Anthony Dutton


“I first came across Nigel when I decided to go on the ‘How to ensure your business thrives (Screw Surviving) seminars. Since then my turnover has increased steadily. Since joining the EC I’ve implemented lots of actions that have really made the difference. For instance, I delegated far more of the physical workload: I work on my business not in it. I’ve employed a secretary and realised that someone else can do most things that I believed only I was capable of; I’ve instigated an ongoing pay per click campaign as this is where the majority of my leads come from; I’ve installed systems to get the basic stuff like dealing with enquires done really well. Everything is done promptly, efficiently and comprehensively with a 100% customer focus.

“We conduct an annual survey of all customers and use this to acquire testimonials. I have had such good feedback that I felt I had to use it in a brochure– something you really should do in your business. I’ve developed a comprehensive database of customers and enquirers. And of course we actually mail and email to people to drive response!

“I put my prices up – I’ve never felt confident enough to increase prices since I started the business because I work in a competitive market but EC has given me the assurance in the value of my product and service to increase prices and feel comfortable about justifying it to potential customers.

“I set up a Facebook page and have realised that it can work well for us and our type of marketing – we do quite a bit of ‘tongue in cheek’ stuff and this provides the perfect platform for this. I have a group of guys who work for me who instinctively capture great moments on camera so my job is to work out what is and isn’t’ t acceptable from a marketing perspective!

“I also initiated customer service training for my staff –‘The Rules’– I, like I suspect many others, have adapted Nigel’s N5 Rules to suit my operation – this helps to focus my brain on who I want working for me, and provides a very clear message about the attitude and standards expected.

“I’ve realised that our vehicles are an amazing way of ‘touching’ scores of customers every week. We’ ve got great pictures all over them, and the piece de resistance was deciding that I shouldn’t pander to the complaining minority by being reticent about putting our ‘ Erections’ picture on the back of a lorry. It’s worked brilliantly and I’ve yet to receive a complaint (although we have to whip the door up quite quickly when we turn up at schools.)

“I’m constantly updating the website – we now have in-house capability to update the website with quotes and pictures. We’ve had a great video added to this, have completely altered the front page after the BGA session on this, and are about to completely re-launch it.

“I’ve also put in place a Customer Service ‘Guarantee’ because I realised we don’t shout enough about how dedicated we are to our customers. This is a brilliant way to demonstrate to the customer the fantastic service that they will receive before they even book with us and removes the worry and frustration for them when doing business with us. Other original marketing initiatives that we have implemented include:

Valentine’s Day flowers to venues we’d like to work with – the message was “Do your current suppliers love you enough to send you flowers?” Worked a treat and we’ll be deploying that again.

Winter package offers (one stop party shop, we do everything apart from the booze, food and invites) this helps us secure more business in the quieter periods.

Brides t-shirts – all brides get a t shirt with ‘I did it in an Archers Marquee’ across the back.

Anniversary cards – we send cards on the first anniversary of all weddings we provide marquees for.

“Our turnover and net profit has increased steadily throughout the same period, even during ridiculous weather.”