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Archive for July, 2011

Apprentice Final

Did you see it….The Apprentice final? A bit of a twist in the tail, wasn’t it? Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, the two leading horses suddenly stopped to chew some grass and the third runner squeezed in between them to win. What interested me most was why Helen lost.

She came up with a brilliant business idea – why not set up as a Virtual Concierge? (Now why didn’t I think of that?) Everything was going well until the interviewer said “where’s your book of contacts?” The blank expression on her face said it all. “I don’t have a book of contacts; I hadn’t thought about it and I don’t know how to get one.” So the interviewer said “could you get me a table at the Ivy restaurant tonight?” The penny dropped and she told him she’d have to set about getting some contacts.

You can’t do that! You can’t wake up one morning and say “starting today I’m an architect….or an orthodontist….or a High Court Judge. You have to spend years and years gaining the necessary knowledge. I know that, Lord Sugar knew it but she didn’t, so she threw away an almost certain victory.

It’s taken me all those years and years to build up my “book of contacts”. I don’t mean just a list of names and phone numbers I could have found in Yellow Pages. I’m talking about flesh-and-blood people I’ve known forever. People I can phone up at 10 o’clock on Sunday night and say “I need a favour”. I can do that because we’ve always done each other favours, passed business each other’s way. That’s how it works and that’s why City Concierge works – we’ve spent a long time doing our homework.

Oh and yes, before you ask, I can get you a table at the Ivy. Just a few weeks ago, some high-level American businessmen wanted a table for six – same day! Their P.A. couldn’t get them in…..but I could.

So my advice to Helen and all the other Helens is this: stick to what you know; leave the “expert” businesses to the experts….like City Concierge.

Keep smiling! It confuses the traffic wardens.


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Summertime and the living is easy?

Summer has arrived and if anywhere genuinely suits summer, it’s the City. All those beautiful buildings sparkle and shine and the leaves on the trees set them off nicely, but it’s not just the way it all looks. The people are different too. Everyone somehow seems to be in a better mood; cheerful and polite.  The City Concierge is always cheerful and polite – it goes with the job, but it really brightens up the day when everyone else is too.

Summer is also good for business. The football season is over and suddenly all the focus is on the familiar summer sporting events – special emphasis every summer on debenture corporate hospitality at Wimbledon. I am keeping very busy at the moment, finding the best seats. There is also a tremendous increase in demand for hotel accommodation.  We have amazing 60-70%discounts to offer clients, which makes our services even more attractive.  More commercial visitors bring their wives/husbands at this time of the year. This means they stay longer, book more sight-seeing tours with me and very often hire cars and travel around to other parts of the country.  I am arranging plenty of personal shoppers for wives and partners, who don’t know their way around, and want to exploit the shopping opportunity to the max.

The one area where I am really seeing an increase is interpreters. There have always been huge numbers of foreign visitors coming to London on business and most of them speak English – to an extent! It seems that it has finally dawned on them that they may be losing chalks in business meetings if they fail to catch every word or to understand English expressions (like “losing chalks”, for example).

Meanwhile, I’m doing a roaring trade in attractive summer weight bespoke suits at amazing prices.

So, have a good summer and if there’s anything you need, visit the website –

www.city-concierge.co.uk – or just call me on 07973 282123.


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