Savvy Blog

UK Holiday Ideas – Closer To Home

Each month we feature a blog from a business featured on Savvy Guest. With the holiday season in full swing our guest blogger for August, is Gary Manners, travel specialist with the Travel Counsellors.

Experience the sweeping beaches and meandering waterways of Norfolk from your luxurious Golden Oak Lodge at Thorpe Forest Lodges. Representing an ideal self-catering, short getaway for families seeking an unwinding home away from home equipped with all required contemporary fixtures and amenities, all available from a secluded woodland canopy surrounded by forest tracks and trails for the whole family to explore.

  • A charming Thetford Forest getaway at Thorpe Lodges, providing the perfect hideaway from which to explore Norfolk’s spectacular countryside and coastline vista within a Golden Oak 2 Lodge space complete with contemporary fittings including a double room with en-suite shower and a twin room for domesticated privacy with prices from £600 for a family of Four and open all year round, a fantastic holiday idea closer to home !!
  • Find a log burning stove for cosy nights by the fire, alongside an outdoor hot tub amid the gloriously stripped back throes of nature and decking with garden furniture for long days outdoors under the summer sun or observing the changing hues of the forest during autumn and spring
  • Additional facilities include mountain bike hire, a shop and coffee lounge, while an on-site children’s play area and a treehouse within your accommodation ensures the kids have plenty to occupy themselves during your stay
  • Adventure seeking families will welcome the choice of outdoor pursuits located near Thorpe Lodges, with mountain biking, forest walks, nature trail and ranger-led walks all within easy reach of your accommodation, while the nearby Norfolk Broads harbours scenic waterside towns and villages where you can enjoy a day’s boat hire or simply soak up the laid-back way of life enjoyed by the townsfolk


What type of will would a Will Writer write?

Will Writing

Every month we feature a business who is offering an opportunity on Savvy Guest. This month we are delighted to feature Will Writer, Kristian Main of KGN Consultants, Will Writing Services.

Kristian goes on to say…the question I am asked most of is,  “What is it you do as a will writer?”  The answer seems obvious, I write wills for people.

But the reality is so much more.  A good will writer is a trained and qualified individual that looks beyond the simple will and considers all the circumstances and possible outcomes for his clients, then advises appropriately.

That’s what I do.

 Where there’s a Will…

Drawing up a Will is the most basic protection that everyone should consider.  It brings with it a peace of mind that knowing everything will be taken care of when you are no longer around.

It isn’t painful, it isn’t a bad omen; it’s just good sense!

Who do you Trust?

 Choosing the right people to trust with what we leave behind is not always difficult but can cause problems.

Adding a Trust to your will allows you to keep control of your assets after death.  Trusts come in all types and sizes but the more common ones are Life Interest Trust, Discretionary Trust, and an Asset Protection Trust.

Power of Attorney

 Power that Lasts

Losing the capacity to do things for ourselves could happen to anyone.  This is why we all need Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).  These are an umbrella protection: you may never need one, but having one in case it ever ‘rains’ is better than the alternative.

There are 2 types of LPA

– Health & Welfare

– Property & Financial Affairs

Both deal with different aspects of your life and allow you to give someone you trust to the power to deal with your affairs on your behalf.

 The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

Many people don’t want to think about the inevitable and yet, by not planning for what happens when we die, we leave our loved ones at risk. Putting a Pre-paid Funeral Plan in place gives peace of mind to our loved ones and ourselves.

As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men are oft to go astray”, but the right plans often make the crucial difference.

Funeral Plan

 The KGN Way

Some companies claim to write wills for their clients, but in reality they either use packaged software or outsource the work to a third party after taking your information.

Often these companies are only adding this service as a “bolt-on” to their core business and are not fully trained to write a will meaning problems can arise as a result.

Here at KGN Consultants, all of our will writers are trained and qualified professionals, ensuring that you get the right will for your needs.  So if you’d like to learn more about being a Will Writer, why not sign up to one of our opportunities on

Will Writer

KGN Consultants, protecting your family’s future today.

Business of the month Bennett Staff Bureau & their Journey

Every month we upload a guest blog from companies who are offering opportunities on Savvy Guest, This month we are delighted to feature Bennett Staff Bureau who are based in Hyde.  MD Claire goes onto say …..

Bennett’s was originally established in 1958 by Mr Roy Bennett who started his career as an Official Court Shorthand Writer to the Lord Chancellor’s Office, producing transcripts and attending courts and international conferences in many parts of the world.

Roy Bennett’s early experience of using an employment agency was during the last ‘capital punishment’ murder trial at a UK court. He needed an experienced typist to type up draft transcripts within 24 hours for the Government Departments and Appeal Court. The agency he used provided a ‘two fingered’ typist who could only work from 11am till 2 pm that day. The agency had obviously not provided the service needed within the timescales as the transcripts were needed by the Lord Chancellor. The agency was then unable to find a replacement so Roy Bennett completed the transcripts himself and subsequently started the Employment Bureau Service.

Palantype with Trade Mark

The idea of providing a same day professional service based around clear customer need was borne, embracing applicant testing and referencing, and the pillars of listening, professionalism and a team approach are the values and ethos of our business today.

Bennetts currently operates from the hub at Hyde covering Tameside, Oldham and Stockport. Now filling vacancies all across the NW region with Commercial, Industrial and Catering staff. Prior to 2007 the company had several other branches, Oldham, Stockport, Altrincham, and Ashton which thrived through earlier recessions.


With the increasing use of technology and the way BSB delivered its services to its client base, it was clear that by 2007, BSB did not need a high street presence and the opportunity was therefore taken to close the local branches. This has made the current operation much more streamlined and customer focused with consistent customer and business practices due to all operations being under one roof.

Taking the business to the next level are our 2 Experienced Recruitment Directors Claire and Rob, followed by 2 Experienced Recruitment Team leaders Joanne and Chris, then our Experienced Recruitment Consultants Katie and Tom. We have our own in house accounts Julie and Beryl who both have a wealth of experience.

Managing Director – Claire outside 10 Downing St

Having won awards, accreditations, audits and recently Trading Standards approved. We can honestly say we are good at what we do!

So if you are looking to recruit good talent or looking to find employment then look no further than Hyde, one of Hyde’s oldest businesses, which is still going very strong. Tel: 0161 368 5511

If you wish to chat with people like Claire to find  out about a job role or if you are a business and wish to offer an opportuity. Please register at

Savvy Guest

Savvy Guest

Haircare is necessary for all hair types, textures and conditions


The Hair Sanctuary

Every month we invite one of the Savvy Guest businesses who have offered an opportunity on This month we are pleased to feature ‘The Hair Sanctury Ltd.’ The owner is Naomi Brooks.

Naomi goes onto say …Haircare is necessary for all hair types, textures and conditions. That means whether you have straight, curly, Afro, Asian, Coloured, Relaxed or Natural hair (basically everyone), haircare is important. All hair is the same in terms of its make up so will be effected by the same things such as, routine, products, diet and health. So we all need to be aware of what we do relating these areas the impact it has on our hair.

Firstly, let’s talk about our diets and health as this probably has the biggest impact on our hair. The sayings ‘You are what you eat’ and ‘What’s put inside will show on the outside’ are very true and your hair is the first place to show signs of this. You may notice this whenever you are ill or your diet isn’t the best, this is due to the fact that your body isn’t a vital organ or tissue so your body doesn’t prioritie its nutritional needs. So it is important to make a conscious effort to take care of your health and well being and here are a few things to be mindful of when it comes to your diet or a few changes you could make to improve the condition of your hair.

  • Water – water intake is good for number of reasons but keeping your body hydrated means the same for your hair. This keeps moisture in the hair.
  • Vitamins – vitamins A, D, E & B12 are particularly beneficial to hair, as they create sebum, which is natural oils produced from the body. This is great for dry scalps and keeping your hair moisturised. These vitamins can be food in some foods or can be taken as a supplement.
  • Protein – As the hair is made up of protein (Keratin), having an intake of protein will help in building your hair. You can get protein from a number of foods, Meats, Eggs, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Nuts & Chia seeds.

Noted above are a few things to take into consideration, but as much as they can benefit your hair, too much of them can also have a negative effect. So moderation and balance is important here.

Secondly, products, what do use or lack of use? It is very important that you are using the right products for what your hair needs. This may change when the condition of your hair changes, whether that’s to weather, health or diet. So you could use a moisturising range for one stage and a repair or strengthening range at another stage. You may find that it takes you a while to find products that work for you but it is trial and error in this area, as what works for one may not work for another. At The Hair Sanctuary, we would always recommend using professional products and a full range, because products work better when used as a collective. For example, if you use a branded shampoo for colour treated hair be sure to use the same conditioner and any finishing products they have to accompany them.

Lastly is the routine. Getting into a routine will help you to get to know your hair better so you can notice any changes quickly and be confident in your products and styling. A routine of cleansing once a week, doing a deep condition once a month and using minimal heat, along with the previous points will give healthy, shiny and growing hair. For anyone who needs an extra boost to their routine The Hair Sanctuary offers  a product called ‘Miracle Drops’ which has a variety of the vitamins that promotes healthy hair and growth.

If you wish to have a chat with  Naomi Brooks, please register at


How to Market Effectively on a Shoestring!

Each month we feature a business who is offering an opportunity on Savvy Guest to provide a guest blog. This month we are pleased to feature Val Dickinson of Defero Consultancy Ltd.

When Defero first set up in business I started advising SMEs on all the aspects of Marketing. Having the relevant qualifications and having worked in what they call …the  ‘Marketing, Creative and Digital’ Sector for many years I felt I had the appropriate experience to actively engage and encourage smaller micro businesses on their aspects of Marketing.

Initially, rather than embrace me with open arms I found they virtually grimaced when I mentioned the dreaded ‘M’ word and if  I stared any harder I would have seen the £ signs in the whites of their eyes.  Was this reaction unexpected?  No…not really because, and I think it’s fair to say when you mention ‘Marketing’ or ‘Marketing budgets’ many think it is an extremely expensive commodity and as a start- up they couldn’t possible afford to invest into many marketing initiatives.

Expensive – well the Marketing approach can be an expensive as you want it to be especially if the tactics lend themselves to be in the ‘above the line’ category i.e., bus campaigns, bill boards, 48 sheets, radio and TV advertising. However, there are ways to market that are cost effective and doesn’t cost the earth and ….you get results.

For example PR and third party endorsements. Testimonials are brilliant pieces of prose to compliment your services, and if you have provided good service ask your client or supplier to write a short recommendation for you. Many do not refuse and you have the evidence to display across social media platforms, your website and your company portfolio. Those few words of gratitude and commendable comments about your products and service are invaluable. They carry a lot of credibility and best of all, they are ‘free’.

Biographies are also valuable marketing  selling tools,  and they say a lot about a person, their experience and their character. However, it also depends how they are written.  It is always difficult to write positively about yourself as we are a ‘modest’ lot deep down. If you struggle with exposing yourself in the written form ask a ‘professional writer’ to pen one for you. I have written many bios for clients who have been delighted by the results.

So..there you are a couple of tips on how to utilise Marketing and PR without it costing the earth.

If you would like to know how to market yourself effectively on a shoestring please do not hesitate to get in touch. Email and visit the website

Defero Consultancy can support with your Marketing requirements.

Direction with Creativity and Experience.


Getting on The Next Rung of the Ladder

Each month we feature a business who is supporting by offering opportunities and pre-career chats to our careers seekers. This month we are pleased to feature Sharon De Mascia, Occupational Psychologist and Director of Cognoscenti Business Psychologists Ltd. Sharon is the author of our guest blog below.

Are your personality strengths getting in the way of you getting on? Are you good at what you do but feel that you could do better? Would you like to get on in your career but just can’t seem to get to that next level?  Do you sometimes wish that you could have more impact at work or be better at managing those important relationships? There is a fine line between strengths and weaknesses when we look at personality. Our individual personalities provide us with strengths e.g. the extent to which we are friendly and outgoing, the extent to which we are conscientious, the extent to which we are keen to learn and develop These strengths help us to be successful at what we do and to get on well with others in our teams and organisations.

Sometimes though, our strengths can become risks and cause problems for us both in our home lives and in our working lives e.g. when we are bored or under pressure. When this happens, our usual behaviours change and our dark side takes over. Dark side behaviours can include e.g. Being aggressive towards people, not trusting people, being overly competitive, manipulating people, being too eager to please etc. These ‘Dark Side’ behaviours can damage good relationships and prevent you from achieving the success that you are looking for. The more extreme ‘Dark Side’ behaviours could even derail your career.


There is a suite of psychometric tools designed by Robert Hogan, which are based on 30+ years of research and socioanalytic theory. They enable people to see their personality characteristics as they will appear to colleagues and other people that you come into contact with, in the workplace. The Hogan tools also identify your ‘Dark Side’, i.e. how your strengths will manifest themselves when you are under pressure/bored etc.

The three Hogan tools are: The ‘Hogan Personality Inventory’ (HPI), The ‘Hogan Development Survey’ (HDS) and the ‘Motivation, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). The ‘HPI’ informs you about your bright side, i.e. your personality characteristics when you are at your best. Perhaps more interestingly, the ‘HDS’ identifies your personality strengths that can become risks or potential derailers for you. The final tool the ‘MVPI’ describes your personality from the inside i.e. what your main goals and drivers are and the interests that determine what you strive to achieve. This tool also helps you to understand the types of: positions, jobs and environments where you are most likely to thrive and be at your most productive.

The Hogan tools enable you to recognise: what your personality strengths are, how to maximise them and how to make sure that your Dark Side doesn’t get in the way of you getting on in your chosen career.


Once you have identified your strengths and potential derailers, coaching can help you to produce a powerful personal development plan to facilitate your personal growth. With coaching support, you can then go on to achieve your career aspirations whether they are about getting to that next rung on the ladder or about becoming the next Bill Gates/Sheryl Sandburg


Cognoscenti is a business psychology consultancy that helps organisations get the best out of their people. They specialise in Wellbeing, Leadership, Organisational Development, Personality Profiling and Executive Coaching.

If you wish to have a pre-career chat with Sharon please register on



Have you ever thought about starting a business?


Athena Hall Bookkeeping

Every month we feature a business who has offered an opportunity on Savvy Guest.

Now the self assessments are over for another year we are pleased to feature our guest blogger Athena Hall BookKeeping  We also met Athena at the recent EVA awards where she  was also a finalist.


EVA awards

You have passion

Is there something you never get bored of? Something you know everything about and still want to learn more?

Passion is key to an entrepreneur’s success. You’ll need it to battle the challenges you’ll face and to persuade people to believe in your ideas.

You’re bursting with ideas

Are you the kind of person who walks into a business and immediately sees the opportunity, or can spot something that’s missing?

If you’re always saying ‘Have you thought about…? Or ‘Wouldn’t it be better if…’ then you have the creative and constructive mind set of an entrepreneur.

You get things done

Do you take your time to consider things from many different angles? Or go ahead and take action, figuring out the details on the way?

Generally entrepreneurs don’t wait around for the permission to do things. They shoulder responsibility and forge ahead with their actions.

You figure things out

Entrepreneurs are able to assimilate information and learn new skills quickly. A business that started at the kitchen table, can scale up to trade around the world.

Are you prepared to leap out of your comfort zone and acquire new knowledge to drive success?

You believe in yourself

Entrepreneurs may have their doubts, but they’ll never let uncertainty detract them from their goal. Self confidence and trust in their own judgement are key character traits for an entrepreneur.

That doesn’t mean to say that everything you think or say is right though. Entrepreneurs listen to expert and constructive advice and are prepared to change tactics if things aren’t working out.

You’re resilient and adaptable

The road to success is never straightforward, and many entrepreneurs have encountered challenges along the way.

Whether you’re down to your last coins in your pocket, struggling to find a reliable distributor, or keeping your fingers crossed that that big order comes in before pay day, an entrepreneur rolls with the punches and keeps their eye on the end goal.

You’re persuasive

At some point on your business journey, you need to share your vision and persuade others to join you.

Entrepreneurs live and breathe their idea, so talking about it comes naturally. Being able to communicate what you’re offering and why it should matter to someone else is key to entrepreneurial success.

You manage money carefully

Business may be something they really care about and money may only be one of their measures of success, but entrepreneurs always know how much (or little) they have, what they need and what things cost.

It doesn’t matter if you’re starting with personal cash or have attracted a wealthy investor, entrepreneurs know that making bad financial decisions can quickly ruin a business.

You’ve always had an eye for business

Richard Branson started his first business at school, with a student magazine. Alan Sugar sold aerials from the back of a van.

If you found ways of making pocket money as a youngster, you may have the skills and confidence of an entrepreneur already.

You want to work for yourself?

Imagine you’ve been offered your dream job with the perfect company, in a great location, with loads of benefits. But you’ve got your business idea and you really believe it could go places too. Which do you choose?

Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Steve Jobs all dropped out of prestigious college courses to pursue their business dreams.

Successful entrepreneurs know they want to go into business for themselves, not work for someone else.

If you would like an opportunity to speak with Athena register

Savvy Guest

Savvy Guest

When I grow up I want to be…… my Career Journey

Every month on Savvy Guest we feature a business of the month. To start the new year we wish to introduce Kathryn Orange from The Future Ltd who tells us about her journey to self employment.

January is a time of reflection and consideration of next steps in your career and business.  I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do in my career from a child when I grew up.  We all dream – today in business its called business vision and I always wanted to work for myself and I thought I’d share my journey.

Today it’s very different for individuals starting out on your career.  I believe there is a great deal of support and guidance to enable you to leapfrog you into your next step and career.

Remember to think about what you enjoy doing and ensure you are building on new skills whilst utilising existing skills and experience.

Today I help business leaders to leapfrog their business forward and individuals to identify the right business and career.  In brief, I listen first then look and identify what they are good at and also in business ensure there journey is profitable.  For individuals I believe it’s  important to be very clear on communicating to customers / future employers on what you do (CV) or what services or products you sell (Business i.e. website, social media) that way you will be certain to drive forward your career successfully with both support from others and building towards your goals/dream career.

I own my business and have chosen to have a mixture of things that I do (utilising my skills and vast experience) another name for this is a portfolio career.

Business Coach – Helping a business to develop, change and grow profitably

  1. Franchise Coach and Mentor – Helping business leaders to systemise their business and develop a franchise model for national growth
  2. NED – Work with other businesses to improve as a non executive director

I would like to share some hints and tips I’ve learnt along on my journey:-

  •  PLAN – think about what you want to do and ensure you match your skillsLEARNING – Continue to push yourself and business forward ongoing
  • BELIEVE in what you are doing and Yourself
  • CHECK – If it’s not working, understand why fix or change direction
  • VALUE – Understand who receives the value in what you do
  • CUSTOMERS – Always are King and Queen every time
  • RELIABLE – Do what you say you will do and exceed expectations, everyday
  • CONTACTS – Treat every person as your next big customer / job / strategic partner

MY CAREER JOURNEY & When I grow up I want to be……


 My motto is let’s do it – 80% Action | 15% Positioning | 5% Strategy

If you would like to chat to Kathryn please register on our website

Kathryn Orange is the founder of The Future Ltd which was established in 2013 and based in Greater Manchester & Cheshire, UK. She is a strategic thinker, business builder, and a great listener.  She helps her clients to identify growth opportunities, and to build great businesses that understand their customers’ needs and importantly helps them to deliver new revenues and improved margins, including sustainable growth.  An outstanding track record and her diverse experience has been gained in senior roles across a range of industries in the private sector with SME, National and International major PLCs, within the services and voluntary sector as  NED and in leading franchise organisations.

In effect Kathryn can aid relationships to deliver future business growth and fuel executive dreams.

If you would like to chat to Kathryn please register on our website

Savvy Guest & The Stroke Association – Lost for Words


Scott with Dijonn

Dijonn with Scott from the Stroke Association

This month we have been working in partnership with Stroke Association. Scott Smith is the Community Development and Partnerships Manager for the Stroke Association  in the North West.  He is passionate about helping those affected by neurological conditions and he was delighted to be asked to help check blood pressures at our recent Savvy Guest event for Small Business Saturday at Rise, Deansgate, Manchester.

Dijonn and Val put Savvy Guest in the picture

Dijonn and Val put Savvy Guest in the frame

Scott explains…

So, you’re thinking how is the brain and blood pressure connected – here’s how! Just over half of all strokes are caused by high blood pressure. That’s why it is so important to regularly check your blood pressure, as there are no recognisable signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. So, you don’t know unless you check.

The Stroke Association works tirelessly in trying to prevent strokes by checking thousands of blood pressures each year. Here in the North West we had a blood pressure event on two out of every three days which is a fantastic achievement for all involved.

As well as preventing strokes, we support people living with life after stroke. We are in the middle of our ‘Lost for Words’ campaign which highlights the difficulty communicating after a stroke can be. Aphasia is a disorder that occurs when the language areas of the brain are damaged by stroke. It can affect a person’s ability to speak, write, read and even to be understood by their loved ones.

The tragedy of aphasia affects a third of all stroke survivors. And because a stroke happens suddenly, this life-changing event is terrifying and can leave many stroke survivors feeling isolated and lonely, even when surrounded by family and friends.

So,  I urge you all to do two things this Christmas – firstly check your blood pressure and secondly head over to our website and read the incredibly inspiring stories of those living with aphasia after stroke. If you’re feeling festive, you may wish to send a donation to the Stroke Association, because with your support this, we can help people with aphasia find their words again after stroke.”



You can also follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottSmith_SA for all the updates and news on the Stroke Association


Savvy Guest invited to Downing Street for Small Business Saturday

Small Business SaturdayUk Businesses with Margot James - Minister for Small Businesses

Savvy Guest and Small Business Saturday Uk Businesses with Margot James – Minister for Small Businesses

Savvy Guest was one of 100 from around the country invited to Downing Street on 1st December for a reception to mark the UK’s fourth annual Small Business Saturday on Saturday December 3rd. We were invited along to meet other small business owners at a reception at No.10 Downing

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to celebrate the success of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses – from family run restaurants, to innovative tech start-ups, to local corner shops.

I’m delighted that we had such a great representation of firms here in Downing Street to mark this event and recognise the prosperity they bring to the UK.”

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, said:

The UK’s 5.5 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating millions of jobs in communities across the country and helping to build an economy that works for all.

I am proud to be joining Small Business Saturday in championing them, and would encourage as many people as possible to get out to their local high street this weekend to do the same.”

Small Business Saturday, a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, places small, independent businesses in communities across the country in the national spotlight. Its aim is to prompt people not only to spend money with small independent businesses in the run-up to Christmas but also to create a mind-set to support them all year round.

Small businesses around the UK have planned events, promotions and other activities to attract clients and customers to them not only on December 3rd but also beyond. The campaign team has also completed a five-week nationwide bus tour to all regions in the UK to promote Small Business Saturday locally visiting 29 towns and cities in 27 days.

We were delighted and proud that Savvy Guest has been recognised nationally and selected as one of the Small Business Saturday UK 100

Small Business Saturday has become an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.

We aim to showcase the level of diversity, innovation and talent that is active within our small business sector and persuading people to get out and support their friends, neighbours and family members and reinforce local communities and economies.”