Contracts – are they worth the paper they’re written on?

We’re encouraged to have contracts to protect every aspect of business life – but what are they really worth? In my experience, people will breach them if they are so inclined and, unless you have the appetite and money to take the offender to task, there is very little value to the contract. But let’s look at this more positively. A contract is the detailed, written form of an agreement between two parties and that is all it can ever be. There is however a much stronger and more effective contract that is never written down. It is the contract of trust.

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A party menu from 25 years ago – Carpe Diem


This menu, found in a notebook recently, was written by my son aged 11. It was preceded by a guest list and followed by a list of presents he hoped for. The present list included computer games, an England shirt, cocktail cherries and “some real good trainers”. Apart from showing that he really loved hotdogs, this book, blank apart from 3 pages, gives me an insight into his thoughts at that age and takes me back to my own situation at that time. It was 1989, the year I started Alpha.

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Alpha Design & Marketing Beyond Dark, Social Media Campaign
How to get more from your social media pages in 2014

Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely festive break and are now feeling refreshed and ready to take 2014 by the horns!

The start of a new year is often a time of reflection, looking back at the year gone by and enjoying memories of the good times as well as the bad. In terms of business, the bad times are often just as useful as the good as they highlight areas that can be improved. For example, a lot of us have social media pages but we’re not really sure how to best use them. By looking back at lasts year activity you will be able to see what worked well and not so well.

It is important to keep in mind that social media is not to be used as a hard sell. Followers will tune out if all you ever share is sale information or ‘buy this’. Here are some tips to help grow your social media following by engaging with your audience in thought provoking, helpful and exciting ways.

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Shropshire Spice Facebook Page, Alpha design & Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media, Brand Awareness
Content Marketing – What Is It?

You’ve probably heard about content marketing, but do you know what it is and are you doing it?

Content marketing is a term which refers to creative writing which is shared across different platforms including blogs, social media pages and white papers etc. The idea is that potential clients/customers will find this information useful and therefore generate traffic/enquiries to acquire more custom. Content marketing is not focused on selling, but engaging and communicating with existing and potential customers. By delivering ongoing support, interesting and useful information the customer feels a sense of loyalty and will return or be compelled to begin a long lasting relationship. This is what we call Brand Loyalty.

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Alpha Design & Marketing blog writing, branding, marketing
Looking After Your Brand

Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned business person, looking after your brand is one of the most important jobs there is when it comes to protecting your business. Your brand represents the company and everything it stands for. You should treat it like a model employee who you just couldn’t do without. Make sure it gets the attention it deserves and is never put in any awkward positions where it can’t work for you.

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