Deadline for free tips of trade

PUBLISHED: 12:24 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 May 2010

TIME is running out for traders in East Cambridgeshire to book free training sessions to improve their sales and customer service skills in time for Christmas. The free two-hour workshops co-ordinated by East Cambridgeshire District Council are being run

TIME is running out for traders in East Cambridgeshire to book free training sessions to improve their sales and customer service skills in time for Christmas.

The free two-hour workshops co-ordinated by East Cambridgeshire District Council are being run from 6-8pm at the Lamb Hotel, in Ely, with topics ranging from motivation (October 30), visual merchandising (November 6), website development (November 13) to first aid in the workplace (November 13).

Sally Bonnett, regeneration officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "Our market towns have a unique nature because of the small independent traders who offer great deal of variety to the customer.

"However, most traders are small businesses that don't have corporate support for training and marketing to take advantage of their products, which is why these workshops are so important.

"Our free workshops will be invaluable in helping retailers and their staff to develop skills to flourish in a competitive local market, as well as providing opportunities to develop contacts and share experiences with other local businesses.

"The demand for the initial round of workshops was huge with many sessions being oversubscribed, so please contact me before all the spaces are gone."

The training courses are being offered via the Business and Social Enterprise (BASE) programme - thanks to a successful bid by East Cambridgeshire District Council, the City of Ely Perspective and the town centre partnerships of Huntingdon and St Ives.

Traders attending the visual merchandising session will be shown techniques to make their shop windows stand out from the crowds by a professional merchandiser, who will arrange follow-up consultations at shops to help put what has been learned into practice.

Those on the website development course will learn how small businesses can increase trade by having a slick and logical website explaining what they sell, a guide to prices, and clear direction to your premises.

Also due to demand a second full day accredited First Aid in the Workplace course is being run.

This course, which is being offered free, usually costs from £100 per delegate. Small businesses need a suitable person to render first aid in the workplace because it is a legal obligation.

INFO: For more information on the courses and to book a place, contact Sally Bonnett on (01353) 616381 or e-mail sally.bonnett@eastcambs.gov.uk

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