Business Diary: December 11

X Factor winner James Arthur
X Factor winner James Arthur
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HOWLING wind and rain can’t stop business folk networking in the Yorkshire Dales.

While City dwellers are put off by a faint dusting of snow, these hardy rural types are happy to take on the very worst that the British winter can throw at them.

Diary found evidence of this robust approach to networking at the Women@work event, which was held in the extremely convivial surroundings of the Copper Dragon Brewery, near Skipton.

The event, which was hosted by AWB Charlesworth Solicitors and Natwest, aimed to act as a sounding board for female entrepreneurs. Altogether, around 50 women attended, with some braving the snow to take part, after travelling from remote parts of the Dales. Enterprise, it seems, is alive and kicking in our rural villages.

Time to put our trust in business?

BUSINESSES have got to win back the trust of the public, according to Paul Mackie, chair of a new education initiative called E3 Bradford.

Mr Mackie, who was talking to Diary about the important role business has to play in educating young people, said: “If you look in the last five years, particularly since 2007, the view of business generally by the public is that they view business with suspicion, because of pay scandals, because of mis-selling scandals, because of Libor scandals, because of businesses that have failed...

“Business has got to win back that trust and respect of the people of this country.”

Mr Mackie, chairman of construction consultancy firm Rex Procter & Partners and vice-president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce. said businesses have a duty to help young people and in driving them to succeed via E3 Bradford.

E3 Bradford aims to create an enterprise curriculum so young people across the district are prepared for the world of work. Yesterday afternoon, an event took place at the newly-opened Forster’s Bistro and Deli in Bradford.

Breakfast serves up recipe for growth

A NETWORKING event resulted in increased sales for a Leeds telecommunications company when its general manager got talking with another attendee.

Gary Dale, general manager of The Weston Group, and Terry Simmons, director from York-based iDigital Marketing, met at Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber’s Pure Networking breakfast in Leeds.

The meeting gave both Mr Dale and Mr Simmons an opportunity to discuss marketing and business development for The Weston Group, especially the challenge of developing awareness of The Weston Group brand and generating sales enquiries.

After performing a marketing audit and analysis, iDigital Marketing presented a business growth plan with a marketing strategy and timetable of deliverables.

This included a new main website and microsites along with video, PowerPoint presentations, ongoing email campaigns, newsletters and engagement tools to prospects and the existing base.

A series of illustrated characters based upon each member of The Weston Group staff was developed and used throughout the marketing materials.

“The proof of any marketing agency’s capabilities is in the results generated for their clients,” said Mr Dale. “As well as raising the brand profile, we have generated significant sales from both our existing client base and new prospects.

“The meeting at the Chamber’s event has proven to be very fortuitous. We now have a true business partner helping us grow and develop our business at a time when many organisations continue to struggle.”

X marks the spot for YouGov researchers

In a poll of X-Factor watchers conducted before Sunday night’s final, market research firm YouGov accurately predicted that James Arthur would be crowned the winner of the talent show contest.

The poll also correctly predicted that former Asda worker Jahmene Douglas would be the runner-up, and that Christopher Maloney would be eliminated on Saturday night.

According to the X-Factor, the Saturday voting numbers were 51.7 per cent for James, 31.5 per cent for Jahmene, and 16.8 per cent for Christopher.

YouGov’s figures were James 50 per cent, Jahmene 35 per cent and Christopher 15 per cent – a much better prediction than the bookies’.

We’re yet to hear what the chances are that all three of the contenders will be back in the day job come the New Year.