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Busy Busy Busy… but THANK YOU

After last week’s blog where I had nothing to say this week I have too much to say!

Firstly this week we had our latest tweet up at Unit 7 on the Torquay Harbourside, all I can say is WOW! It felt like we were in someones living room looking out over a Bay in Spain or something. Watching the Sun go down over the Fair on Torquay Seafront was something else. I can really recommend their space for those working in the creative industry because sitting there with the whole of the Bay spread out in front of you I couldn’t help but be inspired. Normally at this point I would tell you all about it but this time I have been beaten to it by Jo Holloway from AC Print and as I couldn’t have put it better myself I’m just going to LINK to hers.  The only thing I can say to Caroline and her team down at Unit 7 is thank you for being wonderful hosts and letting us come visit for a couple hours.

Secondly work continues to progress on the Radio show that starts next Monday the 8th September at 8PM.  We have a running order ready to go and sponsors who have generously taken a chance on us two idiots and backed us; we promise to do everything in our power to make that chance worthwhile.  While things are still being finalised I won’t name check them just yet but a massive Thank You to them and anyone else who has shown an interest in advertising.  We also have to thank Rick Edwards and the team at The Music Mill in Newton Abbot because without them this wouldn’t even be an idea.  It fills me with pride everyday to think that on Monday when this goes live we will be the first #Hour with a radio show in the WORLD!

The third thank you I have to make is a bit of a strange one because i’m going to thank this blog and bid it fair well. Thanks to @Devon_Hour and @TorbayDesign who are great supporters on #TorbayHour we have a new website that will also launch on Monday and this blog will get transported over there.  I’ve been working on the website for a couple of weeks now making sure I can make it do what I want it to do and, I have to say it looks great and helps build a brand around #TorbayHour meaning we can really start to build it and do good things for the Bay.

Fourthly and finally a big thank you to all 2800+ of you who follow us, join in on a Monday and read this blog.  Without you none of this would be happening.  To misquote the words of Dirty Dancing (which I obviously have never watched being big and butch and that), “I’m having the time of my life and I owe it all to you”.

Ummm

It’s happened, the day I knew would come, the week where I sit here in front of the computer and not know what I’m going to write.  Panic!!

I think it’s because I’m on holiday at the moment from the day job, my brain has switched off and gone away for a while.  I took the opportunity to go see family on the East Coast (Felixstowe to be precise) and while I loved it I really did miss the Bay.  Felixstowe is so FLAT!

We all know what it’s like sat in a Pub in Torbay on the Seafront, you look out across the Sea, watching as Seagulls swirl and dive amongst the cliffs and hills.  Sailing boats make thier way around the coves dodging speed boats and Jetskis and there is always something going on.  In Felixstowe… Nothing, the beach stretches for miles in both directions with only the one bend to distract the eye.  No hills, no cliffs, few Seagulls ( A blessing really) and the only boats you see are the huge container ships heading for the Docks.

It’s great to go on Holiday but there is nothing like coming home again and realising how lucky you are to live in other people’s holiday destination.

 

Featured Account – PSP Insurance Solutions

PSP Insurance & Financial Solutions Ltd is an established Insurance Broker providing insurance & financial solutions to the SME sector from regional offices throughout the West Country.

On the 1st September, as part of our controlled expansion, we are opening our new office in Torquay to service existing and new clients in South Devon and beyond. This will be bring our branch network to four, joining existing branches in Chippenham, Saltash and Newquay.

Based in the prestigious surroundings of Rockwood House, the Torquay branch will focus primarily on Commercial Business Insurance although through our Branch network all insurance requirements can be catered for.

No matter what the size of your business, we aim to give a traditional Insurance Broking service with a personal Account Manager offering wherever possible “face to face” meetings. We also offer a dedicated claims service with through our centralised claims team in the Chippenham office.

The Torquay office will be managed by Andy Gait who has 26 years experience as an Insurance Broker having recently joined PSP from Pavey Group where he was Senior Account Manager. Andy is a Chartered insurance Broker and Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, having passed the Advanced Diploma in Insurance via a number of examinations. Chartered Status remains “The Gold Standard” of excellence and integrity serving as a benchmark for quality and ethical practice.

Andy and his team look forward to welcoming your enquiries and will willingly provide a free review of your existing Insurance arrangements. Please contact him on 01803 467027 or email andrew.gait@pspsinsurancesolutions.com

The Pep Talk

One of the things we hear quite a bit is “I’m not very good at Twitter” or “I’m not sure what i’m doing”, let me tell you… You’re doing great.

For a start you have taken the step and set up a Twitter account, your name is now available to potentially millions more people. Secondly you are talking to us which tells me you are actively marketing your self or your product and looking for the best ways of doing that. Thirdly, no matter how many followers you have there are some people who have decided they like what you are saying or want to do business with you and have followed you as a result. Congratulations you are as good as any of us.

The trap with Twitter is you have a measure as to how many people have followed you and it is that figure that everybody measures themselves by (*Holds hand in the air and pleads guilty). There is no such thing as being good at Twitter because Twitter isn’t a definite thing, it’s whatever you want it to be whether that’s a place to sell your self, keep up to date with your favorite celebrities, local news or personal interests, welcome to the Twitter Smorgasboard.

What I am trying to say is, have confidence in yourself, let your personality shine through, chat to people and be honest about what you want from them. Don’t measure yourself against your follower numbers, be interesting and engaging and people will follow you. YOU ARE BETTER AT THIS THAN YOU THINK!

Still reading? Still not sure you are any good at Twitter? No problem, I have you covered, we have friends who can help you. We are big fans of #TSMCafe, run by Alison Hernandez and Nick Elison. What they do is simple and free, they get a bunch of volunteers together in a cafe and open the doors to anyone unsure what they are doing on any social media, if you have read this far and are still not sure if you are any good I would highly recommend going to their next one.

Featured Account – Torbay Home Sales

The estate agency industry is currently typified by two types of agent- online and traditional. We are currently seeing a shift in popularity from the traditional and often more comprehensive services of so-called ‘high street’ agents towards those of online agents who offer a more limited service for a reduced fee. Torbay Home Sales was established in response to this to offer an alternative. We have created a model which focuses solely on the needs of our clients, taking what we feel to be the best aspects of each model and combining them to offer an unrivalled service. This makes us different from the rest. We offer a comprehensive sales service meaning we will carry out all of the traditional duties involved with selling a home including accompanied viewings and sales progression from start to finish. In this sense we can be likened to a traditional, however our fees are more comparable to, those of an online agent. Our fee is fixed at £995 and is only payable upon the sale of the property giving our clients the transparency and peace of mind they deserve. Our model ensures our clients receive local knowledge and expertise, a single point of contact and increased flexibility for a low, fixed fee. Head over to www.torbayhomesales.com to see how else you can get more, for less.

 

Events

Tickets have just been released for our very own bowling night on 23rd September. Tickets are £8.50 with £1 going to Rowcroft Hospice. We would love for you all to join us for what should be a good night in aid on a local charity. Tickets can be booked here

Two Idiots and a Radio Show

If you joined us for #TorbayHour this week you would have seen that we are continuing with our drive to bring the best to Torbay, it’s businesses and it’s people.

As of the 8th September 2014 we will be taking #TorbayHour onto the radio. Working with The Music Mill in Newton Abbot we are going to carry on with the Monday Evening Hour, the Tweetups and the Blog, nothing will change. What will change is that to a degree the hour can be whenever you want it to be. The plan is to record and play out #TorbayHour Live, using the structure we already have, on The Music Mill’s online Radio Station. With us will be a Professional DJ who will drive the show with James and I being the Idiot sidekicks (We know our strengths) feeding information from the Twitter feed and discussing any points that come up. Music will be provided by local bands and we are hoping to get #TorbayHour people to join us on air each week. We will then make the show available online as a Podcast so if you can’t join us on a Monday night you don’t have to miss out.

It’s safe to say we are really excited about it for a number of reasons. Firstly, as far as I’m aware we will be the only #Hour doing anything like this. Secondly, it’s going to be great fun and thirdly but most importantly we feel it will help spread the word that Torbay is open for business, passionate about what we do and innovators in how we do it.

How can you get involved? Carry on as you are, join us on a Monday evening on Twitter, listen live if you can and interact with us as you already do. Download the Show, even if you don’t listen (We hope you do) it will help us find sponsorship and advertising. We are looking for people to sponsor the show, featured accounts, new accounts (the list is as long as you want it to be) or just an advert during the hour would be greatly appreciated as it will help us to continue doing the show.

In return we hope to entertain (That’s kind of the point) inform and show the World what Torbay has to offer.

Featured Account – Dominoes Torquay

Domino’s Pizza is already a name most people know, but we want you to know Domino’s Pizza Torquay.  Upholding the standards and ethos of the Domino’s brand, we are a growing team of local people, serving the local community.  We love to make more pizza and have more fun; making orders whilst having a sing-a-long is a common sight and sound at our branch!

We’re proud to help local charities and at present we are supporting Rowcroft Hospice by holding ‘entry by donation’ competitions, as well as offering smaller raffle prizes to nearby schools, nursing homes and clubs.

So whether you’re a regular customer of ours, a local resident who hasn’t yet tried our world renowned pizza, or just in the area on holiday to the beautiful bay, we’d love for you to pop in or give us a ring if you fancy a quick bite to eat or a feast for the family!
Next Tweetup
The next Tweetup will be on the 1st September at Unit 7 we can take 30 people so make sure you get booked in early.  At the moment I cant login to Eventbrite  so drop us a DM and we will include you on the list.
Events
NT Live Medea Thursday 4 September @ 7pm tickets £16NATIONAL Theatre bring yet another fabulous production Live to Screen
A powerful tragedy, with love and revenge starring Helen McCrory. Medea is a wife and mother, facing banishment and separation from her children. Will she destroy everything she holds dear? ‘Terrible things breed in broken hearts’.Folk at the Flavel with Coope, Boyes and Simpson Sat 13 Sept @ 8pm tickets £16, £5 under 18s
Powerful acappella singing and distinctive song writing from Barry Coope, Jim Boyes and Lester Simpson, in their show ‘In Flanders Fields’ in a fitting tribute to commemorate the War to end all Wars. Mark Radcliffe from BBC Radio 2 says the trio are incomparable.16th-18th September 2014

Bijou Theatre Productions present a classic thriller by Torbay’s very own crime writer.Directed by Jill Farrant. An Amateur Production . The play opens with a dense fog, a desolate country house and, of course, a dead body. Add to this mix an unfaithful widow, a demented half-brother, a concocted alibi and unidentified finger prints and here are all the ingredients for an intriguing and captivating evening! Tickets now on sale £12.00, concessions available.

Dear Tourist,

Dear Tourist,
If you are reading this you must be considering visiting Torbay on holiday, thank you for that. You will find the businesses of the Bay passionate about what they do and genuine in their love of the place they live and work.

You will also find a beach to suit every need from long, sandy tourist trap beaches in Paignton to quiet coves only the locals know about all over. If it’s history you like, check out Berry Head fort or the World War 2 slipways or our historical literature on the Agatha Christie trail. Adventure? Try coasterering or paintball or Go Karts.  What about eating out? The Bay is full of great restaurants with fantastic views of the Sea or Dartmoor, or there is always the traditional Fish and Chips with a view of your own choosing.
Is this a sales pitch? Yes of course, the Bay needs investment, it needs people like you to come down and tell your friends about us, your twitter followers and Facebook friends what a great time you have had.

@Torbay_Hour isn’t just here for the businesses of the Bay we are here for you too. If you want advise of where to go or what to do drop us a tweet and we will help or put your tweet out there so someone else can. We want to make your break memorable so you can join the hundreds if people who come back year after year.

Yours sincerely

@Torbay_Hour

 

Featured Account – The Business Guru

The Business Guru is a marketing and business consultancy for Small and Medium Sized Businesses based near Totnes, South Devon and worldwide via the internet. We offer real practical business solutions, using our award winning Marketing and Advertising Experience, coupled with the real, hands-on, experience of running several small businesses.

The Business Guru is owned by Angus Ogilvy-Stuart. Angus is a highly experienced Marketing Professional, Advertising Agent, Project Manager, Entrepreneur & Small Business Owner.

Angus learned his trade in working for several Advertising Agencies in London winning a series of awards for creative thinking and marketing skills. He has subsequently set up and run several small businesses in London & The South East before selling his businesses and moving to South Devon.

His aim is to use his experience in order to provide help and support to Small & Medium sized businesses. Offering practical, hands-on, business ideas and marketing strategies that have been proven to work in the real world with real budgets for real people.

If your business could benefit from a new impetus and a fresh pair of eyes and some creative thinking he would love to hear from you.

Events
Young and United are a group of young people working with Community Action South-west and the NCS programme in Torbay. For their community action project that they have to complete in order to finish the programme.  On Friday they are having an event at the Memorial hall in Torquay as a campaign fun day, it starts at 10 and finishes at 4. There will be activities, cakes, drinks and raffle. They are also working hard to get a variety of music acts to perform for as well. Why not pop down and support them?

The 37th Dartmoor Folk Festival, 8-10th August. Takes place in the picturesque village of South Zeal, near Okehampton on the north edge of Dartmoor.  Over the years the festival has grown making it possible to invite a high standard of folk artist from near & far whilst maintaining its reputation for being a friendly, traditional festival.  Events all day Saturday & Sunday plus children’s festival.  Craft stalls, Morris dancing, music sessions, Dartmoor ramble, workshops there should be plenty there to amuse anyone.

Paignton have their annual Rowing Regatta this Saturday from 12 noon on the seafront so grab a bag of chips and an Ice Cream and make the most of it.

The Charitably Honest One

Since I started to help with #TorbayHour I have always felt there is more we can do and a profit to be made from running it. If you have read all of these blogs you will see that a lot of work goes into running it and actually it is our Business Accounts that tend to suffer during the hour itself. James on the other hand is more noble than I and sees what we do as a good thing for the community, a chance to do good in the Bay. I wont lie I have lots of plans and scams to raise money but I think James has the right idea.

#TorbayHour isn’t about me and James and it doesn’t matter how much effort we put into it because if it wasn’t for the Torbay business community at large putting in just as much effort it would all be for nothing anyway. So what do I do? Do I put all my ideas to one side along with the rest of them? (Does anybody want to buy the plans for a Garden Table that rises from the decking?) or do we look at ways of raising money for the benefit of the Bay?

Of course, as the name of this blog suggests that is exactly what we are going to do. Starting in September we will be having a Featured Charity of the month. We will also be looking to organise more social events along with our #TorbayTweetups with the proceeds going towards that charity. We are really hoping to help local charities raise money and awareness of what they do. We will look to put teams (Made up of #TorbayHour participants) into as many charity events as possible and represent the Torbay Businesses.

So how can you help?
Join us in our mission to raise money and awareness of these charities, talk to them and see if there is a way you can help. Nominate your charity to be our featured account in case we have missed them and sign up for the Team events if for no other reason than to have fun and meet new people. We will do our best to organise something as often as possible but if you feel you can help us with that please shout. We know the power of #TorbayHour and it’s time we did something with it.

In the mean time if you fancy sponsoring #TorbayHour we accept cash, cheques and services 🙂

Featured Account – Peak Performance Gym

PEAK is all about people. We work hard to create a safe, friendly, inclusive space where you can use real kit and learn about exercise, diet and training. Home of the 12 WEEK CHALLENGE, PEAK is a top quality gym for all trainers of any age, shape, size or experience! The equipment is from Hammer Strength, world leading manufacturers with high end cardiovascular equipment by life fitness and Nautilus (including stairclimbers)

Members will receive the best guidance from the best staff around, proven track records with getting great results with clients from all walks of life. With 3 members of full time staff there will be a very personal feel to the gym where despite the range of trainers that the gym will cater for, the atmosphere will be inviting and supportive.

You will also notice that e have a new page for our Featured Accounts this is our advice how to make the most of your week as featured account

Events

It’s Torbay Steam Fair weekend why not go to see working steam engines, vintage, and classic cars, lorries, military displays, market stalls and more. Children’s Entertainment Craft and Model Tent Awning Displays and Charity Stalls, Catering Facilities Beer and Tea Tents.  Lots to see and do, lets just hope the weather holds.