Corporation Street Hotel Rochester – INFO HUB

Corporation Street Hotel Rochester, Kent.

There’s a lot of discussion on social media regarding the proposal for for the new Corporation Street Hotel Rochester.  We decided to create this post after realising that quite a few people were confused about the details of the project. Not content with teaching websites and SEO, we also want to educate local people about local issues affecting the area. Too pluggy?

The idea for an info hub came from a Facebook post shared in a local Rochester group:

In case any Rochester and Medway friends have missed it, the revised Corporation Street hotel plans are open for…

Posted by Sarah Anderson on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Here’s a collection of information and links about the hotel project that some may find useful:


Corporation Street Hotel Rochester – The Proposal

Proposal: Demolition of existing disused petrol station and the construction of a 140 bed hotel with hotel reception, cafe and retail at ground floor, hotel amenities at first floor with hotel accommodation above and associated service lane/areas

Application: MC/17/1978 | Demolition of existing disused petrol station and the construction of a 140 bed hotel with hotel reception, cafe and retail at ground floor, hotel amenities at first floor with hotel accommodation above and associated service lane/areas | 25 CORPORATION STREET, ROCHESTER, ME1 1ND

View the application documents here:

Images from the application:


Corporation Street Hotel Rochester

Corporation Street Hotel Rochester - INFO HUB

Corporation Street Hotel Rochester - INFO HUB

Further information:

Application Type Full Application
Expected Decision Level Delegated
Case Officer Doug Coleman
Parish Not Available
Ward Rochester West
District Reference Not Available
Applicant Name Miriam
Agent Name Ms Miriam White
Agent Company Name MWC Limited
Agent Address 51 Park Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 6DB
Agent Phone Number 07736232577
Environmental Assessment Requested No

Facebook groups discussing the proposal:

Rochester (Kent) Community Friends (this is a ‘closed’ group meaning that you will need to request to join in order to engage in discussions)

Media coverage:

How to object (Planning Law blog):

Do you have an opinion about the Corporation Street Hotel Rochester plans?

Leave a comment below or contact us if you have anything to add or any questions about this info hub post.

UPDATE: Incorrect information removed (see comment below from Richard)

Avoid bad debt – why clients don’t pay

How to avoid bad debt

Sometimes it’s difficult to avoid bad debt and something we hear about a lot from clients is that they’ve had trouble with getting payments in from their customers after they’ve been working together for some time.

Having had our own experiences in the past, we thought it may help to offer an insight into why this happens and what you can do to avoid bad debt and reduce the amount of non-payers you experience.

For reasons we will explore further in this blog, the customers expectation has often simply not been met. This is not always the fault of the service provider. This article explains the science beautifully:

For most customers price by itself is not the key factor when a purchase is being considered. This is because most customers compare the entire marketing offering and do not simply make their purchase decision based solely on a product’s price. In essence when a purchase situation arises price is one of several variables customers evaluate when they mentally assess a product’s overall value.

Value refers to the perception of benefits received for what someone must give up. Since price often reflects an important part of what someone gives up, a customer’s perceived value of a product will be affected by a marketer’s pricing decision. Any easy way to see this is to view value as a calculation:

Value = perceived benefits received
perceived price paid

For the buyer value of a product will change as perceived price paid and/or perceived benefits received change. But the price paid in a transaction is not only financial it can also involve other things that a buyer may be giving up. For example, in addition to paying money a customer may have to spend time learning to use a product, pay to have an old product removed, close down current operations while a product is installed or incur other expenses.


So, if a customer has made payments to you in the past but is now unwilling to continue to pay, you’ll probably find there’s one of a few things going on:

avoid bad debt

Here are the reasons:

  1. They are broke – this is the obvious and most common ‘excuse’ given but often the case is that they don’t see the value you are providing for their hard earned cash. 
  2. You have not provided what they ‘expected’. Again, this is often used as a reason and is usually because they have not really understood what they were going to receive for their money. 
  3. You are being perceived as a soft option. This means that the customer has lowered the priority of your service and then pays other businesses before you, as part of their budgeting priority.

Here’s why it happens:

  1. If they are genuinely broke, there’s really not a lot you can do. Be polite, explain that you cannot work for free and move on swiftly. As most sales professionals will tell you – don’t sell to broke people.
  2. When you tell a customer what you are providing for their money, they develop an expectation. Quite often it’s a summary of the detail you give them, because they don’t really understand the details of your offering. This is often the case when your service is based on ‘experience’ or a talent that makes you specialist in your field. It’s a bit like a dentist charging £55 – £250 for a ‘simple tooth extraction. It’s take about 5-10 minutes to remove a tooth and yet they can charge huge amounts for this seemingly simple procedure. If the dentist were to explain exactly what training they had to endure and the years of studying required to become a qualified dental surgeon, you’d probably find it easier to swallow (pun intended!). In reality, what dentist has the time to spend explaining their training to every patient?
  3. It’s completely natural for people (especially business owners) to want to save money where they can.  Think about it, say a friend lends you £50 to buy something you need. Your really grateful and as soon as payday comes you plan to square them up. Now imagine you get an unexpectedly high business phone bill or internet line. If you don’t pay, you’ll be cut of and have services restricted. You need to make a choice. Do you pay your friend or the company that’s going to cut your services? Your friend knows you personally and will likely understand your problem. The company only knows your account standing and if you don’t pay, you’ll be cut. The person in the call centre has never spoken to you before and knows nothing about you. You can try and explain that you have a commitment to pay your friend but we all know how much weight that carries with big companies. You knock your friend and the company gets paid. Ce’st la vie.

What you can do to avoid bad debt and  minimise the amount of non-paying clients:

  1. Make sure the client knows exactly what they are going to receive for their money. List all services clearly and make sure it’s in writing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to restrict services. If you don’t pay your phone bill, your phone gets cut.  Small companies often allow non-payers to continue using services through fear of losing them. Does it not make you wonder if the big companies worry about this? The fact is, they were once small companies and have been through the small business phase and have learned that it doesn’t pay to be kind in business. This is why they have long contracts with lots of small print with conditions of trading etc. One slip up and you’re cut off or fined. We’re not suggesting that you create huge complicated contracts, but don’t be afraid to restrict your services if a customer doesn’t pay. Maybe allow a bit of a grace period but don’t be afraid to lose a bad payer.
  3. Impose a penalty for late or non-payment and make this clear from the start. Right from your pitch you can begin to explain how you operate and make sure your prospect understands how you do business. Clarity is the key here.
  4. Hide behind a third party. You need payment because you have to pay third parties for their services. This is a good way to make the whole process less personal. It’s not you personally that is being strict, but your third party supplier.
  5. Make sure your customer understands the actual  ‘value’ of your services. The key here is that you need to ‘educate’ your customer so that they realise what they are getting for their money. It’s easier to explain fully before you close the deal than after, when you’re both in a negative, emotionally fuelled situation because payment has been missed.
  6. Keep it professional – lot’s of clients will try to ‘friend zone’ you in order to gain special treatment or freebies. Don’t get it twisted, these people are manipulating your relationship for their own benefit. Learn to recognise when this is happening and keep it strictly business.

Final thought 

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your prospect knows exactly what they are paying for before you agree price and shake hands on a deal. More often than not, a prospect buys on the basis of their understanding of your offering. If this is different to yours in any way, you will almost certainly have conflict down the line. If you want to avoid bad debt, be crystal clear in your proposal.

If your service is monthly, send monthly reports detailing what has been done and what they are being charged for. If you maintain this understanding throughout the contract term, you will have a lot less trouble asking for the money, and your customer will have a lot less trouble paying for it.

Contact us if you have any questions about learning how to avoid bad debt or you have something to add to this article.


Learn on-page SEO yourself

on-page seoLearn on-page SEO yourself – it’s not that hard once you understand how it works.

First we’ll explain what on-page SEO means.

The term ‘on-page’ refers to the optimisation of the elements contained within your page, that is, all the things that show on the page; Text, images, links, meta tags and so on.

All these things can be optimised with a chosen keyword or phrase. For those who were asleep in the last lesson, SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. See me after class.

When you’re selecting your keywords or keyphrases, head over to Google and type them in. See where the keyword(s) appear and you’ll soon be targeting your market like a dream.

Here’s what Yoast says about it (and we trust Yoast):

On-page SEO and off-page SEO

On-page factors all have to do with elements of your own website. On-page factors include technical set-up – the quality of your code – textual and visual content and user-friendliness of your site. On the other side there are off-page factors, like links from other websites, social media attention and other marketing activities outside your own website. If you focus on off-page SEO you mostly aim to get more links to your site. The more relevant links you get, the higher your ranking in Google will be. Want to get more links to your site? Read our series about link building.

So, to further clarify what on-page SEO is, It may help if we tell you what ‘off-page’ means. Off page SEO relates to things like link building, directory listings, video SEO, guest blogs and the like.

This practice strengthens the on-page SEO and when used together, it’s a very powerful tactic. £2000 per month is not unheard of for off-page SEO work. When you fully understand what is involved, you’ll realise why the price is high.

Off page SEO can be expensive to outsource but it’s not hard to learn to do it yourself – if you have the time, that is.

Here’s a great article that runs through lots of useful points regarding on-page SEO. If you have the time, it’s well worth a read:

This is also the reason that we use WordPress as our core system. WordPress, when used with the right choice of plugins, takes care off all the ‘code’ or ‘backend’ issues and make it easy to focus on the page elements without worrying about the technical stuff.

Do you have questions? Confused about on-page SEO?

Contact us and ask whatever you like.

How to tag forename only in a Facebook post (VIDEO)

tag forename onlyHow to tag forename only in a Facebook post

There’s a quirky feature in Facebook that allows you to tag a forename only, without the full name appearing.

When making a new post or comment, you may not always want the default full name to show. Here’s an example:

Full name: Thanks, John Belsize, I’ll see you tomorrow!

Forename only: Thanks, John, I’ll see you tomorrow!

See the difference? It may appear to be a minor detail, but it looks a lot less formal when tagging someone to just show their first name as opposed to their full title. This works on desktop and mobile/tablet devices.

We’ve tested on an iPhone 6 plus, iPhone7, Android S6 and Macbook Air. Let us know if you discover any devices or browsers that this doesn’t work with. Continue reading “How to tag forename only in a Facebook post (VIDEO)”