to the gym) and also feel you have no control over the stressors, no choice to do something else... bingo! Stress!
I won't get even more technical at this point, suffice to say, that this state, though helpful in the short term, if it goes on over a period of time has a damaging effect on just about every system in your body and your health and well-being suffer. Stress becomes a "monster".
As a Reflexologist, I know that my treatment can have a beneficial effect on elevated stress levels. One client who was experiencing a particularly stressful period of time in his business, reflected that it had been the regular treatments that had helped him get through it effectively. Other clients have remarked, with a sigh, "I haven't felt so relaxed for ages" or "I don't think I knew what relaxation was until now". This may be that the gentle treatment of Reflexology encourages the body to switch over into the Parasympathetic system. The body and the mind can become truly relaxed.
In this state, there is less sense of urgency; that pile of "things to do now" looks smaller; you can think more creatively about a particular problem; you feel more patient. As another client said, " I can live my life better". You can breathe. Stress has become a "mouse".
Things to make you go "Hmmm?!"
CAP BUSINESS CLUBS BLOG
Or...visit us on Facebook - We always appreciate any "Likes"
T: 01594 723120
M: 07811 981929
The Main Place
Old Station Way