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.
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