We’ve collated some excellent top tips from members, associates and contacts to whet your appetite for learning more.
STEVE CHEW – Magnificent Stuff
- The brain is designed to learn. If you don’t learn it will atrophy.
- Technology changes ridiculously quickly – constant training is imperative.
- I know it’s unfashionable but… READ things!
GARY BENSKIN – TaxLocal
- Training – you can never be ‘too smart’; there is always something to be learned from someone, no matter how lowly you consider their current position to be.
- Development – one thing we can always be sure of is change. Try to be positive about change. A flexible mindset will help you cope.
- Growth – This ought to be contained within your business plan. Who are your ideal clients? How do you approach them? Who are your competitors?
IAN HUDSON – HDCC
- For start-ups, when writing a business plan double the costs and half the income forecasts.
- Pay invoices within 30 days and you will be more likely to be paid quicker.
PAUL BARTLET – Price Bailey
- Look for changes in the sector you are in. Are there opportunities for new service lines? Keep things fresh!
- Listen – there is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth and the key is using them in proportion. The difficult part is mastering the skill. Listen to learn rather than listening to respond.
- Learn – explore opportunities to broaden your skills.
TREVOR STANESBY – Blue Pig Creative
- Keep to your word.
- Do not over promise on what you can do.
- Listen to your client.
ED PEARSON – Entrepreneurs Network
- Make sure you’re embracing the right problems.
- There is always stuff popping up in business that can potentially derail you but solving the right issues that get you moving towards your goals and ensuring growth.
LYN REED – Best Mailing Services
- Build a strong relationship with your client.
- Stay connected.
- Pick up the phone! It is not all about email.
- Go that extra mile & be proactive.
- Offer help & knowledge for free; it doesn’t have to be about something you can charge for.
- Be happy, stay positive and show interest.
If you would like any help with any of the topics discussed please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Magnificent Stuff delighted to announce that they have been selected as Business Awards Finalists! in the HDCC Business Awards – Innovation category for Stories Magazine.
Really excited to share our most recent news – we’ve been shortlisted for the Business Innovation award in the Harlow Business Awards, and we’re proud “Business Awards Finalists!”.
Looking forward to attending the dinner and award ceremony in early October.
More info can be found here: business-awards
Fellow Finalists of the awards include:
Website / Social Media – Oakmont Construction
The English Cream Tea Company
Sir Charles Kao UTC
Innovation – Longmores Solicitors
What Can I Get You
Young Person – Harlow College
New Business – Price Bailey
What Can I Get You
Medium/Large Business – Sir Charles Kao UTC
Attwater, Jameson Hill
The SES Group
Customer Care & Service – Bidfood
Employer of the Year – Stansted Airport
Attwater, Jameson Hill
The SES Group
We presented the magazine to a panel of 11 judges in September and now await the results which will be announced during the awards dinner on October 5th at The Manor of Groves hotel in Herts.
“Completely out of my comfort zone presenting the magazine to so many people in such a quick session I’m not feeling massively optimistic about a win, especially up against such strong competition. We’re delighted to have been selected as a finalist and to have our innovative business model for the title recognised by the team on the Business Awards.” Emma Knewstub, Magnificent Stuff
Magnificent Stuff and Best Mailing Services are thrilled to announce the launch of their creative services, marketing & fulfilment hub.
In response to growing demand, the strategic partnership will deliver a one-stop marketing & fulfilment solution for clients. Meaning both consistency and efficiencies can be passed onto clients.
“As client confidence in decent agency offering continues to be challenged, creating an exceptionally high standard of service with a trusted one-stop solution is more important than ever. Our knowledge and understanding of the industry fused with the years of experience we have between us allows us to work on some very exciting projects together. The multi-function offering means we can develop innovative solutions from initial research stage right through to fulfillment and the measurement of effectiveness. It’s a really exciting time”.
Continuing to operate under the Merlin Way address, on the perimeter of North Weald airfield in Essex, BMS have been joined on-site by creative content marketing and digital specialists, Magnificent Stuff.
The development of the marketing & fulfilment hub is in response to a clear and very obvious requirement to deliver clients of all sizes a fully integrated solution.
“You tend to find that so many local agencies are really just designers pitching themselves as a marketing agency. Where we differentiate, and offer value is by fusing design, content marketing, reputation management and now fulfillment together seamlessly to provide clients with a multi-discipline offering under one roof.”
Given that BMS, who have been established for 32 years and have worked with clients including, BAFTA, LAING and Hilton, have been collaborating on a number of projects with Magnificent Stuff over the last few years making the hub feel like a very natural progression. Magnificent Stuff has been trading for 3 years and this move marks the significant growth experienced by the agency.
“With the re-launch of the HDCC B2B magazine we were very keen to explore how we could further expand our offering to clients. In BMS we have found not only a hugely experienced partner, but one with genuine enthusiasm, knowledge and creativity”.
For more information about the hub or to contact us regarding work please call +44 1992 522452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS STORY – Co-Founder, Emma Knewstub of the Marketing and business consultancy, Magnificent Stuff, is delighted to have been featured in the Entrepreneurs Network Honours List.
Recognising Magnificent Stuff as a forward-thinking and optimistic business The Entrepreneurs Network have awarded founder, Emma Knewstub a place in their Honours List.
As well as being recognised by the group as a success story, the Network has also published a double page spread feature in their ENGAGE magazine with additional content online and across social media. Entrepreneurs Network are also hosting a Roundtable lunch to hear more about Magnificent Stuff’s innovative, perhaps disruptive plans for the future.
A recent piece on The Guardian’s site by Luke Lang from CrowdCube described Entrepreneurs as “not being fond of abiding by the rules”, and stating that “it’s this bravery, creativity and energy that enables them to challenge convention” Magnificent Stuff are certainly fitting the bill.
Since setting up 2 years ago Co-Founders Emma Knewstub and Steve Chew have a great portfolio of happy clients. Alongside working with brands such as Jaguar Land Rover and The English Cream Tea Company they are working on their first issue of The HDCC members magazine (Local Chamber of Commerce), which they are writing, designing and self-publishing – without any advertising revenue. Steve Chew adds, “Hopefully this will avoid unnecessary clutter and give the magazine more integrity and scope to look appealing”.
On hearing the news Emma comments,
“I’m so thrilled to have been selected for the Honours List. Since joining The Entrepreneurs Network we are really stepping up our game and driving the business harder. That’s the easy bit because we love what we do and we do what we do well. We’re just so pleased others are noticing too!”
For more information about Magnificent Stuff or The Entrepreneurs Network contact email@example.com or follow us on @magnificentstuf
…and madness drives us on!
Nearly 2 years since we first set up and we’re going from strength to strength. Year on year we continue to grow followers, Likes, client base, knowledge and turnover.
Thank you for your support to date and please continue to like, share and talk about us and the work we do. No marketing is more powerful than word of mouth and personal recommendations!
Every day we face a new challenge and sometimes a new battle to juggle or beat but we genuinely love what we do and we do it because we love it.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Support for organisations of all sizes.
We like to think we can help with most business objectives, just a few of the areas of marketing support we specialise in include the following:
Content marketing strategy
Small agency consultancy support
Market research – surveys, questionnaires, focus groups Subscriptions and distribution
Loyalty marketing/membership marketing
E-commerce setup and management
Readability/tone of voice
Contract Publishing – B2B and consumer
Print and publication management – full service offering (inserts, magazines, brochures, catalogues)
New business development/strategy
Commercial consultancy – advertising sales support/setup/management Subscriptions management
Distribution management/targeted placement
Search engine optimisation
Social media strategy
This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the type of work we do. For costs and more information on marketing support in-house or offsite please contact email@example.com or call Steve on 07723 024865
Tips to help with Presentations
Do you get nervous presenting? Do you spend the entire time whilst waiting to perform panicking, sweating, shallow and fast paced breathing or practising your speech over and over in your head? Either way you’re barely listening to anything else going on around you, everything is focused on you – trying to keep you calm, focused, and minimising the pressure you’re placing on yourself to perform.
I’m this person, I’m entirely terrified of standing up and having no clarity, complimented by a lack of incoherent thoughts and being unable to translate anything into grown-up speech and worse still, boring everyone and having no hope of holding the crowd.
I should be excellent in my position and with my background, And surely, with all the sales courses, pitches, self-help and training I’ve had I should be on the TED talk stage!
I thought it fitting to share some of the more realistic and productive tips to help with presentations I’ve been given over the years to see if it can help you more than it has me!
- Have an elevator pitch at the ready – and have it very well-practiced (an elevator pitch is a short, sharp couple of sentences that explain why people should do business with you (derived from ‘if you were in a lift with Richard Branson / A.N.Other business mogul, what would you tell them about your business/you?’)
- Always have the first sentence of your presentation ready and prepared. If you get up and go blank this first sentence will really help get you back on track.
- There is a lot to be said for breathing… It’s entirely underrated and we make so little effort with it when we really should be doing it properly. Every course and training session I’ve been on focuses on the breathing. Slow, deep inhale, so your chest puffs out a bit and being conscious of your breathing really helps calm your body down physically so can rid you of the sweaty palms, twitchy hands, dry mouth and anxious heart pounding in your head thing you may have going on. If you need help count to 10 on each breath in and then again on out.
- Silence is golden. Don’t be afraid to stop, pause and collect your thoughts at the end of a paragraph during your presentation. This not only refocuses you but re-engages the audience and gives them a moment to digest what you’ve just said.
- Nice knickers and shaved legs… Or clean pants and a good wash if you’re a guy. Being presentable not only makes people warm to you and not focus on your negatives (and as much as any trainer has told me this isn’t what people do, I know it’s a lie – we’ve all silently critiqued the poor bastard standing presenting to us instead of hanging on every word he utters!) it subconsciously makes you feel better and more confident, even if you don’t realise it! So, having a new top on or polishing your shoes, whatever you need to do, do it is and as much of it as you can do to ensure your are perfectly groomed and presentable!
- SMILE! People want to like you, and on the whole they are really interested to hear what you’ve got to say. Smiling not only makes a connection between you and your audience it will also help relax your face and in turn your mood. Smiling is so underrated in our opinion.
- Watch the big politicians and public speakers. Loads of them hold their hands together or press their fingertips together, this focuses your energy and helps curb the shakes and sweats
- Practice. Practice. Know your shit. If you know your subject matter you can wing any presentation or talk…
Failing all of these tips I’ve been crippled with nerves during one presentation before and found myself in the loo downing a miniature gin before going on… It didn’t touch the sides, I still cried after it and I still flunked the presentation, but the gin helped me laugh about it after… a long time after!
The registered charity Mike’s Den, is a community based social club encouraging people of all abilities to come together on equal terms based in Potter Street, Harlow.
The charity was founded by Harlow resident Neil Crouch who has run the club for several years on a shoestring – with the help of his family and a few dedicated volunteers who selflessly give their time. The club aims to give members of all abilities a few hours of fun per week. This might include Disco’s, Zumba Classes, Bingo, Quiz nights, Pool and much more. Neil also takes the group on subsidised theatre and panto trips and small breaks away to the coast when funds allow.
In it’s present form however, Mike’s Den is in rather dire need of funding. Income is currently limited to the occasional donation and to the £3 per week ‘subs’ paid by the members for use of the facilities. At Magnificent Stuff we feel that this is a wonderful (if neglected) local charity and that Neil, his team of volunteers and the members they support deserve a little more, even if it’s a just few bob to fix the pool table, buy a new Bingo set or some extra stock for the Tuck Shop.
With that in mind we have put together this unapologetically blatant request for support from all our friends who have local businesses in Harlow, Sawbridgeworth and West Essex. If you lovely, generous people can spare a donation, anything from as little as £5 per month, we’d be eternally grateful. In return, you not only get the (enormously heart-warming) satisfaction of knowing that you’re doing something truly generous for the local community, but you get to put this….
lovely logo on your website/creds/paperwork. Your own logo will also appear on Mike’s Den’s website, our monthly newsletter and any promotional literature (flyers, ads, brochures etc). How good is that?
It really is a wonderful little charity which would be hugely grateful for even the smallest assistance.
So, if you are interested in sponsoring Mike’s Den, or would like to come for a look round/visit on one of the Wednesday evenings please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07723 024865, or you could PM the club via Facebook.
Thanks for reading.
I’ve been trawling the internet looking for something that actually grabs my diminishing attention span, and I came across this little gem.
Its short, sweet and smart, and I especially like it because I truly think the mood you start your day in, before you get out of bed sets a tone for the whole day, and setting goals or a plan the day before is an excellent idea!
Back in the mid-90’s I was choosing options post A-Levels. My first and only choice since I was 5 was to follow in my hero’s footsteps (my father) and join the Met Police.
After a series of very sincere heart-to-hearts with my dear Dad on his hands and knees, begging me to keep safe and get a career in anything else in the world other than policing, I eventually agreed to go to Uni first. In that way, I thought, I could become a police officer with a chance of accelerated promotion and be given more opportunity!
Looking at university courses, few options appealed to me. I’d never really been particularly good in any subject and the 2 years of A-Levels had dragged. The subjects I’d chosen had been the best of a very dry choice. The door-to-door canvassing role I’d held for 3 years with Zenith Windows meant that I’d experienced marketing at grass roots level. It intrigued me and I was actually quite good at it!
I had a very strong network of home friends, a boyfriend, 2 jobs and I was exceptionally close to my family. After reviewing the UCAS brochure at length my mind was made up. It was extremely important to me to do something I had at least some interest in, so I decided I’d stay in London, commute to Uni and attend the London College of Printing and Distributive Trades to study for their brand new BA Hons in marketing and advertising course.
Uni was fun, not the same fun as other friends had experienced (we had no Freshers events as such and we visited the student bar once in 3 years!) It was different here, my classmates we’re made up of a number of foreign and mature students. The rest of us had 2 or 3 jobs, lived at,or near, home and we holidayed, lunched and partied with our friends who we’re all in full time employment. We all had a decent wedge of disposable income and on the whole we only had a few days of lectures each week. We lived the good life!
I thank Uni mostly for the life experience but also for allowing me to meet two amazingly special friends. Barry, Liz and I had a blast. We’d go to Elephant & Castle’s finest restaurant for lunch. We’d share homework and chat on the phone for hours. We’d write papers for each other and cover for each other when one of us had a work/home life commitment and couldn’t make it in to a lecture. I still to this day love Liz and Barry very dearly and will always want them in my life.
I was always one to have lots of jobs and, temping as a receptionist for Britvic, I met a guy called Ashley, who’s wealthy uncle owned a media planning agency. After a very relaxed interview I found myself working as a trainee planner/buyer for the mid-sized agency in the West End during the holidays.
I totally loved it there. The people we’re great, the clients exciting and the long leisurely lunches on a Friday, free flowing hospitality, booze, parties and freebies were mind blowing. I was paid a decent salary for a ‘workie’ and I learnt loads about the industry. I also got myself a market-research telephone role in the evenings and signed up to a mystery shopping agency.
These experiences confirmed to me that I didn’t need to rush into the police force so soon, I was still young! I decided that I wanted to be a creative, I wanted to write and produce tv commercials. The fact that I wasn’t much cop at writing and I had no video production experience didn’t phase me at all, that was my ultimate goal, I’d watched ‘Bewitched’ religiously and I wanted to work where Darren worked, for an agency like Larry’s. In the meantime I would look for a full time media role to get some more experience under my belt and regular funds coming in.
I signed up with a number of agencies including one called Regan & Dean, who got me an interview at a contract publishing agency called Redwood Publishing in Trafalgar Square. This wasn’t ideal for me, it was an editorial role on global magazine project for Volvo cars. I couldn’t have been more disappointed to have been offered the role but I decided it was a stepping stone. Seeing as I wasn’t even getting near to an interview with a creative Ad agency this would do for now!
Ten years later I eventually decided to do some travelling and I left Redwood. During my time there I’d learnt the fundamentals of CRM. I’d learnt and loved client servicing (done the proper way). I’d been mentored by some incredibly inspirational people and I’d listened, learned and understood the rationale and marketing plans for some of the worlds biggest brands. I’d help devise solutions with almost unachievable schedules to meet objectives on time and I’d made some of the best friends you could ask for.
What Redwood first taught me, subsequent roles and experience have built on and although I’m sure I learnt lots at uni, it was only when out in the big wide world and working on live and real accounts I have really grown to love what I do, and that’s even without the boozy lunches and parties, which have been in rapid decline over the years and are almost non existent these days!
What I love most is the problem solving. The importance of the planning, insight and evaluation it takes to create a workable solution for a client.
No one can underestimate the power of taking a watertight brief, or if you’re given a brief, the importance of questioning it and running through it with a fine tooth-comb.
When you understand a clients objective, dilemma or concern you can begin to resolve it, meeting their goals effectively.
Marketing is exciting, rewarding and is always evolving.
It never gets boring, and although there are peaks and troughs in budget allocated to marketing spend across the board, if you work hard to prove return to a client they’ll see value in your efforts and continue to invest.
And that is why I love what I do – the people, the problem solving, the excitement, the client liaison and generating the return. That is why we started www.magnificentstuff.net.