I recently received in the post a Best Business Guides. It is a very fine looking booklet, with a glossy cover. It almost feels as if you are booking to go on holiday, which is probably the idea. The concept of the book is that customers can fill in the questionnaire about their favourite businesses. To encourage more people to do this, vouchers and gifts are offered for completed surveys. It is a very generous offer, you almost wonder if it really matters what you fill in as long as you get your free Marks & Spencer vouchers. The idea behind the book is that with all this information the publishers can compile a list of companies that they think form the best business in the area. Now, of course, some of the businesses can pay a little more and get a full page explaining about their business in colour with a photograph. Make no mistake it is a lot nicer to have this book by your telephone as the editors advises you, then the Manx Telecom guide. I must take my hat off to people who have dreamed up this scheme. Of course it is just a ploy. The company does not allow any detailed examination of how they come to their decision. The quotes are not referenced so there is no checking possible. It will look nice next to my phone but is probably useless.
Although I have to say the magazine has spurred me on to adding a voting system to our next email where people can vote on their favourite business, say who they are and why they choose that business. It will be one of the first things to be published in our forums due shortly. Glossy is nice but transparency is nicer if you are spending several thousands of pounds.