Every Industry is a Service Industry

The other day I was involved in a discussion group in which a sales rep for a small IT company was asking for suggestions on acquiring more leads. Several good suggestions came up. One person offered that the most important thing the sales person needed to do was understand his company’s product. Another recommended creating a detailed client profile. Still others offered thoughts on everything from cold calling to direct response.

I think we confused the poor fellow.

Here was a person who was trying to attract more customers to his company, but he wasn’t being given any clear direction as to how to go about doing so. No wonder he was so eaten up with anxiety. He wanted simple solutions for bringing in business leads.

We were all off base in the suggestions we gave him.

Time and again companies face the same difficulties:

  • Attracting customers.
  • Retaining the customers they have attracted.
  • Helping customers be successful with their products and services.
  • Keeping the right employees engaged and focused on delivering the company’s unique value to both external and internal customers.

When companies lose their focus, they do none of these well.

It is a company’s focus on (a) what it does consistently well and (b) what sort of business it sets itself up to be that makes the difference. When the company’s focus strays, customers know it and start looking elsewhere for answers to their problems.

What keeps companies focused is attention to the right things as modeled by its leaders and practiced by every employee, every single day. You cannot store attention. You must remember and reinforce what the company does consistently well, what its chosen business principles are, and who it serves not just once in awhile, but ideally in every meeting, at every point of contact, in every moment.

In the case of the IT company sales person looking for leads, the most important thing his company can do is take stock of what it is, what it does, and who it serves. It must use those elements to create the compass that points toward its ideal customers. Armed with such information, the sales rep cannot help but be successful.

It all comes down to who we serve, doesn’t it, and how we serve them, not the other way around. It isn’t our products or services that matter.

It’s our focus on serving the wants of the customer that makes all the difference.

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Business and Industry in Leicester

Historically Leicester has always been most closely associated with clothing and footwear manufacturing trades. Whilst the City of Leicester employment profile shows the largest proportion of city workers to be engaged in manufacturing, over 23%, there are no longer any major large employers in the city’s industries. A lot of this is down to the exporting of the clothes and shoe manufacturing base east to Europe and Asia. Whilst many small manufacturers remain, none of them can be called a major employer and so many of those people involved in manufacturing jobs will be working outside of the city itself.

Equity shoes, whose factory is on Western Road, is a rare survivor of the once thriving shoe-makers in the city. Established in 1886 the company now employs about 150 people making high quality shoes and boots for the European and American markets. It also has a specialist line in men’s dancing shoes. The weekly turn-over of the company is about 5000 pairs of shoes.

Cute and Cuddly, producing a range of baby wear, is one of the few larger clothing manufacturers still to be found in Leicester. Their factory is on Vulcan Road, which was the traditional heartland of the clothing industry in the city.

Probably the largest employer connected to the construction industry is Aggregate Industries who, not surprisingly, produce and supply aggregate materials. They are based at Bardon Hill near Coalville, over 10 miles to the north west of Leicester, where they extract rock, sand and gravel from the local and regional quarries. Also in the construction industry are Caterpillar, who assemble small vehicles for use in the construction industry at Desford.

Originally founded in 1849 at Southgate Street in the city the Leicester brewery Everards is now located at Narborough. Proud to be known as a family business, Everards is the local beer for Leicester drinkers. It produces several brews alongside the traditional Tiger and Beacon bitters, being well known as a producer of a variety of seasonal beers.

Also with its main offices in Narborough is the Alliance & Leicester building society which employs several hundreds of people at their main offices. As a member of the prestigious FTSE 100 index the company is one of the larger retail and commercial banking companies in England. Formed in 1985 by the merger of the then Alliance and Leicester building societies, it became the first building society to purchase a clearing bank when, in 1990, it bought ‘Girobank’. In so doing it also became the company behind the ‘Link’ system of cash dispensers in the UK. Nationwide, the Alliance & Leicester employs over 9000 people.

Fox Industries at Newtown Upthank is a major manufacturer of electrical power components in the UK. They produce everything from Uninterruptible Power Supplies to highly complex filters and converters.

More often associated with Kidderminster in the West Midlands, Creative Carpets in Quarry Lane, Enderby, are a relatively new manufacturing company in Leicester. Producing carpets mainly for the UK market they take pride in using British wool in their products.

Once famed in particular for the hosiery that it produced, alongside its footwear, there is now only one major manufacturer of footwear in Leicester. Established in 1970 Jemsox Limited started life in 1934 as Debonair, producing children’s socks from the then ‘cutting edge’ material – Nylon. Now located in Welford Road in one of the old Victorian mill buildings, Jemsox is starting to extend its lines and has launched a range of men’s socks under the original Debonair name.

A host of small clothing manufacturers do continue to do business in Leicester city. Although too numerous to name them all, they include companies such as; All Corporate Workwear, Madhu Manufacturing, Raymond Chivers, Gulwant S Bains, Caroline M Stones and Razi Khan. Many other clothing manufacturers have relocated out of the city, such as the outdoor clothes specialist Bruntwood Company, who are based in Hinckley.

Dreamworld in Ivanhoe Street Leicester specialise in dance wear clothing. An old established company they produce dance clothing from ballet costumes to formal ballroom gowns. They can also produce designs to order.

Since 1974 Fashionware Manufacturers Limited, or FML, have been producing jeans and casual trousers from its Gypsy Lane factory. Capable of producing 30,000 garments a week, it also has manufacturing facilities in Morocco and Tunisia. FML is now one of the larger employers in the clothing manufacturing industry in Leicester.

Leicester also has all the companies that make up what is referred to as the ‘service sector’ as well as its historic manufacturing base. Somewhere in-between the two is Formation records. Founded in 1989 its greatest claim to fame is being the original record label that a then emerging band called Oasis signed for. Formation records’ main office is on Charles Street in the city centre.

Surpac Minex are a software development company specializing in support software to the mining industry. Unsurprisingly, given the past history of coal mining in Leicestershire their main UK offices are in Coalville, Leicestershire.

A main supplier of IT support to local businesses is Ulysses Limited at the Troon Business Centre in Humberstone Lane. They can provide remote or on-site support to companies with IT problems or development issues.

Caterers and Their Equipment – A Brief Explanation of the Food Service Industry

A part of the foodservice industry, catering is the business of preparing and serving food & drink to a customer. The most common form is recognised as “over the counter” service such as coffee shops, cafes, and on a larger scale; canteens and restaurants.

In its most extravagant (and expensive) form a “Event Catering” is where the caterer serves food at a designated venue. In these situations food is usually prepared on site and presented in the form of a self-service buffet or served by waiting staff. This is commonplace at weddings and conventions and why these functions are sometimes referred to as “catered events”.

Catering equipment is the broad term given to the caterers tools and utensils used to prepare, serve and present the food. It can range from the commercial “heavy” kit installed in kitchens – used to prepare the food, right down to the tableware used by the customer.

Kitchen Equipment

Whilst catering equipment is the umbrella term given for all equipment in this industry, kitchen equipment is the specific appliances used in the kitchen. All kitchen equipment can usually be grouped under the following 7 headings. Types of appliances have also been provided as examples, although it should be noted these are not extensive lists.

  • Cooking – Range Ovens, microwaves, bain maries & grills.
  • Preparation – Food blenders, mixers and juicers.
  • Display – Heated and refrigerated display units, toppers & serving counters.
  • Refrigeration – Fridges, freezers & back bars.
  • Beverage – Coffee machines & water boilers.
  • Warewashing – Dishwashers, glasswashers & washing machines.
  • Ambient – Sinks, shelving units, stands & trolleys.

Tableware

Another category which can be argued falls under the term catering equipment, ‘tableware’ is often used to describe the utensils used to serve and consume the food and drink prepared by the caterer. In restaurants this refers to the crockery, glassware and cutlery used by the customers at the restaurant tables. It can also include any further equipment used to create the table setting, such as napkins, place mats and table covers.

How To Earn Money As A Private Contractor In The Wedding Services Industry

There are countless services that couples are virtually guaranteed to invest in when planning their special days. Wedding ceremonies are momentous, once-in-a-lifetime events. Brides want these days to go perfectly and grooms are eager to please their brides. There are equal hopes and expectations among same-sex couples who are planning these important affairs. Thus, if you have talent in the beauty industry, this is a great way to earn extra cash as a private contractor.

The benefits of contracting yourself out as a private contractor in this area are countless. Foremost among these is the fact that you can set your own hours. This is especially helpful for people who maintain regular jobs and simply want to supplement their existing income. Rather than working full shifts on a day to day basis, you can meet the needs of a handful of clients as it suits you.

In addition to setting your own hours, you also have to the ability to set your own rates. To get started, perform a quick, local search for the services you wish to supply and then ask for a few quotes. This will give you a basic idea of how much people charge for similar services and how they are structuring their fees. You can establish a minimum charge, an hourly rate or maintain flat-rate fees. Ultimately, you have the power to decide according to what works best for you.

The most important part of getting started in this field is making sure that you have the necessary training and certification. Find out what the industry requirements are in your area and contact any relevant issuing bodies. In addition to getting any necessary licensing or certification, it is also a good idea to bind an adequate amount of liability insurance for protecting your person and financial interests.

Establishing a worthy reputation is critical for success in these endeavors. Build an attractive, professional website and blog for your new business and then use these platforms to showcase images of you past work. You can also create blog posts with free tips and advice that couples can use when planning for their big days.

If you lack prior experience, think about enrolling in local makeup training courses. These courses will give you the skills you need to help people look their best for any big events that they are planning. You can add evidence of your completed training to your professional resume and list the completed courses on your professional, online bio.