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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What a load of rubbish

Eric Pickles, the English Local Government Secretary has annjounced today that weekly refuse collections will be re-introduced across England. Over 170 local councils now have fortnightly collections and there are mixed feelings. Some folk think that the fortnightly collections are a backward step encouraging vermin and causing fly-tipping and smell. Whilst others feel that the suggested quarter £billion cost could be used better in other areas with the cuts facing cash-strapped councils.

Does this mean we might see Swansea follow?

How is recycling really going? Are we meeting our targets? What are the facts? I noticed yesterday that there are several black bags outside some homes. And I read somewhere that the accepted number is just two black bags a fortnight. For a family of 4 that seems extremely harsh. But is it true?
Interestingly I feel that the early morning  street cleaning is one of the best council services  know. These guys work in all weathers and remove last nights debris. My only concern is the ammount of chewing gum on some pavements. 

Your comments are welcome.

Iconic music festival at Swansea museum

It was one of the world’s biggest ever live music festivals and fans of icons like Jimmi Hendrix now have the chance to find out more about it at Swansea Museum. An exhibition devoted to the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival has opened up at the Victoria Road attraction until the end of the year.

The festival marked one of the last times legendary American guitarist Jimmi Hendrix took to the stage. It also included performances from stars such as Moody Blues, The Who and Jethro Tull. The museum exhibition features a huge selection of photos taken at the event by cameraman Charles Everest.

The photographer described the assignment as the most difficult he ever undertook. He spent five days and five nights not only taking images of the musicians but also of some of the estimated 600,000 festival-goers who attended. Joni Mitchell, Miles Davies and Kris Kristofferson were among the other acts to perform.

The exhibition also includes sculptures by Gut Portelli. They include Hey Joe, a piece that combines Hendrix and Vietnam, and Blow, a piece that features Miles Davies and his iconic trumpet.

Period guitars have been provided by Cranes Music and jewellery by Glenys Everest is on display. Copies of all the framed prints from the CameronLife Collection are available for purchase at the museum along with a large selection of other festival-related memorabilia.

Andy Rosser-Davies will be running guitar workshops throughout the exhibition. Hawkwind, Lovin’ Spoonful, Emerson, folk singer legend Joan Baez, emerging Brit star Donovan, Melanie, Free and Emerson, Lake and Palmer were among the others acts who took to the stage at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Jimmi Hendrix was found dead in London within weeks of his performance.

City Mascot

We have a mascot for the Swans and LC but I don't think there's one for Swansea City.

The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially (informally) includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in advertising and marketing for the General Mills brand of breakfast cereal, Trix. See the LC mascot to the right

And we have the Swan's mascot here on the left. In the world of sports, mascots are also used for merchandising. Team mascots are often confused with team  nicknames. While the two can be interchangeable, they are not always the same. For example, the athletic teams of the University of Alabama are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, while their mascot is an elephant named Big Al. Team mascots may take the form of a logo, person, live animal, inanimate object, or a costumed character, and often appear at team matches and other related events, sports mascots are often used as marketing tools for their teams to children. Since the mid-20th century, costumed characters have provided teams with an opportunity to choose a fantasy creature as their mascot, as is the case with the Philadelphia Phillies' mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.

Costumed mascots are commonplace, and are regularly used as goodwill ambassadors in the community for their team, company, or organization. Apologies for this being so americanised!! Bt you get the drift.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Carrie your Local Business Card

Carrie is your Local Business Card Another idea to bring business into the City Centre.

The Local Business Card was a front runner of the latest rash of discount systems now available such as Groupon.

The Local Business Card offers local businesses the opportunity to promote themselves through regular special offers. The project was developed some 3 years ago but didn't take off becase of the lack of local support. It is set up with window stickers, discount key-fobs and a dynamic website.

We have shown 3 Swansea Council dept directors and BIDS and are surprised that their enthsiasm didn't last beyond a few hours. This scheme, if used within the city centre would encourage consumers to spend more within the area.

The Local Business Card is a simple concept. Card cost £5 per year and entitle the holder to a range of discounts on a whole group of products and services. Traders pay £5 month and are able to put up a number of offers each year. The offers are promoted thyrough a regular e-mail newsletter with downloadable vouchers or a printed voucher sheet, dated with an expiry. The expiry is best to be short and can be anything from a discount,  money-off , 2-4-1 or anything that the trader wants. It is aimed at getting new customers and persuading existing customers to return more often. 

The card is in the form of a key-fob. Research has concluded that paperwork should be kept to a minimum and lost or stolen cards just replaced at a nominal amount. The card is a tool to increase footfall: who uses the card isn't important so it could be used by family members.  

This scheme is simple to manage. The card could be the "Swansea Business Card". It could be up and running in 3 weeks with a small budget and high impact.

Are you up for this Swansea Council?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chris Holley Leader of Swansea Council

Mike Leahy pleads . . . . .

Lets turn this . . . . . . . .

into this . . .

. . . . .  yes. A happy bunny!!

Seems to me that the Council are like a herd of rabbits (yes! herd may be a suitable word and it's the correct one) as soon as they see any event being organised, any business trying to make a profit, any householder wanting to make home improvements. They are blinkered and can only see "Health and Safety", "Compliance", "Planning Permission" or "Will we be sued?" and shout "STOP!", "NO!" or "YOU CAN'T DO THAT HERE!".

Come on Chris Holley, this is your opportunity to become a leader of men (and women) and show us that you are at the helm and that you are directing your band of merry men to slash the red-tape, become positive and find opportunities to bring the community together and not rend it asunder.


A Cry for Help? No a Shout to success

Another idea bringing Swansea alive!

Why not employ a Town Crier? Think about it. There would be a competition to find the best Town Crier, This would be a build up through local radio and the South Wales Evening Post and possible coverage by both BBC Wales and local independant TV and radio.

A town crier, or bellman, is an officer of the court who makes public pronouncements as required by the court. They carry a handbell to attract people's attention, as they shout the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" before making their announcements. The word "Oyez" means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention. Oyez derives from the Anglo-Norman word for listen. The proclamations book in Chester from the early 19th century records this as O Yes, O Yes!
The Town Crier, dressed fully in his traditional robes would be a welcome sight and a regular attraction in the City Centre.

But can the Local Authority afford a Town Crier? The simple answer is a resounding “YES!” because he could be advertising local retailers at a low outlay. In fact the alternatives are through BIDS which could ensure all businesses are given an advertising spot, or do it by a fair, transparent draw: or businesses could be offered the facility on a first come first served but at a reasonably cost, maybe a sliding scale so the smallest businesses would have an opportunity to participate This shouldn’t be a money making scheme that the council can use  as a top up.

Think of the benefits. A colourful character walking around the City; his bell and voice certainly attracting attention: advertising forthcoming events (not just council events) attractions, news items and other news; something different!!

There are dozens of free, low-cost or self financing ideas that will help Swansea become more interesting. Watch out for more.

Is Chris Holley reading this and will he, as leader of the Council, take any action. He can call me on 0796 364681

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Place of outstanding beauty or Dank and Derelict

Swansea is a city of contrasts. Sweeping golden beaches, a magnificent marina, pedestrianised Oxford Street or the High Street. take yor pick. Indeed as far as the High Street is concerned take your pick and shovel.

We will never get back those days when the High Street was so central to Swansea. Where both road and pavement were jam packed. Where all the shops were full and thriving. An era of bye-gone days. 
But that doesn't the end of the High Street. Willthe Concil take up the challenge today or leave until tomorrow (which never comes)? 

One question needing an answer is are the owners of these properties paying Business Rates? If not why not? If so then they must feel they are throwing money away. 

What do you think? I'd love to get a response or a Council reply. Come on folks sitting out is for the weak. Lets get strong together and get the action needed today. Your support is needed now.

It seems that the new Coastal complex will be an oasis in a sea of despair.

Book tickets to see Cappuchino Girls at the Evening Post Theatre in the Coastal Complex on the High Street for an experience that is just something difference. Support local talent


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bringing Life Back into Swansea City

With the way that Swansea has been ripped apart to make way for the bendy buses, constant roadworks particularly along Oystermouth Road, the out of town shopping centres, run-down High Street, number of empty retail units, low cost of going to Cardiff, the apparent anti-trader attitude and stance by the local council with what appears to be an enormous number of enforcement officers who seem intent on stopping traders trading it seems that there are many obstacles preventing the City Centre from having the bustling profitable activity that swansea deserves.

It is good to see that the railway station has been refurbished recently but surprisingly that the exterior wasn't cleaned when the building was apparently clad in scaffolding. Surely this wouldn't have been a huge expense: it would certainly have made the building look attractive. 
The railway station is one of the two gateways for foot visitors and deserves to be welcoming. It currently looks so drab.

On leaving the railway station there is then a walk into the city centre, probably along that run-down area of lower High Street, brightened only by the Grand Hotel (which has recently been revitalised under new management) and First Call Coffee, who are alone in a long row iof empty retail units.

It is exactly 12 months since the Evening Post wrote "Swansea High Street is the worst entrance to a city centre in the United Kingdom and not even the ambitious regeneration project will solve the problems of the alcoholics, drug addicts and beggars. That is the shocking conclusion of traders on High Street following a three-day police crackdown which saw 50 people temporarily banned from the area for antisocial behaviour."

Chris Holley, Swansea Council leader, said at the time "We recognise that High Street is a key gateway into the city centre and that it leaves many people with their first impressions of Swansea. High Street was historically a bustling retail area and it's our goal to restore it to its former glory."

There are some lovely buildings that avoided the bombings in the forties but they have been so neglected that their real glory is being destroyed. All buildings look run-down and neglected. Surely a fast fix wouldn't be so expensive.


With unemployment running so high and schemes to re-train local people as painters and decorators, electricians, plumbers and other trades wouldn't it make sense to have some on-the-job training and just get this area painted. So the Council will foot the bill, but would that be bad? It would help get more people trained and give local people some pride: it would match in with the newly completed Coastal Creative Hub where the Evening Post Theatre has just opened it's doors to Mal Pope's Cappuchino Girls musical: it would welcome newcomers and would help deter some of those currently hanging out on the street. Add some hanging baskets, street furniture and look at the traffic patterns and you'll have a great gateway. The traffic is a huge problem with hold-ups in both directions chrning out more fumes than an army of smokers ever could. 

There is now talk of a Sunday street market possibly including stall-holders from the indoor market, a carboot area and local produce. This might be a good idea but how long will it take for crowds to start frequenting the street? Will the council feel the need to grab a fee from all stall-holders or will they see this as a bigger opportunity? Will their enforcement officers be out in force? I feel there need to be some relaxing here.


At the other end of the High Street there is more activity but because it's a bit of a walk from Oxford Street footfall isn't has high as it could be. Perhaps some entertainment in the large pedestrian area by Slaters and Shaws, adjoining the Kingsway might change the footfall routes. 

Why not build a stage or at least have a pavement level stage area and have offer all buskers an opportunity to entertain. This could be like Covent Garden where all acts are auditioned and allocated a time each onday morning at 10am. This would ensure a high standard of act. Once again the council should not be looking at fees but at producing a focal point that would attract an audience. Not just singers and guitarists but dancers, classic singers, jugglers, clowns and comedians. Why not fit web cams and broadcast this on the web. This is already being done in other countries to great effect. It could be linked to the Giant Screen in Castle Square too so bringing in more spectators.

Take a look at this amazing video of street entertainment. We may not get such talent but who knows! There are great acts around and once running you might get people from across the UK

Now lets look at the existing buskers. Some are ok but others are just aweful. Wouldn't it be sensible to addition these guys Bring up the standard.And I know that Big Issue sellars are doing something positive and we should support them, especially this week to commemorate 50 years since John Bird founded the magazine but there just seems to be too many around town.

And why does it cost so much to give out leaflets in Swansea when it costs a fraction in other towns and cities. 8 months ago it cost £100 for 10 people giving out leaflets in Cardiff, £25 in Bristol, nothing in Newport and about £150 in Swansea, except charities and I guess the canvassers take a big percentage there. BIDS members get big concessions but have a business a mile out of the city centre and you get no concession. 

Surely BIDS could be doing more. They should be promoting the retailers. What are they funding? Taxi Marshals at night in Wind Street, anti graffetti gangs, litter or recycling collections - all of which should be council jobs I would have thought.

We need some action now. Take a train or bus to Cardiff and see how vital it is there. And it costs me just £2.50 return by Greyhond on my bus pass, about the same as a cup of coffee!!


Why isn't there a manned Tourist Information Kiosk by the Dragon Hotel? Or Oxford Street? Not a building but something small with people who know about the City and can give great advice. Why not a money-off voucher broadsheet being given away with all the offers available in the city?

The excuses about not enough money don't hold up. Get some low-cost and free ideas running.

Even the free parking is jinxed. Did you know you get up to an hour's free parking in the NCP carparks!  Well no. On Sunday it's not free but costs something like £3 for an hour. That isn't made very clear and I have talked to a couple of people who have been caught. So parking is free in the council car parks on Sundays but that isn't the issue. I feel it is misrepresentation.

I've had ideas that would make a difference like the on-line radio, the Local Business Loyalty Card and this on-line TV. All of these are proven ideas. But getting any reaction is like holding a burning match to an elephant's hide - nothing.

Staying positive is great when you can see something happening bt it doesn't appear to be. Let's make Swansea great again. Come on Council. alk is cheap. Get real. Get moving! Ct out the Cr*p! Stop worrying about enforcing and start encouraging.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sales and Marketing Success Seminars

Sales and Marketing Success Seminars
 Get your VIP ticket today. See bottom of page to book or call 07976 364681

With Just 10 Spots Will You Be There? Or will you let your biggest competitor take the next order from you?

Can you afford to miss a single opportunity during these difficult trading days? Stay on top and ahead with simple ideas that are tested and have proven solid gold.

Are you trapped in the same old boring marketing ideas? magazine, newspaper and radio advertising? leaflet distribution? countless e-mails?  cold telephoning? Now all these ideas are good and can pull business but there are dozens of ideas that you've either forgotten or not known about. Some you'll have read about and others you'll have seen in action but have you tried them. Or did you try them when you first started but have perhaps got in a rut?

Being successful depends 99% of the time on getting the little things right. And that's what these seminars are about. If you take just 10 of the ideas that will suit your business on board then I know yo will see a marked improvement on turnover but ore importantly on profit. PROFIT is king. Without profit you haven't got a business and what is more you'll start to dig into your personal finances and this must always lead to disaster. They say "Turnover is for vanity but profit gives you sanity". Apart from sales and marketing ideas we'll be looking at other little sneaky ways to bolster profit. Ideas that the superrmarkets just love.
Some ideas included and covered in more details are:
  • Ideas that will make you stand out in the crowd
  • 34 ways to use postcards to promote your business
  • Making an exhibtion of yourself
  • Simple basics of a good Press Release
  • The 5% + 5% + 5% formula that will make huge differences 
  • Compelling words that produce results
  • Forget technology and walk your way to success
  • 3 ideas my mother taught me about making people want to deal with you

This 2-parter seminar Sales and Marketing Success is tried and tested and has been run several times over the last 4 years. It is very fast moving, brimming with ideas, positive and motivational.


Don't take my word for it. Here are some of the any testimonials we have received. Rachael Flanagan of Mrs Bucket Cleaning Co and the current UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year (beating over 1500 other hopefuls) said: “Mike runs great seminars. I learn new ideas about sales and marketing every time we meet and they always work”

Nick Everest of Visual360Wales said: “I found our meeting interesting and you were inspirational”

Barbara Collier of Collier Photo Imaging said: “Mike Leahy has advised myself and my staff on marketing, motivation and merchandising . . he has a world of experience and gives his time generously. I would not hesitate to recommend him to any business or individual needing to increase their turnover. His cheery smile, wonderful enthusiasm and endless marketing ideas are absolutely invaluable”

The manual provided FREE to all participants is packed with simple effective ideas covered in the course so you'll want to take notes of course but the basics are written down for you.

Also there are several work sheets that will help you determine where you are now and where you want to be. These are invaluable and can be completed back at yor business. each of the 34 pages have ideas just jumping off the page. Some so simple you'll incorporate then in minutes. Some are ideas that you'll want to turn into a regular habit that will ensure you have a large bag of potential new customers.

Whether you are personally out there selling or have sales-people you'll love this seminar and the stuff you'll bring away with you to bring more sales into your business. Whether looking for new prospects or working with existing customers you'll come out with a tested and tried plan that will bring more orders. So there are basically 3 problems: finding new prospects and converting them in to customers and getting existing customers to re-order; making sure that these orders are profitable; and ensuring the customer comes away feeling that he's got a good deal; and is being looked after to the highest level.

Concerned about whether coaching and courses will work for you? Here are some comments from satisfied clients.

Sales and Marketing Success Seminars
This is a four hour feast of fast moving ideas made up of  two sessions each lasting 2 hours. That is about as mch as you can assimilate at one time so by running two sessions a week apart you'll have had a chance to complete the  worksheets and try ot soe ideas. You'll also have questions and there will be a forum at the end to answer your questions and listen to your successes.

This is a 26 page questionnaire designed to get you thinking about your business and what you could be doing. Usually reserved for clients who are taking coaching or consultancy this does cover simply everything that you might be doing to market your business. The cover price of £7.50 bears no relationship to the benefit you'll gain from completing the Hidden Asset Review. Once again this is free to participants in both sessions.

Previous seminars have had a fast take-up so book now to avoid disappoinment. Each session is just a low £49 but book both and get a further saving of £15.

To book either call 07976 364681
or click on the "Buy Now" button and pay by credit or debit card in complete confidence. If yo already have a Paypal acount it could be easier.

Be successful with your Business.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Exciting Marketing Course in October

Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. And Tourism Swansea Bay are proud to announce a great marketing course made up of three seminars held at weekly intervals next month (October) running on the 5th, 12th and 19th. Heavily subsidised this will give you the platform to take your business to the next level.

Marketing is the process of raising awareness of your products and services so that people want to buy them, have a channel to buy them and are helped in making a positive decision, purchase and to come back again. Selling is part of this process and is usually person-to-person. Marketing is one of the three pillars that will support your business. The other two are having a product or service that you can supply and having a system to ensure goods are paid for.

This series of 3 workshops will get you taking the action to make your business fly. The best time to get marketing is in a recession when everyone else is wondering what to do: and the secret is to use ideas that are easy to do now, practical, targeted and no-cost, low-cost.

Marketing Part 1 on 5th October
All about building a working Marketing Plan that you can write today and start using and evolving tomorrow. And including the following:
  •  Introducing you and your business
  • What a Marketing Plan is
  • Two types of Marketing Plans
  • How it should be written and used to build the business
  • Discussing your customer profile
  • Workshop: Completing your Marketing Plan basics
  • Why targets are important
  • Targets and how to set them
  • Workshop: Group team spirit Business Plan Workout
  • Project: Take the plan and discuss and develop with other Company members

Marketing Part 2 on 12th October

A Marketing Plan will ensure you are working towards targets for business growth and increase profit. A well written plan left in a filing cabinet is useless.

  • Talking through the week’s process since starting to write a plan
  • Reviewing your Marketing Plan
  • What is working? What isn’t?
  • Who is embracing it in the Company
  • Assessing the marketing performance of your business using the unique Alpha Comprehensive Asset Marketing Appraisal
  • Choosing 5 marketing tools to use right now
Marketing Part 3 on 19th October
Marketing can be as expensive as you want. But it can be as cheap as chips. Here we discuss no-cost, low-cost proven ideas that work. And I’ve seen some bright ideas from the sixties coming back. Amazing.

  • The simple things are easy to start now
  • News-letters 
  • The most important and productive thing you can do
  • Little things mean a lot
  • Networking! How to make a real impact for free 
  • Real basic advertising
  • Social media
  • Audio and video
  • A trip down the A6 might surprise
  • Website thoughts
  • Exhibitions that are different
  • Being street wise
  • And much more
 The way forward is to book your place now. With only 6 places available time is short.

Unsure if this is for you? Listen to the following testimonials and you'll want to go ahead right now.