Liz Hutchings, who is currently self-isolating during lockdown as she’s six months’ pregnant, has used the time to launch a diverse and agile online marketing platform for the town of Poole.
The 37-year-old, who lives in Hamworthy, Poole with her husband and daughter Flo, aged two, had always planned to launch a local platform for her business which began in Swindon, Wiltshire eight years ago.
Liz Hutchings fell in love with Poole when visiting her in-laws in nearby Sidmouth and dreamed of launching a Total Guide to... one day.
"Unlike many seaside towns across the country, Poole has it all; the sun doesn't have to be shining here to have a great time. There is plenty to do and see whatever the weather.
"However, while visiting, I struggled to find any joined up information online about the best places to visit in Poole and from a business element too I couldn’t find any information about the best office space or local networking events. It was evident that Poole was desperately in need of a Total Guide," she said.
"Lockdown has allowed me and my team the time to turn that dream into a reality. I’m expecting our second child later in the summer so this is definitely the moment to expand the business and I can’t wait to bring our vision and digital marketing expertise to Poole and to deliver our company ethos of Bringing Communities Together; Helping Businesses Thrive and Places Come Alive."
The platform includes digital news covering local consumer, community, charity and business news and guides. There are now Total Guide to... platforms in Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Reading and Manchester with future plans to expand into other areas of the UK through a franchise model.
Liz said: "I started with a vision for creating a guide for every city or large town around the UK for the local community, businesses, tourists, charities and other organisations to engage.
"The aim is to create an online community with useful local information, news, events, offers which is sustainable financially and becomes part of the fabric of a local community.
"It’s about embracing the amazing opportunity presented by digital while not forgetting the importance of knowing each other in the real world."
Several other cities and large towns are currently under consideration as Total Guide to... looks to expand throughout the country providing its services to as many communities as possible.
One of the key aspects of Total Guide to... is to host events that bring together business people from across the county. After lockdown this will be rolled out in Poole and possibly wider Dorset.
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