The Bromley launch!

February 2022 blog

This month has possibly been one of the busiest months we’ve experienced here at Life In Magazines, with the planning and execution of our second monthly magazine, Life In Bromley!

From going on photo shoots in town with the aim of getting the perfect cover shot, to interviewing local heroes, it’s been non-stop action and we’ve loved every minute!

Now it’s just a case of keeping up the momentum of producing two monthly magazines – and putting systems in place to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Speaking of systems, and just to offer a bit of an insight into one of our ways of working, we couldn’t do without our whiteboard in the office. For each date in the month there’s an action plan – whether it’s finalising the next flatplan, doing the social media posts for new advertisers, picking competition winners and updating the website – every day is strategically planned so that we don’t miss the important stuff.

Seeing something visual is how we operate best – even if it’s just a ‘to-do’ check list. Favourite apps we’ve discovered include Notebook (very aesthetically pleasing!) and FocusList which also helps with productivity.

Business planning & strategy!

It has also been a busy month in terms of new developments and learning. We had the pleasure of attending a business presentation by Lee Lam of Your Startup Partner on business planning and strategy. It was organised by Startup Bromley earlier this month, held at Bromley Central Library.

Lee’s chat was both entertaining and informative and got attendees thinking about (a) where they are going (b) planning the route to get there.

We also managed to attend a few other business events and sessions this month including People In Business (PIB Bromley), Ladies Who Latte and the Bromley Business Network.

Meanwhile, our new 3-metre banner has been installed at Beckenham Town Football Club. We are really pleased with it and, as it’s a permanent fixture, we only hope it withstands the weather for a few years!

Banner at Beckenham Town Football Club
Our 3-metre banner at Beckenham Town Football Club

And this month we wrap up with a new design for our digital newsletters. Now that we’ve got two magazines, it was definitely in need of an overhaul. If you are a subscriber, we’d love to know what you think!

As usual we’ll leave you with an inspirational quote to ponder – and this month it’s about having the courage to take risks.

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

—André Gide

 

Let the festivities commence!

let the festivities commence

We usually touch on the highlights of the month and this month – as the festive season ensues – it has to be catching up with friends, enjoying a mini break to Marlow and taking part in Startup Bromley’s Winter Showcase event at Bromley Central Library.

As much as the latter was a great awareness exercise for the imminent launch of Life In…Bromley magazine, it was also a time to catch up with some lovely small businesses that we’ve enjoyed getting to know over the last year.

And actually, networking is a great way of not only raising awareness of what you do, but also a great way of meeting like-minded businesses. We recently attended Bromley Business Network at Bromley Football Club – it’s on every two weeks for those who don’t know about it – and were pleasantly surprised to discover a great bunch of welcoming people, but also people who were genuinely keen on supporting and help one another. And that’s what true networking is about.

Over the last year, through networking and meeting others, we’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to collaborate with others, and being able to connect people with similar synergies has been particularly rewarding.

For example, we put the lovely Jackie Groundsell from 12:30 The Women’s Company in touch with Ed from Love Da Beat radio. Next thing we know, Jackie has her own radio show with Ed – amazing! Perhaps we should launch a match-making service! But what we do know is that it’s hugely rewarding and we want to do more of this in 2022!

Automation is king!

When we gave a talk on productivity at the Beckenham Business Day last month, we mentioned that one of the ‘top tools’ for automation is IFTTT. And we stand by this – simple, automatic processes that can be set up just once and repeated automatically can save a small business so much time.

So when we recently read an article from Keap on things every small business should automate – we thought it would be great to share. It offers some great ideas on systems and processes that can be automated. Our advice? Start with one (the one that takes up most of your time) and see how you go!

Let us know how you get on – and just for some extra encouragement, here’s our usual inspirational quote!

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”

– Stewart Brand, writer –

Parlour Games

October 2020 blog post

As you might have guessed by our main picture this month, the highlight was visiting the Mayor in her Parlour. We sat and had a chat with Cllr Hannah Gray, the Mayor of Bromley, to discover what she’s been up to – and her upcoming plans.

And if you want to stay ahead of the game – you can always sign up for the Mayor’s Newsletter so you get the news firsthand.

So what was the Mayor’s Parlour like? Palatial, majestic and awe-inspiring are a few adjectives that spring to mind! Truth be told, I could have stayed there all day admiring the gardens and finding inspiration to write some features for Life In Orpington. But alas, it was soon time for me to leave – but I would jump at the chance for a return visit – Cllr Gray…are you reading this?

Our working life

At the time of writing, it’s now half term and with the school break comes the chance of a mini lie-in. Just a mini one mind – there’s plenty of work to be getting on with the mag – people to call, places to visit and articles to write.

If you’ve ever wondered where we get our inspiration from for the features we compile – we’ll let you into a little secret…it’s everywhere! From online trends and articles we’ve read, to conversations we’ve had – and even your letters and messages. Even more reason to keep them coming!

October 2020 blog post

The October issue features some great articles – from Local Celebrities (thanks Vicky Alcock!) and Decoding your doodles, to face mask hacks and grooming your pet at home.

Thanks to our new advertisers in this month’s issue – Mr Simms, Alice Sparks Ltd, Sport Star Images and The Wonder Years. We’ve also got a few new classified entries worth taking note of. Please do continue to shop local and support local businesses – it helps keep money in the local economy, benefiting everyone.

As usual, we’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and ideas – please continue to write to use, text or call us – or even tag us in on social media (@lifeinmags) to get our attention! The email address is hello@lifeinmagazines.co.uk and our number is 07403-550068.

As we love our quotes, we’ll leave you with a thought for the month…

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.”
– Joel Osteen

Nicky & Lauretta

The new normal

September 2020 blog

The kids are back and the ‘new normal’ (whatever that is!) has resumed. We can’t quite believe that the mince pies are on the shops ready for Crimbo – it only seemed like yesterday we were having lockdown.

And talking of lockdown, does anyone else feel like this year has been the year that was put on ‘pause’? It’s almost like 2020 never really happened. One thing is for sure, it’s a year that none of us will ever forget.

But there’s so much to be positive about – the new creative businesses and ideas borne out of lockdown, the rallying round and camaraderie of the community to help support those most in need and finding new ways to entertain ourselves (LEGO building, Netflix and quizzes with friends and family) while stuck at home.

Our working life

And even though we’re not yet back to how things were prior to lockdown, it certainly feels like we’ve come on leaps and bounds.

Here at Life In Magazines we’ve been coming up with new ideas for the magazine, spurred on by your letters, emails, social media tags and texts – thank you to everyone who engages with us with their comments, suggestions or generally just telling us to keep up the good work. We’ve managed to include new ‘Behind The Scenes’ and ‘Meet The Locals’ features this month which I think will go down a storm with readers.

Getting our heads down and focused, we’ve welcomed a few new advertisers this month, including Bubbly Nursery, Magnetic Health, THL Coaching and OTS – Oriental Turkish Supermarket.

And it’s also been great to reflect on the future of the business; all businesses should plan for growth if it seems fitting to do so – and although an expansion plan was scheduled for June, Covid-19 meant that this couldn’t go ahead. Let’s hope 2021 presents more opportunity for all of us.

And on that note, here’s a thought for the day…

“Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind.”
― Roy T. Bennet

Until next month, enjoy the rest of your September!

Nicky & Lauretta

September: Back to business

September blog post

September has been a bit of a welcome relief if we’re honest, as it meant that the kids went back at school, meaning that we have been able to get back on track.

But we have to say, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed a bit of downtime over the summer holidays. Since we launched in March, working on Life In Orpington has been full on.

Like any small business, it’s hard to fit everything in – writing the magazine, designing it and delivering it. And then there’s the sales calls, community events to attend, accounts to do (and invoices to chase), photos to take, research on local events to cover, social media, emails to respond to, newsletters, blog posts, the website, attending networking events…the list doesn’t end. Not that we’re complaining of course – we love doing it!

New introductions

Since we launched our ‘Write It, Say It, Message It’ page last month, the messages have continued to come in, which has been great. We’re planning on launching of new features as we go along – and keep the most popular ones of course. If you have any suggestions – we’d love to hear them: hello@lifeinmagazines.co.uk

This month we welcome six new advertisers to the magazine – Doves Funeral Directors, Storeys Ltd, The Orpington Band, Coopers School, Harris Academy Orpington and One One Seven.

We also decided to publish a special feature for parents on School Open Days – general information and the type of questions to ask when choosing a new school. It seems to have been popular as we received a few likes and comments on social when we posted about it. We might look to include more special features to tie in with events and areas of interest. Watch this space!

Mixing business with pleasure

They say never mix business with pleasure, but we couldn’t help but enjoy a bit of bleisure time this month when we were invited to VUE Bromley to do a review (showcased in the October issue of Life In Orpington!)

We chose to watch The Informer which was an interesting film – if a little gory – but it was great to enjoy the whole cinema experience – including testing out the concessions!

Talking of business, we managed to get along to a few business networking events this month. In fact, just before the kids went back to school we sampled a BNI event in Orpington.

We both really enjoyed it and we could see that it’s great for local businesses to support one another. The other great thing is that it started at 7am and by 8.30am it was all finished, meaning that we had the rest of the day free to work as usual.

The downside is that with dependent children, we can’t make it while the kids are at school. Still, it’s definitely one for the future when the kids become much more independent.

We also attended the regular monthly PIB meeting – held the first week of every month. We decided to join PIB a couple of months ago (at the moment it’s only £5 a month – very affordable for us as a small start-up business) and haven’t looked back.

It’s a small group but is growing rapidly all the time and we like the fact that it’s a supportive group. We’ve already used a few people from the group ourselves including Indigo Art Club, Eco Domestics and Our Technician and have got a couple more we’re looking at using. For more information see https://www.pib-network.co.uk/

The ‘thank yous’

We’ve got a couple of people to thank this month when it comes to either offering us advice, inspiring us or showing us little acts of kindness. We never realised just how supportive the local community was going to be when we launched Life In Orpington, but it has totally surpassed all our expectations.

A special thanks goes to Suren Suku – who hosted a charity golf day to raise money and awareness of prostate cancer earlier this year. Suren took us out for a lovely meal in Petts Wood to thank us for our support and catch up on what he’s been up to. He’s a very generous man with a kind heart – and plenty of chatter!

September Blog Post

Thanks also to Michelle Harvey – another person with a kind heart and clearly someone who is always thinking of others. Michelle has inspired us in many ways since we’ve got to know her – both on a professional level as well as a personal level – thanks Michelle….you’re a star!

That’s about it for what we’ve been up to this month, but we’ll leave you with this little inspirational quote that we think perfectly sums up how we feel about our community:

“Quality of life actually begins at home – it’s in your street, around your community.”
– Charles Kennedy.

To us it suggests that if you invest in your community by supporting local businesses, shopping local, donating to schools and charities and perhaps even offering your skills or time to help promote community events – you’ll reap the rewards. Always look for the good in your community – be part of that ‘good’ and watch your quality of life improve.