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Welcome to Our Blog

Information, news, Press and updates from your Stars!

Call Centres – Don’t You Just Love Them?

Short answer – well no, not really.  And especially not when you get into a long IVR menu: press 1 for this, 2 for that etc; and … being put on hold … and the scratchy elevator music – don’t get me started! So why would any small business owner in their right...

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Artisan Products or Multi-National Corporates?

Apparently, a number of major manufactures are dressing up their wares to look like artisan products.  Why?  Well, it seems as though the general view of artisan products is that they are produced in the owner’s kitchen and staffed by friends and family, and by buying...

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Marginal Gains Bulletin Number 1: Saving Money on Petrol

Buying Petrol? What has this got to do with Call Answering or Virtual Office services?  Short answer: not a lot.  I’m a great believer in the concept of “The Aggregation of Marginal Gains” that proved most successful for Sir Dave Brailsford at British Cycling, Team GB...

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Is your website as good as it could be – Part 4

How clear is your writing? If your company – for example – repairs air conditioning units across Northamptonshire, that’s what you should tell your prospects. Not “We aim to provide a world-class service” or “A family-run business since 1938”.  You can tell them...

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Is your website as good as it could be – Part 3

Is your website selling to your ideal customer? You’re a customer yourself, of dozens or perhaps hundreds of companies. What made you choose them? Reputation? Recommendation? Or did you find them ‘cold’ through a web search? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes:...

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Is your website as good as it could be – Part 2

Optimisation Every so often the rumour goes around: SEO is last year’s thing. Google have changed all the rules and algorithms. It’s expensive and time-consuming. Let’s scotch that once and for all: SEO is not dead. SEO need not cost you a fortune. There are things...

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Call Answering for Osteopaths: From Bones to Phones

Last month, whilst our osteopath clients were mending joints, tendons, ligaments and bones we handled all their call answering and appointments diaries, and: Made well over 230 appointments from phone enquiries Made 12 appointments from web enquiries – we called the...

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Is your website as good as it could be? Part 1

What are you trying to achieve with your site? We’ll assume for now that you don’t have an e-commerce website (we’ll deal with these in a later blog) and that you view your site as an ‘electronic brochure’.  Just like a brochure, you want your prospects to understand...

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Giving Feedback: The 5 to 1 Rule – Ignore it at Your Peril!

A good friend of mine was in a counselling session with his partner. It was probably a last-ditch attempt to save the relationship.  He was being accused of being over critical; he openly admitted he could be critical but felt he was equally complimentary. And therein...

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Does Face-To-Face Still Have A Place In The Digital Age?

Last week STAR exhibited at the Northamptonshire Business Expo in Corby.  It’s always been notoriously hard to know how much business (if any) to attribute directly to this kind of event.  Are we just showing our faces and pressing the flesh?  Or looking to find...

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Adding New Services and Feeling The Love

STAR Virtual Introduces New ‘Back Office’ Services We have recently added a small suite of Virtual PA and Admin capabilities, in addition to what you already know us for: Virtual Telephone Reception, Virtual Switchboard and Diary Management. We had been...

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Our most recent new client called us “Life-Savers”

Nice client feedback, yes?  We haven’t had time yet to write up the case history of why we’ve made such a difference to her company.  More later. In the meantime, here’s another nice bit of feedback from a different client, which has prompted some of our other...

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It Ain’t What You Say …

It’s The Way That You Say It … I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of communication.  Whether that’s a great book or movie, a memorable advertising slogan, or a ‘simple’ conversation between two human beings. And we get lots of conversations at STAR. ...

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Outsource My Phone Calls? Don’t Be Daft …

First, the Bad News …   Having worked in Customer Services and Marketing in various capacities for over 30 years, we’ve marketed products and services for hundreds of clients, big and small.  And yet … marketing our own stuff has often presented us with...

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What Have The Queen, George Clooney and Rihanna Got In Common?

We wish we had a pound for every time a budding entrepreneur has said words to the effect of: “I hate picking up that “****ing phone!”  If you have a great product, and you’re sure the world wants to know about it, but you gaze at the phone with dread … look no...

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Scaling up: 7 Tasks That Small Businesses Could Outsource

Time vs productivity has always been an ongoing challenge for small businesses. If you’re looking to scale up, but lack of man power, hours and expertise is hindering you, then here are 10 tasks that you can outsource immediately to achieve your dreams. How to scale...

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Say good bye to unwanted sales calls

If you’re getting continuously bugged by sales calls – join the club.  From Accountants to Zen Masters via electricity suppliers, telecoms experts, IT companies, under floor heating suppliers and heavens know what else, the number of companies punting for work...

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