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The Q. to ask to ensure you pick an SMS provider who best fits your requirements: Part 2

Look out for the final part of this three part feature on Friday, and  if you missed part one you can read it here

What connection does your SMS Operator use?

Ideally you want to pick a SMS operator who connects through a UK SMS gateway. It is much better to use an SMS provider within the country you are sending the texts from. For example, if you pick a provider from outside the UK SMS gateway it is likely to reflect with a bad delivery report with many texts failing to get through to the recipient as the text has had to pass through different networks before being received, making it a timely process.

Anyone who has used the SMileS service will know how quickly are messages are sent and received, call us for a demo if you want to trial our services. 

Ask for some background information about the company so you can get a feel for the company culture and work ethos. 

SMileS are based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, made up of a team of 9 local staff that take its customers seriously. Providing a no nonsense solution for businesses and resellers alike, all services are web based and therefore accessible over the Internet enabling usability wherever you are in the world. As a company we like to go that extra mile for our customers, we are always on the other end of the phone to help you with any problems you may be experiencing such as setting up campaigns. In addition, we will help advise you on the best ways to approach SMS Marketing to help make your campaigns effective and ensure you’re abiding by Mobile Marketing Association guidelines. We are not necessarily the cheapest SMS provider but we make up for it by offering excellent customer service, read our customer testimonials and case studies to see what our customers say about SMileS. 

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SkillWill aims to boost help for charities

Feature from The Huddersfield Examiner Website

A new venture called SkillWill has been set up by Scarborough-born businessman Ed Ryder to create networking groups to link professional and business volunteers with local charities who need support.

At a time when many charities and voluntary groups have seen a drop in funding and an increase in workloads, SkillWill aims to provide a way for skilled local people to offer their expertise and support.

Following successful events in Leeds – where almost 250 people met at evening networking meetings to connect organisations and volunteers – the scheme is expanding throughout the Yorkshire region and nationally.

Mr Ryder said: “At our networking events, volunteers get ‘speed date’ charities and discuss what skills they are willing to offer and what commitment they can make.

“The charities get access to help that they wouldn’t be able to afford, as well as advice and ideas from a wide array of professionals. We have human resources, IT, legal, marketing and finance experts who are now making a real difference to organisations facing particularly challenging times.”

Mr Ryder said the informal events are proving successful – with SkillWill estimating £250,000 worth of time already being volunteered in West Yorkshire.

The Huddersfield event will held from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, May 23, at Cathedral House, St Thomas Road, Longroyd Bridge. Go to www.skillwillhuddersfield.eventbrite.com or www.yorkshiremafia.com/events to register as a volunteer or charity/community group.

Business Profile: Rebecca Littlewood (Council Tax Valuations)

Rebecca Littlewood - Office Manager and Partner at Council Tax Valuations

Current Job Position?  Office Manager / Partner at Council Tax Valuations
Best thing about your job?  Can I have more than one thing? If I can…Helping people and being successful in challenging their Council Tax Band, there’s such an amazing feeling calling a client to let them know they will be receiving a rebate! Also the challenge of building a new company from scratch, meeting new people, being able to help people and last but now least working with my husband!
Worst thing about your Job? Not being able to help as many people as we want to and not yet having the brand awareness we would like.
Favourite Restaurant in Huddersfield?  Oh there’s so many! Ciao Bella and Nawab…delicious! Great food and great staff, what more can you ask for?
Your best achievement?  To date I would say moving forward and actually opening Council Tax Valuations, being able to have a hand in running a company that is customer focused is amazing.
Interest and Hobbies? I love to travel. I really enjoy experiencing different cultures and seeing how people in other countries live and I’ve actually lived in Canada for a year. I love the French language and France, the wine, cheese and style of living, my goal is to one day retire there! I like cinema, films (I am a closet horror fan!), the theatre (I love musical theatre…and sometimes wish that life were like a musical) going for a good walk and just spending time with my loved ones! I also like to take pictures and collect postcards of interesting buildings/structures, I have found in recent years that I have a real interest in architecture!
What do you value most about being a member of a networking group? The thing I most value is being able to reach out to other members for help in areas I do not yet have a lot of knowledge in and helping members (where I can); with issues they are facing in their business. It’s wonderful to be around and to meet like-minded business people and getting to know them and their businesses. 
Website

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www.counciltaxvaluations.co.uk

Rebecca Littlewood 

CTValuations 

CTValuations 

Bio:

I came to be a part of starting Council Tax Valuations after my husband Paul and I worked for another re-banding company in Huddersfield alongside our business partner Claire. We did not agree with how the company was operated and the way customers were being treated and decided to set up our own company with the addition of our other business partner Richard.

We wanted our business to look after the customers’ best interest and for Council Tax Valuations to be a company people could turn to for help and advice regarding their Council Tax. We decided not to ask for an upfront fee and that we would only ask to be paid by our clients once their re-banding had been successful and the rebated money had been received directly into their account.

We are currently working with clients all over the country and have just secured a partnership with Martin & Co Letting Agents in Huddersfield to look at all their clients’ properties with a view to expanding to helping all their branches across the UK.

We can help anyone who feels that their Council Tax Band is incorrect, we do an initial evaluation of the property to check if we feel it is incorrectly banded (with no obligation) and take it from there. The full process takes approximately 12 weeks to complete, from us receiving the relevant paperwork to the clients receiving their rebate. We currently have a 100% success rate for our appeal applications being accepted for review and can also boast a 100% success rate on our appeals being successful in re-banding our clients’ properties. For more information regarding Council Tax Valuations, please visit our website; www.counciltaxvaluations.co.uk

In my spare time (when I have some these days!) I love to cook and bake, mostly home comfort food but have been told I make a mean chocolate cake! I also like to travel, films & cinema, theatre and spending time with family and friends!

Big Yorkshire Mafia Drinks Evening in Huddersfield

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Founded in 2008 The Yorkshire Mafia started as a LinkedIn group, Geoff Shepherd and Sat Mann wanted to get Yorkshire businesses trading more with Yorkshire businesses. In under two years the group has grown to over 7,000 members, which is quite amazing considering membership is tightly controlled helping make it Yorkshire’s top business membership group.

As Geoff says “The Yorkshire Mafia brings together executives and stakeholders from the Yorkshire Business Community to meet, network, share experience, learn, build relationships and ultimately trade (where appropriate). This is all done in a relaxed and sales-free environment.”

As part of their networking activities the YM has monthly ‘Big Yorkshire Mafia Drinks Evening’ which are held at many different venues in many different areas within Yorkshire, for example past drinks evenings have been held in York and Leeds. Having drinks evenings in a wide variety of areas within Yorkshire  allows more businesses within Yorkshire to meet new contacts and potential customers. It also helps encourage the main ethos of the YM  which is to help Yorkshire businesses trade with fellow Yorkshire businesses. By arranging these drinks evening they give the Mafiosi a chance to get to know each other and network in a friendly atmosphere with like minded businessmen and women.

Read the rest of this entry

Capital FM shout out to Geoff Major

Capital FM kindly did a text shout out about Geoff Major’s Trek to the North Pole to help raise awareness of Geoff’s charity work. Here is the shout out and text message we received….thank you Capital. 

“Hirsty here at SMileS SMS, we are fully behind Geoff and have assigned some of our staff to raise awareness for him. I’ve already been subjected to some tyre pulling in Huddersfield, so I understand how hard it is. Good Luck Geoff “

Geoff’s tweets in response to Hirsty’s shout out’s on Capital FM;

If you’ve a few minutes plz text in to Hirsty’s Daily Dose on Capital FM – just mentioned me pulling tyres & people thinking I’m a nutter

twitter @northpoletrek Geoff Major

 Feel free to express your own opinion about the ‘nutter’ bit. Text number is 83958 and you have to start the text with ‘Hirsty’

twitter @northpoletrek Geoff Major

If your interested in Geoff’s charity work and would like to make a donation, find out more about his cause or help increase awareness of his trek please visit;

http://www.northpoletrek.co.uk/

MYnetwork draws in over 60 people at its latest meetup @The Media Centre, Cafe Ollo

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Yesterday, we had this months ‘MYnetwork’ meet up the event was a great success with over 60 people turning up, which is the best meet up so far. Since the new name was revealed for the group the event seems to have picked up even more momentum and has drawn many new faces to the event. This is a great sign showing that the ‘MYnetwork’ group is going from strength to strength and is a beneficial networking group to be a part of. One new face at the meet up was Maxine from ‘Alexandra House Spa’ in Huddersfield. Alexandra house is a great local business within Kirklees and recently came runner up in the Examiner’s ‘Business of the Year Awards 2011’. ‘MYnetwork’ is all about getting business people together in a friendly and informal environment which helps bring contacts together and encourages local businesses to work together. Read the rest of this entry

Ready Steady Marketing

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The Yorkshire Mafia group got together and hosted the ‘Ready Steady Marketing’ event in aid of the ‘Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice’. It was held at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on the 12th July. The event including a marketing activity; 2 marketing teams where given a live case study for the FMN trust and they developed a marketing plan that will help the trust achieve its objectives. After the 2 marketing teams had gone head to head with their ideas there was a auction and raffle. The prices being auctioned off where all donated from local business that are part of the Yorkshire Mafia. The Yorkshire mafia is all about getting local business working together to create business within the local area. They put together this event in aid of the FMN trust who has decided to rebrand their charity name from ‘Forget Me Not Trust’ to the ‘Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice’. The event was very beneficial for the FMN trust as it gave them a load of new marketing idea which they can implement to raise awareness of their new charity name and also to help them raise more money as their daily target has increased to £7,000 a day.

At the Ready Steady Marketing event SMileS auctioned off a bulk package which included; a 12 month keyword (value £300), 1000 text messages (value £60), 2 hours management time (value £40). The winning bid was won by Steve Bradley and went for £100 but he pledge a bid of £150  and overall by the end of the evening £1,680 was raised in total with only a 1/3 of the prizes being auctioned off. The rest of the auction prizes have been auctioned off through the Yorkshire Mafia website so even the overall figure should be even bigger.

Here, at ME Consultancy we are heavily involved with the Yorkshire Mafia; we attend a lot of their networking events and are even a partner of our own networking club called ‘MyNetwork’ – MY stands for Mid Yorkshire. The Yorkshire mafia is a great asset to the local business as it helps us all get together to network at a variety of different events; it is very beneficial as it has created a network of contacts and also helps you meet new contacts through recommendations from other members. This Yorkshire mafia event was very different from the usual networking events that they host .From the success of this event it looks like there going to be many more with talks of follow up event in 6-9 months time to see how the strategies from the marketing plan have been implemented and what the money raised contributed too.