Getting The Balance Right

Getting The Balance Right

“Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” ―First Lady Michelle Obama

Last week I finally made it to a Pilates class. When I say ‘made it’, it was not without a huge amount of planning and luck. My gym has a ‘first come, first served’ policy on booking into classes and somehow I am never first. Or even last. I am always on the waiting list for a call that never comes unless the roads are blocked with a foot of snow, or there has been a ‘flu epidemic that has taken down 20% of the population. Luckily last week there was a heat wave, and the weekly regulars seem to vote, en masse to enjoy the sun in person, not through the window of the gym’s sweltering studio. As usual, I was the un-coordinated one who failed to get my arms swinging in opposite directions in the warm-up and the only one who couldn’t lift her shoulders off the mat in the sit-up section. Still, I don’t get to the gym very often, and I was very, very good at the lying on the floor and breathing bits.

Guest Blog: It’s Not About Dressing Up Or Dressing Down. It’s About Flexi-Dressing.

Guest Blog: It’s Not About Dressing Up Or Dressing Down. It’s About Flexi-Dressing.

I’m often asked if it’s better to dress up or to dress down?

The simple answer is: it’s always better to dress up…… and preferably in layers. Then if you feel over-dressed, you can remove a layer, such as a jacket, which immediately reduces the impact of a ‘complete look’.

There are several other reasons as to why it’s preferable to dress up than down: from the obvious one of creating memorable first impressions to the less obvious one of bumping into someone who could be influential in your next career move. Or your key client dropping in unannounced and who has only ever seen you ‘suited and booted’.
It also shows respect towards others – and a little self-respect does no harm either.

What Social Media Should You Use For Your Business To Target Everyone?

What Social Media Should You Use For Your Business To Target Everyone?

There are many social media networks for you to choose from but picking the right one for your business can prove to be a challenge.

To help you decide, we have compiled a list of the most popular social media networks, giving you the information you need to make your all important decision!

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social media network with an estimated 665 million active users each day, generating up to 645 million local business page views per week. The audience on Facebook is too large to ignore but it’s not just the huge user-base that makes it so desirable to be on. With Facebook Audience Insights, you can get information about your followers such as demographics, what their interests are and what their behaviour is. You can also create targeted adverts that let you advertise to a specific, targeted audience to increase the odds of creating a conversion. Remember to be engaging and post interesting content, not just promotional information.

Twitter

Twitter is great for communication, with more than 320 million active users; it’s a hub of people constantly talking to each other and you need to get involved! You are limited to what you can say on Twitter, with their 140 character limit but use those characters wisely and it’s a great source to market your business. It’s also the perfect platform to handle your customer service, by maintaining your Twitter presence, customers active on the platform will find you to express concerns or share their praise.

Pinterest

Pinterest is focused on visuals. Users create digital bulletin boards where they can display content they like in the form of photos and videos. Although it is a low-maintenance social network in terms of post frequency, it does take time to keep your boards organised and search-friendly. Pinterest certainly isn’t for everyone as it is a fairly niche network compared to Facebook and Twitter. If your target audience is women (80% on Pinterest) between the ages of 25-45 with interests such as DIY projects, fashion, beauty, photography and food… Pinterest might be the platform for you!

Instagram

Similar to Pinterest, Instagram is also a visual social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. What makes Instagram different to other photo-sharing programs is that it’s a downloadable app for your smartphone which means you’re going to need an iPhone or another smartphone to use this social network. As with Pinterest, depending on what industry you’re in, it may not be the best fit for your business but if your target audience is women (70% on Instagram) between the ages of 18-35, you may want to consider adding Instagram to your list of social networks.

YEN: The Legacy Of The Grand Départ

YEN: The Legacy Of The Grand Départ

Following the great success of 2014 when Sir Gary Verity and his team at Welcome to Yorkshire succeeded in bringing the Tour De France Grand Départ, the media have hailed Yorkshire as “Europe’s newest cycling destination”, but Yorkshire has always had a rich cycling heritage, despite the rugged and hilly terrain, with some of the UK’s oldest cycling clubs located in the county. It’s also true to say that some of Britain’s greatest pioneers of the cycling world come from Yorkshire. Riders such as Brian Robinson, Beryl Burton, Barry Hoban, Tom Simpson, Malcolm Elliot, Ed Clancy, Ben Swift and Lizzie Armitstead.

Yorkshire has also been awarded its own three-day international cycle tour. And, despite the weather been more cold and damp than warm and sunny, the inaugural 2015 Tour de Yorkshire was a big success taking the riders through some of the spectacular scenery captured in the previous year’s Tour de France. Between them, the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire have generated over £150 million towards the county’s economy and created a legacy which will benefit generations in years to come.

Part of this legacy involves the creation of a £4.5 million state-of-the-art closed road cycle track on The University of Leeds playing fields near Adel, North Leeds. When it opens in the autumn of 2016 it is envisaged that the 1.6 kilometre tarmac circuit will be used by students, staff and the community around Adel. There is also a boost for triathlete’s, the Brownlee brothers, with the refurbishment of the Broddington Pavilion as a base for British Triathalon’s elite training centre. Something Olympic triathlete Jonny Brownlee was excited about saying “it would take the triathlon facilities to the next level and make Leeds the complete triathlon city.”

The Tour de Yorkshire 2016 promises to be just as thrilling as last year’s, when some of the world’s best cyclists battle it out over three days to take the race leader’s blue jersey.

Day one, Friday, April 29th starts in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters before the peloton races to Tadcaster on then on to Knaresborough which was one the scene of some of the largest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014. From here the race revisits some of the climbs last visited in the Grand Départ route of 2014, taking the riders past Brimham Rocks before the finish in Settle.

On day two, Saturday, April 30th the race begins in the market town of Otley, home to the current women’s road World Champion, Lizzie Armitstead. From Otley the race heads south over roads not previously ridden in the Tour de France or last year’s Tour de Yorkshire, towards Harewood Bank, Lotherton Hall, Pontefract towards Conisborough Castle and ending in Doncaster.

Stage three, Sunday, May 1st will be more familiar to the riders who raced here last year when it starts in Captain James Cook’s hometown of Middlesborough before heading off into Herriot Country. Here the riders will face the challenge of Sutton Bank where the first of six Mountain points are up for grabs. Once over the tops, the race heads over the North Yorkshire Moors and down towards Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay before the thrilling finish on Scarborough’s North Bay.

This post was originally posted on the Yorkshire Enterprise Network website.

YEN: Internet Domain Names; Helping You Ahead Of The Game

YEN: Internet Domain Names; Helping You Ahead Of The Game

Domain names are used to establish an individual identity on the world wide web, choosing the correct domain name for your new business is necessary if you want to market yourself well. Tailoring your domain name to your brand can be as important as your choosing your main brand name or logo. Choosing names that are easy to remember, spell or type will make it easier for potential customers to find your company. Using symbols, numbers or special characters can cause confusion and create the possibility for error when typing the URL.

Remember that your domain name is your identity on the internet. A generic domain name refers to a general category as opposed to a personal category, generic domains such as .television.co.uk or .gas.com are referring to the industry sector rather than something relative to the business. Unlike copyright registrations which legally bind a name, phrase, word, symbol or image to the business or person, domain names must be registered with an online registrar, yet do not hold any legal rights or ownership, only the right to use them for a set period of time. Be aware of fraud, there are some unsavoury people out there who will buy domain names that are similar to existing brand names to exploit an already well established brand, or can be used to set up false websites for illegal activities. It could be wise to buy some similar domain names to reduce these risks.

Locations are sometimes used in domain names such as .yorkshire.com which tie the business to a specific area, town or city, these domains do not come cheap, but the association can be invaluable. Every domain has what’s known as a TLD or ‘Top Level Domain’, these are the suffixes which describe the nature or location of the business, for example .com is for a commercial business or company, .net is for networking organizations, and .co.uk refers to a domain within the UK.

Below I have compiled a list of popular tips on utilizing domain names to their optimum performance:
• Choose something original that is appealing and relevant.
• Avoid current trends or fads, a name which will stand the test of time.
• Avoid using symbols, numbers or special characters.
• Choose something that’s easy to remember.
• Target your region.
• Use keywords, make your domain easily discoverable and set for ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization).
• Do your research, you do not want to breach copyright laws.
• Use an online tool to help find or create your own unique domain name.

Here are two links to get you started on your journey to find the perfect domain name:
www.domaine-name-generator.com
www.brandstarters.com

We have teamed up with the Yorkshire Enterprise Network to bring you blogs that will help you and your business succeed.

To find out more about YEN, please head to to their website!

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