The Lockdown List – our Top Ten list of ways you can work ON your business during the Covid19 lockdown so you’re in a better position to come out of it raring to go.
If you run a business, manage employees, or deal with suppliers, there will inevitably be times when you have to face some difficult conversations - ones that you dread, avoid or mismanage. You may have to reprimand a staff member, pass on bad news to a supplier, or talk to a client who is proving to be trickier to deal with than you expected.
Whether you do these verbally or in writing, here are few tips on how to make these difficult conversations a little easier.
Testimonials are a very effective, no-cost marketing tool you can use to promote your business. Compliments and words of affirmation from others are often more powerful than anything we can say about ourselves. Here is your simple and easy guide to getting great testimonials and getting them to work for your business.
Estimates, quotes, proposals – what should you send a prospect?
Did you know that the title of the document that you use when you offer your services to a prospective client can greatly affect whether you win business or not? Yes indeed … what you call your offer can mean the difference between a yay or nay when it comes to winning new business. So, what should you call it?
Never underestimate the power of your words. If you want to create any change in your life or your business, the key might just be in the language you use. You can change your outcomes simply by changing your words.
I want you to do a little experiment. There are three phrases that I invite you to change or avoid – and see how they affect things for you.
Small yet fierce, the little hashtag wields so much power and influence in the world of social media. We use it everywhere in our posts, updates and tweets. We even use it in our verbal communication (because doing those quotation mark gestures with your fingers is soooo 2014).
Are you using hashtags effectively in your social media? Do you understand how it can help your pages get more engagement? Here is a bit of insight around how to make the most of it … and some interesting facts, including the most widely used #hashtag.
It’s time for “the talk”. You know the one. The “where are we going” talk. You’ve probably had it in one of your past relationships. You’re cruising along, doing your thing, having some fun. But the other person can’t deal with just the day-to-day. They want to know where things are heading – whether the time and effort is going to be worth it. They want reassurance that the “after” picture is going to look better than the “before” picture.
Business is like that.
Have you ever tried some marketing activity, only to find that it didn’t work? Over the years of working with small and medium sized businesses, I’ve heard this a lot: “Oh, we tried some marketing, but it didn’t work.” As a result, they become a little sceptical about marketing in general, and often think it’s an easy way to waste money.
If you do it right, there are 5 key things to do to make your marketing work.
The topic of where and when a business should state its prices an interesting one – and it’s something that business owners ask me about often. Should you state your prices in your marketing materials, such as your website or brochure?
The key to good marketing is marketing that helps you connect with more prospects and clients and create more revenue. I always say that marketing is simply this: Getting the right message to the right audience.
How do you do this? There is one simple way, and that is, just be yourself.
But how do you do this when you're a company? How does a company connect with people?
If you’re a business owner, you’re probably always doing informal customer research – asking questions every time you talk to someone about your business. But it’s important to also schedule in some formal research at least once or twice a year, depending on the size and detail of your database.
Here are some key things to consider before, during and after you do any sort of customer research.
The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you are in complete control over how much you spend. Unlike other forms of online or print advertising that have set rate cards, with Facebook ads you decide how much you spend and how long you run an ad for.
So let’s look at a few ways to make your Facebook advertising strategic and targeted so you get the best bang for your buck.
Marketing often gets a bad rap. From a customer's point of view, it is often perceived as something manipulative that sneaky marketers do to coerce us into buying things we don't need. From a business owner's perspective, marketing can be expensive, intangible and hard to measure for success or return on investment. Often I hear business owners say, “Oh, we tried some marketing, but it didn’t work”.
I have discovered the most annoying question you can ask a prospect: “What’s your budget?”
I was recently looking around for some branded promotional products for a client (pens, notepads, golf umbrellas, etc). This was the first thing several of the companies I contacted asked me – “what’s your budget?”
I was sitting in a cafe the other day enjoying great food and excellent service when something occurred to me – marketing a business is very much like running a cafe. Begin by breaking it down into these easy-to-understand components.
There are a lot of clichés when it comes to marketing. Two you hear often are “fail to plan, and plan to fail” as well as “if you want to know where you’re going, look at where you’ve come from”. Those come to mind because they’re true. Effective marketing is all about proper planning.
If you enter the phrase “top marketing trends” into a search engine, what you’ll find come up in several of the top results is “content marketing”. We’ve been saying it for years – content is king.
Whether or not you have plans to one day sell your business, I believe you should run your business as if you were going to present it to prospective buyers. This does two things. First, it makes you think big – you begin to treat it as a saleable asset, not a hobby that earns you money. And second, it makes you operate on a different level day-to-day, putting systems in place that you might otherwise not be so diligent about if you planned to carry on as an owner-operator or solopreneur.
Marketing, communications, advertising, promotions, publicity – do you know the difference? They’re all unique, yet for most businesses they serve the purpose of raising brand awareness and increasing revenue. Here we look at one of these, communications, in more detail.
I’m not a New Zealander by birth, but after living for a number of years now in Godzone I’m familiar with a few common Kiwi traits and habits. I’ve heard enough about the classic quarter-acre section and number 8 wire to know that New Zealanders are proud DIY-ers. Whether you can actually do it yourself matters not. What is important is that you give it a go. Put on your stubbies and have a bash. Yeah, no, she’ll be right.
Does your business have a copy style guide? Do you know the in-house guidelines when it comes to abbreviating the company name, referring to directors by name or title, or using industry jargon? Or is it a phraseology free-for-all where anything goes?
Should social networking sites be part of your marketing plan?
By now you’ve heard people talking about the latest tweets they’ve seen and boasting about the number of ‘friends’ they have. You’ve been forwarded a number of links to YouTube videos to watch. You’ve probably even received a few emails inviting you to get LinkedIn to someone you used to work with. You most likely already have a personal profile on one of the many social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. But are you still wondering whether or not your business should have its own profile?
What makes a website work?
To make the most of your website as a sales and marketing tool, your site must be both easy to find and easy to use by prospects and customers as well as having key components that improve your search engine optimisation. There are three key things that contribute to this: design, development and text.
Marketing often gets a bad rap. From a customer’s point of view, it is often perceived as something manipulative that sneaky marketers do to coerce us into buying things we don’t need. From a business owner’s perspective, marketing can be an expensive, intangible cost that is hard to measure for success or return on investment.