Cotton Court Business Centre

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#Hashtag in our life & business

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Hashtags have become a prominent part of the online life and as of late, and more social media sites have allowed for the categorising program known as Hashtags. Hashtags are used to allow users to tag posts, pictures, or even video with a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase, such as #Preston. Doing this allows the program to categorise anything posted with that hashtag

Firstly use hashtags sparingly, DON’T over use them! When people see too many hashtags their eyes glaze over. It looks like spam! Using four or five hashtags, in one tweet often appears as though they are just covering their bases, using every possible option or certain phrases the same way they use keywords on websites, just to make sure they don’t leave anything out.

Luckily without going into too much detail Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake have created a funny sketch of what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life! #thatshowwedo #lololololololololol. Taken from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Show


Good News we’ve highlighted three different ways businesses can use hashtags to their advantage.


A recent survey done found that 51% of people said that they would be more willing to share company hashtags if they were awarded discounts or chances at prizes if they were to do so. This allows a level playing field when it comes to simple effective promotion for small businesses. Not only can you give discounts, and therefore bring in more customers, but this allows you and your business to track promotions activity online.


Hashtags open up the social media world to you and  your company. A website or a URL post only brings you to the company’s website while a Hashtag allows people to use it in everyday conversations they have on their social media profiles.

This also allows you to track the conversation and get a better idea of what is being said and how you can utilise that information. Want to know more? Read our blog about Hashtag (#) for business networking.


Target certain areas or people based on hashtags. For example, if you want to market to people with new homes you can use the hashtag #newhome to target those who are using that specific hashtag. Using this method is also beneficial  it allows you to pick out the individuals who are most likely to be using their social media channels and therefore more likely to give you and your company positive posting which you can then track using hashtags.

A growth conversation with…Luke Massie

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Taken from Boost Business Lancashire a featured article about one of our Business residents Luke Massie, who has now become a ambassador for Boost Business Lancashire .



Photo taken in Cotton Studios | Lancashire’s Premier Studio Hire Complex

Our latest growth conversation is with Luke Massie. Luke has been named among the country’s top 100 young entrepreneurs having built up and sold his first business by the age of 18. Luke currently runs four businesses, employing 14 full-time and six part-time staff. He is also the founder of The 1to500 Club, an online student marketing business that has successfully piloted in Preston. Luke is currently looking to roll out the platform, now rebranded as Studenthood, to university cities across the UK.

What is the biggest challenge you faced when growing your business and how did you overcome this?

Finding the individuals to be part of my core team. I overcame this by being patient and waiting for the right calibre of people. I don’t just employee people based on their CV or past achievements. I try to get to know people as individuals before getting them involved in any of my ventures. I’ve managed to find people that I believe can express my vision and are a part of achieving my goals.

What qualities must a growing business owner possess to be successful?

Resilience. You will fail, and the likelihood is you’re going to miss targets you’ve set yourself and feel you’ve not succeeded what you set out to do, but if every time you fail it makes you stronger then that’s what sets you apart as a successful business owner. Many people will doubt you along the way so the business owner has to demonstrate high levels of self belief to achieve success.

What top tip would you give to a business owner embarking on a growth plan?

Dream big and don’t be afraid of failing. Plan little and often because many markets are so dynamic that sometimes long-term planning is in effective. Three-week, three-month and six month planning is absolutely necessary. Consumer needs are changing all the time and you have to be able to adapt, so listen to market research and customer feedback.

Which entrepreneur do you admire and why?

Steve Jobs. He was a true visionary who knew what the consumer wanted even before they did.

Why is Lancashire a great place to grow a business?

With more support coming from the public sector, investors are really starting to notice the talent the county has to offer. There are many SMEs based in Lancashire winning major contracts ahead of other areas of the UK. It demonstrates that as long as you have a good product, service and business, it doesn’t matter where you’re based in the UK, you have a chance to be successful.

Why are you supporting Boost Business Lancashire?

Boost is designed to support business owners, which is something I am passionate about. I want to support other young entrepreneurs that are just embarking on their journey. I have used many of the services the scheme has to offer, for example the Growth Accelerator programme delivered by Winning Pitch, the Access to Finance service and help from specialist mentors. I would recommend any business starting and growing in Lancashire to find out what support is available.

Cotton Court helps Alive After Five Hospitality Awards

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We are once again helping promote Preston By Night working alongside the Preston BID Team to promote Preston, Lancashire Why not cast your vote now!

About the awards:

The Alive After Five Hospitality Awards are staged by Preston BID to recognise those businesses in the night time economy who offer a great night out. Only venues that are based in the immediate city centre, that have nominated themselves, or been nominated by another venue, have reached the finals. The individual awards will be won on public votes and the venue awards will be judged both by public votes and mystery shoppers.

Voting closes on September 27th at 5.00pm.























The Winckley Square Business Hangout

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The ever popular Winckley Square Business Hangout is back again thanks to Preston City Centre’s Business Improvement District (BID). Inviting businesses from across Lancashire to network in the gorgeous splendor of Preston’s Winckley Square.

Sponsored by Santander the under-cover networking event will be serving a light supper, together with a glass of something fizzy!

The ever popular Winckley Square washing line will be in full force….. If you’re great at architecture or web-design, think you’re the best legal eagle in the area, or manufacture some mean products, simply write it down and hang it up for all to see.

Similarly, if you’re looking to secure services or purchase products locally and want a good deal, pin that up too.


DATE: Wednesday 18th September
TIME: 4pm – 6pm
LOCATION: Winckley Square, Preston

TO BOOK: with your company and the name of your representatives (max of two per company) For more information please call 01772 653 000


Embedded Posts Rolled Out To Facebook Users

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Facebook have now enabled users to embed posts. A feature which was originally only available to a series of partners who were testing the concept when it was announced in July this year.

Now anyone using a third party website, including those who post to personal blogs or websites, can now embed facebook posts directly into their site.

You can find the line of code needed to embed a post or video by clicking on the arrow in the post’s upper right hand corner and selecting embed post.

facebook originally rolled out the feature last month to a selection of news publications like Mashable,CNN and Huffington Post.

We have reproduced this story thanks to Mashable


A HUGE Success! Thanks to Care Quality Commission

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On 31st July and 5th August, Cotton Court hosted a series large conferences for the Care Quality Commission, a series of information sessions for service providers across the North West.

Each session had around 70 attendees and positive feedback was received about the content of the sessions and the venue.

It was one of the largest conferences we have held at Cotton Court, a PA system and interactive voting system were set up for the key speakers and lunch was provided by local caterers, Swarbricks.

It was great to work with CQC on this type of event and we are looking forward to working with them again in the future.

You can follow them on Twitter

You can find more pictures via our facebook page






Lancashire Markets a continuing success

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The popular Lancashire Market returned to the city streets and has become a major extravaganza for local food and drink. The rain didn’t hamper as food lovers braved the drizzle to sample cakes, drinks and much more local produce.


The Lancashire Market, backed by Preston’s Business Improvement District, helps bring hundreds of extra people into the city centre and boost local trade.

Over 300,000 people have been visiting the Markets since they began in 2010.

A few from the office visited this years markets and left having enjoyed ourselves on the great food!

You can find more pictures of this years markets here

Social Media Trends & Statistics for 2013

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We believe that today it affects every area in our lives and we wanted to share it with you through a video infographic.

It shows some statistics and the effects generated so far, from our point of view: from the TV industry to the Job market and the startup industry.

But the best is yet to come!! In 2013 social media will have a higher growth: from mobile to social TV.

– Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey:
– Jobvite 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey:
– Wanted Analytics November Report:

– Statistics:

Taken from