Savvy Blog

Savvy Guest Business of the Month – Guide Bridge MoT & Service Centre

Every month we feature a business that is registered with

This month were are pleased to feature Guide Bridge MoT & Service Centre and recount their journey over the last 2 years since they first appeared on the BBC2 Programme ‘The Fixer’

The Fixer Returns to Guide Bridge MoT & Service Centre

Guide Bridge MOT and Service Centre receive the Pride of Tameside Business of the Year award

Guide Bridge MOT and Service Centre receive the Pride of Tameside Business of the Year award

It’s not every day you have a local  garage residing in Tameside whose  members featured in a BBC2 television documentary, but Guide Bridge MoT & Service Centre just happen to be the stars of the TV screen and have appeared not only once but twice in the last 3 years.   How did they manage that?  Well…apart from being Pride of Tameside Business of the Year and having a string of accolades under their belts including ‘Going the Extra Mile Award’ the family run business owned by Derek and Jan Lord have certainly turned their business and lives around since first appearing on ‘The Fixer’ in 2012. Nearly 3 years on and the business has successfully grown and are constantly going from strength to strength.

Apart from the inevitable changes to the garage – they now look after and maintain fleets, the family members have also changed beyond recognition.   Adam Lord the young mischievous 24 year old back in 2012 is now the Sales Director and takes more pride in his appearance than ever before.

Jan,Derek & Adam receive their award

Jan,Derek & Adam receive their award for Guide Bridge MoT & Service Centre

A frequent visitor to the local gym Adam’s well-toned physique is a perfect match to his new role that he has embraced with enthusiasm and gusto. In fact he is a charmer in more ways than one and his business sense has been proven with the influx of sales that have elevated the garage to new heights.

Eldest son Gareth is content with his role as the steadfast Mechanic, Nicola has embraced her role as General Manager and is now virtually running the operations side of the business single handily. Although she would be the first one to admit she is only doing what comes naturally, anyone who knows Nikki would testify she is tenacious and her leadership and management skills shine through to ensure everything  is kept in order – especially ‘the boys’.

So second time around and the family were featured on ‘The Fixer’ revisited.  A lot has happened to the ‘Lords’ since the original viewing. Jan lost her dear mum to Pancreatic Cancer but true to her word and her mother’s greatest wish she is intent on raising awareness about the terrible disease shortly she will be holding the annual Purple Ball of Hope to raise vital funds for research and she hopes to raise over £7,000 to beat 2014 figure of £6500. Knowing Jan who throws her heart and soul into anything she does – it will be achieved, along with a little help from her army of friends.

So there we are… Guide Bridge MOT & Service Centre – soon to become The Guide Bridge Group.

New look, new logo, and new roles…

The Lord family

The Lord family

The final word from Jan –

“All I ever want is for the family to be happy and successful. Both Derek and I are so proud of what we have all achieved. It’s been tough but has it been worth it? Yes …and we would do it all again. It just goes to show what you can achieve if you believe.”

And what of the future for the Lord  family….

Well, Jan and Derek are taking things a little easier as they slowly exit into semi-retirement , content in knowing that Guide Bridge MOT & Service Centre are in safe hands with their children. A small family garage who all have big hearts and have proven against all the odds they can pick themselves up and go from strength to strength.

Have they fixed it – we think they have.


This month Savvy Guest  are pleased to feature our business of the month

The World Class Service.


world class1


The MHA Awards Ball is a key event in the industry diary, usually held at the end of October, which allows the hoteliers to let their hair down and recognise and reward the ‘unsung heroes’. The event is attended by, not only the Hoteliers, but local attractions, restaurants, museums and galleries within the city.

Last year has to be one of the most successful MHA Awards Balls thus far, in terms of the amount raised for the Industry Charity; Hospitality Action (approx. £35K), the number of guests attending (700) to the extensive and enjoyable live entertainment. Not forgetting all the wonderful sponsors, without whom, the event could not take place.

The overall planning of the Ball begins around February, with the committee assembling to discuss the venue and theme, improvements on previous years, charity nominations and sponsorship interest.

From our point of view, the key and most enjoyable part of this event is meeting the candidates. We receive nominations from all the contributing hotels within the MHA, which include 1000 word citations from which we shortlist four ‘Employee of the Year’ finalists for each category namely: New Star, Front of House, Back of House, Outstanding Personal Contribution, Green Passion and the most prestigious award the Howard Raynor Lifetime Achiever – this award is given in memory of a remarkable man who founded World Class Service and left us with a legacy in the pursuit of service excellence in our fine City.

The interviewing process is supported by The Manchester College and Sponsorship Judges and takes place over two extremely long yet worthwhile days.

It is heart-warming to meet people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to this remarkable and competitive industry, all of whom show great passion for their work and to be recognised for their achievements is extremely rewarding for all. After reviewing their citations and following a 30 minute interview, the judges make their decisions on the winners – this is the most difficult part of the whole process – they are all winners!

On the night, the Awards are held after the meal, so the atmosphere is filled with nerves and excitement. Presentations are made, highlighting each winner‘s achievements, prior to the Sponsor announcing the Award Winner. The surprised and rightfully proud winner makes their way to the stage accompanied by huge cheers from their respective hotels.

The winners receive a specially commissioned and printed Villeroy & Boch Plate (with a duplicate for the winning Hotel), a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Voucher for one of the top Hotels in Manchester and a Gold World Class Service Pin; they also become ‘Ambassadors’ for the industry for the coming year. There is also a great deal of press coverage after the event which gets circulated to the appropriate hotel and passed on to the Winners. The Finalists and Winners List is also displayed on the MHA Website and the World Class Service websites for 12 months.

Author – Tracy Waddacor,

World Class Service

World Class Service has been involved with the Manchester Hoteliers Association Annual Awards Ball for eight years as both a committee member and the Awards Host. With a passion for service excellence delivery, not only within the Hospitality Industry, World Class Service work with individuals and organisations, providing training and a tool to help them measure and improve continuity in excellent customer service standards.



Assistance for Executive Outplacement, Franchise Business Ownership & Business Franchise Opportunities

Mr Franchise – Business Franchise Opportunities

POS-sheet (2)  Success roadmap  KO

Every month we feature a business registered on Savvy Guest. This February were are pleased to announce Mr Franchise. Read all about their business franchise opportunities and offerings.

Franchise business ownership offers personalised face to face meetings, bespoke guidance at each stage of your journey until you are placed. Jon Case was made redundant, taking his skills, experience, future goals and investment he was ideally matched to a franchise concept. Successfully placed and is now wishing he had moved into business ownership years ago. He was that man in the pub who would say, I’d love to work for myself but just don’t know how or what?” He finally took the plunge as a result of Executive Outplacement Franchise Ownership.

Balloon Business Ownership Made Easy 23.5.14

Typically the only option for outplacement is to get another job.

Assistance for laid-off workers at executive level is usually offered through some form of outplacement support. These are a breed of career services that helps newly unemployed to start job searches (on-line) and find work.

Choices/Outplacement 1) Executive Franchise Outplacement or 2) Get the same job elsewhere


18.7.14 (2)  Self employment and freedom

Savvy Guest aims  to offer as much information; advice and understanding of what skills are required within a job role to allow the users – our guests to gain invaluable information that could allow them to determine their future career paths. We hope you have found this blog useful.

At Savvy Guest we truly believe we offer a unique digital platform that allows the general public to meet up with company employees across different industries allowing the guest  to have an insight into their chosen occupation by a  pre-career conversation.

These companies are offering the opportunity to meet employees for a chat over coffee about their career. A great way to find out about their roles, what they do and whether it’s right for you before making a decision.


Savvy Guest is revolutionising the way we seek careers advice, as the current systems have become outdated.

New pre career opportunities recently added at we recommend you keep checking for regular updates, blogs and new slots coming available.







ME1 Positive Personal Development LTD

ME1 Lisa's SessionME1-logo-jepegfile


Savvy Guest Business of the month for December is ME1 Positive Personal Development LTD. An interesting fact is that their Positive Personal Development Operations has been involved with MMU Innospace Business Enterprise for the last year. ME1 have been working with students from Manchester Metropolitan University offering insights in to ‘My ‘Entrepreneur Journey’ and they have also participated in the Employability day for 3rd year Youth and Community Work students. ME1 were also on hand to offer advice and information and to give an insight to the students from an employers perspective on the many volunteering opportunities that are available. Other topics open for discussion at the event included focussing on the various support opportunities to postgraduate students.

Managing Director of ME1 Lisa Samuels said “ I was invited to participate on the panel of ‘Dragons Den’ event to judge entrepreneurial ideas from various groups”

Lisa goes on to say “ME1 also sit on the Interview board for Youth and Community students and over the last 12-18 months I am pleased to announce there has been 20 students who have been successfully accepted on the Youth and Community work BA Degree Course”

Testimonial from M Cottam – a Savvy Guest who met with Lisa

I would like to thank Lisa from ME1 and Savvyguest. Lisa gave me a good understanding of what a Life coach does. I found it very interesting and I am now looking at how we can use coaching within Trafford Housing Trust.  Thanks

Mr M Cottam (Savvy Guest)

To register for an opportunity to meet Lisa and find out what inspired her to set up ME1 Positive Personal Experience or if you wish to take advantage of the other pre career opportunities Savvy Guest has to offer visit or email




10 reasons for getting your company noticed on Savvy Guest


College students, Graduates and Professionals are eager to see what is trending in various industries and how they could benefit from their unique set of transferable skills

Savvy Guest has been identified as a powerful insight tool and a digital platform that can benefit job seekers, and prospective employers.

Savvy Guest has also been identified as a Corporate Social Responsibility Facilitator – be one of the first to upload a tile onto our CSR Wall and showcase to others how you support community initiatives.

Employees are now sharing their personal tips and advice to help others understand real job expectations.

Low level commitments to hosting a guest, anything from a chat over coffee to shadowing a member staff – nothing more than a day.

Open discussions with interested career searchers to ‘enter into dialogue’ with your employees before committing fully.

Employee recognition as Company Ambassadors.

small and med enterpise

A way of showcasing the mechanics that make up the brand and the added benefits from working in the industry.

An opportunity to become the Exclusive Headline Sector Specific Sponsor on the digital platform.

Savvy Guest is recognised as a primary contributer to a company’s core strategy and commitment to CSR. The Savvy Guest CSR Wall is a dedicated place to showcase and share honest, authentic good CSR News Stories, which happen every day amongst our Business Communities. Share your CSR stories here and let others know of the great activities taking place.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): ”Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”

Register at  |Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Use caution when copying images!

The World Wide Web has opened up a world which we previously had limited access to.  We are now able to connect and share our experiences with people across the globe and access images instantly using various social media channels.

If you use the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pininterest etc, you’re sure to find images of stunning scenery, holiday locations, makeovers, fashion and even some cracking humorous images.

I’m sure you’ll agree, seeing a photograph or image of a stunning beach automatically sells a story and feeds the appetite of wanting a holiday.  The use of smart phones has enabled us to snap photos, upload and share on various sites in real time for all to see.  Maybe it’s not the perfect picture, however it captures the moment and shows authenticity

Sometimes we search for images to fit in with a theme for; an article being produced, a newsletter or to add to a blog.  At some point, those tasked with the role will scroll through the many images available online.  Before you copy and paste or use any images not belonging to you, this is where you should tread with caution!

Somewhere on the page you may see the wording, ‘Images may be subject to copyright’.  Using these images can land you in hot water with the owners for not asking their permission to use. You may only become aware of it when you receive a letter for copyright infringement!  Now I don’t want to scare people away from sharing beautiful images, I am merely saying use with caution, check for copyright and ask for permission if there is.

We have taken some great pictures (although not professional) on our journey, which we post regularly on our website  See below recent images taken at Manchester Museum.

There is a place for professional photographers in all of this, especially when in need of that special image which only the professionals can produce.  If you would like to know what it takes for a career in photography, an opportunity to chat with professional photographer Tracey Gibbs is available at

Mcr Museum Elephant Mcr Museum Soldier Mcr Museum Egyptian Mce Museum Gazelle Mcr Museum Monkey Mcr Museum Spotted green frog Mcr Museum Brown Bear Mcr Museum Skeleton




Scary Makeover for Halloween

Trick or Treat!  Halloween is nearly here.  Supermarket displays are full of ghoulish costumes as children and adults gear up for a night of harmless horror.  As the early evening draws in on 30th October the knocks on the door will begin! Children making the door to door neighbourhood journey to fill their buckets with the tricks or treats that greet them.

I have to admit, I’m amazed with the efforts adults are making to get involved in the horror night parties, costumes, makeup, wigs and hats.  These themed parties appear to be much fun, although I have not had the liberty of attending one!  The shared pictures across social media show creative and some hilarious looks that are not for the faint hearted.

Halloween Parties are becoming popular and the make-up is more creative than ever.  ‘Special effects (sfx)’ is the name used for creating traumatic looks such as burns, cuts and scars.  A very special technique which some Make Up Artist’s use in films and now during Halloween.  If you have already booked in with a Make Artist for Halloween, you are a step ahead of the rest. I’ve been told it’s now a struggle to get a session booked in with a good MUA.

Decordova Halloween Pic 2


Decordova Mua is one such freelance MUA, whose work has been featured in a TV drama and has been called on to apply horror    make-up for the ever increasing Halloween parties.  Some of the skills needed for this exciting career includes plenty of creativity, flair and eye for detail, a great experience to see how this is all put together.

Decordova Halloween Pic 1

Decordova Mua is offering an insight into creating these ghoulish looks with a demo session on Savvy Guest.  If you would like to know more about what’s involved register at


Decordova Halloween pic child



Where there’s a Will ……






Each month we have added opportunities from Businesses that wish to offer pre-career chats and meet ups to individuals and groups to enable you to find out more about their job roles. As we step into Autumn Savvy Guest features Business of the Month KGN Consultants a professional and personal Will Writing and Pre-payment funeral planning service. They are also members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers and Golden Charter.


will images

The essence of the service they provide ensures they provide a tailor made solution that is right for the individual, their circumstances and the family. In addition they offer a flexible service, work with the individual in the comfort of their own home and surroundings at a convenient time.

There are many complexities when it comes to making a will and utilising the services of a professional is paramount. KGN offers specialist and professional advice and having a chat with the Director Kristian Main will give you an insight into the expertise required to fulfil this service. Alongside Will Writing sits additional quality planning including setting up powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax Planning, and Trusts.

The remit of a Will Writer is both interesting and can be extremely rewarding. You have to be personable, and able to communicate sensitivity although speaking with Kristian he will relate there has been a few humourous moments along the way.

To register for an opportunity to meet Kristian and find out what inspired him to set up KGN Consultancy or if you wish to take advantage of the other pre career opportunities Savvy Guest has to offer visit or email

 will 2

Peek Through Freshers Week Keyhole

In a previous post earlier this month, we focussed on getting ready to go back to school, uni and work as the summer holidays  came to an end.

With the great weather we are experiencing this month, you could almost forget we’re in early Autumn.

Freshers Week Sunshine                      Freshers Week MMU                         Freshers Week Street Crowd

As some of us go back to our routines, this time of year is a fresh start for students making the transition to the many universities across the country.  Over the years the words ‘Freshers Week’  has been bantered around and as someone who did not attend university, I wanted to see what goes on.  ‘Freshers Week’ is the new student orientation at the beginning of the academic year where they get to find their feet in this new place they will call home for at least the next 12 months.

For those who are not familiar with the Oxford Road Corridor in Manchester, it is home to University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.  Manchester has the largest population of students in Europe with approximately 70,000 attending the two campuses.

As I made may way through the hundreds of students who packed the pavements, there was a definite carnival like atmosphere around.  You couldn’t miss the loud music, megaphones, sandwich boards, information stations, costumes and the freebie promotions.

Freshers Week Mr Blobby                       Freshers Week Rikshaw                     Freshers Week Music Bus

I guess it could be quite overwhelming for someone who is just embarking on a new life as a university student.  On the other hand, I can see how it can help students to get excited about the journey ahead and alleviate some of their anxieties.

Our digital platform service at has a quite similar approach to ‘Freshers ‘, where people can have a fact finding pre career chat with employees.








These Giants are for Real!

I enjoyed a lovely evening as the guest of Opsium at the Manchester Giants Game.  It was my first experience of attending a basketball game, I really didn’t know what to expect however I was certain to ditch my stilettos and suit for my comfy jeans and trainers!

The Manchester Giants have a new home at the Lucozade Powerleague Trafford Soccerdome and I had been lucky enough to experience the new VIP Hospitality area at the pre season game of Manchester Giants Vs USA Select.

After some delicious nibbles and networking, the game got underway to rapturous applause, music and thunderous stamping.

MCR Giants warm up                                         MCR Giants 2


The tallest player for Manchester Giants was an incredible 7ft 1ins – a massive two feet taller than me even with my three inch stilettos!

Whilst the game was in full swing,  it got me thinking about the mammoth task of putting an event together and the different types of job roles required.  We were signed in by  Receptionists, ushered by Stewards, kept safe by Security, offered Hospitality and the list goes on.

In addition to the Giants playing great basketball they have on going commitment to develop initiatives offering Coaching skills to local communities.

MCR Giants 1                                               USA Select Basketball Players

We’re hoping through Savvy Guest we can bring some opportunities to have a chat with real Giants and staff about careers in sport, fitness and coaching.

Back to the game – with a few seconds remaining and four attempts of a final goal, the Giants lost by one point!