Darling, tell it to me straight.....
OVER half of Liverpool’s small
business owners will turn to their husband, wife or partner before
anyone else for straight talking business advice, according to a
national survey of 2,000 small business owners by T-Mobile. Spouses
and partners (58%) were preferred to accountants (16%), trade bodies
(3%) or other local businesses and bank managers (2%). This trend
was most prevalent in Liverpool than in any other region in the UK.
52% of Liverpool’s small business owners choose their business
advisor based on who they trust to tell them the truth. A further
27% seek business advice from those who were most likely to “give it
to them straight”.
Judi James, one of the UK’s leading behavioural experts, comments:
“This research from T-Mobile highlights how highly we value
those who get to the point and give it to us straight when
discussing business issues. It’s understandable that we tend to turn
to our partners for this honest and clear advice – they have the
same goals as us and understand the complexities of the possible
answers to our problems. Unlike other advisors, they have no hidden
agenda and aren’t trying to impress us to secure a contract.
Psychologically, talking to our partner is the closest thing we have
to talking to ourselves. By logically discussing our problems with
them we have to ‘straight talk’ the problem over. In this respect
they become a vital sounding-board as well as an actual advisor.”
For T-Mobile customer, The Posh Tent Company – a company run by
husband and wife team, Martyn and Andrea Rose – straight talking is
vital to the smooth running of the business. Martyn Rose, co-owner
comments:- “Although my wife Andrea and I work together, our
roles and responsibilities are very different. To make both our
professional and personal relationships work we have to be able to
trust each other. She’s the person I will turn to first when I need
business advice – I know she’ll tell me the truth without
sugar-coating what needs to be said. We’re both busy people, so we
don’t have time to act any other way.”
Martin Lyne, Director of SME Marketing at T-Mobile comments:-
“80% of the small businesses we polled stated they take advice from
people who will give them the truth and will tell it to them
straight. As a supplier, we need to take a straight talking
approach, offering small business owners uncomplicated products and
services that simply help them get on with what they do best. The
last thing we want to do is waste their time.”
T-Mobile commissioned the research into Straight Talking to better
understand the time pressures business owners are under and
determine how they prefer to communicate in business.
‘Lights, camera, access?’ – young campaigners to go undercover and
put North West cinemas to the test
CINEMAS across the North West
will be put under the spotlight, as 300 young disabled campaigners
launch a nationwide undercover investigation into the accessibility
of movie-theatres for disabled customers.
The Trailblazers, a network of 16 to 30 year old campaigners who
fight for the rights of young disabled people, will become
‘mystery-cinema-goers’ at leading cinema venues over the holiday
season. The investigation launched on International
Day of Disabled People, following reports of wheelchair users being
branded a ‘fire risk’ at cinemas, being forced to pay as much as £30
more than non-disabled customers for a ticket and even being refused
entry to some venues if unaccompanied.
The Trailblazers will examine common problems including expensive
and inappropriate seating, poor treatment at the hands of staff,
broken lifts and inaccessible toilets. Cinemas will be given a
star-rating on their performance.
A full report on the Trailblazers’ experiences will be published in
January, celebrating accessible facilities, and naming and shaming
those that fall short of the mark. The campaign aims to put pressure
on cinemas to rethink their approach towards disabled cinema-goers,
and to make it easier for wheelchair-users to access their local
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers project manager Bobby
Ancil said:- “We are hoping our investigation will show that
many cinema venues in the North West and other parts of the UK are
offering a good service for disabled customers and that it will
encourage Trailblazers to use and support these facilities. There is
no excuse for discriminating against disabled cinema-goers and our
report will both expose cinemas who are failing to consider the
needs of all their customers and also offer guidance on what steps
they can take to improve accessibility.
The Disability Discrimination Act should have made sure that
disabled people can enjoy a visit to the cinema as much as everybody
else, but it seems that many cinemas just aren’t prepared to make
the ‘reasonable adjustments’ that the law requires.”
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the leading UK charity focusing
on muscle disease. It has pioneered the search for treatments and
cures for 50 years, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all
people affected by muscle disease.
It funds world-class research to find effective treatments and
cures; provides free practical and emotional support; campaigns to
raise awareness and bring about change and awards grants towards the
cost of specialist equipment.