Could your business cut out the cash?

Pound Signs

When starting out as a new business you have an infinite to-do list; how high on your agenda is a card payment solution? As a recently launched startup it may not seem like an essential, however research has shown that when a customer is able to pay on card, they are more likely to spend a higher amount and buy on a regular basis. Can you afford to miss out? Continue reading

Customer feedback: Listening and learning

Smiley face expressions

When I started my career, in a small, family run hotel, I was told: “When someone receives good service, they might tell someone about it if our name comes up, or they may tell close friends. But give bad service and that person will make sure everyone they know knows about it.”

That was more than 10 years ago, wireless internet was new and I am sure I was still unplugging the house phone to get online. A decade later and you’re more likely to leave the house without your shoes on than without your phone and the entire internet is in your pocket. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Social Media Networks for Your B2B Business

Social media icons

An effective social media campaign is one of the most important ways of connecting with your audience. However, it’s important you choose the right platforms and this is even more relevant for B2B businesses than B2C businesses.

There are many benefits from social media marketing such as brand awareness, connecting with people, and driving traffic to your website and more that any B2B firm can tap into. If you want to run a successful social media campaign then your first step is choosing the right network and that’s what we’ll go into here. Continue reading

A Quilt Will Warm Your Body and Comfort Your Soul

Cat on Lisa Watson Quilt

Quilts by Lisa Watson is a limited collection of traditional heirloom quilts with a contemporary twist. The range pays homage to Lisa’s Scottish heritage using luxurious fabrics like Harris Tweed and velvet in five rich colourways. In this post, Lisa gives us an insight into her inspiration, her journey so far, and the hopes for her business in the future. Continue reading

In Praise of Small Local Enterprise

Afflecks Palace logo

As a Manchester student in the mid 1980s, I would spend many a lazy afternoon in Affleck’s Palace, an indoor market based in an old cotton warehouse just off the main shopping area.  Across the five floors would be dozens of independent stalls selling: indie clothes (typically homemade – no designer labels here), CDs, bootleg live tapes of Manchester bands – Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Durutti Column, A Certain Ratio.  On the ground floor sat a small cafe and a “50p Shop” which was always busy. Continue reading

Why I Fought for Levenshulme Market

Levenshulme Market


At 5am every Saturday, as I weigh up the benefits of ditching either a shower or a cup of coffee (those who know me well will know which usually wins out), in the service of an extra 10 minutes of fitful sleep I am liable to ask myself why I do what I do. Why do I spend my Saturday mornings on a cold car park heaving tables and gazebos into place?

Because I run a market and that is what market people do (except for those market people with pre-erected stalls who are so lucky they don’t even know they’re born); because I get to spend the rest of my day chatting to traders who have created their own unique businesses from scratch and are passionate about their products; because by the end of that day, between us all – me, the traders, the staff who help us with those gazebos, my fellow market directors who steer the course of the business on the steady path – we have created something that has brought people together – customers, friends, families, neighbours.

Continue reading