Cotton Court Business Centre

Latest News

What is the Lancashire Cycle Challenge?

By Comments Off on What is the Lancashire Cycle Challenge?

The Lancashire Cycle Challenge is a fun, free competition to encourage your colleagues to remember the joys and benefits of riding a bike. There are lots of fantastic prizes on offer to tempt your team; from cinema tickets and local restaurant vouchers, to bike gear to support your cycle journey.

How it works

It’s all about participation – which workplaces can get the most people to ride a bike for just 10 minutes or more?

Lancashire businesses will compete against each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike between Monday 17 June to Sunday 7 July.

It’s not about who can cycle the most miles, but who can encourage the most people to give cycling a go.

Recruit workmates to ride a bike to climb up the leaderboard and win the Challenge. People only need to cycle for 10 minutes or more! It’s easy and fun!

 

To sign up! Follow the link: Love to Ride Lancashire

More information: Challenge for Change Website

Getting involved in National Bike Week 2013

By Comments Off on Getting involved in National Bike Week 2013

This year Cotton Court Business Centre are getting involved in Bike Week is the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, with almost half a million people participating at events across the country.

530422_581456221870209_1245139288_n

Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by making ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to the local shops, school, the library or just to visit friends.

Follow as our staff get involved Cotton Court Twitter #CottonCourt #JonRides #BikeWeek

For more information: British Cycling Website | Bike Week Website

Happy 7th Birthday Twitter!!

By Comments Off on Happy 7th Birthday Twitter!!

As active users of Twitter we thought it’s only right we write a quick blog about how it came to be.

Twitter is celebrating its 7th birthday with a video showing a short history of the service, from its humble beginnings and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, to the present day, when it boasts 200 million users.

Did you know? The most tweeted message was about US President Barrack Obama when he won the presidential election 2012 “Four More Years!”


Launched on March 21, 2006, Twitter has grown from a promising little service with a lot of server issues to one of the world’s largest social networks, with “well over” 200 million active users which send 400 million tweets each day.

tw

Follow tweets from our world: Conferencing- Virtual Office – Hot Desks & Office Space. Tweets about our world. ^AB Events Coordinator ^JN Building Manager

Follow us: Cotton Court Twitter

Social Media: Getting It Right Seminar Photos

By Comments Off on Social Media: Getting It Right Seminar Photos

Quick Snapshot from the Downtown in Business Social Media: Getting it right seminar.

A huge thank you to Tracey & Roger – Downtown in Business, The cheeky chaps Nathaniel Cassidy & Tom Stables from 3ManFactory, Hiran Panchal – Cotton Studios, Robert Binns – Cotton Court Business Centre for his referee skills & everyone who attended.

Follow us on twitter #DTsocial – fast paced social networking…..

Here’s a few tweets from the seminar

1 2

4 5 6

A couple of pictures from todays event

2013-03-19 08.59.11

Getting ready to kick of the Social Media: Getting it right seminar hosted at Cotton Court Business Centre with Downtown in Business

2013-03-19 09.12.39

Tom Stables & Nathaniel Cassidy – 3ManFactory discussing customer service interaction with social media. Nathaniel telling us about watches? Christopher Ward Watches – Great example of good customer service – They made 100 limited edition watches after a customer tweeted them.

2013-03-19 09.02.27

Creating a check list for you social media to target your key objectives month by month! Helps target and encage your customers and followers.

2013-03-19 09.55.44

Nathaniel Cassidy – 3ManFactory showing twitter search tools during the seminar. Who is Frank McKenna??? – Downtown in Business Chief Executive.

Follow: 3manFactory

Follow: Frank McKenna – Downtown in Business

Follow: Cotton Court Business Centre

National Apprenticeship Week

By Comments Off on National Apprenticeship Week

This week marks the UK’s National Apprenticeships Week. This week intends to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the positive impact they can have on businesses and the UK economy. Forecasts indicate that apprenticeships could add a further 3.4bn a year in economic gains to the UK.

Apprenticeship schemes will give young people the chance to learn a trade and build their careers. The Government are looking at ways they can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they can become more widely available to young people. Barclays have also announced an expansion of its national ‘Bridges to Work’ programme, which is designed to help companies find and employ apprentices.

Apprenticeships ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs now and in the future. The mixture of on and off job learning ensures they learn the skills that work best for your business.

Over 130,000 workplaces offer apprentice places because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force.

Improve your bottom line – Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, with Apprenticeships helping them to improve productivity and to be more competitive. Training apprentices can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.

Fill your skills gaps – Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.

Motivate your workforce – Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.

One Connect Limited will host an Apprenticeships and Placements event on 20th March 2013 at Cotton Court.  The event will commence at 5.30pm until 7.30pm. Refreshments will be provided along with free parking onsite.

5.30pm Refreshments and networking

6.00pm Welcome: One Connect Limited – Sarah Walmsley

County Councillor Michael Green

One Connect Limited – An insight into our services

Charlotte Iddon and Rachel Briggs will highlight the benefits of working with One Connect

Limited and how your business can be supported in a risk free and cost effective way.

With offerings of accessing free training, saving costs on recruitment and sourcing free staff.

TO BOOK ON TO THE EVENT

Looking to grow your business?

By Comments Off on Looking to grow your business?

Looking to grow your business? Want a new way to recruit young talent?

This event is for any business owners in Lancashire who are looking to grow their businesses.  With offerings of saving on recruitment costs, providing you with independant advice and guidance on recruiting and training, information on grants and funding available.

One Connect Limited is hosting an Apprenticeship and Placements event on March 20th at 5.30pm-7.30pm in Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston Lancashire.

Refreshments and networking from 5.30pm speakers from 6pm

You will leave knowing more about grants of up to £15,000 for your business to support young people, One Connect Limited’s programmes which offer Lancashire businesses young adults for up to 8 weeks at no cost to the business.  This hugely successful programme offers businesses young adults on a trail basis, to enable skill matching.

Presentations from

Sarah Walmsley of One Connect Limited and Councillor Michael Green

Dawood Fard and Louis Rollenson of Centurus Ltd

Charlotte Iddon and Rachel Briggs of One Connect Limited

Paula Gibson of National Apprenticeship Service

Your business can’t afford to miss out on this great opportunity, book your place to find out more.

BOOK HERE

How to use instagram for business

By Comments Off on How to use instagram for business

headerThere’s business to be won, customers to acquire, loyalty to create and fun to be had using Instagram for business. Even if you sell insurance, you’re in recruitment or you sell nuts and bolts – don’t count this channel out just yet.

Whilst your competitors are still headlong in the social media ‘big four’ (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn), you could be stealing market share with less popular or mainstream channels. In fact, many businesses could do very well looking for niche channels that they can dominate instead of being an also-ran on mainstream channels that are becoming more and more saturated with competitors.

Most of us know social media is here to stay and whether we like it or not it’s part of our every day business just as much as a telephone, computer or a website is vital to our business.

This means that, on the whole, just being ‘in’ social media is no longer good enough, you’ve got to be winning and you’ve got to have a smart approach to your digital communications these days if you want to make it all worth while.

As an agency, we’re working harder than ever to provide insight into how people can get a strategic edge from their social media activities and one way to add value is to start looking for new channels and applications to tap into as well as plugging away with the ‘big four’.

One such channel that’s still very much overlooked in my opinion in Instagram (it wasn’t overlooked by Facebook, mind you, who paid $1bn for the service so there’s some pretty clever guys in Silicon Valley who agree with me).

What Instagram loses to the big four in overall user engagement numbers, it more than makes up for with loyalty and a sense of community that tends to only exist on the less popular channels. It seems bizarre to intimate that Instagram has a small usership – 40 million users worldwide isn’t too shabby and there’s more than enough to justify looking for your slice of the action.

With so much going on, however, and so much more you’d like to be doing with the big four, why would you consider introducing another channel into the mix, let alone a mobile photosharing application? I can almost hear you asking out loud: ‘How am I supposed to use a photography app to generate more sales for my business?’

I’m confident that Instagram can hold your attention when it comes to direct business reasons to engage. One of the biggest and quickest indicators worth noting is that there are already plenty of well-known brands using Instragram to raise more brand awareness and loyalty.

Top 5 Brands Using Instagram:

top5-brands-instagram

Why use Instragram for Business?

  • It’s much easier to explain or communicate with visuals – a picture paints a thousand words!
  • People share photos up to 12x more than they share comments and text.
  • Instragram integrates with Twitter and Facebook seamlessly. 300 million Instagram photos land on Facebook each day.
  • It’s still in its infancy – getting in now will stand you in good stead for the future (it’s currently growing at a rate of one user per second with over 400 million users in total)
  • Instagram is growing four times faster than LinkedIn
  • A photo on Instagram could easily be seen by more people than an advert on a Time Square billboard in the same period of time

 

Still not convinced?

12 Tangible Ways Instagram Can Add Value To Any Service industry / B2B Business

  1. Giving people a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into your business and your team can help to add credibility, trust and likability to your brand. We link our Instagram photos to a gallery at the bottom of our homepage Ph-Creative.com
  2. Instragram can be a powerful visual way to provide real-time customer service to show ‘how-to’
  3. Instagram can be used to keep in touch with customers and show you care – send a picture of something useful to somebody else or evidence that you’re thinking about them
  4. You can use Instagram to promote and engage with events in real-time and provide a legacy of content afterwards
  5. You can search instragram to find journalists and bloggers who could contribute to your blog or include you in coverage elsewhere
  6. Using Instagram as a visual diary of projects can provide a great visual way to record and creatively present case studies of work that stand out and get attention
  7. Instagram can be your virtual scrap book to record inspiration, projects, ideas and reminders
  8. Photographing projects and products can provide specific visibility with prospects interested in the same subject matter in real-time
  9. Including location data can lead to exposure to other users close by –  this can open doors when it comes to being found by new prospects and peers, and build supplier relationships
  10. Instagram can be searched  (using the hashtags and user names) to find relevant prospects, peers and suppliers
  11. You can use Instragram as a quick, real-time means of keeping up with latest developments in technology and/or competitors
  12. Competitions can be run on Instagram and can leverage activity to provide visibility in other social channels

12 Tangible Ways Instagram Could Add Value To Any Sales/Consumer Business

  1. Feature your products and generate more visibility for your entire inventory
  2. Push new products to raise immediate awareness.
  3. Like and follow complementary brands that sell other popular related products
  4. Run competitions for the most popular photo of a product (encourages sharing to get the most Likes)
  5. Run competitions to find new products to feature –  ask your community to suggest new ideas
  6. Ask for feedback and use it to improve products and handle returns and customer satisfaction
  7. Link your Instagram photos to Pinterest and harness the growing power in that channel
  8. Release sneak peeks of new product lines to create hype or interest pre-sale
  9. Use Instagram to develop a strong brand personality and association with other brands
  10. Generate outreach opportunities with industry journalists
  11. Publically reward loyal customers with unexpected gifts or acknowledgments
  12. Create hype surrounding ‘Instragram only’ sales offers

When should I be posting pictures and engaging on Instagram?

  • When you see something of particular interest
  • When you see something of particular relevance to you or your audience
  • When you’re at an event
  • When you get the most engagement – experiment with when a photo gets the most attention and record when your photos are most likely to be seen based on this live feedback

How can I stand out on Instagram?

  • Try to be original – don’t post the obvious version of the shot, look for a better angle, an unusual side or perspective.
  • Use the standard filters to make an average photo look great.
  • Use the soft focus feature to exentuate aspects or blur out parts of the photo
  • Crop the photo well remove unwanted clutter or distractions from the main focal point.
  • Try using some other apps to take photos and process you photos for added effects first. I recommend Camera+Photoshop Express, & Gridlens

Who should I be looking to interact with on Instagram?

  • Peers
  • Prospects
  • Journalists/press
  • Bloggers
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Customers’ friends
  • Industry experts
  • Neighbours (local business community)
  • Team members
  • Relevant brands
  • Relevant Twitter influencers
  • Relevant associations, governing bodies & awards committees

How do I find people to engage with on Instagram?

  • Search through followers of a relevant users and follow them / like their photos
  • Search friends of a relevant user and follow them / like their photos
  • Search for keywords by relevant user and by relevant photo, follow them and analyse/note what tags they use analyse who’s following them – follow the interesting and influential ones

How do I Engage with a relevant community on Instagram?

  • Like some of their photos
  • Leave relevant, positive comments using the right tags
  • Mention other users in comments
  • If people comment on your comment, keep the conversation going by commenting again!
  • Tweet other people’s photos and share them on Facebook etc

How should you comment on yours and other peoples’ Instagram photos?

  • Be nice. Compliments go a long way
  • Be sincere, make an observation that’s true and interesting
  • Be thoughtful either by suggesting something similar in content or style
  • Be humorous, there’s nothing wrong with making people laugh (in good taste!)
  • Be real, don’t just comment because it’s part of a strategy, comment because you mean it and have something useful to say – you should only be focussing on things you like or know a lot about and so put that to the test and use what you know etc.
  • Be quick. The more real-time you are the more notice people will take of you and the more people you’ll reach because it’s current and people are looking at it now.
  • Be smart. Use the right language and include useful tags that you know are used by the user or other relevant users

Find us on instagram: CottonCourt