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Well House Consultants module G502
Business Practice
Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Business Practice. We provide open source training course and business hotel accommodation in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

Background
Although we're in the training business, we come across many wider aspects of business practice. On the pages linked below, we share our own business practises and comment on others that we have seen. Where we see something that we like and it's appropriate, we'll adopt it. Where we see something that we question, we'll look at our own business and try to find a way to do much better.
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Articles and tips on this subjectupdated
4520No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others!
Well House Consultants lists all of its numbers with the telephone peference service. We are a small company, with members of our team undertaking detailed techincal work and every call pulls us from that work and we can take a while to get back into the flow. We are delighted to hear from customers, ...
2015-09-30
 
4415Buffet review - taking the price into account
I've noticed that customer reviews tend not to take price into consideration, and indeed the most slamming of reviews come from people who have picked up a real bargain. That's one of the reasons (another being that we've not got the capacity to handle the extra traffic at Well House Manor) that we don't ...
2015-02-05
 
4293Certification
Certification - for or against? Our training is designed to teach people to undertake their employed role, and is usually paid for by their employer. And as such, our course agendas are tailored to teach them what they need to know for their work rather than to pass any certification exams. That ...
2014-09-15
 
4107Snog, Marry, Avoid
Snog, Marry, Avoid The 80 - 20 rule. 80% of potential training contracts give 20% of the heartache, and the remaining 20% have the potential to give the other 80% of the heartache. And one of the secrets to success is to learn which are the 20% of jobs to walk away from before an order is ever placed, ...
2013-06-08
 
3755Cruising on the Mersey Ferry?
"Even if the conference was held on the Mersey Ferry, I would have gone". I've had the pleasure of meeting the authors and their immediate teams for Perl, PHP, Python, MySQL and some of the Linux elements, and much of that was thanks to Geek Cruises, now part of Insight Cruises. These voyages of meeting ...
2012-06-09
 
3750Matching opening hours to when customers can come in and buy
Supermarkets such as Asda are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow, and parking in Melksham is free too, thanks to Wiltshire Council. What an excellent day it would have been to encourage local residents - who may be out and about town - to use their High Street. Small problem - many of the ...
2012-06-09
 
3665Will will smile?
Will won't! The waiter for the second half of my meal later was labelled (and I'm sure named) "Will", but I mused that "Won't" would have been more fitting. I've been something of a fan of Travel Inn, then Premier Travel Inn and now Premier Inn over the years, and seen them grow. But as organisations ...
2012-03-24
 
3613Keeping Business Local. But is that realistic?
"Shop in your High Street" says the Town Council, the Melksham Independent Traders, the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Melksham Independent News, and many more. "Shop Online" say Wiltshire Council (via Wiltshire Online), and many more including some of those very same businesses ...
2012-02-18
 
1590 to 10 or 80 to 20 rule
"The first 90% of a software project takes the first 90% of the time, and the final 10% takes the second 90%" - Anon, but I'm sure someone can attribute it. I scanned the flyleaf of a book at Heathrow a couple of weeks ago, and it was talking about an 80 / 20 rule, where 80% of effort goes on 20% of ...
2011-12-31
 
3506Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches
A telephone call yesterday, and the young lady introduced herself as Ellie, and started to talk to me about financial planning. She explained that her boss would be in the area next week, and asked if he could meet. "It's funny you should call today - just a couple of hours after a conversation I was ...
2011-11-03
 
3333Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way
I really enjoy having people come and stay at Well House Manor - our mugs have said "Come as a Student, leave as a friend" for many years and that still holds for delegates. For hotel visitors, it's more "Come as a guest and leave as a friend" - we wish to welcome them, make them feel welcome, and provide ...
2011-06-26
 
3157A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland
On 31st January, I traveled by overnight ferry from Birkenhead to Belfast - fare, 40 pounds, to include a dinner in the evening and breakfast the next morning. On February 3rd, I returned - fare 40 pounds, but "as from 1st February we no longer include dinner and breakfast in this fare" - and dinner ...
2011-02-10
 
1913Alastair Darling helps make paperwork and confusion
Quite frankly, I'm not convinced that a drop in VAT from 17.5% to 15% is going to bring us much - if any - new business. A hotel room at our top rate of £95.00 should drop to £92.98 ... an awkward sum, as comes from nearly every VAT inclusive price we would change. It will shake out in the ...
2010-12-26
 
3073Customer Service - the boundary
In our businesses, the customer is king; without the customer we wouldn't be where we are today, and a happy and smiling face should always be presented, and we should always do our very best to provide what the customer wants. Ian walked in to Well House Manor for the first time yesterday, and was ...
2010-12-04
 
2966Cheap Country Hotel in Melksham, Wiltshire?
I received an email, telling me what a good web site design we have (I'm flattered) but also informing me that the author thinks we're not performing very well on search engine ranking. He writes: I was surfing through your website and realized that despite having a good design; it was not ranking ...
2010-09-23
 
2936The service that customers should receive
No matter what's going on behind the scenes, it's my view that customers should receive a consistent, logical, easily understood and ethical service. "Oh - he's talking hotel again" I hear you say. Yes - but I came across an example on a forum that's rail related that got me thinking along these lines. ...
2010-08-27
 
2821Chancellor George Osborne inspires Perl Program
From today's budget speech ... $oldvat = 1.175; $newvat = 1.2;   printf ("%8s %8s %8s\n","net","old","new"); for ($amount=60; $amount<90; $amount++) {   next if ($amount%2 and $amount%5);   $oldgross = $amount * $oldvat;   $newgross = $amount * $newvat;   printf ...
2010-06-23
 
2788Cost of Sales
Let me tell you about a job I did last month ... An approach for our smallest possible training product - one day, non-residential, and least profitable (running as an "extra" one on one day as no standard public course covers the need) lead to a day being penciled into our diary. Follow ups indicated ...
2010-06-02
 
2598An excuse for making a sales call
"We don't like to email people because they might be deceased, and no-one likes getting a letter for a colleague who's passed away. So we phone instead" ... so said a sales caller yesterday. We're a small company, but in such wide ranging business areas that we have to buy everying from soap to web ...
2010-01-27
 
1855Volunteer v Employee - a skewed balance? (FSB)
"But it's not sexy" ... a reason advanced for something that should be newsworthy, or worthy of attention, but hasn't made the headlines. Take, for example, the relationship between volunteers and employed staff within charities and other non-profit organisations. Whereas employed staff has many a ...
2009-11-29
 
2465Melksham Town - asleep or awake?
I'm writing this early - before six in the morning - and already I've been around Melksham town as it starts to awaken for another day, dropping off a Melksham Chamber of Commerce Update Letter through the letterboxes of all the businesses. When I checked all their details for the town map a couple ...
2009-10-21
 
1319Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business
I'm going to share here a forum posting I just made in an obscure corner of the net concerning customer feedback, where a cynical poster (he may have been right to be cynical) was worried that his inputs were not being taken seriously. "But that doesn't mean it will do anything about them" he wrote. My ...
2009-08-31
 
2331Certification Revisted - Lua
I happened upon a "should you be certified" thread relating to Lua while browsing for quite other Lua topics ... it's here, and the initial post appears to provide a reasonable, if admittedly tilted, set of arguments in favour of certification. As it freely admits, "we're looking to set up certification, ...
2009-08-10
 
2283Everyone is in the customer relations business
It's so important that everyone who represents a business represents it well - from 'The Boss' right through to the weekend help. The thought has struck me this weekend - not because of our own business (where I hope that every single one of us is fairly well on the ball) but because of various places ...
2009-07-12
 
2190How you are (re)presented at an exhibition
I congratulate Trowbridge Chamber of Commerce on their Business to Business event ... which I attended this morning. The Trowbridge Civic Centre packed with booths - a chance to re-make old acquaintances, network, and meet some new faces. And also a chance to look at how others present themselves, to ...
2009-05-20
 
2187Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members?
I'm a great believer in "Raising the standards of professionalism in training" - that's the byline of the Institute of IT Training - so when they approached us about becoming a certified member, I listened carefully. Cynics will say that you "get nowt for nowt in this life" ... and indeed that seems ...
2009-05-18
 
2161Get it right ... if it goes wrong, it takes so much effort to sort out!
When things go wrong, it gets very expensive and time consuming indeed to sort them out ... something that I was reminded of in a "personal message" I have just sent to a member of our Coffee Shop Forum. I wrote: "My first priority where something is posted which could have legal implications for the ...
2009-05-09
 
2126Weeding out old phone numbers
Systems grow - "what a good idea" we say in 2000, or 2004 and perhaps it is a good idea at the time. Perhaps it works well. But is it the product for 2009? The problem comes that all the ideas grow into a complex system and with things like phone numbers (and programming languages too - look at ...
2009-04-14
 
2122Commission Creep
"Please sign this and return it - it confirms our telephone conversation". Fortunately, we're small enough to know who we have spoken to, and sharp enough (I think) to pick out rate changes in such documents which could so easily slip by in a larger office. We're noticing commission creep. The well ...
2009-04-08
 
2044Please Trouble me
"I don't like to trouble you" ... so say the British, and the British delegates who come on our courses. It's something of a nationalistic trait (goodness - I hope it isn't that I'm an Ogre, though I understand they have hearts too). But I want people to trouble me!. Why? Because I want to know what ...
2009-02-16
 
906A commitment we won't be making
Last night, Lisa and I went to an introductory meeting arranged by a local group, clearly looking to increase their membership - "Come and meet us and see who we are". They're a group with laudable aims, but somehow I found myself comparing their approach and technique to a time-share sale session (not ...
2009-01-01
 
1342Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam?
While I was away last week, Lisa received two invoices in the post with the Goole logo on them - for 79.99 each - and wondered what I had been ordering. Nothing - I believe they are a SCAM. Having used the esteemed Google search engine itself to look into these and draing a blank, we have taken it ...
2008-09-12
 
1713Ways to accept credit cards - or not!
Here are four statements I've come across in the last 24 hours "We accept credit and debit cards" "We don't take credit or detit cards for payments of under 10 pounds" (which struck me as very negative with words like "don't" and "under". "We only accept credit cards for payments of five pounds and ...
2008-07-20
 
137Certification schemes
Should we offer certified training courses to agendas laid down by the likes of Sun, Adobe and Zend, or should we offer courses to our own agendas? There are arguments both ways, and we reconsider from time to time. I thought you might be interested in a (slightly long) item I wrote in response to ...
2008-05-13
 
121Fair and Simple
Fair and simple We welcome customers at our training centre on public and private courses. If they ask us to present our courses at their offices, we're very happy to do so, but we do charge them the additional expense this puts us to - basically travel and accommodation. Naturally, they want a fixed ...
2008-05-11
 
88Getting the right level of trainer
There are tiers of trainers, and if you're choosing a technical trainer for yourself or your staff, you need someone from the right tier. In the upper tier, you have Experts with a "Capital E". They really know their subject inside out, and they can present courses to highly technical audiences really ...
2008-05-11
 
68Get the strategy worked out and the tactics just fall into place.
I'm always one for finding a little time to think well ahead - it really can be just a little time, and thinking can be done in the shower, driving a car, or seated in a train. I find that if I've thought through the longer term strategy (what do I want to achieve / why are we doing this) then the short ...
2008-05-10
 
27Sales technique
I have what an interviewer would call a "proven sales record". I've taken an average sales territory and turned it into the best in the land. I've less formally helped with sales enquiries for a small training outfit (not ourselves) and seen them thrive with my help. And for the past few years, Lisa ...
2008-05-10
 
1485Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members.
Some poor home school kid in the USA just got the sharp end of my tongue .. I had just signed up to a political forum and so had he (he said) and he wrote: Also I was wondering if you would join my political forum at http://www.xxx.org .(I know this is an advert but it's really hard to get a new board ...
2008-05-10
 
1626Early May - a short chance to regroup and improve
Welcome to May. A mad busy April gives way to a quiet week next week - perhaps caused in a part by the fact that I've simply not had the time to go out marketing courses, and in part by the fact that it's another Bank Holiday week, and in part by the fact that whenever there's a major turbulence in ...
2008-05-02
 
1453What makes our courses special?
It's one thing to provide a training course ... and another to provide an effective training course that the delegate will fondly remember, and the course administrator will book as his first choice for the next student for the same subject. Yesterday evening, I wrote something of our philosophy for ...
2007-12-05
 
1394Business to Business Networking - North and West Wilts / Melksham
We held our third Speed Networking event of the year at Well House Manor yesterday evening ... and our third great success. 20 businesses books ... with everyone to spend five minutes with each other business attending, with a break for a buffet half way through an exhilarating evening. Everyone ...
2007-10-17
 
1373New Month, New Quarter, New Laws
1st October 2007. The minimum wage has risen for adults to 5.52 per hour Check - we're well generous compared to that! Statutory holidays have risen for full time employees to 24 days per year Check - as that includes bank and public hoidays, well in there too. And will still be OK at April 2009 when ...
2007-10-01
 
12630800 043 8225 - a new phone number for Well House
I don't enjoy leaving a message on an answerphone - the lack of feedback as I talk makes me nervous, and I'm never too sure that my message will have been received, so I often prefer to leave things and call back later, or try another supplier if this is my first contact. But with a separate headquarters ...
2007-07-10
 
1260An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs
I've met Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones before; he's "the Black Farmer" with his Devonshire farm, and his famous brand of sauages. Oh - and he's our prospective Conservative MP too. From that meeting before - concerned with local public transport - I got a picture of an assured gentleman with an aristocratic ...
2007-07-06
 
1243Heavy duty hole punch
In the past years, we've punched holes through some 40 metres of manuals! Our electrical punch packed in on us a week ago after seven years of sterling service, and after investigating the cost of repairs it proved more cost effective for us to replace it with a brand new unit. A few small changes ...
2007-06-24
(short)
1157Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it
What an excellent evening! Our Speed Networking evening, organised on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses, drew in around a dozen inividual and a coupe of pairs with a disparate range of products to sell, and a wide variety of requirements to meet - some by using other's products and services. Seated ...
2007-06-23
 
1165Extended Credit request - train in June and be paid in September
Payment terms: "Payment will be made within 60 days of the end of the month in which they are received" says an order that's been passed to me for clearance. Those terms look like a return to the bad old days - should we accept them, we'll complete a course in the first few days of June, and invoice ...
2007-04-27
 
1133B-2-B Networking, 20th April. Useful for YOUR business?
On Friday April 20th [2007], we're organising a business to business networking event in Melksham on behalf of the Federation of Small Businesses. This is a golden opportunity for businesses in the West and North Wilts areas (Melksham, Chippenham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Bradford-on-Avon, Corsham, Warminster ...
2007-04-21
 
129Trawling our site to prevent student copying
Updated March 2007 We keep "an eye" on our web traffic - watching for broken links, unusual patterns of access, heavy traffic in particular areas, etc. Yesterday, I came across a crawler known as the TurnitinBot with sufficient accesses to our site to put it high up the list of browsers. A new one on ...
2007-04-01
 
1084Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events
Whether you're running a small company with a handful of staff, or a multi-million pound operation, you've still got the same commercial issues to look after, and virtually the same set of legal requirements on you with regards so staff, business operations, taxes and so on. There are some, limited, ...
2007-02-20
 
1057Selling by phone and Skype - our policy
Ever been "bugged" by sales calls ...as we enter the new business arena of being a hotel as well as a trtaining company, we're now being subjected to twice the number of these calls, and people are starting to sell via Skype too. So ... for our staff ... and myself ... here's a policy statement: It ...
2007-01-30
 
883Age discrimination law
I'm going to propose a qualified welcome to the new law on age discrimination in the work place. In general I'm in favour - but I cannot agree with the cutoff at age 65, and I fear the extra red tape and potential effect of a sue-happy employee (or prospective employee) or two on a business. Both ...
2006-10-03
 
869UNABLE TO ATTEND
"Unable to Attend" - so says the notification attached to a refund cheque that I've received for a course that I had booked in May to attend in July. It's taken two months to get the refund. I felt the wording "unable to attend", whilst technically correct - was extremely cheeky. Why was I unable ...
2006-09-16
 
849Staff Meeting
With Well House Consultants growing - just over a month now until we open Well House Manor, and lots happening on many fronts - we've instigated a monthly staff meeting. It's to ensure that everyone's in the picture as to what has been happening in all departments, and what will be happening in the ...
2006-08-30
 
808Sales call
Unusually - VERY unusually - I'm making a sales visit to a prospective customer tomorrow. We don't employ a sales rep as such - not a single one. Our staff are all our representatives and if you call us and speak to me, or Lisa or Leah or Christine or Charlotte ... that person will provide you with ...
2006-07-19
 
766Discounts and approved supplier lists
There are times when our "no discounts" policy can bite us in the bum. In reality our policy is that we ALWAYS offer a discount off the sort of rates that you would pay elsewhere for a course on a similar subject and of a similar duration; I've just been comparing a five day Perl course that we provide ...
2006-06-19
 
626Not just a pretty face to answer the phone.
Many years ago when I was the UK's technical expert on range of computer graphics products, one of my sales and marketing colleagues had me return a call to a gentleman who was "Technical Director" of a small but high tech company in Cambridge. Alas, my Technical Director wasn't available, but the lady ...
2006-06-09
 
664Ruby course - oops - it's not happening
I spotted a 1 day Ruby conversion course - presented by one of the "movers and shakers" behind Ruby and Rails - over Easter. And in Europe rather than the USA or Japan too. Fabulous - I'm always keen to learn from the masters; time and money spent listening to the originators of Perl, PHP, MySQL and ...
2006-06-05
 
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A good training room - plenty of space
Topics covered in this module
All aspects of business practise
Complete learning
If you are looking for a complete course and not just a information on a single subject, visit our Listing and schedule page.

Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in Ruby, Lua, Python, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. We run Private Courses throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and Public Courses at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses - even if you live in a different country or continent to us.

We have a technical library of over 700 books on the subjects on which we teach. These books are available for reference at our training centre.


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