For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas
If you’re wondering who is posting on the hashtag I suggest you have a look today. For a Lincolnshire Christmas use #LincsConnectChristmas on your tweets to reach more local people. Don’t forget to search the hashtag too because you’ll find lots of lovely gift ideas there. The hashtag isn’t just for Twitter though; There are posts on Facebook and Instagram too so go to your search bar and type in #LincsConnectChristmas to see what comes up.
A Lincolnshire Christmas
I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’ but…. I told you so way back in September! Christmas is coming early this year as people fear uncertain times ahead. Christmas shopping has started early for most people. If you’re a small business who isn’t prepared yet you’re in danger of missing out on your local market.
Many people have started (or already finished) Christmas shopping! With that in mind, coupled with the growing numbers of unemployed ‘The Big Boys’ will be putting on some huge discounts to increase High Street footfall and spending. If you’re a small business and not yet selling your Christmas products you really are in danger of missing out. I’ll say it again “For A Lincolnshire Christmas Use #LincsConnectChristmas” – it’s obviously a seasonal hashtag but the #LincsConnect hashtag is here for you every single day of the year so please feel free to use them both.
Shop Online I Lincolnshire And Beyond
Shopping online is set to increase with the multi-nationals gearing up to steal the market. ‘Now’ is the time for the local independent traders to get their offers onto their websites and online shops. Don’t expect everyone to find you and buy your products though. You have to earn that right!
Once you’ve posted your goodies onto your online shop or local High Street shop you need to be working flat out to advertise. Continuous posting on social media will bring sales but not enough. You need to interact with people to get them to want your product. Sell, sell, sell doesn’t work on social media so for best results get chatting. Obviously your followers know what you do so you’ll need to reach out to new customers if you want to make your advertising work. Online shopping is very attractive in the current pandemic so ‘now’ is the time to get talking and making your social media sites look Christmassy.
Lincolnshire, Regional and National Deliveries
Many items can be posted in the normal way of course but if you have awkward sized gifts you might want to employ a courier. Including the cost of the courier in the sale price of the gift is an ideal way to plan finances so perhaps negotiating with local couriers early will be your best bet.
Travel may be a problem this year so grandparents may want to send a bike to grandchildren by courier. What about plants? Transporting plants by post can be difficult so a courier may be your best option. Negotiating rates early may be a good idea so perhaps now is the time to get it organised.
Don’t forget our local charity shops when you’re shopping this year. Many people have been de-cluttering during the lockdown and charity shops have had a bumper intake of stock. Perhaps now is your chance to grab a bargain while helping out your local community. Many items will be brand new too so it’s always worth popping in.
Stresses can increase during this time of year and injuries never take a holiday so contact @MandarinTherapies for your Covid19 safe treatments. Tel 07966 174878. Emergency services and Armed Forces enjoy 20% discount too.
Help Me, Help You
To help me help you please add a link to this blog in your social media advertising. If you’re talking about Christmas, Christmas gifts, Christmas offers and postage you can add a link to this blog to help explain that you’re trying to compete against ‘the big boys’ but at the same time you’ll be increasing readership of this blog. With that achieved I’ll be able to reach out to more people to help advertise your business. We really can help each other.
Incase You Missed It
During the recent #LincsArtCraftHour sessions we have seen quite a few artists and crafters joining in and showing their gift ideas. Below is a list of some of them so please take a look to see what they have to offer. After all, Christmas ‘is’ coming and I’m sure that you’ll agree that it’s good to support our local traders:
Twitter, Facebook & Etsy/Folksy
Keep a mask on and your hands clean to protect yourself and everyone else around you. Happy shopping and happy selling folks.
Did you know that 17 August saw the start of #LoveCultureWeek across the UK? It’s a time to celebrate and visit cultural venues and marvel at what is on offer. This week is aimed at highlighting some of the venues but our cultural sights are open all year of course so let’s get out (safely) to enjoy what’s on offer.
It’s time to celebrate by visiting the fantastic County museums, galleries, heritage sites and libraries to see what they have to offer. Please feel free to add in the ones that I’ve missed in the comments below.
I hope my list does it justice. Apologies in advance to those that I’ve missed out but I’ll happily add a little mention for you if you contact me. The new rules will inevitably apply so if you do want to pay a visit please make sure you book in advance and follow the safety rules. Perhaps you can time your visit to coincide with the .Gov initiative #EatOutToHelpOut too.
Where To Start?
With a County as large as Lincolnshire its going to be impossible to cover every venue and location in one blog but perhaps a few choice mentions might give you some ideas and inspiration to make your own list. After all, you don’t have to cram everything into just one week!
Starting with our County capital you’ll no doubt have a large list of locations to visit ranging from:
Click on the picture to go straight to the ticket office and don’t forget to follow @CollectionUsher on Twitter too
Click on the picture to book your tickets. The grounds are open to the public so if the weather is right, why not pay a visit to have a walk around with friends and family? The Castle has its own Twitter account so why not give it a follow to make your own discoveries? @LincolnCastle
Click on the picture to go straight to the Lincoln Cathedral events page to discover what’s going on. The Cathedral also has its own Twitter page too so give it a follow to discover what’s happening @LincsCathedral
The picture doesn’t say it all – Click on the picture to go to the ticket office of this ‘Gold Award Winning’ venue in Lincoln. You won’t be disappointed. They’re on Twitter of course: @IntBCC so give them a follow
Doddington Hall and Gardens are open for visitors with many planned events so click on the picture to go straight to the events page on their website. Obviously bookings will have to be made and rules will need to be followed but we’re all used to that now! You can give the Hall a follow on twitter too of course @DoddingtonHall to stay up to date with their events calendar.
Plan Your Visit
Each of the venues above have a booking system which can be accessed by clicking on the individual pictures. They are all on Twitter but if you prefer Facebook just click on the relevant picture to go to the website to follow from there..
Top 3, Top 10… Or Top 100?
No matter how big or small the list is, I’m bound to miss someone important! Please keep in mind that this list is just to give you some ideas as I’m sure you’ll have plenty of additions for your own list.
Are You Visiting Lincolnshire?
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If you’re in the Stamford area there are some pretty spectacular places to visit. Top of the agenda has to be the town centre with it’s beautiful buildings and delightful local shops. There is more to see and do too though:
Burghley House And Gardens are open from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Click on the picture for more details. The park is open every day though and entry is free. Give them a follow on Twitter @BurghleyHouse for regular updates
Stamford Arts Centre is physically closed at the moment but they do have events online via their new YouTube channel so why not pay them a visit? This centre has so much to offer so do follow them on Twitter @StamfordArts for updates then pay a visit when it’s safe to do so. Click on the picture to go to their website
Stamford Sights & Secrets Tours is a must if you want to find out more about Stamford. The walking tours are on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 11.00am. Simply click on the picture to go to the ticket site and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter @StamfordTours for updates
More To Come…
Lincolnshire is such a big County that it’ll be impossible to list everyone here. With that in mind, I’ll post another blog or two with some more ideas from Grantham, Spalding, Skegness and Grimsby. Do let me know if you would like to be included.
Until next time, stay safe everyone,
On The Plus Side…
Covid-19 has wreaked devastation across the world with many lives lost while others have become (and remain) seriously ill as a result of this deadly virus. ‘Normal’ has changed over the last few months with travel, work and personal restrictions causing much disruption and heartache. Finances have been seriously challenged for all of us be that directly or indirectly but we have also shown remarkable resilience and a desire to keep going. Some industries have carried on as normal while others have had to significantly increase working practices to cope with demand. Others, on the other hand, have suffered greatly with many paying the ultimate price of permanent closure.
On a positive note though, many of us have adapted our working practices to keep going which has in turn resulted in a significant reduction in pollution, fossil fuel emissions and litter. On a personal note I have significantly reduced my vehicle use by taking my work online. The knock on effect of that has been that my clients have been able to manage injuries, carry on with their rehabilitation programme under personal instruction, maintain their strength and monitor fitness levels as my training programmes have been adapted for home exercise. Those training at home have also had reduced car usage of course so the reduction in the burning of fossil fuels has been reduced even further.
While I’m used to visiting clients in their home, the lockdown has made me re-evaluate my working practices. The home exercise sessions really do seem to be the way forward and I will definitely keep them going. I had been looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly with my working practices so this is definitely a step in the right direction.
I’m Not Alone
Since many people have turned to working online through Zoom, WhatsApp Messenger or FaceTime video sessions my thoughts have turned to those who have been doing it for some time. I do wonder why it’s taken me so long to catch up of course but having been forced into a new practice I wonder how many others will continue with the online working practice too. It’s not until I start to apply the ‘grey matter’ that I realise how many businesses have already been working successfully online. How many can you think of? I’m aware that authors have been selling online for some time as we have become accustomed to buying books for our e-readers. Many courses and tutorials have been firmly embedded into the online platforms too while shopping online has become the norm.
Lincolnshire Libraries (@lincslibraries on twitter and Lincolnshire Libraries on Facebook) are set to reopen on 13 July with a phased reopening of their larger premises first and hubs/mobile libraries opening later in the season. However, although there is a real joy (well, there is for me anyway)! to be had when browsing through the physical books on the shelves it has to be said that our libraries have really stepped up their online services to keep us all happy. Perhaps you’ve been enjoying some of their audio books, e-books or music from their ‘Freegal Music’ selection? It’s all online and free with your Library card so if you haven’t already experienced it perhaps now is the time. Not only will you be accessing the library from your home or mobile device but you’ll be helping to save the planet too by reducing your travel requirements.
If it’s a good read that you’re looking for and are a regular browser of the amazon or Apple libraries youo may have a favourite local author who has been keeping your reading habits and imagination alive. Some of them have been mentioned in previous blogs of course from the very imaginative books by local Grimsby author Lynette Creswell who sells her books on Amazon (find her on Facebook ‘Lynette Creswell Author’ or via her website www.lynettecreswell.wordpress.com ) and has a new book of short stories ‘The Cat Thief’
Lynette Creswell – A local author based in Grimsby with quite a collection of published books now has a new book ‘The Cat Thief’ – click on the picture for more information.
to factual eBooks about growing vegetables in straw bales. Simon Gibbins has produced both an e-Book and a DVD which can both be purchased through his website www.strawbaleveg.co.uk
Simon Gibbins is based in Waddington, Lincoln but his e-Book and DVD are both available from his website. Click on the picture for more information
Home fruit and vegetable growing has certainly seen an upsurge during the lockdown so with fresh food readily available in our own garden perhaps shopping habits are set to change again as even more people discover the joy and convenience of home grown produce. If you fancy giving it a go you can contact Simon through his website or on twitter @strawbaleukman where he also has information about his seed sales as @SeedsSimon
While many of us have utilised the lockdown to learn new skills (it’s been blogging for me) it’s worth remembering that many local businesses have been providing their services online for quite some time before the virus hit us. Rosemary from Inavanti Learning has been providing language courses on an individual basis with online learning to compliment her sessions but during the lockdown she has moved exclusively to online sessions. It can’t have escaped your notice that Lincolnshire is a large County so for a business based in Grantham it’s important to be able to reach customers both near and far. ‘Online’ is most definitely the way forward, not just for reach and accessibility but for reducing traffic and helping to look after our planet. Schools have had to embrace the technology to keep in touch with students but as the schools gradually return to building based lessons it’s important to know that personalised online learning is very much available for you. ‘Thank you’ to the dedication and hard work of private tutors like Rosemary.
Inavanti Learning – click on the picture to go straight to the website. This could be the start of your next journey…
Inavanti Learning – Click on the picture to watch the Inavanti video and get a feel for your next learning experience.
Music is part of the online and download revolution with lots of platforms available to artists of any genre. I often search YouTube to listen to local artists so, as I’m writing about ‘online’ I thought it would be a good time to share some local bands here:
Trak3 Official is a Grimsby based band singing rap. I’ve chosen ‘Caught Up’ as a featured track here but please keep in mind that other tracks of theirs do contain swearing. Click on the picture to hear the YouTube track and don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter @TRAK3_Official
If you fancy something different this very young band from Cleethorpes definitely deserves a listen. This group of youngsters really have been doing some good things and have been getting their name around the music scene quite successfully too. Have a listen to ‘Bullet’ and don’t forget to see what else they have on their Youtube channel:
Revivalry – A band of youngsters from Cleethorpes doing some great things. Click on this picture to hear the track and don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter too @revivalryband
Another great Lincolnshire band destined for great things is Shout Inferno. They’ve appeared on my tweets and blogs before as one of my featured local bands of the week so it’s no surprise to see them here again:
Shout Inferno – Live at The Sweet Factory. Click on the picture to go to their youTube channel and hear another great song from their library. You can also follow them on Twitter @ShoutInferno
The Saboteurs have also featured as one of my ‘Local Bands of the week’ and I’m sure you won’t mind if I feature them here too:
Saboteurs – Click the picture to hear ‘Coraline’ – it’s the latest single from the band and it really is a good one. @sabsbanduk were also a recent addition to my local band of the week feature on twitter and when you hear this track you’ll understand why. I think this band from Sleaford are destined for big things.
Follow The Leader
If you like local music you need to follow Dave @laamb4 on twitter or visit the website for lots more music and arts information. As usual, you can click on the picture to go straight to the website:
Laamb – Click on the picture to go to the website. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
A Word From The Sponsor
If you would like to sponsor the next blog please do get in touch. I hope you like what you see and can see the value in it for local businesses, charities and organisations. Until next time though, I’ll leave you with a short video by @MandarinMothers who provide bespoke complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home:
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If you have any suggestions for future blogs please do let me know.
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Hashtags – Do They Work?
The simple answer here is ‘yes’ and ‘no’! How many times have you seen posts on social media with the hashtag #ShopLocal on it? As crazy as it may sound, the hashtag really isn’t much use if you’re using it to help people find you. It’s fine as a statement of fact on your post but when you search for it you’ll find that the posts are anything but local. In fact, the posts you’ll find there are for all around the world so if you’re expecting people to find your cheese that you produced in Sleaford I strongly suggest you think again! When I set up Lincs Connect in 2012 I experimented with several hashtags and names before settling on #LincsConnect. Other examples of my trial hashtags included #ShopLocal (ironically I created this hashtag in January 2011 for use on my @MANDARINLEISURE account but scrapped it because it went global) #SupportLincolnshire #SupportLincolnshireBusiness #SupportLocal #SupportLocalBusiness with the latter being shortened to #SLBiz. However, my early research made me realise that the ‘Support…’ hashtags were just too long and people refused to use them because of the amount of space they took up on the posts. Another reason for scrapping them was because they start with the word ‘Support’. When searching social media for relevant hashtags to do with Lincolnshire you’ll find that typing the letters ‘Linc’ into the search bar will give you LincsConnect on twitter and Lincs Connect on Facebook in the top three names to visit. Compare that to typing in ‘Support’ which will give you all sorts of connotations from TwitterSupport to a whole host of other national and international business support sites. It makes sense then that the hashtag to use on your tweets needs to be #LincsConnect as it is at the top of your searches and is truly local to Lincolnshire.
How To Use A Hashtag
If you’re happily adding hashtags to your post but never searching them you’ve truly missed s trick! Here’s what to do: Type in #LincsConnect in your search bar then press enter. Don’t click on the account @LincsConnect as that’ll take you to the account only which means you’ll miss all the good information. Once your device takes you to the messages on the #LincsConnect timeline you need to look for the ‘Latest’ tab at the top of the Twitter page. If you type #LincsConnect into the search bar on Facebook you’ll need to look for the ‘Posts’ tab at the top of the page (this’ll also show you related Instagram posts). Once you’ve discovered these pages you’ll realise that there is a huge amount of information, business posts, personal posts, charity posts and requests for help etc etc that are all related to our local area. Try it now to see what you can find. It’s a fantastic way to network and find out what’s going on locally.
How do you support local? Is it as easy as going to the local shops and picking something from the shelves? In case you hadn’t considered it before, let me share some of my ideas about shopping and supporting locals:
- Shop locally – supporting local traders by buying their produce in local shops, garden centres, farm shops and markets
- Online – Many local traders have online shops. A more cost effective way of selling may be via platforms like Etsy shops or even selling directly via social media
- Don’t forget the local charity shops. Dropping off your unwanted items is absolutely crucial but don’t forget they are there to help raise funds for the many worthy causes that otherwise would’t survive without our support. Buying from the shops is absolutely essential if the charities are to survive.
- Social media – In the 10 years that I’ve been running #LincsConnect I’ve noticed some big changes in how people use the various platforms. I’ve noticed a big rise in the professionally run accounts (some companies run several accounts for different clients) and I’ve also noticed the reluctance of many accounts to share anyone else messages or support others. I’ll talk more about these two subjects later.
Obviously there are many other ways to support local businesses, charities and organisation but I’ll focus on my main observations first if that’s OK?
This concept certainly isn’t new. However, during the Covid19 pandemic it has become much more important and (thankfully) much more prolific. We know how important our local CoOp, Post office, newsagent and Spar shops are. Many of them are in walking distance (for those who are able) and stock locally produced products. Perhaps, with the use of ‘people power’ they might be able to stock more local local produce to help the local economy even further. A polite request from customers or local traders may be all it takes. It’s worth a try! In addition to helping to support local traders (including the shop owners and staff) it must have also come to your attention that during the lockdown there have been less emissions, less fossil fuel burned and less litter. All of these positives are good for the planet so let’s see if we can maintain our recent good practices.
This isn’t something that I have ever considered for my own businesses before Covid19 but it is something that I have been doing during the lockdown. FaceTime and WhatsApp video calling has been a fantastic way to maintain contact with my clients while reducing my fuel usage in my truck. It’s definitely a practice that I intend to maintain. During the lockdown I’ve been busy writing blogs and searching for companies who sell online. Some are using Etsy, some use Facebook and others use Twitter. I’m sure there are other platforms that are equally as good or even better but I haven’t come across them yet. The obvious choice and probably the most popular is direct selling from websites. Many people have their own eCommerce shop on their website which is easily maintained by the trader and convenient for the customer. If, like me, you are a bit of a technophobe you’ll be able to find website designers who will be able to build a site for you or help you with your existing site. If you would like to get in touch with any designers please feel free to ask me for some suggestions. After all, that is what Lincs ‘Connect’ is for!
I often include charities in my blogs because I feel they need all the help they can get. I’ve focused on very small charities through to the very big charities and the one thing that they all have in common is their use of social media. The posts may not raise funds directly but their constant presence certainly helps to raise your awareness of them
Share The Love
Looking at the various accounts on social media I often make up my mind whether I should support them or not simply by looking at their posts. The ones who never share anyone else posts, have conversations or try in any way to support anyone else is a big red flag for me. I find myself asking the question ‘why should I support them when they don’t support others and are very unlikely to support me?’ I’m a big believer in helping others so when I find someone who shows no interest other than to post their own tweets I tend to move on to find someone who is more sociable and supportive.
Buying And Selling
I’ve noticed Fiona @OrigArtPrints on Twitter while searching the #LincsConnect hashtag and really like what she has been painting on old maps. Her main sales come from Craft Shows but obviously they haven’t been open over the last few months so, being creative she turned her attention to Facebook and Twitter for her sales. Facebook has been successful but Twitter less so. However, her Twitter account is a good platform for showcasing what she does and for directing people to her Facebook account. It is important to use more than one platform on social media if you want to increase your client base. It’ll be interesting to see if future sales turn more towards social media and less towards the craft fairs. Only time will tell. I think these paintings on old maps are fabulous. You have to admit, they do bring the map to life. Here is another example:
If you would like more information about Fionas art just click on the picture for a link to her Facebook page. I’m sure she will be happy to see you there and you’ll be Able to see selections of her cards and key rings too.
Websites, Social Media And YouTube
I’m no expert of course but it does appear to me that one of the best ways to find a website (given that you probably didn’t know the sites name or even that you wanted to make a purchase) is through social media. I’ll say that bit again just to clarify, “through ‘social’ media”. Why the emphasis on ‘social’? Well, I’ve noticed far too often that many people are using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show off their products and gain new customers but quite often don’t realise that they need to talk to their followers to get continued engagement and (hopefully) new sales. Put it this way, if you don’t talk to me on social media I’m not likely to notice you. On the other hand, if you do talk to me but I don’t talk back you’ll soon stop talking to me. Either way, I would be the loser so that’s why it’s always best to be ‘social’ on social media! While being pre-occupied with social media I almost forgot about YouTube. Surely I can’t be the only person who searches YouTube on a very regular basis for music and information? I do think it’s a great platform for showing your products (you’ll have seen some of my YouTube videos if you’ve been reading my other blogs), courses and skills. While the social media could drive potential customers to your website the same driving force could apply to YouTube. I feature a local band of the week each day on twitter and invariably I find the bands on Twitter or Facebook first then either follow a link to their YouTube channel or take a few seconds to search for them in the YouTube search bar. This band (Saboteurs) from Sleaford have really got my attention this week. You can follow them on Twitter @sabsbanduk for regular music posts and updates about upcoming gigs when Covid19 restrictions allow. Alternatively you can go straight to their website www.saboteursband.co.uk for lots more info and a chance to purchase their new album.
The Saboteurs YouTube channel – just click on the picture to go straight there. It’s as easy as that and if you like good Indie music I think you’ll like this too
See You Soon…
I hope you like my brief blog about using social media for selling and finding new customers. Please feel free to leave a comment below and share the post with your friends and contacts. Hopefully I’ll see you when I search the #LincsConnect hashtag again soon.
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When The Sun Goes Down…
Are you a lunchtime or evening meal sort of person? Whether you prefer to call it dinner or tea it makes no difference but I’m guessing the majority of people reading this will have their main meal in the evening. Perhaps the ‘lockdown’ has helped to change your eating habits? I do know that initially (way back in March) we were all suddenly thinking about food and toilet rolls. However, the initial rush and panic seems to be over now and our shopping habits are starting to return to something close to normal. Have you been missing your normal foods though? Many of them have been in short supply and we have been discouraged from nipping out to our favourite restaurants to eat with friends. However, some Lincolnshire companies have come up with some ingenious ways of surviving the lockdown so I thought I would share with you some of the establishments that I know of who are still trading and supplying take-away food and drink for us all to enjoy.
We don’t have to wait for the sun to go down to enjoy our dinner (or is it tea)? but it does pay to plan ahead. If you’re looking for something for lunch, dinner or an evening feast let’s see if we can share some ideas. I’ll list some of the Lincolnshire establishments that I know of but it certainly won’t be exhaustive so if you know someone that I’ve missed out please let me know in the comments below:
Caythorpe Water Mill are providing takeaway pizzas and burgers so if you’re in the area why not pre-book yours today? Just click on the picture to place your order or telephone 01507 451366
Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese provide delivery throughout the UK as well as pre-arranged sales direct from the farm. Click on the logo to go straight to their website www.lincolnshirepoachercheese.com or follow them on twitter @Poachercheese
Mail order Poacher Cheese delivered straight to your door. Click on the picture to go to the Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese Twitter page
Apley Lamb (Near Wragby) offers a free local delivery of freshly boxed lamb cut to order. Click on the logo to go straight to their facebook page or follow on Twitter @ApleyLamb
Post Covid-19 – Are We Ready?
Without doubt things have changed. The way we have lived our lives, the way we have thought, the way we have communicated, the way we have shopped….. A huge proportion of what we’ve done over the last few months has changed compared to what we were doing in February. I never would have thought that I would have managed without my car but since the Covid-19 outbreak my car has been on the drive and hasn’t moved other than to roll it forwards or backwards a few inches to prevent flat spots on the tyres. There will be a time in the not too distant future when I’ll be using it again of course. Being a mobile masseur and Personal Trainer I’ll need to be thinking of ways to see my clients again while keeping them (and myself) safe. We do of course, have the threat of re-infection looming over us so now is the time to make adjustments to help prevent that from happening.
Social media has been a lifeline for many of us as it’s allowed us to maintain contact with friends and followers throughout the lockdown. I’ve used it to collate lots of information and keep in touch with all sorts of people. It’s reminded me just how resilient we are and how well we can adapt. However, we are entering a new era at the moment where some of our old rules and precautions need to be revised. Shops are starting to open again which really is positive news but I wonder how many shop owners and local businesses have really thought through the precautions required for safely re-opening or increasing the staff levels in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19? Social (or should that be ‘physical’) distancing is at the top of our agenda at the moment of course. Those of us who have used the supermarkets recently have become used to it very quickly and the small businesses (butchers, bakers, local food stores) have become adept at restricting the numbers of people allowed in the shop at once.
Recent conversations on social media with Alex of The Specialist Safety Group have made me realise that many of us may not be as ready as we thought we were for the ‘grand re-opening’ of our businesses. Yes, we all know about distancing and restricted entry to our businesses but have we considered other Health & Safety at Work issues too? We don’t want, or anticipate having a fire at work but we have to plan for it. How would fire evacuation change with the new distancing precautions? Perhaps we have a dedicated first responder at work should someone be taken ill. Have rules change with the distancing precautions? Perhaps insurance companies may require us to have new documentation/risk assessments post lockdown? What about cleaning? Will our ‘normal’ cleaning practices need to change? I know my cleaning practices will have to change. My massage couch and exercise equipment will need to be cleaned with different solutions from now on.
If you have any concerns about starting up again and returning to ‘business as normal’ you might like to chat to Alex at the Specialist Safety Group Ltd. He has a dedicated ‘Return To Work Safely’ package that normally costs around £339.00 but by quoting this LincsConnect blog you’ll be able to receive a 10% discount. I’m sure this offer won’t last forever though so contact Alex on 07870 760 145 to confirm your discount. You can also email him at email@example.com or click on the logo above to go straight to the website
Stourton Estates is delivering Venison around the County and orders over £25.00 can enjoy FREE delivery within 20 miles of LN9 5PB
Mountain Abbey Parks Farm Shop selling fresh and cooked meats, chutneys, plumb bread….. You’ll need to click on the picture to follow the link to their Facebook page for a full list!
Fully online and sold locally around the County you can easily get your hands on some of these award winning botanical chocolates. simply click on the logo to go straight to Fionas’ website to learn more or click this link Sciolti Chocks to follow on Facebook
Sandhams Wine Merchant in Caistor offer both in store (social distance rules apply) and mail order options with a huge range of wines and easy to navigate price list. Click on this link to go to their Facebook page or click on their logo to go straight to the website
Docks Beers is more than just ‘beer’ but you’ll need to visit their shop to discover their full range – and it’s all delivered too! If you fancy a gin, they’ve got that covered too. click on the logo to go straight to their website/shop.
For more information about Docks Beers click on the photo to go to their facebook page or follow them on twitter @DocksBeers
Message In A Bottle deliver a huge range of drinks across Cleethorpes & Grimsby. From local to international beers, gins, rums…. You need to check their website for a full list. You can find them on Facebook by clicking on their logo or or on Twitter @miabcleethorpes
This picture says it all so just click on it to go straight to the order page. Enjoy
Let’s Get Back to Doing What We Do Best
I don’t know about you but I’m really ‘chomping at the bit’ to get cracking again. I love helping people and making them feel better whether that’s through exercise, massage, injury rehabilitation or injury prevention. Many people will have been suffering with stress related problems since the lockdown and my diary is already starting to fill with new clients who are suffering with neck, shoulder, back and sleep issues as a result of the lockdown. If you are in need of help please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or pay a visit to my website www.mandarintherapies.com or www.mandarinfitness.com where you’ll get a better idea of what I have to offer. I’m also on facebook of course Mandarin Therapies & Mandarin Fitness so feel free to follow me there too.
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO PLAY THE FULL VIDEO
When I say I have a website; if you visit it you’ll quickly notice that it’s a very old site. I do have a new one but I would much rather be doing my fitness and therapies than ‘wasting time’ on the website stuff! Am I alone? Does anyone else put off doing admin ‘stuff’ in favour of getting on with the real work?
As a sole trader I really value my time with clients and would much rather be doing what I do best than shuffling paper and files! Needless to say, much of my admin work gets put off to the last minute before getting actioned. I know I shouldn’t but…!
Perhaps I should consider the services of a Virtual Assistant (VA)? I’ve been chatting to Nikki from www.Time4U-VA.co.uk who certainly seems to have the admin sorted! My muddled, dyslexic brain is reflected on my muddled and (seemingly) disorganised desk. Unlike Nikki who is adept at multi tasking with a clear desk. Is there such a thing as desk envy?
Perhaps it’s time to re-think my working practices? I know that I’m going to have to work very long hours (and probably 7 days a week) to catch up with the backlog of work over the months between now and Christmas. I’m guessing that my experience will be mirrored across many industries and not least by the food & drink industries. Let’s face it, Lincolnshire has some fine artisan food and drink producers as well as some fantastic restaurants and bars. Preparing and serving or delivering these fantastic products is a passion for most but I wonder how many really have the time for updating menus and completing the admin? Don’t get me started on book keeping! Thankfully I don’t have payroll issues being a sole trader but I can imagine they will be a necessary evil for many businesses. Perhaps ‘now’ is the time to consider how we are going to tackle the admin while staying on top of our game with our work. Perhaps Nikki can help you?
Click on the logo to go straight to the website
Fully Online – You can order your No 12 Chocolatier handmade chocolates online now and receive them in the post. That’s an offer you can hardly refuse! Follow @No12Chocolatier on Twitter and just click on the picture to go straight to the online shop.
Uncle Henrys Farm Shop is providing a home delivery service within a range of 10 miles but don’t let the Gainsborough address fool you as it’s situated on the A15 and the delivery range is quite extensive. Click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or follow them on twitter from here: @unclehenryslinc
Brakes Food Hub in Grantham provides the full call & collection service for all of your food shopping from fresh to frozen to cake to…. you’ll need to click on the picture to go to their website to see more. Offering a call and collect service 7 days a week. Tel 0344 800 4900 (option 4) place your order. Follow @John_Nicky on twitter too for more updates.
Gelston Lamb deliver in the Grantham/Sleaford areas. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter for more updates @GelstonLamb
Teaspoon Tea Company have a free local delivery service and a full mail order selection including tea, coffee, gift packs, gift vouchers, birthday cards, chocolate by @No12Chocolatier honey by @ArtisanHoneyCo and quite a bit more. Click on the picture to go to their website. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised
Anderson’s Family Butchers are providing a ‘text and collect’ system in Heighington. Simply text our order then collect when it’s ready. 07983003435 or 07880745083 – click on the picture to follow on Facebook
The Inn On The Green, Ingham (on the outskirts of Lincoln) are providing a local takeaway service of food and drinks. Click on the photo to go straight to the order form and you can follow them on Facebook The Inn On The Green Ingham
The Bowl Full Tapas restaurant will be providing pre-paid take away meals from 15 May. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page or follow them on twitter @BowlFullTapas
Browns Pie Shop – Orders are cooked and delivered cold for re-heating at home. Orders can be delivered or collected. Click on this picture for more info or call 07809 477126 to pace an order
Cafe Portico are now providing take away pizza for your delight. Orders taken from your car (or on foot if you’re walking there), cooked to order and delivered fresh to you when it’s ready. All made possible with mobile contactless payments. Click on the logo to visit their Facebook page or go to their website for the latest menu www.cafeportico.co.uk You can also follow them on twitter @CaffePortico
Grow Your Own
Isn’t it fantastic that we have all of these lovely local Lincolnshire restaurants, cafes and takeaways who’re working hard to serve us during the lockdown and beyond. They really have been up against it and are a testament to the resilience that has been so evident during the lockdown. Being in Lincolnshire we’re lucky to have such wide open spaces with lots of farmers producing some superb crops for us and for the local restaurants. Wouldn’t it be nice though if we could produce some of the fruit and vegetables for ourselves? Not all of us are able to enjoy a large garden so perhaps a vegetable patch isn’t a high priority when we need to consider making our space into a multi purpose area for children to play and for us to relax. However, having chatted to Simon (you may remember him from previous blogs) I think he’s found the perfect solution. If you have space for a straw bale in your garden or yard it appears that you have space for a vegetable patch!
Having looked around Simon’s website I’m at a loss as to what to include here. Not only does he run StrawbaleVeg growing courses from your own home (corporate events too) but he sells own brand seeds at realistic prices. I was very impressed to learn that while some others had increased prices significantly during the lockdown Simon kept his prices static. Well done Sir, I’m very impressed. It’s little things like this that catch my attention and impress me the most. I digress – who would have thought that you could grow your vegetables in a concrete yard or in such a small space? Obviously Simon did and I think it’s a fantastic idea. I was going to include pictures of the vegetable seeds that he supplies but there are far to many to list here. If you click on the picture above you’ll be taken straight to the www.strawbaleveg.co.uk website where you’ll be able to make your won selection and have them delivered.
Click on this picture to purchase The Strawbale Gardeners Handbook Vol 1
Would you believe that Simon has also produced an eBook which can be downloaded by clicking on the picture above ‘and’ a DVD that can be purchased from the website www.strawbaleveg.co.uk – you have been busy Simon!
Curry Jacks provides a mobile service around the Lincoln area on a Pre-Order basis. Take a look at their Facebook page for regular updates by clicking on the logo or follow on Twitter @CurryJackscaf
Damons, Doddington Road, Lincoln will be offering a drive through service from Thursday 21 May 20. Call ahead with your order (01522) 887722 or click on the menu to visit their website
Doddington Hall Farm Shop are still open for your shopping but please obey the social distancing rules. Follow them on Twitter @DoddingtonHall or click on the logo to find them on facebook.
FAB Craft Beer from Fiskerton are busy delivering boxed beer as well as bottled beers around the Lincoln area so why not click on the picture to follow them on Facebook or perhaps follow them on Twitter too @FABcraftbeer
The Garden Tea Room in North Hykeham is providing a Lincoln and surrounding area home delivery service for a modest £2.00 and they also have cakes, cheesecakes and lots more goodies to choose from. Click on this picture to follow them on Facebook and take a look at their menu below:
Burton Waters is the home to The Greek House who are now providing takeaway meals. Have a look at their menu and pre-order on 01522 542758. Click on the menu to follow them on Facebook
Imperial Teas of Lincoln are providing FREE DELIVERY on their mail order teas and coffees right now. That’s a great offer that can’t last forever so be sure to get your order in quickly. You can follow Imperial Teas Lincoln on facebook or on Twitter @Imperial_Teas Click on the logo to go straight to website to make your order – If you like your coffee strong I can personally recommend the Voodoo Comet.
Lincolnshire Brewing Company – delivering a selection of beers to suite every taste or collect directly from Langworth. Click on the picture to find them on facebook or follow them on Twitter @LincsBrewCo
MaCH Indian Restaurant (Wragby Road) are now offering a takeaway service. Click on the logo to find them on Facebook or go straight to their website to place your order www.machrestaurant.co.uk
Ole Ole Tapas Bar offer a delivery and (social distancing) collection service for their meals. Click on the logo to go to their Facebook page and click on the link here to go straight to their menu/order form www.oleolelincoln.co.uk or call them on 01522 534222
Lincoln & Gainsborough – Redhill Farm Shop offer a delivery and contactless collection service with safe in-store shopping too. Click on the picture to go straight to their website or follow them on Twitter @RedhillFarmPork
Sammys Chinese takeaway is set to open again on 20 May with social distancing rules in place (of course). Click on the picture to go to the ‘Lincoln food To Go’ Facebook group page. You can find Sammy’s Kitchen at Unit 11 Lambeth House, Woodhall Drive and you can call to make your order on 01522 567333
Cafe Shanti Vegan restaurant are now doing take away hot and frozen food (including breakfasts and curries) so why not order yours today? you can call them on 07735161481 or find them on twitter @Cafe_Shanti and Facebook by clicking on the picture
Veg Out Lincoln provides a delivery service in the Lincoln area including a vegan inspired recipe box and plant powered food plan. Gemma will have her new online booking site and new website ready very soon but in the mean time you can contact her through twitter @vegoutincoln or click on the picture for a link to her book
Beaumon’t Deli on Bridge Street in Louth are open to take your orders. You can follow them on Facebook Beaumont’s Deli or call 01507 355927
Takeaway Weekends. Call 01778346952 to order or click on this picture to go to the website
Cote Hill Cheese delivers cheese and milk locally. Click on the picture to go to their Facebook page
Minting (near Wragby) Farm Shop has a collection service with your safety in mind. Give them a call today to place your order. Click on the logo to go straight to their website
Lymn Bank Farm handmade cheese. FREE delivery on orders over £20.00. You can follow them on Twitter @lymnbankfarm or click on this logo to go straight to their Facebook page
FREE DELIVERY. Go too www.postacheese.com for details and your order form or click on this picture to take you straight there.
A Little Luxury Distillery is still taking orders for Gin & Rum which will be delivered direct to your home. Click on the picture to go to the shop or follow on Facebook A Little Luxury and Twitter @ALittleLuxuryLt
A real pub providing real beer. Buy a bottle and bring it back to get a refill – what an excellent idea. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook for an up-to-date- list of times and ales
Takeaway Afternoon Tea from @TheElm_Tree just outside Spilsby. Click on the picture to find them on Facebook and don’t forget, you can buy gift vouchers too!
Woodhall Spa Bakery & Delicatessen provides fresh bread, cakes meats and much more. A gem in the Woodhall Spa crown offering Safe Distancing shopping. Click the picture to go to their Facebook page
The India Village restaurant and takeaway are providing takeaway meals during the lockdown. If you would like to order your meal click on the logo to go to the website or follow them on Facebook India Village. Alternatively you can give them a call on 01526 354657 or 01526 352223
The Tea House In The Woods is providing a range of foods from Afternoon Tea to Roast Meals and they’re all Take Away too with strict social distancing rules. click on the picture to go to their website or give them a ring on 01526 354455. You can also find them on Facebook at Tea House In The Woods
All this talk of food has made me quite hungry! This list is going to be added to but I’m going to get myself something to eat now. Bon appetite everyone and please don’t forget to let me know if there are any takeaway/safe shopping food outlets that need to be on here as I can add them later.
Mandarin Therapies provides a bespoke mobile complementary therapies service from the comfort of your own home. Gift vouchers are available now then book your massage for later in the year. Mandarin Therapies “Feel the difference”