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Have you heard us on SpireFM yet?

enotions have started advertising on SpireFM, our local radio station. I must admit, it’s something I would never have considered doing if, through winning our SpireFM business of the year award, we hadn’t received free advertising slots. But now that we’re live it’s got me rather excited and open to what it might do for us.

I am not thinking complete business revolution here, an endless stream of calls and early retirement. Far from it. Radio advertising, particularly for an offering such as ours, does not produce immediate results. People don’t pick up the phone when they hear an advert about web sites saying, ‘We need one of those.’ That thought has hopefully been brewing inside of them over weeks and months prior and will take more than a radio ad to spur them into action.

No, advertising on the radio is about the slow burn, the reiteration of the message and company name and then later, the recollection of it, the slow steady fall of stones which eventually might cause the avalanche.

Salisbury is a small place. Locals describe it as a ‘village with a cathedral!’ Everyone knows everyone. People talk. People remember. Local people work with local people. It’s got a fantastic active business community and your reputation and name counts. Radio advertising, to me, is about getting our already well known name into offices and warehouses and homes and houses of the business community so we become a constant (I almost used the word ‘persistent’ but that tends to suggest negative connotations!) background presence.

Depending how this initial trial goes, radio advertising may become one of our several marketing channels to market. In the meantime, my eyes are on our stats to see if there’s any noticeable change in site usage.


“Did Alvin Presley die on the toilet eating a burger?”

Kids never fail to astound and entertain me, which is why I love them so much and why am still a big kid myself (even though at times I try and appear to be grown up and semi-serious.)

Linnie relayed a simply brilliant story to me today from dropping our youngest at school today which, whilst completely non-work related and left-field, is utterly brilliant and deserves to be shared.

The class had been set the task of drawing famous person from history in a frame. One child announced, “I’ll draw Henry the Eight” and set to the task with great gusto, colouring frocks and crowns and jewels. Another said, “I’m going to draw Nelson” and so appeared a stick man on a boat with one arm and a hat.

Our youngest, straightened out the paper he was to draw on, pulled out a pencil, pursed his lips and whispered enquiringly to his mum, “Mum, did Alvin Presley die on the toilet whilst eating a burger?”

And so the moral of the story is, success and fame can be destroyed and an individual brought down to earth in an instant by a child. So don’t get too big for your boots and just enjoy what you have!


17.5% VAT figure returns in January

The government’s 2.5% reduction to VAT, introduced this time last year to help reduce the slide into recession, comes to an end on January 1st with VAT returning to 17.5%.

What a ridiculous time to reintroduce the VAT hike. I am sure that shops and retailers will really appreciate the extra work over Christmas and the New Year revaluing all their stock to include the additional 2.5%.

The VAT reduction was brought in to reduce the cost of items and encourage consumer spending. I am sure there has been some marginal upturn in sales from it, but from discussions I’ve had with retailers, many have seen it as too little an incentive for shoppers and too widespread a change for retailers to gain any true advantage from it. Stores selling a limited stock might not have found the forced the price reduction difficult to implement but for stores selling limitless varieties of goods, this price change has been an incredibly time consuming change to make.

As the UK lags behind the rest of the world with emergence from recession and with the economy far from out of the woods, there are many, myself included, who feel that the VAT rise might be too hasty a return to the old days, particularly when prospects are still bleak and quick recovery far from certain. From my vantage point, I don’t see confidence and cash returning to the market until September 2010. Perhaps then the VAT figure should have been increased?

Happy New Year!


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