Business Diary: October 30

Dave Fishwick
Dave Fishwick
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IT’s the birthplace of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Hollywood star James Mason and industrialist Lord Hanson.

For generations, Huddersfield was a powerhouse of the textile trade.

Today, it’s home to a host of innovative companies.

Diary was pleased to hear that many of them are keen to fly the flag for their home town. They want to encourage more people to shout about the role Huddersfield plays in the economic life of Britain.

A campaign has been launched which carries the tagline ‘Huddersfield: The Place to Make it’.

Around 40 local companies carry the logo, including Huddersfield Town Football Club, Wellhouse Leisure, David Brown Engineering, The Sharp Agency, Novaglaze and Worthington Brown. There’s also an interactive website, which highlights the virtues of Huddersfield and its surroundings.

David Elliott, the managing director of Wellhouse Leisure, told Diary: “Huddersfield has lots to offer, and if we can show the world that we have some togetherness and camaraderie then that is no bad thing.”

Sean Jarvis, Huddersfield Town’s commercial director, has a simple message for local business people: “Think not what Huddersfield can do for you, but what you can do for Huddersfield.”

The late Lord Hanson would have admired such dogged devotion to the art of marketing and salesmanship.

Bank on Dave

Unhappy with the mainstream banks? Well, you can always try the Bank of Dave.

In his continuing mission to get ‘back-to-basics’ banking in Britain, Dave Fishwick, from Burnley, the star of Channel 4’s Bank of Dave, is touring the country in his self-styled ‘Battle Bank’.

He wants more loans for small businesses, better returns for savers and an end to the “culture of greed and bonuses”.

According to the press release that thudded in Diary’s inbox, Dave wants to inspire every community to set up its own bank. He says it is time stop talking and do something about it.

From his ‘Battle Bank’, which will be set up in Leeds city centre this lunchtime, he’ll be calling on the people of Leeds to tell him what they really want from the banks and join his ‘Better Banking for Britain’ campaign.

Opening time

WHEN Tim Martin named his business after his primary school teacher and JD Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard TV series, he didn’t realise it would go on to become one of Britain’s biggest pub chains.

Today, Mr Martin, founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon’s, celebrates the industry giant’s 20 years as a listed company by opening trading on the London Stock Exchange.

The company was founded in 1979 with a single pub in north London. Wetherspoon floated on the stock market in October 1992, with 44 pubs and 1,200 employees. Today it has 863 pubs, including more than 50 in Yorkshire, and employs almost 30,000 staff.

Mr Martin will be joined at the London Stock Exchange by executive directors and a number of pub and head office staff who have 20 years’ service.

“This is a great honour for the company,” he said. “In the past 20 years Wetherspoon has gone from strength to strength and continues to do so.”

Game changing

WHEN fun becomes work, it ceases to be fun. Or so the old saying goes. But that does not apply to Quota, the sales training organisation, according to its UK licensee Martin Allison.

When training is fun, it is memorable, said the professional banker.

He said: “When you look at the learning experience, the higher the degree of interactivity, the higher the degree of retention.

“It’s really a slam dunk in a business context because gamification is competitive and I’ve yet to meet a salesperson who isn’t competitive.”

Quota’s system is based on interactive seminars that use game mechanics and thinking to enhance the non-game context of sales, Mr Allison added.

“There are way too many training programmes out there where a salesperson is basically sitting there listening to a lecture.

“By the end of the day, you’re lucky if they retained 10 per cent of what is taught.

“It’s boring,” said Mr Allison, who has been training salespeople for more than 20 years.

“We have an exact opposite experience to that.

“By the end of the day, we see people cheering, laughing and having a great time.”