Blogging

The First Year: Ensuring Your Small Business Gets Through…

When you’re starting a new business, the first year is always one of the most frightening points. You don’t know whether you’re going to sink or swim, and it can be worrying to invest a lot of money and time into a business that may not work out as you want it to. Here are some tips on how to make that first year a success.

 

Surround Yourself With The Best People

When you’re starting a company, you may not have a huge amount of cashflow, which may mean that you want to spend as little as possible. However, one thing you should invest in is good staff: this is much more important than an incredibly sleek and expensive office, for example. Finding people who are dedicated to your company and what you do may be difficult, but they will be worth their weight in gold. Whether you go for extremely enthusiastic graduates or people who are more experienced in their fields and really know everything about what they are doing, the most important thing is that you communicate well and are focused on your end goals.

Learn To Network

Networking is the perfect way to drum up new business and to simply make people aware that your business and your product exist. Go to as many networking events as possible, and make sure that you go up to people to introduce yourself. Make sure that you boil what your company does down into one sentence so you can explain it in a way that’s easy to understand and that doesn’t meander on. 

Get Financially Savvy

It’s a good idea to be as good on the financial side as possible. This may not be easy if you see yourself as a creative person who provides ideas, which is often the way that a person who begins a start-up may be. But being good at figuring out your accounts and paying the correct amount of tax will save yourself a huge headache further down the line. If this doesn’t appeal to you, accounts is absolutely something you can outsource – there are plenty of resources and companies online like https://www.qaccounting.com/accountancy-company/ that you can check out for help.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

The best way that a small company can compete with a big company is through impeccable customer service, and this is something that you should strive to provide right from the beginning of your company. This is what will keep clients and customers returning to you time after time, and what will make you stand out from all the other companies that provide similar services (because let’s face it, very few ideas are completely unique in this extremely busy world!). Make sure that you follow up with people to ensure they are happy with your product, and keep checking in with them. A face to face meeting will never go amiss either – people know that time is valuable and that they are important to you if you meet in person.

Although starting your own company can be nervewracking, these easy tips should help you sail through the first year entirely unscathed!

Business Blog

Figuring Out The Best Kind of Marketing For Your…

There are numerous ways you can market and advertise a business, and getting your name out there to the right people really is key for running a successful company. Online marketing techniques such as social media marketing, selling with email, blogger outreach and banner ads on websites tend to work for most businesses- but there are other options to which you can add to your strategy. Here are a few examples so you can figure out which are right for you. 

 

Door to door marketing

Door to door marketing is considered as an ‘older’ type of marketing- it’s often overlooked by modern businesses since it can be more time consuming and expensive. This is because first you need to find salespeople (meaning there are recruiting costs such as job ads, interviews and training to consider). It takes time, since unlike putting an advert or posting a video online, these people have to physically go and knock potential customers doors, bearing in mind that response rates can be low. With this being said, it’s not a method to completely overlook, for some companies it can be an excellent way to go. Do you sell high value products that perhaps need more explaining so customers can see the benefit? In the case of things like windows, for example, customers will need to spend thousands on them and so having a representative who can answer questions, explain why it’s worth replacing them and gently persuade them to make that purchase could be an excellent tactic. If you sell lots of lower value items that need little explanation then of course, door to door marketing wouldn’t be right for you. 

 

Events and expos

Attending events or business expos are a great way to get your company out there to lots of relevant decision makers and interested customers and businesses. Again, it’s a particularly good choice if you have a product that needs to be demonstrated or used hands- on to appreciate. It can also be a great choice for very visual kinds of business, for example if you’re selling beautiful art prints or handmade craft goods. 

 

Flyers and posters

Another form of advertising which is often overlooked due to it being more old fashioned is flyers and leaflets- but again, it all depends on the business you run. If you’re a company that only sells to people in your local area- for example, a food establishment, a launderette or perhaps something like a student study cafe then you wouldn’t need to advertise far and wide on the internet. Instead, putting flyers through peoples doors and leaving them in places your potential customers will see them, and hanging posters can be highly effective. 

If you’re noticing a decline in profits then taking a closer look at your marketing is a smart move. In many cases, simply updating your marketing materials and trying something new could be enough to generate new interest.

Marketing Tips

How To Create A Simple Media Pack

A media pack is used as a direct sales tool to target your chosen market and also for PR purposes. It will include all aspects of your business and should be seen like a resume for your site. Unlike the traditional email, media packs create a more enjoyable experience for readers with fantastic, sophisticated design. Simply put, would you rather read an email or a magazine?

So how do we go about creating a media pack and what information should I include? Let’s take a look below at a simple media pack format.

Introduce Your Business

Remember, you are trying to aim for your target market here, not just a general introduction. Inform the reader who you are, what the purpose if of your business and the benefits of using your products. How do your products differ from other competitors on the market? Where are you located?

Mission Statement 

This is the heart and soul of your company within one engaging paragraph. For example, if I was purchasing a large amount of paper for printing, there are multiple companies to choose from. But one that is known for recycled paper and is environmentally friendly would probably sway me above all others. As a guide, here are the 4 questions to create your mission statement.

  • How do we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?
  • What can we uniquely provide over all others?

Add Testimonials

Testimonials are an incredible marketing tool and add a sense of credibility to your website. Fantastic testimonials can be the deciding factor on whether the customer will go ahead and purchase from you. As guidance, try to answer the below questions on your testimonial.

  • The problem the customer had
  • Other solutions they tried which failed
  • What solution YOU provided for them
  • The outcome

Services Offered & Prices

We could split this into 2 different sections but you have a limited amount of time to engage with the customer before they will stop reading your Media pack, roughly 20 seconds in fact! That’s why it’s so important to be as transparent as possible. Think about answering the below questions.

  • Has your product received great online reviews? Maybe it’s even been written about or is an award winning service like Designated PA? Include the reviews next to your product/service – ‘As seen in’ etc.
  • Use power words to increase sales and make your sentences more punchy. Endorsed, Certified, Authentic etc.
  • Add facts about your product. Does your printer use less cartridge ink but still has the same high quality finish as more expensive printers on the market?
  • For pricing, ensure you have thoroughly researched the market and your competitors prices. Extortionate prices without an incredible product will just make your customers purchase from a more developed brand offering cheaper prices.

Processes & Contact Details

Vital information for the customer, do you have specific processes set up? How long will your product take to deliver? After they have purchased, what will happen next? Will you contact the customer within 24 hours? Do they download the product and how is there a user guide?

For your contact details, we want more than just a phone number and address. Are you ion Linkedin? Facebook and Twitter? Do you have a Pinterest account? What about your email address?

The Design

The design will quite simply make or break your product. The whole point of creating a media pack is a direct way of selling to our customers WITHOUT the conventional email. Think of how eye-catching infographics are. In fact infographics are the most shared content on the internet and for good reason! As humans, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. To create your presentation, you can use Powerpoint, Photoshop or simply hire a designer.