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AJG Direct Look at the Advantages of the Cycling Superhighway

A good transport infrastructure is essential in modern society, especially in the world of business. One of the main challenges facing politicians on a local and national level, is how to link Britain’s cities effectively and efficiently. The HS2 solution is one high profile development, but there are other, more environmentally friendly, alternatives being put forward. A recent report in the Yorkshire Evening Post looked at the progress of the cycling superhighway between Leeds and Bradford. Here, AJG Direct review the report, and look at the advantages the superhighway can bring.

“I personally love cycling, and, thanks in part to the success of the Tour de France in this region, it’s becoming increasingly popular across West Yorkshire”, said MD of AJG Direct Paul Gillett. “That’s why I feel the cycling superhighway is a great idea. It will allow fast and safe travel between our two major cities, without the negative environmental impact that is associated with trains and cars.”

As the Yorkshire Evening Post reveals, work is already under way on this £30 million project, and it’s expected to be open to the cycling public as early as September 2015. Cyclists won’t have to wait until then to use it, however, as phased opening will take place as soon as each section is completed. The superhighway will provide a safe environment for cyclists, bypassing the often hectic traffic conditions in central Leeds and Bradford. Special zones along the route will allow users to cycle at speeds of up to 20mph.

This is great news for businesses in the region, as it will allow workers to commute easily and speedily between the two neighbouring cities. Cycling will now be quicker for many journeys than driving, and many well documented health benefits will be enjoyed by the cyclists as well. Many entrepreneurs are finding cycling to work the ideal preparation for a busy working day. They arrive at their business feeling invigorated both mentally and physically.

“The city councils have shown real forward thinking with this joint venture, and we should feel the benefit for decades to come”, said Paul Gillett. “Cycling really is a perfect commuter option for short distances, and helps both workers and entrepreneurs avoid the frustrating and time consuming traffic jams that can occur at peak times. That’s why it makes sense for all businesses to encourage cycling among their team.”

Businesses in West Yorkshire and beyond can take the superhighway to success thanks to the direct marketing solutions of AJG Direct. They help improve customer acquisition figures and increase brand awareness.

AJG Direct Review UK Viewing Habits

Successful businesses understand their customers. This doesn’t simply mean understanding what they buy and what factors affect their shopping habits, although this is of course important. It’s also important to understand how they live their lives, and what really matters to them. The world we live in is changing, and so business that keep in touch with these changes can gain a better understanding of who their customers are, and what they want. A recent study by DJS Research looked at changing habits in UK television viewers. Here, AJG Direct review this study, and consider what businesses can learn from it.

“It’s fascinating to see how viewing habits are changing across the country, but it’s highly valuable information for an entrepreneur as well”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “It’s an indicator of how technology is changing the lives of consumers, but also reveals how they love innovation, and viewing solutions that fit in with their hectic modern lifestyles.”

The wide ranging study, carried out by TeleScope, found that the number of televisions per household has now dropped from 2.3 to 1.83. Nevertheless, the amount of television that we’re watching as a nation continues to rise. A similar study in 2006 showed that we watched three hours and 26 minutes of television a day, but this has now grown to four hours and two minutes, representing a rise of over 17%.

As might be expected, technology has had a huge impact on how people watch television. 63% of respondents with tablets used them to watch live television shows, while 23% of mobile phone users did the same. Social media is both a forum for telling us about television programmes, but also a channel that lets us talk about television. 40% of tweets in the evening are about television shows, with women making around 15 such tweets a day, compared to 9 a day by men.

“Technology and social media are impacting on every area, and the study about television habits is another indicator of that”, said Paul Gillett. “People love to use social media to talk about what they love and what they dislike, and that goes for products that they buy as well. That’s why it’s essential to form close, loyal relationships with your customers. Direct marketing is a great way to do this, and can result in positive tweets and posts about your brand and your products.”

AJG Direct are direct marketing specialists. They help businesses across the UK acquire new customers, and increase their brand awareness with the public.

AJG Direct Look at How to Formulate New Year Sales Plans

As we enter into a new year, the thoughts of entrepreneurs inevitably turn to the twelve months ahead. Where will they be at the end of the year? What challenges and opportunities will they face? What must they do to ensure that their year is even more successful than the one that’s just gone? Creating a high quality sales plan can provide the answers to these questions, and ensure that the year gets off to a positive start. An article in Entrepreneur magazine laid out how to approach your sales strategy on a month by month basis. Here, AJG Direct review the article, and consider how businesses can become more competitive in 2015.

“I always recommend this article to entrepreneurs, as it shows the importance of doing something positive and effective every month”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “We live in increasingly competitive times, but hard work, careful planning, and a determination to succeed can help your business gain a real advantage over its rivals. That’s why, as the new year dawns, it’s important to hit the ground running, and keep on running to the line.”

The new year is a great time to take stock of where your business is at, and where you want it to be. That’s why the first part of the year can be so essential. Entrepreneurs who have an effective sales plan throughout these first months, can gain momentum and use it as a springboard to success for the year as a whole. In January, the article recommends creating a one page promotional piece that you can send to prospective customers. This should be a simple document, in striking colours, that includes a special offer to generate interest. Mail, or email, this to as many people as possible throughout the month.

In February, get in touch with your previous customers. Send them a thank you card, and let them know how much their custom means to you. Use March to sponsor an event. Get in touch with a local charity, and say that you’d like to help them in a fundraising campaign. Recruit volunteers and publicise the event. This can be highly motivational for you and your team, as well as providing great publicity. In April, attend a trade show, or take a booth at an event. Take your message directly out to potential customers.

“There are some great ideas in this article, but the underlying theme is to do something different every month, and give it your full commitment”, said Paul Gillett. “It also emphasises direct interaction with customers, and potential customers. This is a perfect way to make sure that your 2015 starts with a bang.”

Businesses can take their sales campaigns to the next level, thanks to the marketing expertise of AJG Direct. They help improve customer acquisition and brand growth.

AJG Direct Look at How to Harness Brand Energy

Smart entrepreneurs know all about the power of brand creation, but do they really understand what their brand is, and what it fully encapsulates? Businesses who understand what their brand really involves, can make the most of the power that lies behind it. A recent video on talks about how to harness a brand’s energy. Here, AJG Direct review the points raised in the video, and consider how businesses of all sizes can make their brand more effective.

“Many entrepreneurs, especially start up entrepreneurs, may want to create a brand, but they’re not sure how to go about it”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “This video can really help them, because it explains that creating a brand is about creating touchstones with your customers, and potential customers, and showing them how your services can benefit them.”

The video talks to Karen Leland, of Sterling Marketing Group, and Brad Smith, of Sage North America. They have a wealth of experience in creating and growing a brand, and then using the power of their brand to create enhanced engagement with their consumers. One mistake that many business people make, according to Karen Leland, is that they mistake their logo for their brand. Logos and graphics can help to convey a brand, and help it reach the public’s consciousness, but the brand is the company itself, rather than the logo.

It’s important that consumers engage with your business, and all it has to offer. This involves creating a strong and unique identity for your business. Stand out from the crowd, and show why consumers should choose you rather than a business rival. To do this, entrepreneurs must have a strong vision for their business, and ensure that this is shared by all their team. This vision should allow your company to achieve something that none of your competitors do. You can then use these unique qualities to reach out to consumers, and create the touchstones that will build your brand.

“What’s most important in building a brand, is thinking about what are consumers looking for, and how can I supply that need”, said Paul Gillett. “In this way, consumers will become enthusiastic about you and your products, and turn to you again and again. Once your brand is built, you can harness its power by putting it at the heart of your advertising campaigns.”

AJG Direct are marketing experts. Their innovative campaigns increase the market share of their clients, and bring significant returns on investment.

AJG Direct Review the Inflation Figures

Consumer confidence is one of the key factors in creating a growing economy. When consumers feel more secure with their personal finances, they’re more likely to spend money on luxury or non-essential goods and services. There are many things that have an impact upon consumer confidence, but inflation is one of the most important. An article on looks at the latest inflation figures. Here, AJG Direct review this article, and consider the impact it could have on UK businesses.

“Inflation has been relatively stable for a number of years, and this has helped our economy recover from the global economic downturn”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “These recent figures show a slight rise in inflation, so it’s important that wages begin to rise in line with inflation. Confident consumers are creating attractive opportunities for businesses, so it’s important that as much as possible is done to encourage this trend.”

The official figures for October show that inflation currently stands at 1.3%. This is a slight rise from the 1.2% recorded in September, although this in itself was a five year low. The government and Bank of England have recognised the importance of keeping inflation as low as possible. With many private and public sector wages having seen very little, if any, growth in recent years, any significant inflationary rise could hit the pound in the pocket of consumers. Economists are seeing October’s rise as a slight blip, rather than a cause for concern.

Petrol prices fell during the month, yet this is one of the major factors that led to the rise in inflation. That’s because the fall in price at the petrol pumps of 2.5p per litre, was around half of the fall in petrol prices in October 2013. Food prices are continuing to fall. The figures show that the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks was down 1.4%. This is the sixth consecutive month that food prices have dropped. Bank of England analysts expect the inflation figures to start falling again next month, and predict that the inflation figure will fall below 1% within the next six months. This itself could raise worries that deflation could hit the economy, but it will be a big boost to ordinary consumers.

“Inflation is always a delicate balancing act, but the Bank of England is keeping it stable, and our economy on the right course”, said Paul Gillett. “We should see even stronger consumer confidence, and this will be great news for businesses across the country.”

Businesses can also benefit from the direct marketing expertise of AJG Direct. They help their clients acquire new customers, and grow their brand.

AJG Direct Knows the Importance of Having a Strong Presence Online

AJG Direct has made itself known to the masses. Managing Director, Paul Gillett of AJG Direct explains the importance of having worldwide presence “To really get yourself out there a strong identity online is essential, it allows individuals on a huge scope to discover and find out more about you and keep up to date on all new developments. This is all happening when you are getting on with your day to day. In essence both of these factors are contributing to the growth and recognition of your company”

While carrying out the essentials of day to day business on and offline, it is vital that you keep focused and keep your sights set on the task in hand. Matt Mayberry, speaker and maximum performance strategist talks about his hardships and how he overcomes obstacles “As a former professional athlete, I had to constantly program my mind and motivate myself even in the midst of some of the most difficult times in my life.” As an Entrepreneur it is important to re-evaluate and monitor progress regularly until it becomes habit as Matt Mayberry continues to explain. “These are the exact same strategies I have been implementing into my everyday life for the past ten years which have helped me achieve some audacious goals.”

Managing Director, Paul Gillett of AJG Direct talks about constantly updating and informing others of progress “Having updates online of progression and exciting happenings both relating to business and personal reflection, will get others to take interest in your journey.” Just like Matt Mayberry’s recent article he gives the reader an insight into how remains motivated, which is something that can be practiced by others in the same field. He discusses his ‘trigger card’ which is a constant reminder of the goals he has set. “It consists of writing your two most important goals on a notecard in the present tense as if you already accomplished them. On the flip side of the card, pick two to three quotes that really move and inspire you. Whenever you are feeling down or unmotivated, pull your trigger card out and read it over a few times.” Managing Director, Paul Gillett of AJG Direct talks about where he looks for inspiration “I look at articles that reflect positive success, not necessarily in business, there are lots of exciting reads to pull you back into positive thinking mode.”


AJG Direct Review the Growth in GDP

The global economic downturn affected business across the United Kingdom and beyond, and plunged some economies into a long recession. There are distinct signs now that those days are firmly behind us, and that we are embarking upon a new sustainable period of growth. A recent study released by the Office for National Statistics looked at the rise in UK GDP and the effect it was having on the labour market. Here, AJG Direct review this study and look at what it means for businesses across the country.

“It’s been obvious for a while that our economy was growing again, and it;s encouraging to see the ONS figures confirm this”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “GDP can only be taken as part of a bigger picture, but it can lead to an increase in business and consumer confidence that will help the recovery gather pace.”

The ONS study shows that the UK now has one of the fastest growing economies among the elite G7 group of nations. The figures relate to the 2012 financial year, and value UK GDP at $2.3 trillion, making it the eight largest economy in the world (the United States is at the top of the list). An increase in the production output of China saw it recognised as the world’s second biggest economy.

The economic downturn was a worldwide phenomena, yet the UK was more badly affected than most. Between quarter 1 of 2008, and quarter 2 of 2009, when the downturn bit, the UK economy fell by 7.2%. This was the joint second largest fall in the G7 group. Growth was slow after the initial recession was over, but this rate of growth is now accelerating. That’s one reason why the United Kingdom economy now has the fourth best GDP per capita of all the G7 and BRIC economies. This has improved still further in 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. Our GDP has risen by 3.1% in this period, compared to a 2.0% rise by the USA and 2.3% rise by Germany.

“This rise in production, and acceleration of  growth, is great for our economy, and for the labour market as well”, said Paul Gillett. “Businesses can see that the growth is real, and here to stay. That will make them more likely to recruit and to take bolder moves than they otherwise would have. We can see a real boom in UK business in the years ahead.”

Businesses nationwide can also benefit from an increase in brand awareness, and more high quality customers, thanks to the bespoke marketing campaigns of AJG Direct.

AJG Direct Review Plans for a New Academy in Leeds

Society is changing, and so schools have to change too. By specialising in a particular area, some schools believe they can better prepare their pupils for their future careers. That’s one reason that more and more schools are applying to become specialist academies. A recent report in the Yorkshire Evening Post looked at plans for a new academy in east Leeds. Here, AJG Direct review the report, and look at how educational establishments and businesses can work closer together.

“It’s more important than ever that our children get a great education”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “With increasing competition for jobs, it’s essential that education is focussed on the future careers that pupils will be moving into. There’s also a growing population, so it’s essential that high quality schools and academies are built to service the demand.”

The article reveals that plans have been made for a large new academy to be built in the Temple Newsome area of the city. The free school would be open to boys and girls aged between 11-16 and could offer places to over 1,000 pupils. They hope to open in 2016, and in doing so hope to combat the over-subscription that’s affecting all schools in east Leeds. The nearby Temple Moor school had twice as many applicants as it had places available, and proposed housing developments in Seacroft and Thorpe Park would make this problem even worse.

The planned school would be located on the site of the East Leeds Leisure Centre. In putting the bid together, the new school’s committee has expressed concerns that many parents from east Leeds have to take their pupils long distances to ensure they get an education. The school will be called Temple Academy, and aims to benefit the wider community as well. It will stay open all year round, and offer facilities and events for people of all ages.

“Leeds is a growing city, so this is very welcome news”, said Paul Gillett. “I hope that the school provides a truly vocational education to its new pupils. It’s important that young students learn about how business works, and how they can get involved in it. We could be nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs that will take Leeds and the UK forward in coming decades.”

AJG Direct provides marketing expertise for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Their bespoke campaigns help with customer acquisition and retention.

AJG Direct Review the Benefits of Charitable Giving

One of the primary goals of creating or running a business is to generate profits that will provide you and your workers with a good standard of living. This can be achieved through a combination of having a great product, and acquiring customers for your product through smart marketing. Does that mean that successful businesses shouldn’t give money to charitable causes? A recent report by QSR Magazine looked at how charitable giving can help businesses create a positive impression with their public. Here, AJG Direct review this report, and look at the benefits that helping charities can bring.

“Being successful in business doesn’t have to be incompatible with helping society in general”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “Some of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, for example Bill Gates in the present age, have devoted time and money to helping causes that are close to their hearts. Every business, of whatever size, can benefit in many ways from carrying out regular moral audits as well as financial audits.”

The report looks at the economic benefits of charitable giving to a company, and how it can help create a positive corporate image and create brand awareness. It asserts that charitable giving is most relevant to a business when it is carefully targeted and relevant. The report highlights five areas of relevance for such giving: industry relevance, community relevance, target relevance, brand platform relevance, and value relevance. Giving doesn’t have to be detrimental to profitability, indeed it should be carefully planned to increase profitability be engaging with target customers, and bearing a relation to the sector of industry in which you’re based.

Another key finding of the report, is that charitable giving is most successful when it’s done on a consistent and long term basis. By creating a long term partnership with a particular cause or charity, real accomplishments can be made. This is beneficial to both the cause, and to your brand image with the public.

“I agree wholeheartedly with the report when it says that charitable giving can make business sense and improve profitability”, said Paul Gillett. “It’s also important, I believe, to consider the moral factor. The act of doing good things can motivate yourself and your workers, and create a positive working atmosphere. That’s why we’re delighted to work with clients from within the charity sector.”

AJG Direct creates bespoke marketing campaigns for profit and not-for-profit business, helping them achieve real growth and reach new consumers.

AJG Direct Review ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’

The best business books contain pearls of wisdom that can help both new entrepreneurs, and people who have spent decades running their own business. One of the most successful business books of recent years is ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson, and published by Vermilion. Here, AJG Direct review this motivational manual, and look at how important its underlying message is to businesses today.

“As a businessman I’m always willing to learn new ideas, and discover new ways of addressing some of the challenges that commerce brings”, said Paul Gillett, director of AJG Direct. “Reading business books can be a great way to do this. Who Moved My Cheese is one of the most successful books in recent years, and it deals with something that everyone in business faces at recurring points in their working lives: how to deal effectively with change.”

The full title of the book is: ‘Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life.’ The title itself gets to the heart of one of the most important aspects of such books, that the lessons within them can be just as useful in your personal life as they can be in your business life. Since its launch in 1998, Spencer Johnson’s book has gone on to be a publishing phenomenon, selling more than 26 million copies globally, and being available in 37 different countries. So successful was it, that a follow up was launched specifically aimed at teenage readers to teach them how to cope with the changes occurring in their lives.

One of the great assets of this book is that it teaches important lessons through the use of humour. It centres around two mice who have to adapt and find new strategies when they find that their supply of cheese has gone. These are the central lessons at the heart of the book: accept that change happens, anticipate and be ready for the change, monitor and assess the change, be flexible and adapt to change quickly, enjoy the change, be ready for further change and prepare to enjoy that as well.

“Whether in business or in life, we all find that our cheese moves from time to time, so it’s important that we’re ready to move with it”, said Paul Gillett. “I recommend this book to anyone who runs a business, or is thinking of starting one. It’s a best seller for a reason, and one of the best lessons it teaches is that it’s important to embrace and enjoy change. That’s just what I do when AJG Direct take on new clients, and each one brings a new and exciting opportunity.”

AJG Direct are experts in marketing solutions that grow brand awareness and attract new customers, if you’re looking to change the fortunes of your business, they can help.

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