Your workforce is at the heart of your business- and in order to succeed you need talented and driven individuals to perform the daily tasks that keep things ticking over. If you have experienced a drop in productivity, or you just want your business to be as productive as it can be, you will need to address your workforce and snag (and keep) the very best employees. Here are a few things to bear in mind. View Post

Flyers are a highly effective and low-cost way of getting people’s attention in what can be a very busy marketplace. To help you even more, though, here are some easy tips to really make your flyers do the job.

Use a memorable, easy-to-scan headline

You need to catch people’s eyes with some well-chosen, impactful words – “easy”, “free”, “time-short”, “bonus”, “two-for-one” and “you can” are among the best phrases to use for the maximum effect on busy eyes.

Employ colourful and unusual graphics 

Using one big image works better than using several smaller, possibly disparate, images. A single image creates a mood, sets a scene and tells a story. It’s a focal point and it encourages the reader to find out more. There are many stock photos and images online, so take your time to find the right ones. Additionally, you should make sure you use the best quality paper and inks you can find here, as it’s important.

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Sell the benefits of your event, product or service

Readers will want to know what’s in it for them, so tell them. Address them directly, using “your” and “you”. Don’t use “we”, “my” or “our”. Stay sharp and to the point, using the big-gun words like “free”, “save”, “new” and so on. Avoid long paragraphs, interspersing them with sub-headings and bullet points, as well as box-outs and side panels.

Try case studies and endorsements

Happy customers inspire confidence in prospective and new clients. Don’t just go for anonymous sound-bites, though, go into as much detail as possible. Also, be sure to include the company name and contact details of the satisfied customer.

Get organised

Use boxes, bullet points and different colours in your flyer – a huge wall of monotonous-looking text is very off-putting and readers will find it hard to extract the information you want to get across to them. Use white space and lead the eye to where you want it to go.

Make your points stand out

Use bold or italics, but never use caps lock as it looks shouty and unprofessional.

Keep things simple

Use a maximum of two typefaces and use grids, too. Make sure everything is aligned to the grid and remember your margins – at least 0.5” margins on all sides.

Proofread – at least once

Have a look over your text yourself, then leave it overnight, have another look, then ask a friend. Try the phone numbers to make sure they’re right, try out the URL to make sure it works and avoid common SPG mistakes.

If money is tight…

Use brightly-coloured or unusual paper and black ink, maybe with grey shading and contrasting backgrounds.

Offer a deep discount or a time-limited freebie 

Use the bottom quarter of the flyer as a coupon, but make sure the conditions and deadlines are stated clearly. If it’s a coupon that people have to hand or post in, make sure all the information fields are visible and accurate – postal address, space for card details and so on.

No-one’s asking you to change the world with your flyers – just use these tried-and-tested methods to make your marketing work for you.

 

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Staying true to your thrifty self, but also wearing lovely clothes can be a tricky compromise.

I want to save money but this doesn’t quell my desire for nice things and that includes my wardrobe.

So I have sought out 5 ways to allow you to hit the shops and still have money left in your pocket.

5 Ways to go shopping and spend less.

  1. Clean out.

Usually buying new clothes means you have got bored of your old.  So before you even hit the shops, give your cashflow a boost by getting some of your old threads on eBay and making some pennies first.

2. Hit the charity shops.

It is cliche, but people give away some fantastic stuff to charity shops.  All you have to do is be prepared to hunt.  I have managed to identify a couple of great local charity shops that stock a couple of my favourite brands.  I don’t know who donates the clothes, but I sure am thankful.

3. Lovethesales

If you want designer clothes, fresh off the rack, then make sure you wait for the sales. Or you can head online to Lovethesales and see which of your favourite brands have great discounts available.

The Boden sale recently caught my eye, and all of these items have a 30% discount on at present.

boden

Lovethesales offer discounts at some fab designer brands and are a great way to get your fashion fresh but at cheaper prices.

Just as I like it!

4. Shop out of season

Deals are often found when one season transfers to the next, so shopping out of season can net you some great deals.  It is also an incentive to maintain your waistline when you have a brand new wardrobe waiting for you when the weather changes.

Happy Shopping.

 

As a technology professional, you will be acutely aware of the pace of change within your industry. You are probably already aware that if you want to remain in employment you need to keep pace with that change, which means keeping your qualifications current and broadening your skills base.

This is difficult to do when you are working full time, but it is vital that you do so. Firms want people with a broad skill set as well as people with experience of working in the industry.

Given the fact that you are probably extremely busy, you need to focus your efforts and secure the right qualifications. The last thing you need is to end up studying  a hot new programming language only to find that once you finally get the qualification that language is now dead in the water and your qualification is useless.

You want qualifications that are relevant and sought after. However, predicting what will happen in the IT industry can be extremely difficult, which makes it hard to indentify where to invest your time.

Fortunately, some qualifications have had good currency in the past and are highly likely to continue to do so in the decades to come. Microsoft qualifications definitely fall into this category.

There are numerous roles available within the IT industry for people with Microsoft accredited qualifications. This is because most firms use Microsoft hardware and software somewhere within their business. Therefore, there are literally millions of jobs across the world for personnel with the right Microsoft certified qualifications.

Securing these qualifications is a lot easier than it used to be. There is no longer any need for you to study in the classroom. It is now possible to study everything from MCSA to the full range of Windows operating systems online.

The lessons can be accessed from anywhere and at any time of the day or night. For an IT professional who is already working this is vital because it allows him or her to fit their training in with their busy work life.

Which Microsoft course you take is very much up to you. The best approach is to choose those qualifications that are most closely related to the type of work you are already doing.

Here is a list of the different Microsoft courses you could consider completing:

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2008

Windows 8

Windows 7

SharePoint

Exchange Server

MCSA

MCSE

MCTS

MCITP

After reading this article, we hope that you can now understand why take a Microsoft Training course is an important step for anyone considering a career in IT support, and have a better understanding of the types of courses that are available. Just be sure to do your training with a trusted provider that offers Microsoft Training that is properly certified. This is the best way to ensure that your qualifications will be recognised by prospective employers.

Once you have secured your qualifications take the time to keep your certification up to date. Taking this approach ensures that your qualifications remain relevant are seen by prospective employers as valuable.

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We have visited Stratford Upon Avon twice this year already and it is swiftly becoming a favourite place of mine.

This weekend the whole family gathered together to celebrate my older siblings fortieth birthday, so seven adults and five children took to Shakespeare’s land to celebrate in style.

The fact that Britain was bathed in a heatwave certainly meant the weekend would have been wonderful anyway. However Stratford is a glorious place to travel to with a party of all ages. StratfordOur top tips

Stay central, cars are not needed in Stratford.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn which was a stones throw from the bustling waterway and Shakespeare tower.

Explore in trainers

Sunday morning saw half of our party don running shoes and tread the paths alongside the Avon.  Monument, gloriously old buildings grab your attention, distracting you from the pain of the run and you can see so much more when moving faster. P1060996
Set sail on the Avon

One of the best things we did on our weekend away was go on a boat cruise with Bancroft cruises. P1060947 Our tour guide, Romeo, was funny, interesting and kept the whole family entertained as we sailed down the Avon, a simply beautiful way to see Stratford. P1060963 P1060968 P1060979 P1060981 The market in Stratford is amazing, check out this super range of fudge! P1060998Whatever your age or family size, we can really recommend Stratford upon Avon as a great place to spend a weekend. We need to go back to check out much, much more Shakespeare!