I thought that I would use our Blog to tell you a little about who we are, what we do and a little of our history and interests. I'm Phil Chappell and own the Best of Henley with my wife Gillian. We bought our Best Of franchise in October 2006, so have now been going 20 months. We now have around 170 pages of features on the Best of Henley-on-Thames website and have helped many members get new businesses.
We have lived in Henley since 1994, although I worked in Henley from 1984. I was a US Fund Manager for Perpetual from 1984 to 2001. When Perpetual was bought by Invesco I, with two colleagues, left Perpetual to commute to the City. To cut a long story short, and after 2 other investment jobs, I found myself in 2006 unwilling to commute any more to London every day. Gillian after bringing up our 3 boys was also looking for something more to do so we decide to buy our franchise and give it a go.
We started out by contacting businesses in Henley that we had used a lot and felt comfortable recommending to others, like Newtown Cars and Expert Fitness. We also joined networking groups like BNI and Athena. These help you make contact with other small businesses and the people in your groups often support you in your efforts as well. We have also used telemarketing to get our message out to new contacts. Telemarketing was very useful in our earlier days but we tend to grow off of recommendations and referrals now.
We are very proud to have built the Best of Henley to what it is today, but we still have a way to go to be very successful. We really enjoy all the contacts that we have made and the new friends that have come about through the Best Of.
Other things that have worked well for us has been out bi-monthly Networking Evenings. These are held at one of our members' venues in and around Henley. We get around 50 guests to our evenings and have several speakers talk about their business. Many useful contacts have been made at our events, usually held over a glasss of wine and some nibbles. This month, 23rd June, our evening is at the Loddon Brewery, where we will taste some of heir award winning beers. Should be great as one of my passions is real ale.
Two other thinhs that we do. Firstly we distriibute a professional looking flyer to Henley homes every quarter with special offers on. Secondly we try hard to put businesses in touch with each other. Often we are able to help local business owners with a problem. That is very satisfying.
The Best Of has developed in to a full offering of local marketing services. The website has the opportunity for local people to leave testimonials about local companies. There will be an opportunity in the future for registered users to receive special offers from our business members. In the long run we aim to grow our registered users base to over 1,000 people and hopefully over 250 local companies as members.
About Gillian and myself. Gill is heavily involved in Girl Guides. She is the Division Commissioner for the area and runs the local Girl Guides meeting In Henley on a Thursday. This takes up a lot of her time, but she does love it. Especially the waiting lists!!! I have a great passion for sport. I play cricket for Henley Fourths and am a member at Henley Golf Club. We have also owned a share in racehorses before-they have all been pretty poor. As I said before I'm a fan of real ale, being a member of Camra. Also for my sins am a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
What I'm going to do with this Blog is keep you up to speed on the Best of Henley and tell you a little about what we do and how we hhave helped some of our members.
Best Wishes, Phil
PS Take a look at our Events page www.thebestof.co.uk/henley-on-thames/events
to see what's on in and around Henley.
Member since: 9th July 2012
Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.