Recommended Suppliers To Help You Too
It can be really hard to find good suppliers especially local suppliers here in the Highlands of Scotland where it is sometimes difficult to find anyone full stop!
As such I thought it would be helpful to share details of people I know and trust both here in the Highlands but also who I use for my website and other suppliers so that you can easily use them too. I’ve given details of how and where I know people so you have some context for them.
I’ve started with local suppliers here in the Highlands and you will find other suppliers further down the list.
I hope you find the information helpful and it saves you some time in finding suppliers for yourself or your business.
Local Recommended Suppliers
I have known Gill for many years and was delighted when she set up her own business, which provides HR support and advice. Gill deals with all sorts of HR situations including support for individuals that might be facing tribunals for example through to businesses that need advice and information.
When I employed a team of 5 carers to look after my Mum I used Gill to provide HR support. When we had to make our carers redundant Gill provided great advice to ensure that everything was handled legally and properly and ensured there were no lingering HR issues to deal with.
So if you are looking for HR support and employment law advice then get in touch with Gill.
I also met Jo many years ago when I first moved to the Highlands. She worked with me as a coach and thanks to her I achieved my goals and continue to do so as I set and work to new ones. Jo specialises in HR support to companies and the thing that has struck me about Jo is how she really gets under the skin of organisations to find out what is really going on, and then works accordingly.
She certainly doesn’t go in with a pre-set template or structure. Her coaching skills also help her to really understand people and tailor her support and approach accordingly.
Chris is one of those annoying people that possess a large amount of artistic talent and it seems there isn’t anything she can’t turn that talent too. Not only is Chris a great photographer, she paints in a variety of techniques, creates textiles such as beautiful silk scarfs and much more.
If that wasn’t enough she is also a musician too. I have always admired the way her eye sees the beauty in so much of the world around her and the beauty of the Highlands often finds it’s way into her art too.
Dave Newman is also someone I met a long time ago when I was new to the Highlands. I got to know his business quite well through a networking organisation he was a member of and I found his business and his approach fascinating.
Plexus helped hundreds if not thousands of business to access the internet in the early days (yes there was a time when there was no internet!).
Plexus has always been a business that is quirky and different. They have always been rooted in the local community and their ‘buy us a bun’ concept was partly inspired by being located next door to the fabulous Cromarty bakery.
One of the projects I really liked that they were involved in was a website that was not working quite as a customer wanted. Instead of getting them to throw it all out and start again, which would have been a very big job for Plexus, they worked to fix the part that wasn’t working giving the customer a better result – a much fairer and honest approach.
I worked with Dougie Gibson a number of years ago on a large event I was organising at the time. The client was difficult and demanding to say the least and as such Dougie and I spent lots of time on the phone making heaps of adjustments.
Dougie was great to work with, dealt with all the adjustments in good faith and produced great results. He was able to do that rare thing of being able to translate what I was thinking of and get it out onto the paper!
Okey dokey a little confession here. I have never used M&H Carriers but the new Managing Director there is Fraser Maclean and what he doesn’t know about parcels isn’t worth knowing.
I have known Fraser for quite a long time after meeting at an Institute of Directors course. His passion for the Highlands was evident from the get go, as well as the importance of proper infastructure to support businesses in the Highlands who needed to be able to get products to market.
Fraser has spent a great deal of time advocating for the Highlands as a result including the unfairness of some of the delivery charges from suppliers outside of Scotland. I love his down to earth and practical approach and like me he is a fan of a Vienetta!
This is another example of a business that I have known for a while through one of the owners, Isla Cruden.
Although I have never had a need to use the business myself this is the business that I will use for my eco home project (if I can ever find the land to build it!).
The projects that R&I Cruden have worked on have been fascinating, helping people move to biomass and renewable energy sources.
Again it is another company that is rooted in the local community, with a particular connection to that most Highland of sports shinty. It’s a family business which is also great too. I was lucky enough to attend the opening of their new business base at Muir of Ord and it’s been great to see the business continue to thrive.
Somehow during 2020 the trees in my garden seemed to have grown like triffids and were above the height of my house, and one was very close to my house with roots that were likely to be going under the house as well as being right next to a wall.
The tree right next to my house had also grown over my neighbours garden so I was concerned about removing it without doing any damage to their house or garden. I needn’t have worried.
Simon turned up and within 3.5 hours he had carefully removed the large tree, alongwith smaller ones which would have grown much bigger quite quickly. He chainsawed away and then chipped everything on site, leaving us with chips for the garden which have been great.
Not only that they even cleared up the debris from the path outside my house. It was a huge relief to get my trees all sorted and I no longer have to worry about any damage and resulting house insurance issues.
My roof had developed a leak, one of those annoying little leaks that takes ages to build up but over the course of time can cause a lot of damage.
The damage was actually caused by someone walking over my roof to clean the gutters. In the course of walking over the roof they had damaged the roof tiles. I had these replaced but whoever replaced them (I can’t remember who) hadn’t checked the tiles properly and there was actually several that were damaged.
Beautiful Images – Loads of Photos and Templates for Everything
OK I have to admit I am a big fan of Canva. It is just so easy to make photos for everything quickly and easily. There are templates for Instagram, Pinterest, social media posts and much more besides. I use the paid account which is £10.99 per month.
I have tried using the free account but the image options are limited. The paid plan gives me all the images I need and enables me to produce images quickly whatever the subject. I love it (but I might have mentioned that already!). The photo library contains photos for everything and everywhere, enabling you to quickly pull together a professional image.
There is also video content, plus loads of elements such as stickers, grids for different designs, loads of text styles – it really does have everything. There are predesigned templates to make designing easier.
Pinterest is a great place to promote and share content isn’t it? However, making pins, especially making a few different ones for each blog post can be a bit time consuming. It can also be difficult to organise them all and post them – unless of course you use something like Tailwind.
Tailwind Create is fab. You simply enter your web address and it will pull up the design and pictures from your site. You then select which photos you want to use and sit back while it magically creates a large number of different looking Pinterest pins.
You can set your brand look by choosing a palette of colours and font styles meaning the overall style matches. Once you have created your Pins you simply schedule them and they drop into your content planner at the click of a button.
Tailwind automatically schedules at the best time, picking time slots where you are likely to get the most response. It also gives you plenty of analytics about your Pins too.
One of my favourite features is Smart Loop – where you can automatically repost your top performing Pins on a schedule that you choose. A great way to keep getting the benefits of Pinterest without having to remember to di it manually.
Tailwind is available for £15 a month, on a month to month contract or you can pay annually and save money.
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