Support to help your growing design business…

“Brian and Giles have helped us tremendously over the past few months. Not only has our sales process changed but we have also gained a new enthusiasm for our sales strategy, we are looking forward to future analysis and improvement. We can now easily see where our sales department is working well, and where its struggling – a great help!”

 Danielle Dunn, Managing Director of Danielle Dunn Creative Agency



DDCA is a marketing communications agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne, delivering a range of services centred on digital marketing strategies. DDCA have been successful growing their business on the back of successful marketing campaigns and were looking to further improve the efficiency and effectivenss of how DDCA managed the pitching process. The objective was to improve the communication internally through this process and to reduce the response time required to pitch.

What we did

– Top level process map of the enquiry and pitching process.

– Designed more effective ways of transmitting this information.

– Determined points in the process where key performance indicators would drive the right continuous improvement actions.

– Initiated a standard paperwork approach to simplify and manage the rate of growth in the enquiries being received.
– Created an action plan for ongoing development.

– Developed tracking tools to help DDCA manage pitching performance.

The Results

– A more streamlined pitching process which has benefitted the whole team.
– Reduced time spent on less profitable pitches.
– Improved time management on medium to large pitches.
– Correct recording of data to allow future analysis and improvement.
– Reduced admin time for the whole sales department.

We can though Qa Business Improvement ltd offer two creative businesses  workshop programmes, one aimed at streamlining the pitching process and the other aimed at organising and optimising the production part of the business. Both workshops are priced at £2000.00 (exc VAT) and can attract contributory funding in many cases.

For further information contact Brian Rothery oon 07785 236371.



Burgundy Difficult Year – third hailstorm in two months!

Burgundy’s wine growers are used to the quirks of nature, especially rain, humidity and the disease pressure that accompanies them. However, 2012 has been particularly challenging. On Aug. 1, the third hailstorm in 2 months unleashed its fury on some vineyards in the Côte de Beaune.

The latest in a series of violent storms affected vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault and parts of the Hautes Côte de Beaune. In a region where most of the row orientation runs east to west, the south-facing side of the vines were damaged, with as much as 50 percent of grapes lost.

Aggravating the situation is the fact that many growers had already removed leaves to promote air circulation to combat the spread of mildew. This left grape clusters exposed and more susceptible to damage from hail.

This was the latest setback in a year that has been unrelenting. April brought cold, wet conditions that retarded the growth of the vines. The precipitation continued into May, with alternating periods of heat and cold, perfect conditions for mildew.

The fight against mildew has required more treatments than usual, but the wet weather has made it difficult to get machinery into the vineyards. Growers have resorted to spraying from canisters carried on the backs of workers.

Violent storms in June resulted in the first hail striking parts of Beaune, Savigny-lès–Beaune and Chorey-lès-Beaune. The continued cold, wet weather resulted in a long, drawn-out flowering with coulure (poor fruit set) and the constant threat of mildew. The second hailstorm hit Volnay and Pommard on June 30. It has rained on and off since.

Maconnais pushes for Premier Crus

Maconnais pushes for Premier Crus (Courtesy Decanter magazine)

Macon is currently the only region of Burgundy without any Premier Crus, and producers in Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles and Saint Véran have been waging a six-year long campaign to get recognition for their best vineyards.

In 2010 they sent a geological study of the terroir of 400ha and 73 individual climats to the National Institute for Appellations (INAO).

The intention is to show the measurable differences between land that should be classified Premier Cru and that of surrounding plots.

-continue reading article

Leadership and Tennis Stroke 4: The Inner Game

Leadership and Tennis Stroke 4 – The Inner Game

One of the most influential management books of the seventies was Tim Gallwey’s book The Inner Game of Tennis.

As most people can guess by the title, the “inner game” of tennis is the game that takes place in the mind of the player and is played against barriers such as nervousness, self-doubt, etc.A list of the mental and emotional qualities of some of the best leaders – call it the inner game of leadership can be recognized by the following characteristics: continue reading this article

Leadership and Tennis Stroke 3: People Leadership

Leadership and Tennis Stroke 3 – People Leadership

Great leadership requires a deep understanding of people.


Excellent communication is a vital starting point. But in addition, you need to understand what people need to be successful and motivated in their jobs.

Here is a simple framework that has proven to be one of the most valuable things I have ever learned about leadership.

There are five critical things a person needs from a leader in just about any situation: continue reading this article