Great to see so many people at the last Premier Mardi meeting on Tuesday and thanks as always to Kate Adams at La Pomme Rouge for hosting. This month's talk was given by Rachael Dickens, who set up The English Osteopath practice in Antibes, and more recently Monaco. The theme was how to set up and grow a successful business on the Riviera and keep going in the face of recession. 
The general points are outlined below, I hope I do Rachael's illuminating talk justice!

* Carry out marketing and networking through all relevant groups locally. Networking particularly is the lifeblood of any business and is crucial to success and word of mouth recommendation.
* Create a niche for yourself and don't diversify too soon.
* Decide on your target market.
* Decide whether you want to create a job or a business and if it's a business, do not use your name as the company name.
* When dealing with clients, it's all in the detail. Keep records of everything that is said so your clients feel they are getting a personal service.
* Invest in the best technology you can afford.
* Recession proof your business by sending email reminders to clients systematically and invest more time with them if clients are dwindling. 

Key marketing tips:

* Buy loyalty and goodwill by buying from other local businesses.
* Look closely at your competitors, taking notice of what they do well and what they do badly and apply to your own business.
* Identify 'big mouths' who know lots of people and make sure they know you!
*Pretend an identical business to yours is next door when considering new ideas, and ask yourself, 'If they did this first, would it affect my business?' If so, then go for it.
* Build relationships. Above all, people like to feel they have been listened to and understood.  
It’s my birthday on Monday. Every year since the big four-oh I have treated myself - and more importantly my wrinkles - to a birthday facial. This year is no different, as 46 needs a bit of jazzing-up in my opinion, as it’s not a very sexy birthday.

I opted for a non-invasive ‘facelift’ type treatment for the face, neck and décolletage – it’s a new thing (offered by one of our members ~ ) and I like the idea of including these two areas and not just stopping at the jaw line.

OMG it is a full-on workout for the face (!) which is now plump and tingling as all the blood whizzes about. My forehead feels incapable of ever being tense enough for a headache again and the stress has literally drained from my neck and shoulders. This woman has the hands of an angel.

In fact imagine your face is a piece of very malleable clay and she is sculpting it, gliding your cheeks and jowls upwards with gentle strokes that just feel great.  

Apart from all the lovely Alexandra Soveral organic products, Sandra used a peppermint mask on me, plus hot stones and cold stones all working to re-energize my skin, plus lots of tapping and pulsing.

So remember your poor old face that has to greet every day, every gust of wind, every ray of the sun’s damage, every degree of the central heating through winter, and give yourself a birthday pressie too when it next comes round – your face will love you for it!



Though I’ve never actually considered myself “out of the Art market”, it can’t be said that activity has been at an all time high since moving to the South of France. Not that I blame France. I mean they still rank fourth in terms of Fine Art global revenue.There is still interest , there is still magnificent art and still the willingness to invest..However anyone who works independently will tell you that there are no free lunches (or should I be hanging our with Chris France more often, since this is precisely what seems to happen on more than one occasion per week, allowing him fodder, ‘scuse the pun, for his daily blog).

I digress. Over the years, there have been some wonderful opportunities for me, involving some very special paintings, but as the art market is ever-changing, so too are people’s tastes and expectations. Whenever there is a perception of  less money being in the market, the power shifts and the individual buyer can, and does, become more exacting with what he wants to buy or invest in. Instead of being content with just any Picasso from the Rose period, (1904-1906), the buyer suddenly needs “garcon a la pipe”, and only that will do. There’s nothing wrong with that , it’s just that, as an Art advisor, it becomes somewhat tricky to explain to your buyer , that Mr. Very Important Investor bought that three years ago and intends to leave it to his children! Sometimes you just have to know when you're beat and wait for another fabulous painting to come along, (as has done recently! This, if nothing else, is a testament to networking, given that the recent opportunity presenting itself comes from someone I knew and spoke with last, six years ago) and hope that this is precisely what your savvy Mr High Net worth has been searching for!

Great to see so many people at La Pomme Rouge last Thursday evening for Chris France's illuminating chat on blogging. Many thanks to Kate Adams for being the hostess with the mostest and providing delicious nibbles and to Chris for giving such an entertaining and illuminating talk.

Chiefly, the way to benefit from blogging in a business promotion perspective seems to be to make regular posts, whether daily (respect Chris) weekly or monthly, include links and urls wherever possible to increase your Google ranking, write original copy (or failing that rejig a piece that is relevant or inspriational to you) make it amusing and use Facebook to push your blog to a wider audience. 

In the spirit of this, I will be posting on the PM blog re updates, round ups of meetings and future dates so please use it as a reference tool for what is coming up and for info on meetings you might have missed. And please feel free to blog on it individually, or comment on another the end it will all help to drive traffic to our site and possibly to individual businesses too. 

Future dates.....Tuesday April 3rd at Pomme Rouge (subject to confirmation with Kate) at 10.30am where we hope to have Rachael Dickens talking about how she is running and growing a successful business on the Cote d'Azur despite the gloomy economic climate. 

And Tuesday May 8th, 10.30am at Fiona's house in Bar sur Loup...more details nearer the time.

See you in April! 
So off to  La Pomme Rouge in Valbonne last night to listen once again to the fantastic Mr France who was generous enough to share his insights into blogging and other clever ways to promote our businesses without having to invest huge sums of money (although if ever we DID need to do so we were assured that Currencies Direct would happily take care of any transfer requirements that might arise - how kind!)

I was glad of a chance to remind Chris that I teach YOGA, rather than anything to do with yoghurt which is what he'd understood the first time we met (or so he claimed ... methinks it was rather a deliberate misunderstanding on his part to avoid having to get in touch with his more spiritual side at any point in the near future ...)

All in all, it was an inspiring evening and lovely to spend time with a group of like-minded people, to meet new faces and to share thoughts and ideas over a glass of chilled white wine and delicious nibbles kindly laid on by Kate.
Breaking with tradition, Premier Mardi  held an evening meeting at La Pomme Rouge in Valbonne for sundowners and a talk by the life observer/author & blog arists extraordinaire, Chris France . The idea was to introduce our members to the benefits and dare I say, fun, of writing down events, significant or otherwise, which may direct traffic to their websites, thereby having a direct impact on increased business activity.  As my Mother would say "It's all very modern" and though I know Chris would be wagging a finger at my rather less than 600 words effort, I nevertheless feel somewhat smug in the fact that I have finally written my first ever Blog! A fun and informative night had by all. 
So great to see so many faces after our long summer hiatus, and at a new venue too, many thanks to Kate for making our first meeting at La Pomme Rouge ( go so brilliantly. I am happy for us to relocate to our new venue as my house is a little way out for anyone who isn't Bar sur Loup based, ie most of you! I have copied in lots of people who couldn't make it today, however if anyone wants to be removed from the list please let me know. Equally good to meet Karen, Andrena and Marika, as well as Alison, hope you will all come along to the next one. And thanks to Sylvia for bringing her dazzling and unique array of jewellery to tempt us all.We are in the process of getting the Premier Mardi website up and running and in future I will post round ups of each meeting on the website so that people can see or reference at a glance anything they have missed or need further details on.
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