Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Social Media Outsourcing - Angeline Coupland

One for you business parents this week - more on a saving time theme!  I'm handing over to Angeline Coupland of @networkerplus who tells us all about their Social Media Outsourcing service.  
One of the most popular services @networkerplus Social Media offers is outsourcing.          
As we always discuss strategy with our customers, we can share the top reasons why you decide to do this and why you choose us.
3 key reasons for outsourcing social media
Time – You have come to the realisation that, to get real and measurable results, time is one of the biggest enemies when it comes to social media. You know you need to do it effectively and want a trusted partner to execute effective social networking.

Focus – You want to focus on what you are best at and outsource the marketing activities you know true specialists can carry out more effectively than you can through strategising. (Remember the saying "on" rather than "in" your business?)
Results – You have tried social media with no or little success, however, you appreciate others have the experience, achievements and the right mindset to achieve what you require on your behalf.
Why businesses outsource to @networkerplus
Having asked our customers, here are just five key reasons
Reputation - You either know us already or have heard we deliver and practice what we preach.
Transparency - Social Media is transparent and we love that! You have checked us out and like what we do for our business on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, etc. You’re assured we have the experience and proof that we can build networks and engage.  So many self-declared ‘experts’ out there, talk but don’t walk social media, let alone strategically. (For example, how many Web Designers say they ‘do’ social media however, when you check your LinkedIn, and Twitter activity, you find another story!...and what about blogging? – Active or passive?! What are they saying across the various social networks?      
Value Add - You also like that we do what we do best - social media and only social media. We don’t bolt on social media to our core services. Social media is our core business. Additionally, with over 25 years commercial & award-winning experience, (16 years in e-business), you know you are getting real expertise when it comes to planning and strategising with us.
Contacts & Intellectual Property - We have trusted contacts overseas who help us keep ahead on what’s going on strategically in this fast paced industry. We have also invested in the business and are able to demonstrate how and what when you plan with us. When you hear what we can do for you, you realise it's time to invest and stop continuing to spend copious amounts on time and money on expensive (or even cheap!) training sessions and simply dabbling.
Guarantees - @networkerplus we guarantee everything we do. Yes, that’s correct – everything!  We know there’s a lot of hype and many who have jumped on the social media bandwagon. When you outsource through us, and in the very unlikely event that we don’t achieve what we agreed to do, you get your money back. (Terms apply. Details available on request). That’s how committed and passionate we are about your business. You simply love the assurance that we’re not only a trusted partner, we also have a proven and award winning mindset.

For more information about us, have a browse at our website  However, more importantly, see our active activity across our social networks. We know it speaks for itself because that’s what you tell us.
Feel free to contact us for a free 30 minute, no obligation telephone consultation, to hear how we can help you gain more time, more focus and more results for your business!
Check out and click on testimonials!
Contact Angeline or John on 0800 988 6181 or 0766 414 0383 or register online for our complimentary FREE Strategy session worth £147!
©  @networkerplus Social Media

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Children’s Parties on a Budget! Nikki Gomez, Boy Wonder Gifts

Children’s parties can end up costing a small fortune but there are lots of ways that you can save money and still give your child a fantastic party. My children are now 12 and 14 so I have arranged quite a few birthday parties over the years! Here are some of my money saving tips. Most of these tips and ideas can be adapted for use with parties for both younger and older children. 

Having the party at home instantly saves you money on hiring a venue. It also means you can restrict the amount of guests due to how much space you have, both space saving and money saving!

Have you got a family member or friend who has a skill that they would be willing to bring to your party for a small fee or better still free! Talents such as face painting for youngsters, nail painting/make up tips for girls or football skills for boys.

If you are doing the catering, instead of laying out lots of food that may either get thrown away or end up on the floor, you could fill party food boxes with food and a drink. 
Personalise boxes with each child’s name. You could also tie a balloon to each one.

If the weather permits, an inexpensive party for younger children is to have a ‘Park Party’, especially easy if your local park is close by. Lay a few old sheets & blankets on the ground and hang some balloons/decorations from the trees. To keep costs down even further, guests could bring a food that starts with the first letter of their name or their favourite food. 

Party bags can end up being very costly by the time you’ve filled them with lots of little things. For one party I bought lots of little ‘inexpensive’ gifts & sweets (or so I thought!) but when I worked out how much each bag had cost, it was £2.70! As I had done 10 I’d spent £27.00 just on party bags alone! So, some alternatives to party bags…
Give one quality gift. Spending one or two pounds on one quality gift will probably work out cheaper than filling party bags with lots of little gifts & sweets.

Consider having a ‘making’ party and they can take home all the things they have made during the party. For her 7th my daughter had an ‘Arty Crafty’ party. I bought some very cheap white t shirts, plain canvas bags & a few fabric pens. I folded A4 paper and stapled together to make note books and supplied colouring pens, pencils, paper, glue and magazines to cut pictures out of. They loved taking their own designed t shirts, note books & pictures home in their very own designed bag along with a balloon and a sparkly cupcake!

Finally, for older children, it’s a good idea to write down agreed party plans to make sure costs don’t spiral out of control when the party plans are in full swing! 

Good luck with your future party plans!

Nikki Gomez runs  
Gifts, keepsakes, partyware and baby shower partyware just for boys, baby gifts to gifts for teenagers.

There is currently 20% off all partyware through January.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Benefits and Entitlements for Expectant and New Parents

Having a baby is expensive – there’s no getting around that!  Thankfully there is help available to expectant and new parents. 
Here’s a quick guide. 

Sure Start Maternity Grant
A grant of £500 is available to parents-to-be on low incomes to help with preparing all those baby essentials.  To see if you qualify for the grant, please visit:

Healthy Start Scheme
Healthy Start is a government scheme that provides vouchers for free milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, infant formula and vitamins to certain pregnant women and children in families on low incomes.  Visit: to find out if you are eligible.
You can get an application form from your midwife or health visitor or complete it online.
Lots of shops except the vouchers – look out for the Healthy Start sticker or ask in store.

Free prescriptions and dental care
All mums-to-be qualify for a prescription exemption certificate once their pregnancy has been certified by a doctor or midwife.  You need to complete form FW8 and they will need to sign it.  You’ll be sent a handy little credit card type certificate that you can keep in your wallet. 
Just remember to mention it at the chemist or dentist when you visit!
It entitles you to free prescritions and dental care so get one as soon as possible.  They last until a year after the day your baby is expected.  For more info visit:

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
To help you take time off work with your baby, you may be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) which is a payment from the government and is paid to you via your employer. 
(You may also be lucky enough to have this enhanced by an employer’s maternity scheme).
For more details on SMP and to find out if you qualify please visit the Pennies 4 Parents Blog:

Maternity Allowance
Mums-to-be who do not qualify for SMP may still be entitled to Maternity Allowance.
This is also paid by the Government but direct to your bank account for 39 weeks.
For more information please visit:

Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
Most working Fathers are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay for 2 weeks after the birth of their baby.
The current rate is £128.73 per week.
New Dads are now also eligible to take Additional Paternity Leave and Pay if the Mother returns to work before the end of her Statutory 39 weeks of Maternity Pay.
For more information on Paternity Pay please see:

Tax Credits
Tax Credits are payments from the Government.  Your entitlement depends on your household income. Visit: to see if you qualify – you may be pleasantly surprised!
More information can be found here too:

Child Benefit
You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you have children under 16 (or under 20 if in certain types of education or training), but you do have to apply for it.
You should receive an application in the useful Bounty Pack you are given in hospital when your baby is born (or your midwife will pass you one). 
You can also print off a form here:
The current weekly rates for Child Benefit are: £20.30 for your first/oldest child and £13.40 for other children.