Monday, 18 August 2008

It's That Time of Year Again - thank goodness!

Just to let you know - Social Networking Guineapig will be temporarily unavailable. She has undertaken a new role which starts tomorrow as a "sun worshipper" in the Algarve.

The new position has arrived just in time as I thought I was beginning to notice the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (even though we are still in the middle of Summer)!

I imagine she's not the only one...rain, rain go away!!!

Disaster Plans - Make Sure You Have One!!

On Friday last week there was a fire at the King's Hotel in Darlington.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors is "sandwiched" between the King's Hotel and other businesses.

It's a very strange layout. Latimer Hinks has been situated in Priestgate since 1872, we're kind of like a tardis, we look small on the outside, but once inside you find a warren of rooms and floors.

The back of Latimer Hinks faces out onto some of the rooms within the King's Hotel, there is a square of land inbetween Latimer Hinks and the back of the Kings Head (only accessible by our fire exits and a small walkway from the main street). Part of the Kings Head also goes above some of our offices - a flyover.

The fire was an event which was obviously out of our control and at one point was out of control for the fire crew!

See the full story here - if you look at the top right of the photo you can just see the square of land at the back of the Latimer Hinks offices - that's how close we were to the fire!

Priestgate had to be evacuated and the Latimer Hinks Disaster Plan put in place. Luckily the fire started in the early hours and by 7am calls were made to staff asking them not to turn up from work.

Judith Middleton was in charge - you'll find Judith's comments here

If you don't have a Disaster Plan, think about writing one. You'll find some useful information here.

Luckily, no-one was hurt. Guests from the King's Head got to stay at the local leisure centre and the wedding reception that was arranged for that day was also transferred to the Dolphin Centre.

So, all in all businesses, wedding and hotel guests had a lucky escape thanks to the Fire Brigade and the various Disaster Plans that were in operation that day.

Oh, and Latimer Hinks did not sustain any damage, although my room smelly very "sooty"!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Promoting Business Through Social Networking

Increasingly, businesses are turning to social networking websites to find new customers.

The current financial climate sees businesses "cutting back" and are now looking for alternative ways to market the individual, as well as the firm.

Social networking is the solution - it provides a low cost/economical way of reaching potential Clients and target markets.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors actively encourage social networking and are members of sites such as:

LinkedIn, Women into the Network, Facebook.

These sites have added bonuses. LinkedIn provides a "question" section where you can ask LinkedIn users for advice. I have asked questions and have been overwhelmed with responses from all over the world. I posted a blog a while back on How to get the Most out of LinkedIn, take a look, it's well worth the time.

Women Into the Network, this group also organises "get togethers", presentations, information days etc. You get to meet the people you have been networking with "in the flesh". As well as this you can post press releases, events etc all free of charge. These are also sent directly to members inboxes! How's that for reducing promotional costs!

Facebook - I think that the majority of people already know about Facebook. I use it to "push" press releases and blog entries which then directs traffic to the Latimer Hinks website.

The website is4profit has written the published the following article:

Market Slowdown Firms find Customers via Social networking

So, if you are trying to beat the recession and need to look for alternative methods of promotion have a go at social networking! All it costs is your time...

Monday, 4 August 2008

Credit Crunch becomes Factor in Britain's Divorces

Originally uploaded by Ape Iron

We're all feeling the financial squeeze - the credit crunch!

The increase of energy, petrol and food prices combined with a shortage of credit is stretching couples to the limit and many are separating as a result.

Judith Middleton, family partner at Latimer Hinks has seen an increase in divorce work over the summer holidays - which usually provide a lull in divorce enquiries. For the full story click the link below.

Judith Middleton Warns of Post-Summer Divorce Peak