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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Business

Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Business 
Well…A happy new year to you! We hope that you have all had a wonderful and enchanting Christmas and New Years Eve (we certainly did!).
Now that the festivities are over, we're all back at work and making plans for the months to come of 2013. OK-So, it's January right?…Yes, and as many of you will agree, it's a pretty flat month but not for long of course!

The month of January gives us all the perfect excuse to really push business to the limits, and how?... By advertising, yes that wonderful and magical word ADVERTISING! (if you've not done so already). Since we are sorted with our advertisement strategies etc, we thought we would create 'ten top tips to help you and your business along the way' So without further ado, here they are…

1. MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN:

You may have already done this, but planning what you set out to do for the year ahead is always a great start!
  • What are your GOALS?
  • What is your BUDGET? (Be realistic)
  • What ADVERTISEMENT STRATEGIES do you have lined up?
  • What other CLIENTELE do you wish to attract?
  • What's new on the MARKET…Have you done it yet?
  • What can you IMPROVE on? (What elements of your business were not as successful in the previous year and could do with assessing?).
  • GROWTH- It's not always the big ideas, but a string of small ones, what are yours?

2. YOUR IMAGE - DOES YOUR BRANDING CLEARLY VISUALISE WHAT IT IS THAT YOU'RE SELLING?

As we have explained many a time in previous posts, your branding is one of THE most essential elements of your business/organisation. It is of course the forefront, of your product/service. Here is a list of advertisement essentials..

ONLINE:

TIME TO SHUT UP SHOP FOR THE DAY?…NOT ANY MORE!
We couldn't be any more blunt if we tried but, get a website designed.
Online presence is BIG, in-fact that's an understatement-It's HUGE! A website is an extremely powerful tool in aiding any kind of business / organisation. If we want to find out something, we tap it into a search engine such as Google, we find it and we explore it.
      
A website adds to your…
  • Branding experience
  • It's a quick and simple way of accessing information that potential clients who have the internet may acquire.
  • It's very cost effective, flexible and convenient. Any advertisement is around for a much longer period of time.
  • Will enhance the use of your service
  • Adds value and customer satisfaction
  • A great opportunity for growth- Shows potential investors what you're all about.
  • Two way communication- Allows clients to write testimonials on their experiences. they can also do this through social networking.
   
Depending on your budget, you can have a website that is as large or small as you like! You can even use it as advertisement space for not only yourself, but for other related businesses (another addition to your business plan we think!).
  • SOCIAL NETWORKING: Electronic advertisement is very swiftly taking over the planet... It's fierce and it's here to stay! Sites such as FACEBOOK and TWITTER are excellent sources of telling the world about your business and what you do, what's more is it's absolutely free. Whether you're a Graphic Designer, Pet Groomer, I.T consultant, Performing Arts extrordinaire, student (and the list goes on)…Use it, it's great for building up a potential client base!
  • CREATE A BLOG: Like Social Networking, blogs are great for keeping the world up to date with your business. If you're unfamiliar with the term…A blog is basically an online diary. Share your thoughts, ideas, links to inspirational website pages, videos etc to build up a  base of subscribers which in turn could lead to further clientele. We are huge fans of social networking it's an absolute MUST for any business/organisation!
  • ARE YOU A CREATIVE BUSINESS? CREATE VIDEOS: This may sit under the lines of social networking, but creating videos such as simple how to demonstrations on various topics related to what you do are always a great way of engaging with potential clients. There are still many generations who have not grown up with the technological gadgetry that we use today, and so making videos that clearly show how to do things like set up social networking sites, right down to using basic software are always a great way of staying in touch with the world.
FOR PRINT: Print advertisement is still a great source, it;s not to be knocked!...
  • BUSINESS CARDS - Always a must, you never know who you might bump in to on your travels, plus they're great for handing out at events such as business networking meetings!
  • FLYERS/LEAFLETS - These are great if you're in the restaurant/take-away industry, or as a trade i.e. plumber, electrician, car maintenance, as they can be posted door to door to potential clients (the general public)
  • BANNERS/SHOP FRONT SIGNAGE - As you will all know, people shop with their eyes and so if you're selling a service on the high street, your shop frontage needs to be visually obvious.
  • NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT - This may not be for everyone, but it's certainly a great source if you sell a service i.e. care-worker, trades-person, hospitality and catering.

3. THINK LIKE A CUSTOMER!

4. FUTURE PROOF YOUR BUSINESS/ORGANISATION: As we have explained in tip '2', online advertisement and social networking is fast becoming the forefront of advertising…Are you on there yet?

RESEARCH: Have you done your homework and pin pointed what everyone in your industry IS DOING and what they are NOT? Perhaps you have had a brain wave that could potentially start something big…Experiment, but be careful, think EVERYTHING through thoroughly and pick out pointers with a fine tooth comb before you set foot into something new.

5. DON'T JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON: Are you selling a niche product or service? Look at your strengths (and weaknesses) and then build  up your products/services. Don't forget that business success is based upon you selling one core field for one core target market, only on the  success of this should you then start to broaden your services etc.

6. BUILD UP RELATIONSHIPS: Do you have an extensive amount of regular customers? if so, call them to see how they're doing, keep in close contact with them, get to know what's going on in their lives. Be in their business a little, COMMUNICATION IS KEY!

7. BRUSH UP ON YOUR SALES SKILLS: No matter how long you have been working in your field of industry, there is always room to improve your knowledge, delivery and overall performance. Sometimes it's a good idea to reflect on the previous year and think about how you could improve your performance. it's like the saying…'Every day is a school day'

8 MIX UP YOUR MULTI-TOUCH! Don't just stick to using one method of communication, contact potential clients with direct mail campaigns, letters, post cards, phone calls (be careful to not appear as being a pest) and dependant on your budget, gifts. You may need to touch prospects a small number of times to get the client/sale that you want.

9. ASK: NEVER EVER be afraid to ask other business for help and advice. If you're a little stuck and not sure how to become unglued from a problem, i.e. how to gain further clientele or if you're just starting out, your very first sale, let people know and they will oblige and respect you more for being honest.

10. BE YOURSELF: Clients can spot a fake a mile off! Don't act as though you're trying too hard, be friendly, be savvy, be human and tell the world just how awesome you are, let your clients like you for who you are!


Don't forget: If you have any comments or further ideas, please do post a comment, we'd be delighted to hear from you!

Pix and Mix Digital Media and Graphic Design Cambridge 
enquiries@pixandmix.org.uk
www.pixandmix.org.uk

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