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February 15, 2013

Also in the news this week – 15 February 2013

Feedback is key to customer satisfaction

A survey of 2,000 people commissioned by Customer First Solutions has found that customers prefer businesses that make it easy for them to give feedback. Over half of the respondents (57%) said they'd return to a restaurant, hotel or shop even if they'd had a bad experience, as long as they'd been given the opportunity to voice their frustration. And 50% said the opportunity to give feedback, there and then, would prevent them from venting online or putting a bad review on sites like Twitter and TripAdvisor.

Start-ups invited to PitchUp at John Lewis

British start-ups have got the chance to pitch their products to top retail buyers as part of the PitchUp scheme. Now in its second year, PitchUp is run by StartUp Britain in conjunction with leading retailer, John Lewis. This year, PitchUp is also searching for iconic and innovative British products to feature in John Lewis as part of the shop's 150th birthday celebrations in 2014. Businesses have until March 10 to apply online for a chance of being included in the pitching event in April. The 12 chosen start-ups will benefit from mentoring and practical guidance.

The bad habits of office workers

Long hours mean that some office staff are eating three meals a day at their desks, according to research commissioned by Wonderful Pistachios. It found that half of respondents ate both breakfast and lunch at their desks, while one in ten eat all three meals in front of their computer. And the average British worker doesn't even make it an hour before tucking into their first snack of the day, with most people having a snack by 9.58am.

Would your business benefit from some TV exposure?

A new BBC series is looking for ten SMEs who want to attract more customers and who are each willing to be featured in an hour-long documentary programme. If you are interested in getting some serious exposure for your business and could do with some marketing advice, you can apply by emailing [email protected] Applicants must be over 18, and must be the business owner. The SMEs should be in the UK and have between 10 and 100 members of staff. The closing date is 1 April 2013.

Small firms too busy to plan ahead

Most small firms in the UK (57%) are only planning between six and 12 months ahead. These are the findings of a new poll of 500 UK SMEs, commissioned by energy supplier npower. It found that 55% of SMEs wish they could plan further in advance, and that for 42% of SMEs it is the day-to-day running of a business that is preventing them from making long-term plans.

Entrepreneurs to share business know-how at franchise event

Speakers at the Growing Your Own Business Conference – part of The National Franchise Exhibition – will include Jamie Ward of payasUgym and Fiona Wood, founder of Naturally Cool Kids. The event takes place on 22 & 23 February 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham. Admission on the door is £15, however visitors can get free admission by using the promotional code PRGYOB when they book in advance.