Yvonne Gorman named as one of Derby’s inspirational business women

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments

Yvonne Gorman has been selected as one of 250 Inspirational Derby business leaders by the Derby Telegraph, again, for the fourth year running!

“It’s rewarding to be recognised for the hard work required to run a business, as well as helping initiatives such as Small Business Saturday UK and PridePark.net. Seven years on, my enthusiasm for print, business life and the City of Derby has not wavered. I’m still as ambitious about the future as I ever was,” commented Yvonne.

“I’m thrilled to be amongst Derby’s amazing business people. As I look through the pages, I see people whom I admire and who have helped me along the way – I’m incredibly proud” said Yvonne Gorman.

Read all about it – here’s the write-up:

Yvonne started Essential Print Services in April 2011. Now based in Victoria Way, on Pride Park, the company offers a range of printing services, from business cards, flyers and brochures, through to signage and exhibition graphics. Heavily involved in the local business community, Yvonne has been crowned Small Business Saturday UK Champion which involves encouraging people to support small, independent businesses. Yvonne is also the founder of PridePark.net that supports Pride Park businesses. This summer, Yvonne joined the board of Marketing Derby as a non-executive director.

Yvonne Gorman meets Sir John Timpson

Posted on: June 5th, 2018 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments


by Yvonne Gorman

Founded by Sir John’s great-grandfather, William Timpson in 1870, Timpson originated as a retail boot and shoe business based in Manchester.

Timpson, which remained very much a family business, was taken over in 1973. Skip ahead 10 years later, when Sir John led a £42m management buyout.

And then in 1987, when Rick Astley was in the charts and I had just turned 5, Sir John sold the shoe shops and concentrated on building the shoe repair and key cutting business that most of us know Timpson as being today. 

But the company has diversified into engraving, watch repairs, dry cleaning and photo processing.

Timpson now has over 1900 branches nationwide, including Max Spielmann and Johnsons the Cleaners. The Group has a turnover of over £200m* and profits of over £20m. It remains a private business still owned by Sir John Timpson and family. 

Timpson is recognised for its creative approach to employee engagement and is the UK’s most active employer of ex-offenders. I admire how they have replaced their HR department with a “people support” team, whose main role is to help colleagues to sort out personal problems.

*Sir John mentioned that it’s probably more like £300m! 

In 2004 Sir John was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for Services to the Retail Sector. The awards didn’t stop there, we’ll find out later on.

Over the years, Sir John has described his business philosophy in many books, “Dear James’ – a book which he wrote for his son and current CEO. Other books include ‘How to Ride a Giraffe (08), ‘Upside Down Management (2010)’ ‘Ask John’ (14) and ‘High Street Heroes’ (2015).

When I was writing this I immediately thought of a pun, “Oh I’ll ask Sir John ‘What are your ‘keys’ to success’ but it would seem he’s already written the book on it! It published in 2017 and recognized as a CMI Management Book of the Year. (Chartered Management Institute).

I’m unsure how racy this book is because Google told me that ‘People who read this book, also read; ‘Sex Education – a parents guide’. (Look at John Forkin) Let’s move swiftly on….

Sir John’s passion for writing also spills into the national press and is The Telegraph’s business agony uncle – a weekly column that he’s contributed towards for 11 years, its straight talking and full of common sense. And yesterday article was no exception, I’ve shared it on the Essential Print twitter feed.

Now, its clear that Sir John has put his heart and ‘sole’ into his business, but he remains very much a family man; he was married to his wife Alex for 47 years, who sadly passed away in January 2016. They have five children Victoria (48), James (45), Edward (43), Oliver (41) and Henry (29). But the additions to his family life didn’t stop there – oh no! Sir John and his wife were also foster carers for 31 years, during which time they fostered 90 children.

And in 2017 he was awarded a knighthood for Services to Business and Fostering. And I’m sure you’ll agree, deservedly so.

Let’s now hear from the man himself. Let’s give a huge, warm, Derby welcome to Sir John Timpson.

**MASSIVE APPLAUSE (no whooping)**

Marketing Derby’s Annual Business Event sets 2014 off to a flying start

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments

Annual Business Event

Hundreds of business people attended Marketing Derby’s annual business event last Friday at Derby Theatre.

Our very own Print Evangelist, Yvonne Gorman, was honoured to be on the panel alongside leader of Derby City Council, Paul Bayliss; Margaret Bruce, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Derby and Liz Coffey, principal of Landau Forte College Derby.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby kick started what was to become a truly inspiring event with the exclusive preview of Derby’s brand new investment movie. A fantastic presentation followed by Andrew Wilcher, General Manager of Medartis UK Ltd – a Swiss company that has recently moved it’s Yorkshire operations to Pride Park.

But no one expected what was to follow; a truly inspirational speech from Geldard’s Chairman; David Williams – one that exuberated passion, genuine intent for the city and humour and all this from a lawyer! David’s enthusiasm for the city has generated lots of discussion points at meetings and events following the Derby Theatre session.

Focus then turned to the Q&A session, where Essential Print Services’ owner took to the stage.

Here’s a round up of the questions asked and Yvonne’s responses, which are her own viewpoint and from personal experience:

Paul Norbury, 
Office Senior Partner, 
PWC asked, 
”Derby has some of the best examples of innovative businesses in the UK, especially when it comes to technology and engineering. What can Derby learn from other UK cities to ensure that this continues, particularly as we start to see an upturn in the economy?”

“Derby is the Uk’s leading hi-tech city, 12% of Derby’s workforce is employed in hi-tech jobs – 4x the national average. So I think its not so much what we can learn from others, but what other cities can learn from Derby. Before the event this morning, I was talking to Graham Bennett from Lunar 21 and he summed it up nicely, ‘Derby is big enough to have the idea and small enough to see it through’.

The days of being overshadowed by our East Midlands counterparts are well and truly over. With the proactive work of the Marketing Derby team, I believe the city, now, has the confidence, the ambition AND the ability to one the leaders and pave its own way through the economic growth, showing others how its done. So yes, be aware what others are doing but like David said, we should not be afraid to dream and try something new because Derby does it so well.”

Liz Fothergill
, Managing Director,
 Pennine Healthcare Ltd asked; 
“Traditional high streets up and down the country are facing major challenges with closures, vacancies and too many low quality uses.
 Does the panel believe that city centres have a future and, if so, how can councils and businesses work together in making this happen?”

“I believe there is a future for the high street. The business community must be creative though. Creative in the way they market themselves. Especially if consumers are using shops as showrooms and then buying online. Equally, the council must not shy away from initiatives like Small Business Saturday, a government backed scheme where people are encouraged to spend their cash in small independent stores on the high street – which would certainly help the likes of Sadler Gate where you find some the smaller retailers but where footfall has sadly decreased.

As part of December’s SBS, I was lucky enough to be invited to Downing Street to represent Derby’s small businesses. I listened to others about how their home towns were working together to create a hive of activity and how much their community had benefitted. I felt a little embarrassed, like Derby had completed missed the boat. Some councils have even agreed to offer free parking near small businesses one Saturday per month. So if any of the council members or retailers here today would like more information about it, then I’d be more than happy to help them launch something similar in Derby because its been such a success elsewhere.”

Yvonne’s response to this question aroused applause.

Graham Bennett,
 of LightSpeed Derby asked;  
“Apparently Derby is the third happiest place in the UK. That’s according to analysis of 100m photos held by Instagram, the on-line social networking service.
If you had a magic wand, what would you like communications technology to do, to help your business grow and make you happy?”

I’d love to walk around the city of Derby and be able to have access to free wifi with ease BUT luckily, for us we don’t have to wait for an magic wand because I believe that’s happening now!
Thanks to the fantastic work carried out by the likes of yourself Graham & your team at Lightspeed Derby, and also the launch of Surf the City; we DO have the ability to connect to free wifi. This will enable people to communicate easier, use social media and enable businesses to push advertising to people’s smart phones.

If we have the likes of The Financial Times describing Derby as ‘the city of festivals’ we need to take advantage of this. So when we have events such as Derby Feste, we should be encouraging people or even incentivising them to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest to showcase the city and utilise that free advertising from the general public. Instead of Derby being the third happiest place in the UK, we could be No 1!”


Yvonne has since received an influx of emails, messages and tweets from local people who were there on the day – all of which are full of positive messages of support.

“Since Friday, I have been overwhelmed with messages of support – its truly incredible. There was so much energy and passion from people in the room all with a common purpose; to help make Derby a great place to live, work, create jobs and grow businesses. With all this in mind, 2014 has no option but to be an awesome year.” Yvonne concluded.

If you’d like more information about the event or would like to discuss your print requirements, contact Yvonne Gorman on 01332 418377.

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