Archive

Monthly Archives: October 2011

I Dont Have The Time OR The Money To Market My Business.

If we had a £1 for every time we had heard the above statement, we would be very rich little bunnies. However we don’t so we make sure our marketing brings in the customers. (and a nice little finalist in the Colchester Business Awards for Excellence in Marketing for the second year in a row!)

You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?

You guessed it, more customers.

But we do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?

Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?

If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.

Stop your marketing until you know what works for success

WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.

Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.

For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.

This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…

What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?

How can other people support your marketing strategy?

Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.

Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life and your hectic business, you will always have highs and lows of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?

Do you have highs and lows of new customers

This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week, who shared with us how tough they are finding things at the moment, we are glad that you are finding the support, ideas and advice you need at the new Business Clinic and at the BWN networking events. 

 

  • October 25, 2011

Micro Business Owners Day – It’s Your Time!

Small Business Saturday

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the UK economy, providing jobs and preserving communities.  The 4.5 million men and women micro business owners (less than 10 employees) represent 75% of all business activities. Yet for all their massive contribution to the UK’s wellbeing, these real-life heroes of the marketplace – men and women working hard for their living, with long work hours and short holidays – are rarely acknowledged, yet alone celebrated for their efforts.

Celebrating the few who do so much for so many

We are creating a Small Business Saturday to celebrate the efforts of small business owners — and encourage entrepreneurship to help sustain and grow a thriving small business economy. Such a day will recognise that a successful and thriving small business economy involves the creativity, commitment and single-minded focus of individual entrepreneurs – from hairdressers to franchise operators, from small advertising and pr agencies to small high street shops, restaurants and hotels.

Owning a small business is probably the most risky career path anyone could follow, requiring not only hard work but also investment of personal funds and time, determination and a fair portion of luck. Thus our focus is not on the Dragons Den ‘get rich quick’ approach, but rather on highlighting all of those women and men, at every level of business life, who have made owning their own business a career.

 Aim of Small Business Saturday

To promote the effort of smaller UK micro enterprises throughout the UK as major contributors to the national economy

  • To create a positive attitude towards smaller business and entrepreneurship
  • To establish micro business owners as the ‘true heroes of the UK marketplace’
  • To show the major benefits that have accrued the UK as a result of the creativity and ceaseless commitment of micro business owners

 

How we will strive to connect, engage and embrace people from every walk of life

  •  Start an annual Small Business Saturday festival encouraging people across the UK to connect with local businesses, from shops to banks, hairdressers to micro manufacturers
  • Organise a one day London Conference of Small Business Owners with keynote small business speakers as well as from political parties, business etc
  • Arrange a series of one day public Small Business Owner Fair’s in the UK’s five top cities, with keynote speakers from politics, industry, lobbying associations and, above all, small business owners themselves
  • Stage  ‘community driven’ initiatives to identify and celebrate local small micro business success stories

 Who are ‘we’

The idea was launched by David Noble, founder and managing director of Wanobe.com, the online business knowledge market. David has won the support of other like-minded entrepreneurs and organisations, including Mandie Holgatet of The Business Woman’s Network (The BWN), the Forum of Private Business (FPB) The Bank Of England, FSB and several MPs to date.

Organisational structure

David proposes that the UK’s Small Business Saturday be organised as an independent foundation, sponsored and funded by one or more private institutions, to ensure it is a credible force for entrepreneurial good. The institution will be ‘owned’ by Wanobe, The BWN and FPB, who will take responsibility for managing on a fees basis the various events and activities under the auspices of an independent General Manager.

The Aim

The aim is to create the best possible awareness among the general public about the contributions made by small business, encourage wider entrepreneurialship and drive our economy forward, creating jobs and helping build prosperity.

If you would like to know more contact;

 

Phil McCabe Media and PR Manager FPB

Tel:      01565 626019 ISDN:             01565 654673  Mobile:           07775 756312 Email: phil.mccabe@fpb.org

 

Robert Downes Media and PR Office

 

Tel:      01565 626016 ISDN: 01565 654673 Mobile: 07775 756300 Email:  robert.downes@fpb.org

 

David Noble. Managing Director of  Wanobe Limited

 

Mobile: 07785302694 Email: david.noble@wanobe.com

 

Mandie Holgate. Founder of The Business Womans Network     

 

Mobile: 07989 935556 Email: Mandie@thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk

 

 

  • October 25, 2011

From Lifestyle businesses to corporate giants – Business Women – Be Proud!

Mandie Holgate shares a thought. If you have the premier pack you are welcome to blog for us anytime.

To the man on the phone that just insulted business women that run “Life Style businesses” and “Hobby Businesses” I post this:

Whether you work from your kitchen, your coffee table or grand offices – be proud.

Whether you earn £10,000, £50,000 or millions – be proud.

Whether your work helps one person, 100 or a million – be proud.

Whether you work 2 days a week, 9 to 5 or 70 hours a week (although the last one is so not good for you!) – be proud.

Whether you dream of owning your own car, house, jet or mansion – be proud.

Whether you change the world or just one person’s life – be proud.

The fact is you are not taking out of our fragile economy.

You are buying, interacting and working in our communities.

You are making a difference.

Not everyone on the planet is supposed to rule it – but everyone has the opportunity to help it – And you are.

Be Proud!

And off of soap box – rant over!

  • October 18, 2011

Case Studies of What The BWN Really Does For Women.

Here are some examples of what the BWN does everyday for business women like you;

Business woman A worked for a large organisation and was great at her job, but now she needed to be good at marketing and networking too. Despite attending many events she was not getting the results she wanted. Thanks to the BWN she accessed like minded business women and business and development skills that have led to her networking producing great results.

Business Woman B was so low with running her own business she was reduced to tears when a coordinator asked “How’s business?” She was on the verge of quitting when she started attending the BWN and the work she had to accept was near on sole destroying to survive. Thanks to coming to the BWN she is now taking on her 1st member of staff and loves running her own business.

The Business Womans Network supports your success

Meet Business Woman C, whose fear of public speaking was so severe, her voice wobbled, she gained the shakes and ran out of things to say! Within a few months of attending the BWN she was able to stand up and talk about her business to a roomful of business women and soon after was able to speak to 100+ with a microphone!

Business Womans D found that she was arguing with her loved ones over if she should go and “get a real job.” When she started attending the BWN she soon learnt new skills and made some connections that have led to 4-5 figure contracts not just in the UK but overseas too.

Meet Business Woman E & F whose businesses are growing fast. They now employ a few staff and find more and more they need to be in 2 places at once. Juggling family, work, health and life was proving to be too much. Somewhere down the line they were getting lost in mountains of paperwork and a sense of “Why am I doing this?” Thanks to coming along to The BWN they now know what they want out of business, have accessed the skills set to grow their staff and their business and are even gaining new leads even when they can’t get to a BWN event.

Lastly because Business Woman G is so amazing, we had to share this with you. Business Woman G is like many business women. Working hard day in day out. Having great weeks and tough days. Learning new skills and rising above the challenges of running her own business every day. She tenacious, she’s determined and she knows that however tough it gets there is the support and ideas to help her succeed. Business Woman G is like so many business women up and down the UK who gets on with it. But unlike many business woman Business Woman G has gained a plethora of leads, ideas and amazing opportunities thanks to attending the BWN regularly. However low she feels, she knows that The BWN is there just for her. She knows she is guranteed a roomfull of like minded business women who will motivate, inspire and connect with her for success spurning her on for another day.

  • October 14, 2011

Blackberryless Brings Surprising Positve Results

Mandie Holgate shares the unexpected positive effects of being Blackberryless.

Okay so if you own an i product you are smirking and laughing at folks like me right about now.  Ironically Blackberry fails when I have 3 days out of the office including 1 in London. It would ideally be a great time to have internet access to keep in touch with my social media marketing and my emails but we all know what has happened to the world fo Blackberry right?

But I firmly believe everything happens for a reason (although sometimes we don’t have a clue what that is and find ourselves looking to the sky thinking “Why me?”) you see,  I was worried sick about going to London and essentially just having a phone in my pocket, however it has had a fantastic effect.

Normally when on the train, I spend my time, marketing, answering emails and catching up on office stuff. But today that was not an option. So I found myself thinking. The mind was wandering.

And guess what the results were?

  • I found the solution to something that has been bugging me for ages.
  • I found that I was able to process the next stage of a long term goal I have.
  • I phoned a couple of clients that had been supposed to email – one leading to another sale.                        
  • I came up with some great ideas for my talk I’m giving for the Chelmsford Business Showcase next month and another training day I’m offering.

And basically had a very productive time up and down the track to London.

You see those smart phones we keep attached to us, like umbilical cords do not always serve us in the best possible way.

As a coach, you teach clients about getting into “flow” to create solutions, creativity and increased productivity.

And guess what?

The lack of my BlackBerry created an immense level of flow.

So the next time I hit the tracks I won’t be so quick to jump on the Blackberry – the space in my mind had a powerful effect.

So iphone lovers – don’t be so quick to mock – I gained a very productive day thanks to Blackberry’s nightmare.

Does flow happen to you naturally?

(But I wouldn’t mind Blackberry sorting this out – your customer service is lacking a tad right about now, but that’s a topic for another time!)

  • October 12, 2011

The Power of People – A Cosmetic Counter proves the Do’s & Don’t’s of Marketing.

Yesterday because our children had deserted us for a day of kites flying and eating E-numbers with grandparents my husband suggested a leisurely stroll around the shops. As we walked through a rather glittery department store (don’t you just love those? I feel they are like toy shops for women!) We walked through the cosmetic department.

That morning Hubby had watched me scrape the sides of my moisturiser and so as we strolled through he said “Why don’t you buy some products?”

What a stupid thing to say to a woman amongst so so so many pretty bottles.

But how to choose?

I spent an hour walking around each counter, being introduced to all manner of products and it got me thinking.

When we chose to buy, what is it that makes us buy?

What is the thing that tips in one companies favour over another’s?

Well yesterday sums it up nicely.

You see, there was not going to be a single product in that store that would not brighten, reduce wrinkles or make your skin glow. Every product would promise things like that.

So how then do you decide which is best?

You could look at price – but a) hubby was intent on spoiling me (and who was I to argue!) and b)I wanted products that were right for me – price was secondary – and that dear readers is true of most people, with most purchases.

So price is ruled out, they all claim to do amazing things to make me look like a sprightly teen. So now what?

I chose on this.

As I walked from counter to counter. 3 people had stood out at 3 counters of gorgeous glossy bottles.

Woman 1 because every time I went to ask her a question she went into her spiel and wouldn’t allow me to finish. How many of you know someone that in their marketing concentrates on what THEY want to tell potential clients as opposed to what the potential client ACTUALLY WANTS to know?

Woman 2 because she was insistent that I love the cute bottles and the fact that their products were the best. Everyone on the planet thinks their product is better than their competitor (otherwise why be in business?) But the fact is that is not what matters to the customer, so stop bleating on to me about how amazing you are, people like to work that out for themselves. Otherwise they fight it and run away – which is exactly what I did – note here – these products were actually the cheapest, but I was completely turned off by the experience. I was on her agenda not mine. mmmm another analogy about marketing me thinks.

Lastly Woman 3 – I even remember her name, Lauren. Lauren listened to what I wanted. Lauren answered my questions directly. Lauren engaged with me. Lauren did not try and tell me I had to clear an hour in the morning to clean my face and moisturise. She LISTENED to the fact I had 10 minutes before I legged it to 412 other jobs (a lesson Woman 1 could well do with learning!) And on top of Lauren’s genuine interest in supplying what I the customer needed. Lauren had beautiful skin. (Woman 1 and 2’s makeup and skin were nowhere near as naturally immaculate as Lauren’s)

The fact is Lauren ticked all the boxes to make the sale;

She listened to what the customer wanted.

She answered the questions that the customer wanted answering.

She matched the needs of the customer with their products.

She acted like she cared about the customer.

But most importantly she gave the customer a really pleasurable experience that I will remember and I WILL go back – now who would like customers that automatically come back?

And lastly she was congruent to everything she said, and this gave her credibility.

Mmmmm amazing what a cosmetic counter can tell you about marketing.

  • October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs wraps it up on How To Get Results In Life.

There are some true greats in our world today. And today we lost one.

We read this and had to share it with you. Steve Jobs was co-founder and former CEO of Apple, and today died far too young at the age of 56 after a long and highly public battle with cancer. He truly inspired a generation and touched so many lives in so many ways.

“Steve Jobs02:40 The Wall Street Journal has republished Jobs’ well-known 2005 commencement address at Standford University, in which he reflected on life, career and mortality:

Quote “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.””

This man knew what he was talking about –  Seize the Day ladies, Seize the Day.

To read the full article – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/steve-jobs/8809997/Steve-Jobs-dies-live-blog.html 

 

  • October 6, 2011

I Don’t Have Time To Market My Business AND Run It!





If I had a £1 for every time I had heard the above statement, I would be a very rich little bunny. However I don’t so I make sure my marketing brings in the customers.

You see an effective marketing strategy WILL deliver leads, and if you are getting quality leads then guess what that leads to?

You guessed it, more customers.

But I do appreciate it can be tricky to factor in time to market your wares as well as to make and deliver them. So what can you do to make life easier?

Before you even think of aiming to make marketing easier to manage. Do you know what works?

If you don’t know this STOP right now. You see, you need to know what is working to deliver great leads and enquiries so that you can replicate that. So first of all concentrate on researching and analysing what works.

WHEN you know this information you can then use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your social media. Taking into account when your ideal clients have the time to read your offerings, comment, reply, etc.

Next look at the real world marketing that works for you. Picking up the phone, public speaking networking, meetings, etc. What have the biggest impact and concentrate on making them deliver MORE to you.

For instance networking can only be effective if you dedicate to it. Know what you want beforehand. Attend regularly to build relationships so that people want to do business with you and most importantly follow up after EVERY event.

This approach needs to be applied to all areas of marketing that you have and constantly consider this…

What are you doing so that people are automatically keeping up to date with you and your business?

How can other people support your marketing strategy?

Affiliations, discounts, special offers for loyalty etc.

A VA could be a great resource for you too. What areas of your marketing could you outsource to someone else to do?

At The BWN we have a number of great VA’s that attend our events that would happily produce your newsletter, look after your social media and pick up the phone for you. (You can check them out here – https://www.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/the-business-women-of-the-bwn/)

Unless you are a larger company with a lovely thing called a “marketing budget” this is going to come down to you and if you don’t find a way to create a marketing strategy that fits into your busy life you will always have dips and troughs of customers. Now wouldn’t it be nicer to just have that steady flow of new customers heading to your door?

(This blog came out of a number of conversations with business women this week and has sparked this blog so thank you for sharing. And it has also sparked the next BWN Business Clinic with me – to learn more.)

 

 

 

 

 


  • October 2, 2011

Why You Need Killer Headlines (As Well as Killer Heels.)





Okay so I’m no copywriter (although I did once gain a client out of a copywriter who noticed grammatical errors on my website and emailed me!)  But I do know, writing great blogs and fabulous web content is pretty pointless unless you are directing people to it.

Recently I was running a BWN workshop on Blogging For Business and this topic came up. “I am writing a blog, but no one is reading it, what do I do?”

Well here’s the thing, unless you find an effective way to market your blog, you might as well go and talk to the tree at the end of your garden. The tree will apparently feel good (he enjoys your carbon dioxide) but doubtful it’s liable to buy anything from you – if it does now THAT one would be easy to market!

You see you need to interact to the right people.

In the right way.

At the right time of day.

Saying the right kind of things that hook people in to wanting to know more.

That is useful and relevant.

And most importantly make it easy for them to find it again, and again, and again.

It could sound daunting but if you get it right, you will have people interacting with you, visiting your website regularly, appreciating you as an expert in your field and starting to love you and all that you do.

And pretty soon amazing things can happen thanks to blogging.
I personally include, new customers, speakers engagements and press opportunities but my personal fave to date, is having @StephenFry say “Great Blog” and when I DM’d him and asked if I could quote him, he said “go ahead.”

Sigh world’s best Tweeter thinks I’m great – Love it!

What could it do for you?

I am now running Business Clinics once a month at HSBC Business Banking Centre in Colchester through The Business Womans Network,  for your chance to be one of just 10 business women at that table – get in touch.

The next one in October is  be social media and a second one on Marketing- Creating & Actioning Your Plan. (24th October).

 

 


  • October 1, 2011