Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dinner With Industry

Dinner with Industry was organised by the Bright Futures Society at Swansea Universitybringing students and businesses together and helping students to learn life skills and find possible work experience and potential employers. The event was really successful and organised mainly by Angharad Williams who managed to pull the whole event together with her team so that the evening went without any hitch.

Students circulated during the meal, spending time on one table for the starter, moving on to another for the main course and so on. They had the opportunity to meet and talk with several local business people.

Between courses there were speakers including Fiona Miller of Wicked Trips who spoke about her experiences in buying her business and how she is progressing since she left Swansea University in the summer. She was an inspiration to all of us. Ollie the Street Poet recited some of his work including a special poem he'd written for the night. I was honoured to be asked to speak and when  did couldn't understand why Angharad kept doing some sort of winding-up movement with her arms. I obviously ignored her attempt to mime cranking up a car!

About 120 guests were present made up of around 90 students and 30 businesses.

There were a number of sponsors including Swansea University but the main sponsor was the Uplands Diner who stepped in at the last minute. They also brought along some well-know guests who all made their own  donation.

I do hope that this becomes a regular event and is carried on by new committees as time progresses and that they gain some valuable experience. It would be good too if there were other meetings between the students and business people thriough the year to build up better realtions and understanding.

Here is a slide show of photos taken by Gareth Danks of Life Photography Wales who always comes up with great shots. He kindly worked during the evening before and between courses for free and I thank him for his continuing support on his second Dinner with Industry event.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Extra savings now with Carrie

Christmas is just around the corner. The City lights are up, shops are crowded, frosty mornings await us. And now is the time to make the most of Carrie, your card. Here are just a few new offers.

Order 500 business cards. Full colour double sided 400gsm laminated just 25 pounds, payment with order from you artwork. Limited offer until 18th December. Valid in the Swansea, Neath & Port Talbot and Llanelli areas only for free delivery. Other areas call 07976 364681.


Get an extra 10% when you dine at Zaal Indian Restaurant on a Tuesday. So that is a total of 20% off your food bill plus free coffees when you go to Sketty Cross and eat at Zaal's. Highly recommended and in fact now taking votes for the Curry House of the Year. Watch here for details of how you can vote.

Are you a sportsman? H Sports in the Uplands are pleased to offer 10% of full priced goods. So if you are looking for sports equipment and in particular cricket and bowls then zip down to their shop and talk with Matthew who will be pleased to help you. With his experience he'll be able to give you sound professional advice too.

In fact he has some great information about bat care on his site. "To get the best performance from your bat, there are certain procedures that manufacturers recommend and pitfalls to be avoided if possible.

Bat willow is soft and light, but hardens when subjected mechanically to pressing rollers. Naturally, because it is a soft wood the condition of the bat will deteriorate during usage. Bats can be seriously damaged by a Yorker i.e. when the ball is trapped between the bat and the ground, causing the willow to split diagonally at the toe.

If the ball strikes the edge of the bat with sufficient force, heavy impact damage may occur. Water penetrating the toe may cause the pressing to lift and if action is not taken immediately, the toe can be easily damaged by striking the ball or simply by heavy tapping at the crease.

Some small cracks are bound to occur on the bat, due to wear and tear, but these will not affect its performance." read more click here.

And whilst you are up in the Uplands and Sketty drop into the Gower Road Car Wash on Gowwer Road, just above Sketty Cross and get you car washed or fully valeted. Use your card and get a 10% discount.

Get your card today and start saving. Become a merchant and get that extra business. The card works and you'll be building up loyalty.

Get more with Carrie
kind regards

The Local Business Card has just been launched and is now available as a franchise.

If you are looking for a business opportunity then this might be for you. You should look at the criteria before applying. There are opportunities right now in all cities except Carmarthen and Lincoln but this isn't going to be for long.

Is this you:
  • You are looking for a full or part-time opportunity but can devote at least 8 hours a week during normal working times
  • You want to work from home or your office
  • You like networking and meeting people
  • You don't like selling but enjoy helping others
  • You want a business that you can build up gradually and that will give you an on-going income
  • You don't like a lot of paperwork
  • You'd like a system with the back-up and support to make life easy
  • You want to work with like-minded people who want to succeed
  • You know nothing is for free or easy but are willing to work hard to get your business set up
  • You don't want a high franchise cost
If you answered "Yes" to the above then this is a great opportunity to build up a long-lasting business that doesn't involve a lot of paperwork (in fact it's practically nil), is involved in helping local companies make more business and profit without big costs, and is ready to go.

The Local Business Card is just a tenner per year and gets you discounts and special offers from a whole range of shops, hairdressers, clubs restaurants and much more. Traders pay less than 60p a day to be on your local directory and be in the weekly newsletter that goes out to all card-holders. It is working in Swansea where it has just been launched and soon in Carmarthen and Lincoln. If you have loads of business contacts and good friends you'll be able to grow this business easily and fast. It is expected that will be excellent. Call for a breakdown if you'd like to be considered as a Franchisee. Interested?

Just call or text on 07976 364681

Do it now for full no obligation details.

Please note that we can't guarantee earning but we know the secret of making this work.

Kind regards

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

New Carrie Character

What do you think?

We felt Carrie needed to be a bit feminine to match her name. I'm really pleased with the result and you'll be seeing a lot more of her.

Meanwhile we've had some really great press cover in both the Evening Post and Western Mail. As you can see below, the Post included a great photo. Written by Emma Jones it will certainly help promote the card which can only be good for both consumers and merchants.

Having a great idea and seeing it come together as one that will benefit everyone is really rewarding and I'm hopeful that it'll grow not only in Swansea but National.

And today I see the article is included in the free paper, so that's gone out to over 60,ooo homes in the Swansea area. It's been interesting in that so many people saty they don't read the paper but everyone has seen the article.

Your comments are really appreciated so do write what you think about Carrie. Feedback is so important if we are to get this right. And that's where you come in. Please leave a comment and equally important sign up and save.

Good luck

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cinchast Adds an Extra Dimension

Communications are moving at such a fast rate "I don't believe it". I remember when we had the only telephone in the road!

You have Facebook, Twitter and other social sites that give you the freedom to express yourself on one level but promote yourself and business on another. none of this was possible and practical just a couple of years ago. Just for a bit of fun I formed a Facebook Group "Boycott X Factor" last Sunday and within a week there are nealy 1000 memebers. Not as big as some groups by a long way: I didn't have a logo: and it was devised in minutes so there are several things I didn't do that would increase membership. But how could you have done that just 36 months ago?

I've now discovered and can phone in from anywhere in the world, leave a message and that will be on the website within a few seconds. Connect to Twitter, e-mail & Facebook and you can send out audio group messages instantly. Uses are limitless. It's currently being used to give out tips and messages in general. How about uswer groups where you send out information about product specification or price changes, setting up meetings for sales or other teams, telling your group of customers about a special saver deal just for them? The ideas are limitless. I used it to do short promos for people I met at the exhibition over the weekend but you could even do interviews or get testimonials.

Try it out and please follow me. You can do that at And please write your comments at the end of this blog.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Show Girls Literally

Just saw these girls dancing at the New Start Show at Cardiff today.

They were excellent but deserved a bigger crowd.
Watch for more details about the Show. By the way can you spot the deliberate mistake in the video?
And go to and see what's happening around me, on the spot one-minute interviews with exhibitors at the New Start exhibition in Cardiff

Monday, November 02, 2009

Local Business Card New Press Release

"Carrie" Your Card

Carrie, the Local Business Card says "Yes" to the idea of giving shoppers savings and sellers marketing support.

The Local Business Card has just arrived and will save shoppers money through freebies and discounts. The card has been named "Carrie" and is designed to get consumers buying from local business, whether out shopping or through the internet.

The brainchild of Mike Leahy, a Swansea marketer who believes in supporting local businesses, the card is designed as a key-fob and is easy to carry and always available. Mike said, "Consumers just look for the symbol in shop windows or on websites. When they present their card they will get a saving or other benefit. There is no paperwork, nothing for the retailer to complete or record. And this is ideal for businesses to promoting themselves. It is hassle free. "

Shoppers save when they Carrie their card.

What about the retailer. Carrie brings in new customers and gets them coming back over again. Shoppers become loyal customers through the newsletter that is sent out fortnightly. This is a great way for them to find genuine bargains and start buying from new retailers. And it’s a really low-cost way to find new customers at just a couple of pounds a week. There is nothing else of value for so little. The marketing budget goes to the customer as a Thank you. And provided the retailer looks after that customer they will be able to build up a solid customer relationship.

Carrie can be used in a wide range of shops, hairdressers, health clubs, restaurants, entertainments and much more. Simple to use, Carrie is available for just ten pounds a year, less than a couple might save on a meal for at their favourite restaurant.

There is a website where all offers are shown. It sounds great, a loyalty card that is accepted by favourite retailers and entitles shoppers to freebies or discount simply for shopping with them. And it is planned to use Twitter, texting and the new exciting Cinch, which allows telephone messages to be up on the website immediately.

Mike Leahy said "I was involved in a similar scheme called The Gainers Club back in the sixties in London but the cost of regularly printing updated directories and sending our information by post was prohibitive and the club only lasted for 18 months or so. The Internet and automated e-mail newsletters brings the cost down to peanuts and we are just charging something to cover our overheads. We are giving a top-line service to both cardholders and sellers. Just ten pounds a year for the card and two pounds per week to advertise as a merchant is not going to break any bank. Most people will save that on a single purchase and many merchants will recoup the annual cost in less than a week. In addition there is no commitment. I just want a card that is easy to get, simple to use and guarantees the user something extra. Something that helps everyone through the current economic climate and beyond."

Mike went on to say "And it is not just shops. I am looking for entertainment such as clubs bowling, racing and theatres, restaurants, hotels and health clubs, internet businesses and business-to-business.

In fact the scheme was originally created to work between businesses but the demand has opened the floodgates. So there will be web designers, sign makers, graphics designers, stationers, plumbers and electricians and many others. I have designed the scheme to be simple without any need for unnecessary paperwork apart from registering. A scheme that will be good for both shoppers and sellers."

When you Carrie your card you can be sure of a great deal.

There are already sellers signing up in Swansea but this will become much bigger and nationwide through franchising. In fact the first new area has been signed up just today so Carrie can be used in Lincoln too. The Local Business Card is the only card you need.

kind regards

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Weakest Link

Our local Poet. What do you think? Please leave a comment

Monday, October 12, 2009

Smile, damn you Smile!!

You may be in a rush. Getting STUFF done. Life is just a rush. No time for anyone.
Sometimes I smile at people and they smile back. Odd times they ask me "What are you laughing at?"

Remember how you act towards people can make you friends, close an order and make you feel great yourself. Smile and the world smiles with you - cry and you cry alone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Longer is better!

Thought for today:
People often say that motivation doesn't last.
Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. Zig Ziglar

Longer is better!
We are all used to e-mail and for many of us the art of letter writing is getting lost. And of course e-mails are often badly spelt or worse use text-talk which many people don't understand. I'd seriously suggest that you get back to writing letters in business because we all love getting post - and if it's relevant and interesting then we'll read it. Letters will also re-enforce e-mails and other communications.
Should letters be long or short? Many people tell me that they like short letters because they haven't time to read long ones.

“A long letter is better than a short one? That’s rubbish. I don’t
bother with long letters” Wrong! A long letter will be discarded by
many people because they just aren’t interested in the product or
service, find the letter complicated or difficult to read or decide it
reflects badly on the sender because of style or grammar.

A long letter written properly will allow the recipient to find out about the product/service quickly. If they like it they’ll then read the body of the letter to see all the benefits. Once they’ve seen enough they’ll make a judgement and discard or go to the next stage. The letter should be informal yet grammatically correct. Use short sentences. Always use the same typeface family. This will make reading easier.
• Use some bold or italic text but not more than a dozen words per page
• Use bullets like this as soon as possible. It is easier to read and draws the eye
• Use short words, sentences and paragraphs
• Write about benefits not features. Nobody wants to know a watch was made through traditions running back three generations.: they want to know it looks good,is competitively priced, works well and keeps good time.
• Underline important points but not with more than a dozen words a page
Sign letters in a firm hand that is readable. I use a different signature for business to cheques for example. My letter signature is readable and bold.
Use a different colour ink to the text. A blue is favourite. It won’t look as if
it’s been printed or copied. Highlight a very important point such as a free offer or deadline. Put a handwritten comment on the first page to make it more personal. Even if you are sending out thousands you can personalise them – talk to your printer.
Always write a postscript. We ALL open a letter, read the first line and then go straight to the end. Put your best benefit or any free offer in the postscript. “You’ll get our lifetime guarantee if you take action now. Remember the details we wrote about?” No of course they don’t remember but they’ll look through the letter to find what they’ve missed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Local Business Card has been ticking over slowly and now the time has come to crack it.

Sign up today. You have just about 3 months to try for free. Think of the savings you can make before the end of the year.

Nandos in Wind Street are offering a free bottomless soft drink with every cover you order (worth £1.95 each).

Taybarns are offering a free cover and bottle of wine when you book a party of 10 or more. And they've got a special student deal now at £4.99 without a card.

Zaal Indian Restaurant in Sketty are offering a 10% discount plus free coffee.

If you have a business you'll get a bucket-load of free e-mails you can send for free if you sign up to an account. And there's no monthly subscription, just down-to-earth value-for-money and a great product.

Beach Software, Star in a Jar, Atech Graphics, Valley Accountants, Best of Swansea and many other suppliers are offering discounts or special packages.

Getting a card is free. Sign up on the website now.

And to become a merchant and get some great publicity do the same, it's free for the rest of the year.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Taybarns Hotel join the Swansea Business

Taybarns Restaurant are on board with the Swansea Business Show and the Local Business Card. Watch out for a big announcement.
Meanwhile take a look at this video. If you like food you'll love Taybarns.

If you'd like to have a 40 week marketing and sales e-course take a look at the Forum by clicking here

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Why Social Media?

The Marketing Mix Roadshow at the LC on Oystermouth Road last Tuesday was a well organised event that was really focussed for the tourist industry with good speakers in the seminars and a wide range of exhibitors. The LC is huge and the 40 or so stands weren't lost but were certainly not crammed in. It is well suited for the Swansea Business Show on Friday 12th March and I hope to see you there.

Meanwhile back to basics and on to new media - social media. New for some but old hat for others.

I believe it's so important that we must learn. I've found this audio book that'll give you some ideas that you can listen to in the car, whilst waiting, out and about or wherever.

Don't forget your future is in your hands.
If there is anything I can do to help your promoter your business then call me.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Make a movie and promote your business

Watch out for the Marketing Mix Roadshow at The L2 Leisure Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3ST, on Tuesday 29th September 2009 and starting at 10.30am until 3.30pm.

Videos are great. Easy to make and put your message across with effect. Watch out for a short "How to" movie that will get you taking action I hope.

Don't forget your future is in your hands.
If there is anything I can do to help your promoter your business then call me.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Use automated e-mail newsletters for success

Watch out for the Marketing Mix Roadshow at The L2 Leisure Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3ST, on Tuesday 29th September 2009 and starting at 10.30am until 3.30pm.

Use your camera, some free software, get a blog and auto-e-marketing newsletter started and encourage visitors throughout the year. Do watch the video.

I'll be running some seminars and e-seminars on how to make the most of free and low-cost resources to benefit your business. Interested? I'm sure you are. Watch this space.

Have a look at can have a free trial. I've found it particularly good because there's no high monthly fee, just a low cost per transmission. For Just £4.95 a month you have 1000 transmissions and that could be a single newsletter or message to 1000 or say 4 newsletters to 250. In addition you can have as many groups so you want, so there could be for example "prospective customers" and "existing customers", both wanting different info. I use the system all the time. It's easy and you get all the stats you could possibly want. So you know who opens your e-mails, who clicks on links, when they open etc.

Don't forget your future is in your hands.
If there is anything I can do to help your promoter your business then call me.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Marketing Mix Roadshow

Watch out for the Marketing Mix Roadshow at The LC, Oystermouth Road, Swansea, SA1 3ST, on Tuesday 29th September 2009 and starting at 10.30am until 3.30pm.

I'll be there answering your questions and giving you tips on how to use no-cost and low-cost marketing ideas that work. Talking about simple ideas that will work in your business and bring in more customers, paying guests or visitors. So come and visit my stand.

Do you spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds on marketing your business? Do you need to be more effective? Come along and join us at the Marketing Mix Roadshow. This ‘Roadshow' will take a closer look at the marketing opportunities that are available to businesses, with a focus on the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Industry.

There will be presentations, breakout sessions, and exhibitors from both the public and private sector that offer business support / advice and marketing services. Jonathan Jones, Director of Tourism and Marketing and Roger Pride, Director of Marketing both from Visit Wales will give an overview of tourism marketing from an international perspective.

Other presentations include - the City and County of Swansea tourism marketing team, use of multi-media with South Wales Evening Post and Swansea Bay Business Life, meet our Google Guru from IT Wales and some of the regions most successful businesses - giving you some top tips -‘how did they do it?'

Reasons to join us!!
· Collect ‘Top Tips' for marketing your business
· FREE Breakout sessions with experts at Marketing Wales
· Exhibitors include organisations and businesses from both the public and private sectors that provide business support and services to marketing your business.
· The largest ‘Networking Event' organised for the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality industry
· Presentations packed with information from some of the regions most successful businesses.
· Admission is ONLY £5 per person and includes lunch, tea and coffee - providing you with an excellent networking opportunity.
· Parking is free if you arrive and register by 10.45am
· FREE - Stay after and enjoy the Water Park and Climbing Wall at The LC - let us know when you book.


To book please click here

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The summer is just about over. Still 4 months free discounts

The Local Business Card is back on course. The summer has held us up.

Watch out for some great savings and news from satisfied customers. Our initial tests have proved successful and the website is working. We'll be sending out our first newsletters during September and these will then become fortnightly.

If you want to promote yopur business then sign up now for free.

Summers just about over

The summer has been busy and I've sadly fallen behind with my blogging. Although we've had a few drops of rain it hasn't been all bad weather and I've had some beachtime. Take a look at some of the photos here.

You'll see that this is Tenby, taking me back to my lost youth. reminiscent of that era. Not that I went to Tenby but it is reminiscent of that era. The guy with horse and cart has been running for years and he always seems busy. Probably many want to ride when they return as a tradition.
Now you may think that the two guys in the bottom picture are traffic wardens but they are Salvation Army members wbo have been working with the kids on the beach and in their band by the harbour.
I'm now back on the ball again so watch out for plenty of marketing tips and information. If you have anything that you want to add or that you would like to comment upon, then please do so in the "comment" box. Your input is always welcome.

The Local Business Forum is growing and has we have a reall
y exciting programme coming up.
You can now join through a monthly standing order. send an e-mail for details.

If I can do anything to help your success let me know.

Mike Leahy

Friday, July 24, 2009

A taxi company that's gone the extra mile

Whatever business you are in you have to take extra care and pay more attention to both detail and your customers to be successful. I called at several shops yesterday and noticed the attitude in most was pretty aweful. In one shop I had to wait whilst the assistant finished a mobile phone call – and it obviously wasn’t a business call! In another the assistant didn’t look directly at me all the time I was buying from her. In one shop they didn’t have what I wanted but didn’t offer an alternative or said they could order one!

I did go to one shop where the staff were most helpful and did save me money but that was the exception. Do you give good service? If you don’t you will lose customers even if you are the cheapest like-for-like.

I was looking at the taxis lined up this morning and the drivers in particular. I don’t think I’d want to travel with many of them if my first impression is right! Take a look at your local taxi drivers and see if you agree.

When I go to Didcot in Oxfordshire I use a company called Pryors Taxis. All their drivers wear a grey suit, white shirt with company tie and black polished shoes. Sometimes they aren’t wearing a jacket but the driver’s tie is always pulled tight. They are polite and always help with luggage. They have always been on time but I understand that they give a guarantee that if they are late by more than 20 minutes they won’t charge the fare. I enjoy using their service. Shouldn’t all taxi firms act and dress like this rather than being scruffy. If I ran a taxi company I’d follow Pryors example as I know this would add value to the customers’ perception, give my drivers self-esteem and improve my branding. Think how you can improve your business without spending a fortune.

I‘ve noticed some local shop closures still. I don’t believe that the recession has bottled out so it’s really important to do three things:

· Keep marketing and selling. There’s no need to send much. What you do spend should give you a good return in the form of profit. Turnover alone means little. Keep improving your sales skills.
· Be innovative and look for new products and services. Try to sell extras to existing customers.
· Keep a careful control on cash. Cut back overheads where this doesn’t affect service. Keep tabs on outstanding accounts. Try to maintain a cash cash-flow – in other words try to get customers to pay on delivery or cut down on the length of credit. Don’t be afraid of losing customers, be afraid of losing cash. If you don’t know how each week has gone by the following Monday as far as turnover and profit goes: if you don’t compare with last week, last month and last year you’ll not know how you are doing.

This will not only help ride out the recession but also strengthen your business when boom-time comes.

Control your customers by using a customer management system. Try Ok! You’ll need to take some time setting it up but it is a good system. As you grow and it begins to prove it’s weight in gold you’ll have to pay a very small monthly fee but that’ll be some time away. Give it a try and see the difference.

If I can do anything to help you succeed then call me on 07976 364681.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Following on from being faceless within the Business, here's a short video I put together this morning. Seems that there is something wrong. Viddler just removed all my videos - can't see any reason - can't get a reply from them. I'll switch back to Youtube


Do you agree that you are the face of your business?

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On your bike!

I saw this on Andy Preston's blog first and had to copy it over. It is amazing and just shows what you can do.

What can you do that's amazing? I bet there is something. We are all better than everyone else at something.
Think about it.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

People buy from People

Face the facts. You can't afford to be faceless in business.
I've been looking at the "people" factor in business over the last few weeks and can really agree that "people buy from people".
And how people interact . . . .
or don't . . . .
When did you last even notice someone sweeping the street? Remember the face of the person who served you in a shop? Can visualise the attendant when you paid for fuel at a garage you don't call at?
Often it is irrelevant but sometimes it is because of the other attitude of the other person. Maybe they were talking to a colleague, perhaps they didn't give you any service.
On the other hand, if they took notice of you and were polite you are more likely to remember them. Why? In simple terms probably because next time you call you would like the same again. We all want others to talk to us, look after us and give us a little bit of personal attention. Next time you are out having a coffee just spend a few minutes watching how people are served. notice a difference between Tesco and Aldi. In Aldi the till staff always ask how you are in just that way that you don't mind it when they tell you they don't provide carrier bags.
And that personal touch goes deeper. Do you have staff out facing up to consumers? Do they wear a name badge? If not then try it our for a month. You'll find it does work. Make the names big enough for everyone to be able to comfortably read. Introduce a "lets smile at our more customers" campaign. If you smile at someone they'll usually smile back and suddenly both of you are relaxed.
And make your business personal too. Get your name on your website. Why not have a mini video of you welcoming people to the site and telling them you want to give them a good personal customer experience too. They'll see you and that makes all the difference. If you include your name they feel even better. I've just tried to speak with the manager of owner or a hotel to tell them about the Local Business Card but not even their e-mail address was on the site, just an impersonal form. When I tried to get their name I was stone walled and just gave up. An opportunity they might have appreciated and used for additional business . . or . . a prospective guest who just had a query but didn't want to speak to the receptionist.
Well. You won't believe this but as I write . . .
. . . . I've just had an e-mail that is very personal and begins "I am Michelle Furse and I am the new Sales and Marketing Officer for Afan FM. I have been brought into the station to increase both sales and awareness. I am very passionate about taking the station forward to the next level and want to form relationships with all local businesses.
I would also like to thank you in advance for reading this email.
Afan FM is a new style of radio station. We are Neath & Port Talbot's first and only dedicated radio station. We want to work with all local businesses throughout Neath & Port Talbot and find ways in which all residents of Neath & Port Talbot and both ourselves can benefit. . . . . . . • To establish a station for all people with a focus on young people aged 11-25
• To give a local entertainment, news & information service
• To provide training and experience opportunities to those interested in working in radio broadcasting, production and broadcast journalism. This gives avid media fans a first step to a new career
• To support, nurture and provide a promotional platform for local bands, DJs and artists
• To provide cost-effective advertising packages to all local businesses Afan FM is the radio station that is proud to be different because:
• No cheesy DJs – real people speaking in a real way!• No Hidden Agenda – we’re a not for profit company so we’re here to help make Neath & Port Talbot great!
• We pick the best music because it is the best music – not because our friends at the record company bought the last round.
• We’re 100% independent and impartial – we are honest to all! This is what makes us unique; we aim to provide high-quality programming whilst giving back to the local community Why choose Afan FM?Whether you want to create awareness for your business, generate footfall, increase website traffic or promote a product launch we can tailor an advertising package that can really separate your business from your competitors."
So I phoned and we had an interesting call that I feel might give us both some business.
If she hadn't mentioned her name in the e-mail probably wouldn't have called. So if you sfacetart getting personal - stop being faceless - and concentrate on being available then I promise you that your business will do better things.

If can help you become a better communicator call or text me on 07976 364681

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bang that Drum!

Drumming up business is an old expression meaning go out and find some new customers.

Did you know it originated in the Wild West. When a travelling salesman arrived in a one-horse town he'd park up his chuck wagon and walk up and down the main and only road banging a drum to draw attention to himself. He'd shout out his message and draw a crowd to his wagon where he'd then sell off the back.

We should be doing the same. Not shouting and actually banging a drum, although this might work, but showing our face to potential customers or prospects. Getting that message about and if we can use modern technology, great. Add in a little light humour and away we go. The following videos were taken in seconds, straight off, one take. Not perfect but perfectly good to put your message across.

Why don't you sign up to become a Merchant, make a mini movie and send it to me. I'll put it up on the site. Don't feel confident? Don't like appearing on film? Think you make a lousy picture ? So do we all: we all think that about ourselves. What makes you different. I challenge you to make something short about your offer on the site. Make it funny. Be original but most of all just do it.

Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. You must do everything necessary to get in front of new people who might buy from you. Some ideas are targetted whilst others are scatter-gun. Use a mix.

Most of all do basics like foot canvassing or telephone selling. Remember you are building up knowledge and relationships, not usually selling, unless you have a bag of cleaning products, and you need to keep your eyes and ears open and shut your mouth. Just open your mouth to ask questions and breath. Most of all take action. You won't get business sitting on a chair in the office thinking and planning mid-morning. If you need to use time planning and thinking get there an hour earlier than usual.

And another simple way to drum up new business is to sign up to the Local Business Card. Don't even think about it - just click here and transform your sales results - it takes one step to start a successful journey.

If can do anything to help you be successful call me.


Mike Leahy

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Get it FREE. Here and Now

Good News!
Here is an exciting new FREE OFFER . FREE card and Merchant service until end of December.

So that we can grow fast and you can benefit immediately we are looking to populate the site.
Register now for a FREE card, valid until the end of the year. You can check out that there are real deals there: that you will save money or get something extra. All you need to do is go to the site and register. There is no need to go onto the Paypal account.

And in addition the first 50 businesses that register to become Merchants will be put on the website, in the Directory for FREE. This is a real give-away. That will give you chance to see the marketing opportunities we are giving you without you having to spend a penny.

Lets repeat that:
Register now and get a card FREE that will be valid until after Christmas.

So go to the site:

Your card will be sent out by post within no more than 48 hours. We'll try same day!

Become a Merchant for FREE until after Christmas. This will give you the chance
to know it works for you and to take advantage of the run up to the end of the year - Xmas and the beginning of the Sales.

So go to the site:

We'll send out your window sticker or drop it in to you. There is also a widget for your website with a link to us, some general information and any help you want to talk to us about.

So don't hesitate, do it now. Register and get either a FREE card or FREE Merchant account.
So what happens then?
The website will show all orders and the fortnightly e-newsletter will be packed with offers, either regualr to remind you, new merchants and special short offers. Just look up what you want, go out and save or get that little extra.
I believe that the card will be a valuable resource and save you real money, not just now but when the economy evens out. This will be the card that will make a real difference.
Get on the website and sign up. Your welcome pack will be posted straight out.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Website has gone live today

Today is a big day for the Local Business Card.

The website has gone live. We have tested it and made changes over the last few days and there are more to come but take a look and get a feel of the Beta version.

You can join as a merchant and add in offers. And you aren't confined to just one. We want to site to be dynamic and work for both Merchants and cardholders. After all there is no point in having a card if you can't use it: and it's not worth going to the trouble of putting up offers if nobody comes to you as a potential customer.

The first newsletter will go out when we have had some response. So watch out.

Sign up and you can cancel anytime in the first 3 months but I am confident you will save much more than your initial card fee. And it's free to be either a cardholder or merchant if you are a Local Business Forum member, or join. So join now and take advantage of the many associated benefits. There should be a link page in place within a day or so .

The Local Business Card is a great marketing tool, so if you run a business come on board right now and take advantage of the low low fees. These will be held if you sign up now but newcomers after September may see an increase. And, of course, it's a really powerful monitoring tool because you can see instantly if a new customer came in because of your offer or widow sticker.

You may wish to know that we'll be working really hard to promote the Local Business Card because we have a real believe in keeping trade local and helping local trade.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Watch out for the first window stickers

Watch out there's a Local Business Card Sticker about. The first went up last evening at a the Zaal Indian restaurant at Sketty Cross. This is a really great eating place and the feedback has been consistent "The best Indian food I've ever tasted". Well! You can't beat that. Cards will be available within a few days so order yours on the website and you'll start eating and saving. Better still . . .
So why not call Zaal's today and book a table now on 01792 203526. You can even sign up for your card at the restaurant.
Zaal are offering a 10% discount plus a free papadom & chutney tray to card holders. A meal for 4 people will give you a great saving . Just four meals throughout the year will probabaly pay for your card. So whenever you use the card again at Zaal's or elsewhere you'll see real savings.
The website is coming along really well. You'll be able to resister as a Merchant on line and put up your offers. You'll be able to apply for a card on-line with a credit card or Paypal. All offers will be there together with a Merchant Directory. Ben Wheeler of Beach Software has produced a great site based on the hard work put in designing by Matt Pugh of Star in a Jar. If you want a real marketing team that can handle on- and off-line marketing from concept to completion contact one of us in the Local Business Team.
Watch out for great offers in the coming few days on accountancy fees, the Market Mailer automated e-marketing system which will give you free transmisssions, web design, banners and other graphics, phography, accommodation and much more. This isn't just another card. This is the real McCoy. This is THE card.

Friday, June 26, 2009

plan to succeed

Sounds simple but don't be fooled. Most businesses are winging it all the time. They might think they are working to a plan, and might actually have written one but in fact they are dictated by either external forces or a whim.

So what do you need to do to write an effective plan that will work for you?
Well! It doesn't have to be long and complicated. It doesn't have to be the sort of document that many people write to impress their bank manager or to get funding. In the main these marketing plans are crap. They are too cumbersome to follow and update. They are too rigid.

Here's what I have found works.
You'll need 3 A4 sheets.
One is your 5 year plan.The second your annual planThe third is the most important and is your "here and now" plan
None are written in stone. All are living documents to reflect what you want to achieve and how. All need to be brief and mainly bullet points. So lets look at each in turn.

5 Year Plan

Head this up and draw a line down the sheet.On the left side put your basic and most important goals and be specific, so for example you may want to employ 5 more people within the period, triple your turnover based on an existing and accurate figure, employ a sales-person to increase sales or a manager to free up your time. Then put how you'll achieve these goals. If you have put down employ 5 people what steps will you have to take, what will they do and how will that impact on, for example, your time, premises, profitability. Triple sales then how will you achieve this? What marketing tools will you employ? Can you cope with that with your current work-force, financial situation, premises etc.So this document will keep you thinking.

Annual Plan

This should reflect what you've written in your 5 year plan and how you will get started. Prepare an A4 sheet as before with a line down it.If you've written down that you'll triple your turnover in 5 years what are the basic steps you need to take to achieve in the first year? Remember that if you just increase by 30% each year for 5 years that's just under 350%, and in excess of your target. 30% may seem a lot but it isn't when you begin to look closely as I'll show you in a future article.So now you've written down your annual plan to achieve the first leg.

Here & Now Plan

So do the same again and prepare a single sheet of A4 paper.What do you have to do right now, this week? Write down the 3 most important marketing jobs that will bring in sales, that will raise your business profile, that will help you reach your goals.Stick this sheet up in a prominent place where you can see it and put the other 2 sheets in an A4 ring binder. You can add in information, put in your "here and now" sheets and see how you are progressing.

As you follow your plan you'll feel a sense of satisfaction. You'll feel less stresses. You'll meet your goals.
Of course there'll be problems cropping up but you'll find these can be dealt with on a day to day basis and you still have time to work on your plan. I know that if you do this for just 1 month you'll get into a new habit. And once you've formed a new habit it'll be difficult to kick it.
Go on give it a try and succeed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Local Business Card arrives

So much has happened in a short. Where do I begin.

Before I recap here's a cautionary tale. Wanting to cut some costs I decided to move one of my phone lines to another service provider: and as I have free broadband dwon a BT line that is whom I changed to. So I cancelled and ordered. So far so good.

Now for the fun bit. The wrong line was terminated and so nobody could get hold of the family on the family number. That took 3 phone calls and 3 days to rectify.

Then I needed to inform the broadband company of the change. "No! We can't do anything until the number is active and then it'll take up to 10 working days" So I am without one number that most people use - ad I hope they all know my mobile 07976 364681. And I'm almost out of internet contact. Luckily I've borrowed a mobile internet dongle so I'm partially up and running. Planning doesn't help. Low tech lets us down every time - human intervention. On the other hand when you find someone who give great customer service then your problems are solved or at least diminished and you come away feeling better. The morals of the story are firstly plan your move carefully, don't expect anything to go to that plan, check to see if any element isn't right, be persistent in getting it put right, respect good customer care staff.

As a recap the Swansea Business Show was a great success. Don't take my word for it. Buy the cd now: you'll see and hear over 20 exhibitors talking about their businesses and giving live feed-back from the exhibition hall. I will put some of this up on the show website - click here.

We has a Uni-Bus meeting at Swansea University on 20th May and the two speakers talked about available funding for business either through the flexible funding scheme or university channels. It was a great meeting. Click here for the website

And now I'll move on to the Local Business Card. This is a privilege card focussing on business but that will benefit card-holders in all aspects of their life. The card was originally created for members of the Local Business Forum so that they'd benefit from each others services but it has become something bigger and better. It's a priviledge card that is available to anyone for a small fee. It will give the holder discounts and other incentives from a wide range of businesses ranging from car rental, through having a meal out, web design, accountants, signage and chauffeur services, and much much more. The card is a small plastic keyfob so you'll always have it with you, suppliers will have an easily recognisesable window sticker or web logo and there will be a regular newsletter and special offer broadcasts. It is the card to carry. And the huge benefit to suppliers will be the advertising and getting their message out through the website and newsletters. To become a founder supplier is easy and costs less than £1 a week. How is that for value? The card will give suppliers a great marketing tool that will help them through these difficult times: and we are all looking to save or get better value where we can.

From a germ of an idea this will spread rapidly because it's a simple low-cost concept that'll really benefit everyone involved. Want to be in at the beginning? Apply online in a few days, watch out for the completed website. Or just drop an e-mail now and you'll get an information pack by return. Watch out for window stickers appearing in shop windows near you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Call back sooner rather than later

I've set myself a task now to produce these shorts. I hope you are enjoying them and that you learn something.

In the 50's life for us kids was easy. You just can't believe what it was like in comparison to today. At around 8 years old 3 or 4 of us would go off for the day. I guess that my mother used to worry about what I was getting up to but she never said anything.

We lived in Birmingham and it was unusual to lock the doors and usual to leave windows open if we went out together. Compare that to today. Today you have to bolt most things down.

But getting back to communications and the changes it is difficult to imagine that once you were out of signt that was it until you came home again. And it was usual to phone in at work to see if there were any messages. And when we did get a message we dealt with it straight away. Do you deal with your messages within a set time? I was with an accountant last evening looking at his marketing. On his card and other literature he promised to call back on any missed calls within 3 hours. Now that is good.

Hope you enjoy this short video. Your comments will be appreciated.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Personal communications over 60 years

We talk to each other but do we listen? We have highly sophisticated technology and can send a message around the world instantly - or as near impossible to know otherwise. But we often can't get our message across to some-one sitting next to us.

And then there is the question of can we keep up with the latest. Facebook, Twitter and much much more. Some of us not only can't keep up but don't know most of it exists.

I can remember when we had the first phone in the road we lived in back in 1949 and I can still recall the number Priory 2082. How things have changed. Come on a short journey with me over the next few days.

Follow me on

If I can help your increase your profits contact me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

To service or not to Service

In my last blog I talked about service and how it is really important if you want to grow your business. Outstanding service promotes satisfied customers. They tell others and come back. Existing customers are tops and referred customers come next.

Bad service will ruin any business or a least stunt it's growth.

I heard of someone who wanted their motor-bike serviced. "No problem!" said the service guy.
"And can you service my 25 year old bike too?" "No" said the mechanic "it's too old and we may not be able to get the parts"

So the garage lost all the business. Now I'm not a biker but I understand the maintenace cost over 3 years could be as high as £5000. So that doesn't seem like a great idea saying "No".

What do you think? Have you had any similar experiences?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Service does make or break

So much has happened since I wrote my last post on 4th May. We've had the Swansea Business Show over two weeks ago. Unibus met over a week ago and the sun is just bursting with good-will.You just can't have missed the last few days and the glorious weather. Doesn't it make you feel great.

The Show was a success and with the internet maybe it's time to be innovative. How about a virtual business show? Perhaps the name "Swansea Bay Business Show" might just be different enough. Maybe I should think about getting the domain name later this month.

When the sun shines prospects tend to say "Yes" sooner. It is easy to start getting those positive responses when you are asking questions. You can bring home the bacon.

But life can still be tedious. I've had two poor customer experiences within a week. And both have finished up with me not wanting to go back to either supplier. The first happened with business over the bridge, whilst the second centred around Pembrokeshire. The first instance was where the supplier felt I had cheated him out of giving a sales presentation despite making it very clear in the preamble that this wasn't possible. He even went as far as to twist my written words! This guy has lost any creditability I had in him or his product.The second was where I was supplied with a wrong part and when I complained the supplier called me back and told me that life is like that and should put up with what he considered good service. His attitude has turned me away from his company. In addition the correct part was marked with my nmae, but they spelt it wrong. Personally I don't mind but in general getting someone's name wrong is a major sales crime.

The downside is that I will not use either again and I will probably tell other people about my dissatisfaction. This will lose even more business because I believe that the people I tell will listen and make up their own minds.

Then I was talking to a friend who had his company BMW car serviced. He drove into the Service Reception area and was met by a Greeter who welcomed him by name and directed him to the specific bay for collection by the Service Crew. He was offered a coffee both when arriving and when he collected the car. When he picked it up it had been valeted both inside and out. The service charge was high but my friend was left feeling good about the whole experience.

So the upstart is that service is paramount and that the customer is king - or at least he should be treated like one, no matter how we feel. Listening to the customer is vital and going out of your way to make him happy by providing exceptional service is the way to keep a customer coming back and acting as an ambassador for you. The most cost effective customers are existing ones and those who have had a testimonial from a happy customer.

Think back about the best customer experience you've had. It was either because something was put right beyond your expectations or the service was just fabulous.

Remember get the basics right and see an improvement in turnover, profit and cash flow.

The Local Business Forum's new blog starts this week Get involved. There are good things happening that will have a major impact on the members.

If I can do anything to help with your success do call me.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Think about advert Essentials

Time has just flown since I last wrote.

I will be writing twice a week for the next 3 months starting today.

Expect each posting to contain local information, at least one resource, and at least one handy hint about sales or marketing. If you want me to add anything then send me an e-mail.
Your comments are really appreciated so do write something. If you disagree or want to be constructively critical then I want to hear. It might make the blog more interesting. The more interesting it is, the more people will read it and tell others.

Why don’t you tell others. This is already a great resource but it’s getting better.
So what’s happening?

Rachael Flanagan was proposed for the Young Achiever in the Wave & Swansea Sound Local Heroes and she won the Adult Achiever category. This took place at the Dragon hotel in Swansea. The dinner was excellent and the event star studded. There were heart-break tales and others of hard work within the community. All were inspirational.

If you don’t already know, the Swansea Business Show hits town next week on Friday 15th May. Go look at the website. Come along as a visitor, register on the site for free admission. Register at the Show and it’ll cost a fiver. There will be plenty to see, old friends to meet again, new friends to make. The tagline is “Make business for your business” – so come along and be part. You may win a substantial prize. All attendees, whether visitor or exhibitor will have a chance to win. Prizes to date include a meal for 4 at Zaal’s, either £350 worth of financial software or up to £1000 of accountancy fees, a year’s membership at the Village Hotel Health Club, £500 worth of marketing consultancy, website optimisation, 2 pull-up banners plus a 4ft x 6ft banner and much, much more.

The Local Business Forum is growing and constantly evolving. Click here to go to the website. Now is the chance to join. £250 per annum gives you up to 25 free meetings, a chance to write in the e-magazine and have a free advert, a free profile page on the website, discounts as an exhibitor at the Swansea Business Show and Annual Conference and other events, help and encouragement from other members. We are looking at introducing a premium membership that will give you an ongoing sales and marketing programme. At an around an extra £4.95 a week you’ll get 52 learning modules a year covering everything from business planning, controlling sales meetings, writing quotations, sales closes, Powerpoint presentations, business letters, press releases, management systems, e-mail marketing, relationship selling, newsletters and much, much more. This will be launched at the Swansea Business Show. You are guaranteed a rapid increase in sales, profit and cash-flow.

Join the Local Business Forum and gain much more.

Think about adverts.

Adverts come in a variety of guises. In magazines, on the radio and television, in newspapers, on the internet, bill-boards and many other places.

What adverts stand out? What is essential in a good advert?

Essentially an advert needs to make people think, the need to want, the need to take action. And a way to take action. Either ask a question or make a statement such as “Spending too much money on food?” and follow this up with a satisfactory answer “Then save money on the Aldi food range.” And a call to action “Visit your local store today, compare prices and you’ll fill your shopping trolley”.

If you can add extras such as a guarantee, money off or 3-for-2 offer, then you’ll do better.
Make your adverts stand out by including photos of products. Use testimonials. Try to include a phone number and e-mail address where possible, use a website for buying on line and start a store using Paypal or a similar system for collecting cash.
Make it easy for prospective customers to buy.

If I can help you design some simple adverts that work call me


Monday, March 16, 2009

Brand yourself continued

It's been a busy couple of weeks.

Self publicity works. I've arranged a good amount of coverage for Rachael Flanagan of Mrs Bucket Cleaning Co since which her phones have been going mad. If your business is in need of a fresh injection of inquiries to augment your canvassing then get writing press releases. Be creative.

First we had an Independant on Sunday columnist in touch but that didn't get to the printed page but we will keep trying.

Secondly I arranged for Rachael to be the Keynote Speaker at the Bright Futures Dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Swansea on hursday 12th March. The dinner was bringing Swansea Universitt students and local business together to help the students gain valuable business life-skills to help with interviews and in their journey to becoming employed.

From this we had interviews on both Swansea Sound and the Wave which you can hear below. Jackie Jobes of Bright Futures accompanied me to the Radio Station together with Mac McCaffrey from Swansea University who also gave an interview.

You can hear the interviews by clicking on the videos below.

Then a press release that I sent to the Western Mail resulted in a photographer and writer getting in touch with Rachael and "Bang!" she is featured in the Forward Wales supplement last Wednesday with a full page and photo. Forward Wales is entitled "Entrepreneurs" so it was a bit of a coup.

I also found a couple of photos in the possibly last issue of Swansea Business Life, so it pays to get out and about. I'm sorry to see the magazine go because firstly it was a good magazine, with excellent articles by local people, and secondly I had been promised an article in the next issue. Life is tough.

And the dinner on Thursday went great. I'll post up some photos.

If there's anything I can do to promote your business call me on 07976 364681.