In Brief a 2020 Vision for Wakefield in 2020

The start of a new decade seems like a great time to step boldly forward with exciting and challenging goals. Have you set yourself stretching and challenging goals?

We have taken on board feedback, innovation and refocused Bleisure Rewards with a grand plan and as they say approaching the next decade with ‘2020 vision’.

Our goals are:

  1. Raising £4m Revenue into Wakefield Dining, Leisure and Culture
    We have set an ambitious goal to raise £4m in revenue into Wakefield Dining, Leisure and Culture over the next 3 years. How are we going to do it? With the help of brilliant businesses, charities and organisations in Wakefield with the spirit we have to bring a new dynamic to the city. We already have early adopters coming on board with some major players.
    Find out more by joining us at Theatre Royal Wakefield for Business with Brunch in January
  2. Attraction and Retention of Talent in Wakefield
    Attraction and retention of talent in Wakefield is a major pain for many Wakefield employers. Sometimes it is important to recongise a specific opportunity and so we decided to change tact. Bleisure Rewards is re-launching with a focus specifically on employee benefits.    Join us at the Theatre Royal Wakefield Business with Brunch in January to find out how you can benefit, including early adopter advantages.
  3. Making an Impact
    One thing is certain that the Wakefield district is on the up! With the fantastic landscape of culture, dining and leisure along with the spirit of local organisations who appreciate that you cannot solve the same old problems doing the same old things. New solutions can be found through collaboration and thinking outside of the box. Change can be positively embraced. We are keen to collaborate as far and wide across the Wakefield district as possible. Supporting businesses, charities and organisations in achieving their goals. Come along and meet our partners at the next Business and Brunch and explore opportunities to collaborate.

Join us at the next Business with Brunch in January

11 Secret Signs Your Idea is innovating

The path of innovation is a brave new world. Are you on a path of innovating? New ideas, new products, new concepts? We have found on our journey of bringing an innovative idea to market there are some telltale signs that your idea is innovative. If you identify with these, then congratulations. The path can be challenging at times, but worth it!

1 People tell you “that will never happen”

A real tell tale sign that you are on the right path as an entrepreneur and innovator is that people tell you ‘that will never happen’. In the early days, I would take this comment on board and allow it to impact my belief. Then I realised this was a sign that actually you are on the right path. If people say it will never happen it is just a reflection of their own internal belief system. Not yours. They can not see what you can see and the fact they feel uncomfortable with your ideas means that it is challenging them internally. The fact that it is impacting them internally means there is some sort of fear or caution. Their way to deal with it is to verbalise an opinion based on their own belief system on something they can not see. If you are experiencing this with your idea, then do not allow it to dampen your idea. Use it. It is a sign you are innovating. 

2 Not everyone gets it

This can feel frustrating at times. A big clue here is if you have those confident in marketing ideas telling you they don’t get it. The challenge is that if others don’t get it, then how can you convey your innovative idea. The point to recongise is that if you deal with people who don’t get it, they are more likely to shape your idea it into something they do get and make it average.  To get you through this, then turn the word in your mind ‘frustrating’ into ‘fascinating’. See it as a fascinating study of what others do and don’t get about your idea. Take on board those who see your idea and want to expand on it. What made them see it? Work with their words to refine your pitch and become better at communicating. What words do  they use? My experience is that you can end up trying to justify yourself to people who don’t get your idea when you could be spending time with people who can help move your ideas forward. If people are opinionated, then you are innovating. 

3 Other innovative ideas appear that support your idea

When you start finding other technologies and innovations that support and move your idea forward, you know you are on a path of an innovative idea and you also know you are on a path that has legs.

4 You automatically see the masses behaving in a certain way

Once your brain has become wired to seeing how unconsciously most people avoid fear and the unknown, you wake up and see the world differently. Innovation is all about being OK with the unknown, recongising and channelling internal fear in a positive direction. Once you have this in check, you will soon start to see most people doing the same things that most people do, as they fear stepping away. If you see the world working in a certain way and it could be improved with your idea, then your idea is more than likely innovative. 

5 You start to see seeds of your idea emerge in different places

This doesn’t necessarily mean copy cats, but if you see elements of your idea appearing in different places this indicates that there is a trend towards your idea and a market need has been identified. The fact that nothing is the same as your idea, means that your idea is innovative. 

6 You identify with others who are treading new paths

Going through the pains and challenges of bringing an innovative idea to market naturally opens up conversations. If others are going through the same pains, they will immediately identify with what you are saying and experiencing. Even if you have never met, you could say exactly the same pain points about their journey of bringing an innovative idea to market and you will have experienced something very similar. These pain points are quite unique and specific as not everyone experiences them. Remember the pain points are a process. Don’t let them knock you off stride.

7 You feel like you don’t fit

If you feel like you don’t fit in then the chances are you are running with an innovative idea. Most people won’t get you and as you are so obsessed with the idea that’s probably all you want to talk about. Innovators can talk together forever as they will want to expand ideas, gain inspiration and seek connection. You won’t usually get this kind of stimulation from those who are not innovating and so having a feeling that you don’t fit in is quite natural. 

8 The grass seed analogy

If you are comfortable with the idea that you have already made it because the vision is so clear in your mind and yet outside people can not see your creation, then the chances are you are innovating. Innovators understand the grass seed analogy. You sew seeds and some will grow and others won’t. With an innovative idea you may have a seed, a seedling, young plant or full blown tree. My experience is that innovators are ideas focused and are more concerned with the process of sewing more seeds, rather than concerning themselves with those that haven’t grown. Non-innovators see the trees. The innovators can connect and see the seeds, seedlings and want to help water other seeds too.

9 People are asking challenging questions

When you meet with people, they are asking you questions to help get to grips with your idea. This means they are internally challenged and so your idea is challenging their patterns and processes.

10 You feel humble

Most innovators I have met go through tremendous pains and challenges as their ideas are not always clear to those around them and they do not fit ‘the norm’. The journey of pushing forward, getting setbacks, dusting yourself down and getting up again can be very humbling. Whilst from the outside, innovators might be seen as ‘stubborn’ (it may appear from some that you are not taking their suggestions on board), the reality is that you are staying focused on your vision. If things feel very tough at times, then see you are breaking new ground with your innovative idea. Feeling humble and appreciating how difficult things can be is a sign that you are keeping pace with an innovative idea.  

11 You are not competing in the same space

You are breaking new ground, taking a different path and not competing in the same space.

What is your experience of bringing innovative ideas to market?


Some Things that Social Media Can’t Beat in Business

Social media has created tremendous advances for businesses and created an amazing platform for businesses of all shapes and size. There are some things that social media just can not do in the same way. Be aware as you wouldn’t wan these treasures to be forgotten!

1. Trust is built through eye contact and non-verbal cues. 55% of communication happens through body language. Another 38% is through voice and tone. Most social media posts  limit the ability to read body language and tone. Face to face is a great way to develop relationships and build trust much faster and build depth in relationships.

2.   Social media does a great job in providing a platform to reach out and connect, but it doesn’t buy you free coffee. Connecting over food and drink are a great way to release endorphins and connect at a deeper level.

3. You can’t handshake to seal the deal on social media. Physical contact with a handshake in many cultures is regarded as a welcome and a representation of sealing the deal. A powerful cue to help you close business that can not be achieved online.

4. There is no body to hug you when times get tough. I frequently give a hug to huggers in business when they are having a hard time. It just makes for a better day in empathy when things get tough over words and you can’t do this online. 

5. Social media doesn’t care about the context in which your business operates. It knows locations and places, but it doesn’t know about the economic conditions and how to improve them to help your business. Connecting with people help brings a great sense of context to places and helps us to see the bigger picture in a way that social media can not. 

How do you see social media? What ways do you see that social media has improved the way we do business? How do you see social media changing the way that people do business? 

Wakefield Businesses Coming Together To Boost The City With Bleisure

Local Businesses Are Coming Together to Open Opportunities and Bring a Boost to Wakefield Restaurants, Leisure and Entertainment

When local businesswoman Ali Gordon was filling up restaurants around the UK and Europe, she came home to discover that Wakefield city centre restaurants, bars and cafes were much quieter than they used to be. There was a need to apply her skills closer to home.

“We are aiming to bring a boost to dining, entertainment, leisure and hospitality in Wakefield City Centre, build up footfall and extra spend by people at those venues,” said Ali Gordon, Managing Director of Bleisure Rewards. The idea is set to expand city to city.

Bleisure Rewards hosted its first Entertaining Networking Meet-up at Marmalade on The Square last week to bring local business owners together. Local venues attend the event including The Hepworth Cafe and Wakefield Theatre Royal as well as other local businesses. A range of local cafes, bars and restaurants are participating in the Bleisure Local programme on the Bleisure Rewards app as a way to drive additional revenue and footfall into Wakefield.  

“We need to do something to attract people back into Wakefield City Centre. We need to work together” said Rache Sage, Owner of local cafe Marmalade on The Square.

Bleisure Rewards in Wakefield City Centre

Alongside working with local venues, Ali is also connecting the Wakefield Business Community to open new business opportunities in Wakefield. Entertaining Networking will return again on 10th July at Deli Central on the Bull Ring to showcase our talented local chefs, services offered, share industry experience and showcase some more local entertainment.  

The entertainers in this video are LT Entertainment Balloon Modelling and Ross Burton Circus Artist. Booking via the Bleisure Rewards platform means that rewards can be earned when making a booking.

How Your Next Wine Purchase Could Help You Grow Your Business.

Yes as bizarre as it sounds, your next wine purchase could actually be contributing in some way towards helping you to grow your business.

The Yorkshire Wine Rascal is now a partner of Bleisure Rewards and offers 10% of wine and champagne purchases as a contribution to our members Bleisure Wallet. Members can use their wallet to purchase Bleisure events to experience more and to help them grow their business.

“Wine presents a great opportunity for Bleisure Rewards members to experience the world through their pallet and connect with social experiences” Barry Groves – The Yorkshire Wine Rascal

Bleisure Rewards act a bit like a virtual currency and form part of Bleisure Rewards membership. There is a subtle difference that Bleisure Rewards are backed by cash so that we can invest back into the dining, entertainment and hospitality sector. Bleisure Rewards Members earn rewards for doing business with our partners, participating in the Bleisure Local programme, just for being a loyal member and for referring members to help the idea to grow.

Partnership with The Yorkshire Wine Rascal has an added benefit in supporting the Bleisure Local Programme. The Bleisure Local programme is designed to bring a boost to the dining, entertainment and hospitality sector in towns and cities. As part of the programme, restaurants and bars can tap into our featured partner services and build up a Bleisure Wallet that can be used in their venue to incentivise the Bleisure Rewards community to participate in experiences in their venue.

We are delighted to have The Yorkshire Wine Rascal on board as a Bleisure Partner as an early adopter of the Bleisure Rewards concept. Paving the way to a future world of business and marketing innovation.