How to build better business relationships

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Katie Fitzpatrick No Comments

There are lots of ways to get to know your customers better.

Here are our favourite ways to get to know customers. Take a look and if you try some out yourself, let us know how you get on.

  • Attend customers’ product launches, socials and events.
  • Instead of always liaising over the phone or email, meet them for a coffee to discuss projects or just for an informal chat.
  • Ask about their day or weekend. You might discover you share the same hobby.
  • Invite them to your networking events and business seminars.
  • Ask for feedback on your products and services.
  • Connect with clients on social media and you’ll gain an insight into their lives.


Our Print Evangelist said, “after taking part in the Chatsworth 10k run, I noticed on Facebook that a customer had been there too. When I got back to the office, I dropped her a line to see how she got on. This provided some common ground – something to talk about other than work, which I think is really important. I think people appreciate some light relief in their work day. Since then, we’ve organised to go for lunch to discuss our running experiences and race calendar.

Another client often posts photographs on social media of their dog. I love dogs so, whenever I see or speak to them, I always ask how they are first and then, “how’s Sid?” (their dog). I’ve even offered to dogsit!”

Our Artwork Avenger, Lee, said, “product and event support is key. I think a great example is when we attend our own customers’ events. Most recently and to name just a few examples, we’ve attended a customer’s open garden event, we make a concerted effort to spend money at our clients’ restaurants and shops and we get involved with charity events and fundraising.”

So what are you waiting for? Go that extra mile and see where it takes you and your business.

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You may also like our blog >> ‘Why it is easier to approve printed proofs‘.

Networking. Stranger danger or sales saviour?

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments

Networking has become an essential part of our company’s marketing mix. Thankfully, the old-fashioned hard sell has gone out of the window, and a more ‘relationship-focused’ approach is favourable.

For those new to networking, it’s merely an accelerated version of word of mouth marketing, so for many, it’s easier to network with a room full of strangers, than to use other conventional marketing methods (i.e. cold calling).

But relationships take time, and people need to establish an element of trust before referring you to their best contacts.

So, here are our five essential tips to effective networking:

1. Be specific. Ask fellow networkers for an introduction to a particular department, or industry, or location. If possible, name the company. People will find it easier to spot opportunities for you if they know what to look for. If you’re struggling for inspiration, carry out a LinkedIn search beforehand or note down companies you drive by on the way to the meeting.

2. Meeting Etiquette. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and networking is no exception. If you wouldn’t do it in a typical meeting, then don’t do it while networking. So leave your mobile phone alone.

3. Follow up. Many people will complain that they don’t get anything out of networking. Very rarely will any orders just fall in your lap so don’t expect it to happen whilst networking either. It takes time and hard work. When you arrive back in the office, ensure you do something with the information you’ve gained.

4. Lend a hand. Get involved with the group and help out. This will give you the chance to work with members that you may not think you have any synergy with – but you’ll be surprised.

5. Prepare & set goals. Even if its two minutes in the car on the way to the venue, if you plan ahead, you’ll spend less time thinking about what you’re going to say and more time listening and making the most out of the networking meeting.

If you’re new to networking or a seasoned professional, why not visit a Derby Hub meeting?

If you’d like to join us for the next event but need a business buddy, send us a message. We’d be delighted to accompany you.

Did you enjoy this blog? You may also like “Networking – Be Stirred, Not Shaken”.

Small Business of Derby Flash in the City Centre

Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by Katie Fitzpatrick No Comments

If you were fortunate enough to be within the vicinity of Derby’s historic Cathedral Quarter on Wednesday the 14th September, you may have witnessed or quite possibly, even participated in the Small Business Saturday Flash Mob – it took Sadler Gate by storm!

The clever publicity stunt was carefully orchestrated by non other than the Print Evangelist herself, Yvonne Gorman of Essential Print Services. The Mob, which was by no means unruly, congregated in a show of small business solidarity and to help promote themselves as well as their offerings by brandishing their company logo on a piece of card in Derby City Centre.

The purpose of the gathering was to highlight the eclectic community of small and local business within Derby and Derbyshire in the run up to the main event taking place on Saturday 03rd December at Derby City Council House.

This particular Saturday has been affectionately dubbed “Small Business Saturday” and on this day the focus is being firmly placed upon such businesses nationwide in order to showcase the vast array of products and services that they have to offer. It’s also an opportunity for customers to come out and visit the smaller businesses to appreciate the benefits and advantages of shopping and indeed spending locally.


As only one of twenty Entrepreneurs chosen to spearhead the “Small Business Saturday” campaign, Yvonne Gorman takes her role as an Ambassador extremely seriously and is pulling out all of the stops to ensure that the small businesses of not only Derby and Derbyshire but the entire East Midlands, are well represented and firmly in the spotlight come the 3rd December.

“The Flash Mob was phenomenal and a perfect way to launch Derby’s involvement in Small Business Saturday. It was nerve-wracking to begin with – I worried that no one would show and then all of a sudden Sadler Gate came to life with a hive of conversation and small business owners armed with their company logos.” said Yvonne Gorman who started Essential Print Services in 2011 on Pride Park.

Yvonne added; “the feedback I’ve had already is that a number of connections have been made in a short space of time. That in itself is a result and makes all the effort in promoting the event worthwhile.”

“The Small Business Saturday UK team in London have already contacted me for an interview. They want my help to try and organise a series of Flash Mobs throughout the country. This sort of recognition is getting Derby on the map as a supporter of start-up companies and small businesses – awesome!” Yvonne concluded.

In recognition of Derby’s efforts, the Small Business Saturday UK Bus Tour is coming to Derby for the first time! The Market Place will place host to the iconic bus on Monday 7th November, 10am-1pm. It’ll be perfect for anyone wanting find out more about the campaign and how to support small businesses and also, meet the Small Business Saturday UK Team.


Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities.

The campaign is a great nationwide promotional and marketing tool for small businesses. It is totally free to participate and any small businesses can get involved – from one-man-bands, through to a high growth office, and from tradesmen to social media gurus. In addition to the big day, the campaign also delivers help and advice alongside opportunities to connect with other small businesses. In short, Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.

The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue to see that grow year on year.  Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”


Here is what a few businesses had to say about the event:

‘It was great to see so many people turn out for the flash mob Wednesday morning. Seeing so many small businesses together is amazing and it’s always good to catch up with other local businesses and network. Roll on the bus tour and Small Business Saturday!’

Wright Start 

‘What a great way to start the day! – coffee and conversation having fun networking with a group of local entrepreneurs all coming together to support #Smallbusinesssaturday


‘As someone new to Derby and new to business, it was good to see so many friendly and talented locals grouped together to network and drink coffee. Such a fun idea, would love to do it more often!

DVL Design Company

‘It was great to meet lots of other small business who I had not met before, some brilliant people with a common sense of purpose. We all had fun and enjoyed the photo shoot. So much to talk about with so many people.’

Headstart Coaching Limited

‘I’m excited that Small Business Saturday UK is getting bigger every year as more people find out about it through events like the Flash Mob. Great to see people come together to celebrate all that small businesses do for the local economy.’

Caittom Publishing Limited
Burton on Trent

So why not get involved? There are a series of free to attend workshops taking place up and down the country led by small business owners and Entrepreneurs. These workshops will be broadcast via the Small Business Saturday YouTube Channel. There is also the option to follow the workshops through live Twitter Q&A sessions.

To find out more about “Small Business Saturday” in Derby and how to get involved either as a Small Business or a supporter, please visit: or contact Yvonne directly via email at

For more details about the event that is taking place at Derby’s Council House, visit

Photographs courtesy of JAKT Commercial Photography

Essential Print Services appears on the big screen

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 by Katie Fitzpatrick 1 Comment

Our very own Yvonne Gorman has just returned from this year’s Small Business Saturday UK launch, to celebrate the official start of the 2016 campaign.

The event was held at the PRS Music Headquarters, located at the prestigious Number Two Pancras Square.

Yvonne met a number of small businesses from London and she was flying the flag for the city of Derby, telling people about her city’s plans for this year’s event, which we will reveal to you very soon.

“It was great to catch up with some Small Business Saturday 100 alumni, particularly Albert & Russell from Fifth Dimension Chocolates. There was certainly a foodie theme because I also met Lavinia from Lavolio Boutique Confectionery and Becky from Lady Bakewell Park – yum!” said Yvonne.

She added “the Small Business Saturday team played a video to launch the event – it was a lovely surprise to see Essential Print Services featured on there too, not once, not twice, but three times!”

Yvonne travelled down to London with fellow Small Business Champion, Elaine Pritchard from Caittom Publishing, who is also a valued client of Essential Print Services and of course, they took advantage of the networking opportunity during the journey.

If you’d like more information about how to get involved with this year’s event, email Yvonne or give her a call on 01332 418377.

There are three things you can do straight away to get involved. Click here to did out more.


Caption for montage, top left photo, from left to right, Yvonne, (Yvonne is one of an exclusive number of champions for the initiative), with Michelle Ovens MBE – National Campaign Director for Small Business Saturday UK and fellow Champion, Elaine Pritchard from Burton-based Caittom Publishing.

Networking – Be Stirred, Not Shaken

Posted on: September 18th, 2014 by Yvonne Gorman 1 Comment

Networking - Von's View

“I’ve been involved in printing for over 18 years – and my Dad used to be a printer too. So naturally, I’m evangelical about printing. But I’m equally as passionate about networking.

Why? Well – it’s a fundamental part of my company’s marketing mix, and it generates tons of opportunities for us. There are so many benefits to networking, and all the successful entrepreneurs and business owners are well aware of them.

“The very first moment you begin to realise your idea is worth pursuing, the first step on the road to success is building a network.” – Virgin founder Richard Branson (Source;

Well – I agree with that! When I started my company in 2011, I was lucky to have already a very solid support network around me, some of whom I’d already met at networking events that I had attended. By networking with these people, I had got to know them and – importantly – to trust them. I had professional people to bounce ideas off and to help me set up my company, rather than friends and family who, despite their best intentions, are not part of my target market! Thanks to my networking buddies, I was able to hit the ground running.

Networking helps in so many other ways too. It helps with your personal development. How? Well, it forces you out of your comfort zone and into an environment where you can:

 Practice your sales pitch,
generate marketing ideas,
raise the profile of your business
and get fired up and motivated. 

 That last point highlights how important it is for you to manage your energy. Sometimes I’m tired or really busy and look at my diary and think “I really could do without that meeting today” but experience has taught me that once I’m there, I always come away with something because I ensure I make it worth my while.

“It’s very tempting to avoid networking events, but you never know who you’re going to bump into.” – Dragon’s Den star James Caan (Source; LinkedIn).

That’s SO true! Let me give you an example. I’ve been a member of a networking group called Derby Hub for over seven years now, but over five years ago a lady visited – completely at random. She had no intention of joining but was simply in the area, had a couple of hours to kill and found the group on the ‘net. Great! After a short conversation, it became apparent she needed ‘some’ rollup banners, which eventually became ‘loads’! That lady became one of our biggest clients and also, a really good friend. What a bonus! Just think what I would have missed out on (or what a competitor could have gained) if couldn’t have been bothered to go…

Another winning networking technique is making sure you talk to strangers. Don’t just stick to who you know – ask the meeting host for an introduction to someone who’s new to you. The host effectively becomes a third party endorsement! And if you see someone stood on their own, make them feel welcome. They’ll remember you for it, and you’ll gain their trust.

Being consistent with your networking is key too. No matter what time of year, how dark, cold or busy – stay disciplined and attend. It impresses, it gets you known for the right reasons, and it also means that if someone wants to speak with you, they know exactly where you’ll be. You’ll also get a return on your investment because networking is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You have to be in it for the long-haul.

You should also network online. Consider it like a meeting in cyberspace. Follow people on LinkedIn and Twitter. It shows you’re interested and taking an interest. It also helps find common ground for when you do arrange a meeting.

 “The best networkers are people who start by seeing what they can give to somebody. It’s not because you want something back, but because you want to help – it’s a state of offering.” – Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of  Huffington Post Media Group (Source;

And that’s the point. I have a genuine desire to help people and networking is all about what you can do for others. Those who turn up and want to get as many business cards as possible stick out like a sore thumb – and I have no time for them.  It’s not just about how you can help people by simply providing others with business contacts and referrals. As an expert in your field, can you offer them advice or a service that they’d find valuable? This can often lead to contra-deals, which can be very beneficial, especially if you’re a start-up business.

  Here’s my favourite quote:
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” 

 In other words, if you can’t find a networking group that you like, create one. Just like we did!

The Print Angels are involved in a number of different networking groups and business meetings. If you’d like to be our guest and visit one with us, get in touch on 01332 418377 and we can have a chat to find out which one could be right for you.

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