York Trophy Blog #105 ~ This month we celebrated our third year of trading from our current Market Lane office & showroom. Our actual company birthday is in April, but we ran for the first four months from the dining room table as an online only company. Four months later we grew big enough to require our own premises and this is where we are trading from today. Since August 2011, we have served nearly 3000 customers and now have repeat customers all over the UK, Europe, America and further afield. In our three years of trading we have won four awards ourselves, included in one of the prizes is the ongoing work we do with Multi Millionaire Theo Paphitis and his Ryman group. Many new businesses fail to mark the three years of trading mark without going bust. Sadly those who don’t make it have many different reasons for failing to do so. We are very proud to say we are still around and look forward to many more successful years to come. The secret behind this is to give customers what they want, when they want and at a price that keeps them returning year after year. I have been given help and guidance from all sorts of areas, but I had to go out and look hard to find it. Do some homework and research the problem online. Business owners can learn all sorts of tips to help their own business grow and become successful. Local councils and the UK government want businesses to be successful as it creates more jobs and means more money being spent in the local economy. Everyone at LRB Trophies would like to thank all of our local customers for using our services and the many people who have helped our business grow.  
Trophy Blog #84 – On the 16th of April we celebrated our 3rd birthday of trading in the trophy & engraving world. Three years ago we changed the name of our eBay account to LRB Trophies, and off we went. Since that day we have served over 2500 customers, with all sorts of trophies and engraving services, from all over the world. After our first four months of online trading we moved to our current Market Lane office and showroom. 2013 was a very busy year of trading, with many new customers and products sent to new territory. It was also very successful year for us both in progression and recognition. We won three social media awards and gained praise from a multi-millionaire retailer. Theo Paphitis has one of our trophies in his office. Our prize package from Theo Paphitis is still ongoing and we might have some exciting news to come soon. As soon as I know the full details I promise to let the ‘Trading Up’ readers know first. So watch this space! During the last three years, Selby and the surrounding area has slowly changed for the better for the shopper and trader. The economy is bit by bit gathering pace again and I’ve got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that this continues. I still think that Selby could follow in Tadcaster’s footsteps and offer free parking, even if it is just a Tuesday morning or Saturday afternoon, if the powers that be can get the people into the town centre, it is up to the traders and businesses to do the rest. Sadly another two long established shops on Gowthorpe are closing down for good, both for different reasons. Hopefully they will not be empty for long and some of the staff can work in the new businesses.  
Blog #27 – Continuing our ‘2nd Birthday in the office’ celebrations… I have dug out the very first ‘LRB Trophies’ photo I took to advertise a posting on ebay – (this is it shown above) – a lot has happened since posting that photo online. In April 2013, when we celebrated the business actual birthday (we ran from April to August 2011 as an ‘online only business’) I wrote a newspaper column that included my own answers to the ‘Top 10 Q&A’ section I did. I have reprinted these below for you to read again. ~ 10x Q&A’s I have been asked a few times about my own answers to my Big 10 questions, so as it’s a special time for us, here they are: 1, One way Selby can be improved easily or cheaply. Free Parking, even if it is just a few days of the week, if the powers that be can get the people into the town centre, it is up to the businesses to do the rest. 2, If I gave you £100, how would you spend it within your company? A nice dinner for my family who help run the business or listen to all the positives and negatives we have each day. 3, If I gave you £1 million to improve Selby, How would you spend it? Hopefully the old Do it All site would be available for some of that money, I would change it into two parts, first would be a ‘In Shops’ indoor market for new or small traders to test out the water before setting up in business. On the other side create a ‘ramps and skater foam pit’ so our local teenagers have somewhere to hang out and burn off some energy. We also need a new and modern football site as football is such a big sport in this area. 4, Selby’s main tourist attraction? Everyone so far has given the Abbey as the answer, which is true, so I might have to change the question soon. (perhaps the Selby Times Readers could send in suggestions?) 5, One reason for a shopper to visit Selby. Lots of local independent shops and businesses who don’t have to go on courses to learn about ‘customer service’ as they already know it. 6, How many hours do you work each week? Each week is different depending on the Deadlines for our orders & deliveries. 7, One reason to be proud of Selby. It is improving all the time. I have been to far worst places during my travels. 8, One thing you would change about Selby? Give more power and funding to groups such as the Selby Chamber and Selby Hands of Hope so that they can spend the money on projects quickly without any red tape. 9, Will you still be trading in Selby in 5 years time? Hopefully yes, Selby will be my HQ. 10, Best way to unwind locally. I support and help run Cliffe FC, but sometimes I’m not able to unwind when we lose! I also like to take my 2 year old daughter to feed the ducks and horses in the local area.
Blog #26 – August 2013 sees our 2nd Birthday of trading from it’s current Market Lane location. In between April & August 2011, we ran the company from home as an ‘online only’ business. – To help with our 2nd year office celebrations, I have edited the column I wrote in April 2013. ~ This month we celebrate our 2nd birthday of trading. It all started at the dining room table and changing our ebay account name to LRB Trophies. Since then we have served over 1500 customers and we send our items to customers all over the world. After our first four months of online trading we we’re in a position for myself to give up my duty manager job at Argos and work full time from our current Market Lane location. In the last year or so we have really got into our stride after our setting up period. Winning the Selby Times Local Business Accelerator award really catapulted us into the limelight. We would like to thank all of our local customers for using us, many of them mention reading about our own award and ask if we have met Debra Meaden from Dragons Den yet, sadly the answer is No, but she is most welcome to pop in for a brew whenever she is in the North! Without sounding like a never ending awards acceptance speech, myself, my business partner Janet and brother Andrew would like to thank a few people who have provided help and guidance whenever it was needed; Keith Tiplady, Paul Spiteri, Nigel Adams MP and all our family and friends who have encouraged us and also pointed out in no certain terms where we can improve on things. We are always looking to expand and create an ‘LRB’ empire so keep an eye out on our future news.
Today (5th April) marks our First Birthday! LRB Trophies started a year ago from Steve Butler’s dining room table using just a laptop and a spare space under the stairs! 12 months down the line Steve now has his very own office and showroom, with two other members of the family helping behind the scenes. Steve’s auntie, Janet Corbett takes charge of all the ordering and book keeping, while Steve”s brother Andrew Butler has joined the team to be in charge of all the engraving work we have. LRB Trophies has many customers in the local area, but also has UK & European customers using the companies Facebook, Twitter and Ebay sites. As LRB Trophies moves into it’s second year, we will be Launching ‘LRB Occasions’ to cater for all the special occasion needs such as personal wedding presents and family celebration requirements. Watch this space for more news! Everybody at LRB Trophies would like to thank all of it’s customers we have served in the past year and we look forward in seeing you again soon!