In the current business climate, there is nothing more important than your brand. Your brand needs to be strong, easy to recognise, and consistent. It also needs to have the right level of creativity to distinguish your business from the crowd. There is no denying that creating an effective brand can be difficult. The last thing you want to do is start over because this goes against the levels of consistency brands need to achieve. However, if your brand isn’t working, you should go back to the drawing board. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key warning signs that your brand is not effective.
You don’t have a tagline – One of the easiest places to start is with your business’ tagline. If you do not have one, this is a problem. Your company’s tagline reinforces your communication. It describes what you do while ensuring your name is cemented in the minds of your customers and prospects. For a tagline to be effective, it needs to be easy to say, original, and memorable while also communicating what you do.
You can’t say what your brand is in 15 seconds or less – If you have a strong and effective brand, you should have no trouble saying what it is in 15 seconds or less. In a world of information overload and complicated communication, simplicity is the best anecdote. You need to be able to say what you do in a few words. If you can, this shows that your brand is clear and effective. If you cannot, you need to do a bit of re-thinking.
You don’t know where to start when creating content – When it comes to creating business content, you should know the voice of your company and the style that you should be using when it comes to working with a video production company or web design business. If you don’t, this says that you don’t really understand your brand. If you do not understand your brand, no one else is going to, indicating that it is confusing and lacks the strength needed to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
You do not have objectives that are in line with your vision, passions, and values – In the introduction, we mentioned the importance of consistency, and this really cannot be stressed enough when it comes to branding your business. You need to be compelling, focused, and succinct because people have shorter and shorter attention spans.
So there you have it: some of the signs that your brand is not working. If you have noticed any of the signs that have been mentioned above, this is an indication that your brand needs a bit of TLC because it is not working as it should. Perhaps it could be time for an entire revamp?
Here’s the thing! Standing up in front of others may be what you were born to do. With an audience at hand, you may get a buzz from the crowd, and your skills at presenting may be second to none! The late lamented Steve Jobs had nothing on you! On the other hand…
Standing up in front of others may be your worst nightmare. Perhaps because of a fear of vulnerability, you may dread the idea of talking in front of a group of people. Whether it’s in a small room talking to your clients or investors, or in a larger auditorium delivering a presentation to your business peers at a conference, you may want the ground to swallow you up to take you to a place that is safe and away from the critical eyes of others!
So, assuming you fall into the latter category, and you dread the idea of delivering any kind of business presentation, we have some tips for you.
Benefit from training. Nobody is perfect, but you can build up your skills through training. Check online or with your local colleges for any training that may be available to help you with the unenviable task of leading a business presentation. For starters, training in public speaking may be of use to you. Giving you the skill to speak in front of others without melting into a puddle of nerves, this is one key area that will definitely stand you in good stead for your speaking engagement. Secondly, consider Powerpoint or Visio training classes. Here, you will learn how to create a visual backup for your presentation, from flowcharts to slideshows. With training in these and other areas, you will build up your confidence in the skills needed to effectively demonstrate your presentation in front of others.
Prepare your material. The worst thing you can do when feeling nervous about giving a presentation is not planning it thoroughly. Preparation is key, as getting up on stage and ‘winging it’ may be one step away from much personal embarrassment. Therefore, consider what you need to say and research vital information. The more knowledgeable you are, the more likely you are going to make a good impression, especially if you are having a Q and A session. Structure your presentation too, using this guide to deliver something that will engage your audience. And know who your audience is. Depending on the demographic you are speaking to, you may want to tailor your presentation accordingly. After preparing your material, you are then ready to go forward with the next step.
Practice your presentation. Having prepared your material, you should enlist friends, family or business colleagues to listen to you going through your presentation. It doesn’t matter if you go wrong in an informal setting, and your listeners may be able to give you a few pointers if any weaknesses are apparent. They will tell you if your attempts at humour don’t land, or if there are any dull stretches in what you were delivering. They will also let you know what went well, so you may be encouraged to know that you may actually be better than you think you are. Another good idea is to record yourself. You can then play back the recording later, giving you the opportunity to see what you look and sound like giving your presentation. If there are any flaws in your delivery, you can work on perfecting them.
Prepare for the day. Preparing your material and delivery is one thing. But then there are all the other things you need to prepare for, such as getting together all the equipment necessary, and having a backup in case something stops working, such as your laptop. Get to know the place you will be speaking in too. Know where you will be standing, find out where electrical sockets are and have a run through of your material in the real environment. Think about any questions you may be asked by your audience, and anticipate the answers. The more you can do in advance of the big day, the less nervous you will be.
On the day itself. Assuming you haven’t decided to call in sick (those blasted nerves), get to where you need to be in good time. This will enable you to physically set up for the day, and give you time to mentally prepare yourself. Use some of these relaxation strategies to calm your nerves. As your audience arrives, know that they are here to support you and not judge you, so don’t consider them a threat. Have cue cards on hand to help you as you deliver your presentation. And take your attention away from yourself and focus on your audience. They have come to learn from you, so no matter how you feel inside, remember your job is to benefit their day. Chances are, you will do better than you think you will, especially if you have prepared your material and practised beforehand. And if you do screw up in front of the audience? It’s not the end of the world, and assuming it’s not a huge faux pas, shrug your shoulders, make light of your mistake and move on.
We aren’t all equipped to stand in front of others, but follow our advice, and you will stand a better chance of success the next time you have to deliver a business presentation. And if you have conquered your fears? Let us know what you did, giving those of us with fretful nerves the benefit of your wisdom. Thanks for reading.
As a small business owner, we know that business and social media move super fast. You have to be willing to adapt and go with the flow and trends to ensure your business keeps up. But what if you don’t want to just keep up? What if you want to be ahead of the game?
Hang on a second. At this point, you could think you are just keeping your head above water. Your schedule is out of control, you go between having a million ideas and not knowing where to start, to having zero ideas and zero customers. You aren’t getting the income you want, and you realised that Pinterest post promising you a passive income for 1 hours work a month was probably a lie.
Here are 5 good reasons to use a Business Strategist
There is so much going on day to day in your business. From fixing issues with your website through to sending a million emails. It’s easy to get distracted from your goals. It’s easy to lose focus. Even easier to get lost in the noise. A session with a business strategist can get you back in the zone and on track. You will be refocussed on driving your business forward with a plan of action.
Social media alone is forever changing, let alone strategies and techniques. A business strategist should be ahead of the game, they can make sure your business is also. You probably don’t have time to spend hours on Google working out how to market your business with the latest changes on Instagram. Let someone else tell you exactly how to maximise opportunities for your business.
Something might not be quite right in your business. The result may be that customers are coming, but not spending. You’re getting traffic but email sign up numbers are low. You don’t get engagement despite posting daily with all the hashtags! There will be a “disconnect”. A missing puzzle piece. Two dots that need joining. Your small business strategist is the person who can take a holistic look at your business and move it past this point.
To connect the dots sometimes you need to hear something you may not want about your business. If you have worked for 4 days straight on your website, but it’s still doing your business more harm than good, it may be better to know this, than to turn off potential customers. Sometimes we can be too close to a project to see it from another objective point of view.
A bit like when you wore that outfit, felt great, then saw the pictures the next day and wondered why your friends didn’t mention that was possibly the least flattering outfit you owned. I’m that friend that will really kindly tell you those leather hot pants are not your actual friend and hand you the most flattering pants in your wardrobe. The kind of friend you need!
You can totally do this alone. Like someone who has never swum before could get in a pool after Googling “how to swim”, and eventually teach themselves to swim. If they don’t learn to swim, the alternative is… well… not a great one.
It’s the same in business. You either struggle through until you eventually, often much pain, heartache and time, hit that goal. Or you sink. Your small business disappears under the surface of your niche, to rest in the depths with all the other businesses who couldn’t strive or swim any more.
Or you hire a swimming teacher – a Small Business Strategist (waves hands at you!)
Make your life easier by getting a professional to show you how to do it, teach you how to do it, encourage you, hold your hand, support you and more.
Why struggle or even worse give up on your dream, when someone who really loves to and wants to work with you is there to help?
Get on the waiting list for 30 minutes of free small business advice!
When you have a great idea and a solid business plan, it’s no wonder you’d like to get started right away. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner your business can grow and prosper, right? There are, however, many ways to raise funds and some of them are much better than others, depending on your particular business’ situation.
Here is a handful of quick and easy ways to get you started so that you can find the best solution, and give your business the kind of foundation it deserves right from the start.
Undoubtedly one of the more lucrative alternatives, finding a proper investor can mean a lot for the future of your business. Besides from giving you that much-needed cash flow you’ve been looking for, investors can also help you to broaden your network and get your product or service into the kind of arenas where it will actually sell.
The first problem with this is, of course, that you need to find an investor who is interested and see a future in your company. That’s where your solid business plan and communication skills will come in handy – but there is a lot more you can do to make it a successful proposal.
Show up with a prototype of your product, for example, or make sure that you have the kind of numbers you’re proved of showing them before you try your luck. Another idea is to get a 3D version of your product, such as the ones they’re offering at https://www.gnet.ie/, and let your product do the talking.
From the most lucrative way of raising funds to the least lucrative way – bootstrapping is definitely a lot of hard work, the begin with, but it will pay you back in spades later on.
By giving yourself some extra time to find the kind of money you need to make your company take off, you’ll also avoid that dreadful debt that many startups suffer under. Have a look at https://www.thebalancesmb.com to learn more about bootstrapping.
Cut back on your expenses and make sure you’re able to make a bit extra money for a year or two before launching your business, and you’ll be much better off a few years down the road. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it.
Another solution to your money problems is to make money out of what you’re able to do right now. It’s a form of bootstrapping but a bit more hands-on in terms of entrepreneurship. There are actually quite a lot of businesses you can open without having much money at all, such as those in the service or consulting industry.
Anything that is based on your communication skills and knowledge won’t need that much equipment except for your own brilliant mind. That way, you get to launch your business a bit sooner and can tweak it the way you want when you have money for it.
More and more females are choosing trades within the construction industry to pursue as a career. The ratio of men to women working in construction is gradually changing and females are now more commonplace. Women are choosing to train as plumbers, electricians, builders and decorators breaking the stereotypical image of the traditionally male-dominated environment. There is a huge shortage of qualified tradespeople and women entering the profession are beginning to build a reputation as having an excellent eye for detail as well as a high-quality finish. Women in construction are also sought after by elderly people living alone and single females who may be otherwise intimidated by male workers within their home. That’s not to say that women are better than men in construction, just that there is space for both genders on equal terms.
Trades within the construction industry pay well, many people choose a trade for the flexibility the job offers as well as the financial gain. If you build up your reputation as a reliable and high-quality tradesperson you will be in high demand and will be able to charge accordingly. Skilled tradespeople are in demand as there is a shortage nationally.
In addition to financial gain working in the construction industry allows you to break away from the 9-5 routine of working within an office. It allows creativity and design skills to be utilised. If you are a passionately creative person and enjoy using your hands, working in the construction industry could be for you.
Construction work also offers good career progression. As your reputation rises you may be able to consider starting your own business. You could also diversify into property renovation. As time progresses you are likely to accumulate a large number of tools and equipment in order to keep up with customer demand. A storage facility such as those offered by Canning Vale Storage Units would be a good option.
There a number of training routes available and it will be down to your own personal preference and individual circumstances as to which pathway you choose. Your local college may be able to offer courses which allow for time spent on work placements in order to enhance your practical skills or you could opt for an apprenticeship where you learn “on the job” so to speak, with college days to learn theory. If you are making a career change you could choose to retrain in the evenings whilst maintaining your current job. There are private training providers but try and avoid the “fast track” options as these are unlikely to leave you feeling confident enough to undertake work once the course is completed.
Whichever training option you choose, ensure that you are always treated with respect and with same equal opportunities as the males on your course. More and more females are training for a career in the construction industry but it is likely that you will be in the minority. This should make no difference to the way you are taught or treated and most training providers will have policies and procedures relating to equality. Always seek advice if you feel unfairly treated.
Once qualified it would be good practice to work alongside experienced tradespeople in order to consolidate your skills. Once you feel confident you could start your own construction business, enter the realms of property renovation or work overseas. The world is your oyster. Enjoy the rewards!
Okay so you have your business, you know your product or service inside, but let me guess, it’s not quite perfect.
Maybe you’d like more traffic to your website? Maybe you’re getting the traffic, but it’s not converting into sales? Maybe your social media isn’t getting the followers or engagement you hoped? Is your content missing the mark?
Or maybe you’re not sure?
If you aren’t getting the level of customers or the income you’d like from your business, chances are something is out of alignment.
And that’s where a Business Strategist can help.
My process is to take a look at your business as a whole. Piece the whole thing together. I pride myself on my ability to spot the missing pieces of the puzzle pretty quickly. Once we know where the disconnect is, we can work together to put a plan in place to fix it quickly and easily.
And all this starts with a complimentary session!
This session is so important to find out your goals and challenges, to examine your business. We delve into the structure and we can work to tighten it up and your business will get stronger for it.
I believe it’s also important for you to understand how to build the strong foundation and all that comes after this. I won’t just give you a list of items to check off (you do get this!), but I’ll also ensure you understand the principles behind what we’re doing so you can use these by yourself without needing me!
I’ll always be here if you do need me, but if you feel confident and empowered to carry out tasks by yourself, because you understand what needs doing, then my job is done!
I’m also super lucky to have a network of women within She Hustles Inc. We have branding experts, PR experts, life coaches, Facebook ad experts! You name it, I have a lady in my network who can help you out. I have spent time with these ladies and built a relationship so we all share the expertise of the collective group and in working with me, you get access to this network!
Best of all, you get to try out business strategy advice for free with no obligation. If it’s not for you, all you’ve lost is half an hour of your time!
As someone interested in marketing your firm, you’ll quickly realize that most of advertising work is in demonstrating and planting ideas in the heads of your future customers. It can pay to think of what your goal for doing this is. Do you hope to simply make yourself known? To make some noise? To make your business seem cool?
All of these are perhaps tertiary goals, but not primary. It’s making a connection with your customer that is the most important goal of all. You need them to imagine themselves using your products, wearing your merchandise, booking your service. They need to imagine creating a customer account, interfacing with your product daily, and learning how to maintain it and care for its use.
You can achieve this in the following ways. Some are novel, some are time-tested. All can benefit you:
Demonstrations are incredibly useful to help people visualize your product and the benefit it brings. You can achieve this by presenting the product in the right way. For example, for fashion items, investing in mannequin sets at https://my-mannequins.co.uk/specialties-plus-size-72 can help customers see exactly what the item will look like when combined with others, or how they might work on a similar physical frame. It’s not uncommon for full outfit sets to be purchased this way, instead of simply the one item a customer may have come into the store looking for. Demonstrations also include video content, in-store demonstrations and perhaps testing models for customers or clients to interface with. Tours can also work, for example in the case of showing a client the facilities you have.
While it hasn’t adopted mainstream appeal, VR stores are now becoming quite popular with high-end businesses. For example, large merchandising stores, or even expensive products can help you visualize this in a correctly aspect-ratio mminimizedspace. For example, Ferrari has been known to allow for an online functionality of VR storefronts, in which they explode the car interior into an easy to see form, and allow you to read statistics of the product while spinning it in your frame. This is very promising.
Sometimes benefiting where this is concerned can be as simple as arranging for quality comparisons to be made on your website via the statistical representation of what the product is. A quick ‘comparison’ chart to the nearest competitive model can sometimes be possible, especially if you do not list the product title by name but heavily allude to it. You may link to comparison tools from your website. You can also benefit from ensuring that different products in your catalog are compared. For example, a simple tick list showing the benefits that higher-priced products or services have over their counterparts both help you articulate the features of a product well, while potentially convincing the user to upgrade.
With these tips, helping consumers visualize a connection to your firm is sure to be a fantastic and frequent habit.
If you want your business to be open to everyone, there are some concrete steps that you will need to take to actually make that happen. It’s something that more business owners should be trying to do because no decent person wants certain groups of people to feel unwelcome, burdensome or simply not catered for when they interact with your business. Here are some helpful ideas that’ll make your business open to everyone in no time.
It should be possible for everyone and anyone to work for your company and ultimately rise through the ranks there. It’s essential to offer equality of opportunity these days, and it should definitely be a core value of your business going forward. It will show the world that you really are serious about equality and giving everyone a fair crack of the whip. It’s not even difficult to get right.
Access to the building is clearly going to be another big issue because if some people can’t even get into your store or whatever type of business you’re running, they’re going to feel excluded and understandably so. You should take steps to get around any access issues that may be present with things like lifts and ramps for wheelchair users. Those small changes will have a big impact on many people.
Building trust in your local community is definitely a good thing to do when you want to show people that you’re serious about being inclusive and truly catering to everyone. Hold events, do things for charity and generally engage with the local community. It will show people that your business is doing things differently from most of the other ones out there.
In retail businesses, signs can be used for all sorts of things, from decoration to important product information. Even restrooms need to be signed so that people know which one to enter. You should also make sure that you use Braille Signs for these things because otherwise, visually impaired customers might not be able to use your business in the way they should be able to.
Simply being transparent and open about your business and the way it’s run can actually be a really good way to get the public to trust you and to believe you when you say that your business is open to everyone. Being more communicative and clear on what your stances are on important issues can also help to build that confidence too. So give this a try.
For your business to be run in the most ethical and responsible way, you need to be open to everyone out there. No business should discriminate, and this isn’t just about good morals. You will sell to more people and increase your reach if you make an effort to be inclusive, so it’ll help your sales figures too.
Many businesses believe they can have a website, launch a service or a product and boomshackalacka they will generate sales and sell out immediately. Unfortunately, reality soon sets in and they realise it’s not that simple. The orders didn’t come flooding in as expected.
The online marketplace can be lucrative. You can make a killing. Or you can disappear in an over-saturated marketplace. There are many ways to draw the traffic to your site, but after you’ve done that, the work doesn’t stop. You need to then use strategies to convert that traffic you have spent time and energy building to much-needed sales.
Treat people as individuals. People with feelings. They don’t want to have a product or service forced on them repeatedly. You need to offer them value. Value related to your product or service. Lots of lovely value. They will recognise your business for providing value in and around this topic and they will look to you when they need something more.
Then when it comes to the product or service itself, remember to tell your potential customer how they will feel if they buy this service. What will they gain?
Create a funnel. Even a simple one. Have them sign up for a freebie first. A freebie that offers great value and has something to do with your product or service. The people who have signed up are considered “warm traffic”. You can then begin the process of introducing your service or product to these clients. These are clients who have already seen the value you bring!
You don’t have to be pushy, but you may need to go into uncomfortable territory to close the sale. After you have given your freebies, your value, it will come to a point where you need to put your product in front of the customer and ask if they would like it. This can be verbally or in writing, maybe via email, but some statistics show that 80% of sales in businesses were the ones where the business requested the sale. Where it was pursued.
If you would like help generating more sales for your business, why not book a consultation with Hannah to discover simple tweaks to get more customers and income today.
Social media marketing is huge. It’s a fantastic way to grow your business and build an audience, and everyone from bloggers with small followings to international businesses are using it. But, as time goes on, social media is changing. In the early days, Facebook was a way to keep in touch with your friends and family. It was fun and nothing more. Now, social media is a massive part of our lives. When we apply for a job, our prospective employers check out our feeds to gauge what kind of person we are, and how reliable and professional we might be. Even those of us that don’t use social media for business are trying to keep things a little more guarded and sharing much less than we might once have done. But, is there still room for fun in your social media marketing? And can that fun help your business to grow?
While we want to show that we’re professional and competent, fun is crucial. One of the main benefits of social media is that it gives you a chance to keep things real. To show the people behind the brand, and to highlight your morals and beliefs. If we were all professional and just used social media to advertise, every brand or business profile would be the same.
People trust other people, much more than they trust brands, logos, business plans, adverts and corporate speak. Having a little fun with your social media feeds, by sharing fun content, pictures and videos and by using emojis, polls and lives, you have a great chance to show the personality behind your business and to build trusting relationships with your followers.
Again, people trust people. So, get other, real people sharing posts about you on their social media feeds. Then, share their post with a retweet, regram or comment. The best example of this is a fashion outlet or designer sharing a photo someone has tagged them in featuring their outfits. Your fans will love it. They’ll feel part of your brand, and like you care about their opinions and ideas. You could also be boosting their followings, which everyone loves.
Instagram and Facebook both give you the option to go live, or to share videos which will vanish after 24 hours. These are great places to get real and have some fun. Your main profile can still look polished and professional, but your stories can be more relaxed and less scripted. Film some behind the scenes videos of the inner workings of your company. Take a photo behind the scenes of a photo shoot, to show what’s really going on, be funny, be bold and let your followers in.
Social media shouldn’t all be about sharing your content and advertising your brand. It should be about building your relationships. Fun videos and engaging posts will help, but you also need to speak with people. Offer advice, answer questions, share other people’s posts and viral videos and engage with your audience. These relationships build trust and boost sales.
The millionaire mindset is a much-coveted phrase to describe the difference between how successful people think, use their time, and interact with the world.
There’s a huge difference between the way millionaires think compared to the majority of people that are on the financial treadmill of being employed in a conventional job. One of the key determinants is that of delayed gratification, as many entrepreneurs will invest their resources into long-term assets; meaning they are trading short-term gratification for long-term reward.
Today, we live in a society where most people want instant gratification. Indeed, many online stores are now having to offer same-day delivery, as people are becoming so impatient they want things right away, and this is the same with all aspects of life and business.
The millionaire mindset is one of careful calculation, for instance, they will invest a considerable amount of time and money in promoting their business through billboard signs (which you can read more about here), but would be reluctant to waste money on a fancy meal, if they are just starting out.
Here are three ways to think more like a millionaire:
Those with the millionaire mindset understand the importance of having big dreams, in life, as it’s just as possible to achieve a big dream as it is a small dream – it just tends to require a little more effort and action.
Many highly successful people talk about the importance of affirmations and having tools such as vision boards to keep them on track – and not just their conscious mind, but their subconscious too.
Vision boards help you connect with what you want, and the fact they are visual is very helpful as your subconscious mind tends to think in pictures rather than words – meaning the more images you show it of what you want, and the more you think about what you want, the more able your subconscious mind is to get to work at creating the results you want in life.
A common misconception among people that don’t have much money is that you need lots of money in order to invest, but this isn’t the case – investing is a practice, and most financially successful people put a percentage of their income into investing; for instance, many people will siphon of 10-20% of their salary to go into investments.
Therefore, if you are earning $100 a week, or $100,000, the principle remains the same – it’s just the amount that’s different. There’s an idea that if you aren’t able to save 10% of $100 then you won’t be able to save 10% of $100,000 either. The point is, that investing is a practice, a mindset, and a strategy of wealth generating. It’s a habit.
That’s the main difference between the “rich and poor” – people with less money have a tendency to spend money, almost instantly, in order to derive pleasure and/or gain comfort in the immediate term… whereas wealthy people tend to invest their money and develop long-term assets; thus trading short-term pleasure for long-term stability.
You may be wondering what the difference between a Business Strategist and a Business Coach is. They both should help with the direction of your business, they both should achieve progress, they are both services you should use if you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and lost in your business! Both services are specifically for people in business.
Using a business coach or a business strategist should save you money and time for your business. They will get you where you need to be in a much faster time. Before you know it, your business will be elevated to the next level, with your dream business in sight!
However, using the wrong one may still leave you feeling lost, so you may well be wondering what the difference is!
There will always be a degree of crossover between the roles. In fact, there are coaches who are actually strategists and vice versa, simply because they’ve labelled themselves as a Business Strategist when they’re actually a Business Coach.
Which is kinda scary as they should know exactly what they do right!!
The most simple way to look at it is as follows;
A Business Strategist will offer structure, guidance, strategies and tips for your BUSINESS.
A Business Coach will offer structure, guidance, strategies and tips for YOU!
Let’s look at this in more detail;
During a Business Strategy Consultation, your business will be analysed, and your specific problems addressed. You can examine marketing, sales, getting more customers and followers, product and service development, time management, staffing, legal issues and much more. After working with a Business Strategist you should feel like you have a plan of action for your business to hit your goals. You should feel educated to proceed forward with your business and take it to the next level.
A coach will assess you! They should bring out the best in you so that you may serve your business better. They will look at your motivations through to your passions and purposes, and translate this into your business and brand.
They may also look at issues like mindset, motivation, confidence, limitations… that kind of thing!
Maybe you need both a Business Strategist and a Business Coach! I can’t tell you that. If you only want to hire one, I’d say the best thing to think about is where the bulk of the problems lie. If you want your business to succeed, you want to put goals in place, you’re happy to work for new customers, consider a strategist who will help drive the business forward.
If you feel that you are holding your business back, as you are feeling unmotivated, or distracted then consider a coach.
If you would like to discuss any strategy needs for your business, why not have a chat with us! We are experts in helping small businesses get the results they want! Have a free 30 minutes business advice on us!
It does not matter if yours is an online business or a physical store, there are some things that will make customers leave without buying what they wanted, and these are things that can be prevented with some effort and perhaps extra training for your employees.
There are millions of online businesses and if yours does not come up to scratch the viewers will soon move on. It is said you have 5 seconds at the most for them to be attracted enough to stay on your site, so what things should you be avoiding?
Just these fours things can lose you a lot of business without you even realising that potential customers are lost. The safest way to prevent this happening is to use the services of a professional like Darren Langley web designer, who will already know of all these pitfalls and will ensure they do not occur. Yes, it will cost you more in the short-term to hire a pro, but in the long-term, it will make you more money!
One of the worst things any physical business can do is keep customers waiting to be served longer than they expect. Consumers do know they sometimes have to wait their turn and are prepared for this, but not if it is going to take too long or they think other people are being given priority over them. They will soon put the goods they had in their hand back, and you can say goodbye to another sale.
Surly staff will put people off buying anything and can be a huge problem if someone is asking for help. We all have off days, but your employees should not show that on the shop floor. Service with a smile is an old cliché, but one that still needs to be adhered to today.
Unclear signage and pricing will stop people from buying a product, as they do not want to get to the checkout and find it costs more than they thought. Do not be misleading about any special deals either, as consumers appreciate honesty.
There is no doubt many other reasons why people have not bought from you, but all you can do it try to stop some of the most common reasons happens, and hope that you find out about the others so you can correct those as well.
Do you have a dream of where you’d like your business to be in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years even? Do you know how you are going to get your business to that dream business? I mean do you have concrete plan to execute month by month? With realistic goals and targets? Do you know the help you can get? What services you could use? What free options are available? Who you could network with?
How you could make more money by doing less?
That’s where a business strategist can help. We look at where you are now, and where you want to be. Using my network and experience I help you set goals, explore new ideas, and maximise your business’s potential. Typically my services will see your customer list grow.
My business strategy consultation help you get your business from where you are now, to your dream business as quickly as possible.
Whilst I do hold a diploma in business, I have to say my knowledge comes from over ten years of running various businesses. I have managed all sorts of businesses from dog walking, through to personal training, through to freelance writing! I have served local customers in person, I have served people on the other side of the world online. I have worked with animals, children and adults! I had businesses before Instagram even existed!
And all of them were a success.
The only reason I don’t have those businesses now is because I created a better business. When I say better, I realised what I wanted in life. Where I wanted to direct myself, how I wanted to live. I stopped having work or businesses that dictated my life to me and reversed it. I now have a business that I love and fits my lifestyle and I want to share everything I learned with you!
Click here to book in and find out more!
In the current digital climate, it does not matter whether you run a consultancy firm or you have a coffee shop, you are going to be using technology in some capacity. Technology gives us the ability to do more and achieve more. It allows us to speed up our work processes and to make more intelligent decisions. However, it is only going to do this if we choose the right technology to use, and we use it properly. In fact, technology can end up being a hindrance if this is not the case, meaning it will hold you back and stop you from reaching your full business potential. With that being said, read on to discover more about some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to technology so that you can avoid making the same errors.
Not using the right technology – There is only one place to begin, and this is with using the incorrect software in your business. This is something that many businesses all around the world are doing, without even realising it. Just because a particular tool or gadget has good reviews online or is used by your competitors does not mean that it is going to be right for your business. In order to find software that is truly going to help you to improve your processes and work more efficiently, you always need to begin by assessing your business need. You need to take the time to truly understand your current operations. Where are you wasting too much time at the moment? Where do you need to improve your organisation? Where do you need to improve your processes and make better decisions? You really need to understand the pain points at your business, and then you need to look for technology that can assist you with this, rather than worrying about what other businesses are doing or the sort of tech that they are using.
Trying to do everything in-house – Another mistake that a lot of companies make is trying to handle all of their tech commitments in-house. This is especially the case for start-ups who are looking to save money. However, handling everything in-house can actually have the opposite impact. When you consider how massive tech requirements are for businesses today, handling everything in-house can be too much of a large commitment, especially when you consider the security side of things. After all, if you do not have experience in data and cybersecurity, are you really going to take the risk of handling all of this in-house? This would be a monumental risk to take, and one that is definitely not worth it. If you were to become the victim of a data breach, this could spell the end of your business. Not only would you face massive fines and fraud losses, but you would have a damaged reputation that would be difficult to fix too. Another service that is most definitely worth outsourcing is small business IT support. You can find out more at www.InfoTech.co.uk. By doing this, you will always have the reassurance of knowing you have a team of pros available 24/7 should you run into any problems. This is pivotal for businesses of all nature. After all, if your software was to shut down for the day or your website was to go offline, for example, what would you do? Would this stem your business progress? Would this mean that you missed out on opportunities? For most companies, this would be the case. If that were to happen, you would then suffer from every minute you spent offline. IT support specialists would ensure the issue would be rectified at the earliest opportunity, especially if you opted for 24-hour support. Can you say the same if you were to handle this in-house?
Not giving security the attention it deserves – This is another massive mistake that businesses make today, and it was something that was touched upon in the earlier paragraph regarding outsourcing your security issues. Nevertheless, this is something you still need to do with an extreme amount of care. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you update software whenever you are prompted to. Failure to do this is an easy route in for hackers. Not only this, but you need to make sure that all of your employees are educated on security. They need to know why it is important and how it impacts their role and actions. This is because the vast majority of security breaches stem from employee errors.
Always going for the cheapest solution – Yes, you want to save money. However, this does not mean that you should base your purchasing decisions on price alone. There is denying that IT is going to cost you. Nevertheless, it can also bring a lot of value to your company and even save you money if you choose with care. If you follow the advice that was provided regarding choosing the right tech for your company, you should benefit from solutions that are actually going to save you money.
Overlooking the importance of training – Skipping the training phase is a big mistake. You have spent all of this money on new technology, so why fall at the final hurdle by failing to invest in training too? Head to https://www.cio.com/article/3281388/it-skills-training/8-free-online-course-sites-for-growing-your-tech-skills.html for some more information on the different courses that are available to help people advance their tech skills. You are only going to make the most of the equipment and software you have invested in if your employees know how to use it properly. If they are don’t, you may as well be throwing your money away.
Failing to plan ahead – The final error that a lot of businesses make is approaching the tech side of things without any plan. You have, no doubt, heard the well known saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is something that applies to all areas of your business, technology included. Not only do you need to plan what sort of tech you need in the beginning, but you need to assess future requirements too, and you need to continue to do so. You also need to make sure that you have a maintenance schedule in place as well.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common technology sins that businesses of all nature are guilty of making today. If you are currently making one of the errors that have been discussed above, you may now be feeling a bit worried. Rather than fretting, you simply need to take some action. Follow the advice that has been provided so that you can rectify the issues sooner rather than later. You will be surprised by how much of a positive impact this has on your company, both now and in the future.
Your brand is everything and it encapsulates every single aspect of your business that can be seen from the outside world, from your online presence to the internal processes that are witnessed by clients. But, when we are coming up with new and exciting ways to communicate ourselves further afield, we can sometimes lose track of our authenticity. Authenticity is what will give you that extra edge over your competitors. In many ways, it’s a given that you should be as authentic as possible, but we sometimes don’t follow this modus operandi. So by making your business brand as authentic as possible, what simple processes can you undertake?
If you have felt your way through the branding process, and you’ve been (luckily) successful so far, creating a blueprint that should be adhered to in every manner may have fallen by the wayside. When drafting a blueprint to follow, it’s not just the business marketing that benefits, it’s every procedure from within the business. It creates a personality, an ethos for you to follow. And once you’ve got this right, this can impact every part of the business, from your website, to how you present your product. Once you know exactly what you want out of your imagery, it’s far easier to go to product labelling services, marketing agencies, or your clients, with a more comprehensive and confident approach in how to undertake your call to action.
On the other hand, if you are going through the process blindly, or you have a plan of attack, but it doesn’t seem to be generating the results you hoped for, it’s time to reach out to the people that buy your products and use your services. Feedback from the customer is something that should form an integral part of evaluating your processes, which is why you should craft a questionnaire or a method of asking feedback that encourages open and honest criticism. It’s the only way you can heal and grow, and likewise, you can do the same from within the business. Just be prepared for that smile to be wiped off your face.
And if everything is not going according to plan, there is nothing wrong with starting again from scratch. Maybe your business plan wasn’t as detailed as you thought, or there is something wrong in how you generate ideas or maybe you were too busy chasing the money rather than the actual important aspects. Once you get to the core of what your business brand is, you’ll discover your identity. And once you’ve done this, it makes every other process easier, but it will encourage more custom because they have more of a trust in who you are and what you do.
Authenticity needs to be the through line in every product, promotion, and personality you present. Once you’ve achieved this, you would be surprised as to how easy everything else can fall into place. Once it is nailed, and you will make life a lot easier for yourself and provide that integrity you’ve been searching for.
If you are building a company and growing your business at the same time, there are some inevitable changes you will need to deal with. As your business needs change, you will need to revise your costs and budget, so you can accommodate the needs of your new customers, react to the changes in your market, and remain competitive. If you haven’t looked at your operating, growth, and marketing budget for a while, it might be time to revisit your financial plans and adjust them accordingly. Below you will find a few tips on where to look for things to improve and save money on.
One of the areas many companies fail to monitor is employee productivity. If you are used to people come and go as they please, you might be paying them more than they produce. It is important to find a way to calculate the value per employee, and the cost of your human resources as a whole. If you are paying your employees an hourly wage, and it takes them two or three client meetings to get the contract, you will have to work out the cost of acquiring new clients and see whether there is an easier and cheaper way of following up leads instead of paying travel costs and monthly wages. There are plenty of employee productivity management and monitoring tools available for small business owners.
If you are in the growth stage, chances are that you are spending a lot of time and money trying to penetrate new markets. In case you are still using the manual methods to post on social media and update your site, send out marketing materials, chances are that you can save money and time by automating your small business marketing. You can schedule posts, get reports on the best performing marketing campaigns, and measure your online marketing conversions as well as customer engagement. Instead of shooting in the dark, you will have to get a system up and running that gives you a snapshot of all your results, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Running an office can be costly, You will need to pay the rent or lease on your office, and make sure that your employees have all the tools they need to do their job. You can save a lot of money on office supplies if you do your research or delegate the task to an employee who will compare the prices. Small savings such as finding a reliable and cheap supplier for Brother printer ink and cartridges can go a long way. By cutting your expenditures by hundreds of dollars here and there, you will be able to invest in innovation and technology that will make your business more effective and help you provide more value for your clients.
Knowledgeable employees are the foundation of your brand’s reputation. It is important that you provide them with the right training and support, so they can do their work more effectively. However, you don’t have to buy expensive customer service training programs to empower your staff. There are plenty of free and low cost corporate online courses, allowing your staff to study when it is convenient, without impacting the performance of your business. You don’t have to give your staff travel allowances and a full day off, and still keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
You might even be able to automate your customer service to make the life of your staff and your clients easier. If you are growing your business, chances are that you will have to respond to an increasing number of customer queries and orders. If you don’t automate some of the processes, chances are that your employees will become overwhelmed. Instead of just giving your customers one way to contact your company, set up an online chat and a Facebook page where you can address their queries in real time. This will save you money and improve your customer service at the same time.
If you have hired a web designer when you started your business, chances are that your site is outdated and needs an update. If you signed up for a monthly package and are not getting a timely response, or your web developer cannot implement the marketing automation tools you need for your growing and changing business, chances are that you are just wasting money. Try to implement some shopping card or customer relationship management system and automated marketing tools, so your website works for you and not the other way round.
If you are paying a monthly fee for accessing a business software that doesn’t suit your business needs any more, you are also wasting time and money. You should get in touch with a professional software developer who will put a flexible system in place for your business that will improve your efficiency and your workflow. You can save money long term if you have your own custom-made company software that takes care of finances, employee management, orders, invoicing, and administration as well. Make sure that you are able to create custom reports on the system, so you can see what needs changing in your business from time to time.
If there is one task most people hate completing, it is bookkeeping and accounting. It is hard to get the motivation to sit down with a pile of invoices, a calculator, and a spreadsheet and work out the income and expenditure for the month. There is, however, a much simpler way of doing it. You can automate your invoicing and accounting by using online tools and apps. One of the main benefits of using these tools is that you will always know where you stand financially, without having to give your accountant a call and trying to explain which data you are interested in.
Every now and then we need to look at the budget of our business to determine whether it is possible to improve the efficiency, the workflow, and profits while making savings long term.
The freelancing industry is very crowded, no matter if you are involved in marketing, copywriting, web design, or graphics. You will have to compete with loads of people who have similar skills and prices. Once you are confident that you are able to provide more value for your customers and differentiate yourself in the marketplace, you might start thinking about creating your own marketing agency. The sad truth is that you will have to compete with established firms and brands, and you will be likely to start off as a small fish. If you are serious about getting your company set up, you will need to create a detailed plan. Below you will find a few tips on how to fund and found your own marketing agency and move from freelancing to running a business.
If you thought that being a freelancer is challenging, you haven’t’ tried to enter the one where marketing agencies are competing against each other for customers big or small. You will have to find a point of differentiation so you can convince your target market that your offer is better, cheaper, or more valuable than other agencies. It might be a good idea to get quotes in or create a spreadsheet of the different packages of marketing agencies so you can find a gap in the market and penetrate it easier.
When funding any company, it is important that you see clearly about what you would like to achieve and how you can help your customers. Creating a mission and vision statement is more challenging than you would think. It needs to cover not only your personal views and values, but also the common points with your customers. If you are starting a marketing agency that guarantees results, or offer free trials, maybe work with customers to develop their own campaigns instead of using cookie-cutter solutions, you have to include this in your mission and vision statement.
Once you know what you would like to offer to your customers and how to stand out, it is important that you start working on your own marketing strategy. Start with creating multiple customer personas and tailor your offers to their specific needs. You will have the option to specialize in small businesses, one particular industry, or create an offer for multiple markets. It is important that you research your market and find out more about different customers’ marketing budget, so you can create affordable offers and a great value for money.
Sometimes you will have to give your customers some allowances, and offering a free trial or service will help you build trust and get your unique messages across. If there are loads of similar companies in your region, you might be able to stand out by offering a money back guarantee or a free trial. No business owner wants to spend more on marketing than necessary, so you have to be prepared to provide discounts. Another great idea for entering the market and getting your first customers is to reward your first customers with a discount if they recommend other customers to your new agency.
While online shopping is growing every year, an increasing number of people like sitting down or talking on the phone with people they trust with their business. You will have plenty of time in the beginning to connect with your customers and offer one-on-one coaching and discussions. This will help you achieve better results through working with your customers and not just for them. As a result, you will get a proven track record and positive feedback and publicity, which will help you increase your brand value.
If you are an SEO expert, a freelance copywriter, or a web developer, chances are that you have so far only seen one or two sides of the industry, and you will have to update your knowledge to serve your marketing clients. If you are not familiar with pay per click, Google Analytics, or other tools, it is time to enroll in a training course. It is also crucial that you can effectively build sales funnels and custom marketing automation plans, so you don’t have to spend more time on creating a customer strategy than necessary.
It is also important that you create marketing material and presentations that help your clients understand your strategy and plans. You might create your own templates using Canva or share your ideas through Google Suite. However, sometimes it is necessary to catch up with customers in person, and you will need to create custom reports and updates. You will need to create folders and portfolios, so you can demonstrate your offers to visual learners.
It is also crucial that you budget for your startup and take into consideration every running and startup cost, to make sure that you can afford to create the type of agency you want. If you need help with financial planning and software implementation, you should talk to a startup coach, so you don’t have to guess the total cost. List every cost and shop around to get the cheapest and most reliable suppliers of office equipment and stationery. Before you choose the printers and computers, consider the running costs. Simply search for the prices of hp envy 4524 ink to find out how much printing will cost you per week or month.
Selecting people who share your views on marketing and have the same approach as you towards customer service will help you build a strong brand. It is also a good idea to choose people who have diverse skill sets, so they can do some of the work that you are not familiar with. You might want to create various departments or responsibilities within the new agency, with one employee being responsible for managing clients, and another working on web design or PPC marketing. Make sure that your employees are willing to and able to communicate and collaborate with you and each other.
One of the benefits of running a company instead of being a freelancer is that you can improve your services and productivity by taking advantage of the skills of your employees. It is important that you are not tied up with the administration or answering the phone. Focus on the tasks that will take your business further and delegate the rest. Keep control of the strategy and planning, but develop independent employees by delegating certain projects and assigning different customers to one individual who follows up their campaign from start to finish.
It is important that you brand your new company effectively. Try to join a networking event in your area, or join a group online to connect with like-minded people and establish yourself as an expert by providing advice and recommendation. Remember that you have to give before you take, and the best way of creating positive brand associations is helping people out. Once you have created reciprocity, you will be able to pitch them with your offers, as they will trust you enough to consider your services. Collaborating with other businesses will open your horizons and help you connect with potential partners or get recommendations.
Apart from creating an agency and focusing on creating consistent brand messages, you will also have to pay attention to the personal branding of you as a founder of the agency. You need to work with companies and manage the operations, create processes and frameworks for your employees without micromanaging the different tasks. It is important that you train and coach your new employees to do the work in a way you would, without supervision. You might want to make them your personal brand extension, so you can focus on the long-term strategy.
After starting your marketing agency, it is important that you will manage your reputation and monitor customer feedback. Chances are that you will not get everything right the first time, and that is the reason you have to keep an eye on what your customers have to say about the service they received and the communication. Once you have a business website, it is important that you collect feedback and testimonials so you can showcase your results to people who are just considering using your new agency.
Starting an agency and leaving the lifestyle of a freelancer will mean a lot of changes. You will need to improve your management and human resources skills to make sure that you can manage your clients, take care of the marketing, strategy, and build a strong brand at the same time. Do your research, create a unique selling proposition, and build your brand reputation gradually to successfully penetrate a competitive market.
I would like to share with you 5 tips I have picked up to get yourself into a millionaire mindset in order to move forward in your business and get what you deserve in life. We all want success right?
What do you want from life? What does your business actually offer people? Who is your dream client? These are all the things you need to be so crystal clear on. This way when you go to post or speak to your dream client you are able to word this in such a way so that the person feels like you are speaking directly to them. You will also be super clear on your vision and goals.
I have recently been doing this following a talk I heard by Mel Robbins and implementing the 5 Second Rule. Counting back from 5,4,3,2,1 and jumping out of bed. I have also started to do this before making decisions and before speaking when I am not in the best frame of mind or is something annoys me. It really works and sets you up for the day.
Pick 5 things you need to do in order to move your business forward at night ready for the morning. This gives you a clear intention so you don’t get stuck scrolling on Facebook when you have tasks to be getting on with. Plus it is only 5 things which isn’t overwhelming, but that is 5 things you get can get done with ease and then by the end of the week you have completed 35 tasks. Amazing!
I have changed what I listen to why I work. I know listen to motivational speeches or audio self-development books. This way I am learning why I work the way I do, and this is what anyone who is successful does. They feed their mind with success and inspiration constantly.
If it is I am a Diamond Leader, I am A New York Times best seller, I Earn £100,000 a year write it down every day as if it happens. This is the Law of Attraction, you are writing it, seeing it, and believing it. Our words become reality, our thoughts become reality over time it will become TRUE.
Why not start these tips this week and let us know if you start to see a change in yourself and your business?
Instagram has become more than just a picture sharing platform. With stories and IGTv, and more people than ever using the platform, your Insta is more than just a feed. It’s as important as your website home page. And there is one Instagram trend that is sure to position you as an expert in your niche. This trend will get you noticed, get you followers and give you the Insta-fame you crave.
This particular Instagram trend works for businesses of any size, Instagram influencers and even personal brand accounts. You might even start seeing your friends doing it.
Boost. That’s it. Boost. Instagram in 2018 is all about the boosted post. You want more likes? More engagement? You want to be seen as the top dog in your niche? You need to boost.
Right now if your friends boosted that post of them sat in that coffee shop, you might wonder what’s going on, but this is set to become the norm on the platform. It’s a sure fire way of being seen.
I’m not talking religion here, or even from iPhone to android, I’m talking business accounts. If you want to use advertising services on Insta you need to convert to a business account. This gives you lots of extra little titbits like analytics on your accounts and individual posts. You might not be happy to know that this also means your pictures are shown to fewer people. Yes, that’s right, you won’t automatically appear in all your follower’s feeds. In fact, the more followers you get, the less likely you will be to be seen!
Yep gutted. That Insta-fame comes with a cost right!
And the cost is boosting that post! The surefire way to get you back in feeds and search results.
I need a boost at many points in the day, from coffee in the morning, to being dragged to the gym by my gym buddy. This is a little social media boost to get your post and account seen by a target audience. It’s going to become integral to your growth on Instagram, and an Instagram trend that will be seen as the norm for businesses in 2018. It’s the one way to beat the dreaded algorithm.
We offer Instagram services designed to help you grow your Instagram organically. Check out how we can help here!