Tag Archives: Business Advice

5 Top Tips why Networking is so Important for Startup Businesses.                             #IntrobizNetworkingTip

Hi Everyone, Why Networking is So Important for Startups Businesses. Networking is an essential part of business. Unless you work hard at building relationships with customers and your fellow business professionals, it will be difficult to grow a sustainable business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t understand the importance of business networking. They assume that their brilliant […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/5-top-tips-why-networking-is-so-important-for-startup-businesses-introbiznetworkingtip/

5 Top Tips why Networking is so Important for Startup Businesses.                             #IntrobizNetworkingTip

Hi Everyone, Why Networking is So Important for Startups Businesses. Networking is an essential part of business. Unless you work hard at building relationships with customers and your fellow business professionals, it will be difficult to grow a sustainable business. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t understand the importance of business networking. They assume that their brilliant […]

http://passionateaboutnetworking.com/2016/11/26/5-top-tips-why-networking-is-so-important-for-startup-businesses-introbiznetworkingtip/

Proof that Gavin Preston can help you to double your business…

As the Gavin Preston team sat down for their months review, they had good news to share with Jane and George…

“You’ve done it! 

I’ve just finished the numbers and I’m delighted to tell you your business has not only grown, it’s doubled since we started to work together. 

AND it’s only taken you 11 months!”

You should have seen the look on their faces (and mine to be honest).

The sheer delight and sense of pride was palpable!

Yet, it all started less than a year before, when an overworked and frankly demoralised couple called me to ask for help. 

Jane and George had taken over a business his mother had set up 20 years previously and in the two years they’d been running it, they’d hit absolute rock bottom. 

The poor things were working six days a week (starting at 3 am and often only finishing at gone 9 at night). 

The staff were demotivated and obstructive, with very low morale. 

Customers were continually complaining and causing trouble. 

The business was barely breaking even. In fact, it lost money almost every month.

George was particularly worried about Jane.

She had dark grey bags beneath her eyes, was utterly exhausted from months of struggle and disappointment. She was completely worn out and it was beginning to affect hear health.

George wasn’t much better, though together they just soldiered on.

However 

Together, they had a dream.

They knew deep in their hearts their business had potential. If only they could take the right actions to bring it out. 

They wanted to create employment opportunities for local people – as the business was in a close-knit rural area. 

They had great products and they wanted to exploit its WOW factor. 

They desperately wanted to give their children a great start in life and provide them with the best education possible. 

What’s more, they had total clarity on what they wanted to achieve.

So… 

Over the next few months we devised a thorough plan of how we could overhaul staff issues, streamline production and sales, boost customer satisfaction to create regular repeat business and most importantly significantly increase profits and personal income.

The result, in under 12 months, Jane and George have a happy and motivated team dedicated to the business. 

They regularly take time out and family holidays together.

The children are receiving the education their parents had dreamed they could have.

Jane and George are happy, excited, more relaxed and now highly rewarded.

AND… 

The business has doubled in turnover and profits. 

But that’s not all
We continued to work together. Jane and George have gone on to double their business not once, but twice again

AND, we’re currently working to do this for a FOURTH time 

Now, you may be wondering… 

What’s the secret?

Are Jane and George exceptional super-humans?

Well, frankly, no. They’re not! They’re just like you.

But they have done a few things differently to most people.

First they’ve used just a few of my strategies and then gone and taken fast, effective and meaningful action.

And to help you do the same I have set up two Double Your Business Business Training Workshops in Bristol and Cardiff for November & December.

To register on to one of our next two Double Your Business Events, in either Bristol or Cardiff in order to find out how this business growth can be achieved, please click the link to the business growth event that’s in the area best for you!

   Cardiff Business Event in December – Double Your Business
Bristol Business Event in November – Double Your Business  

P.S. Important: This proves you can double your business and repeat that success with just two things. The right mind-set and the right tools.

Best wishes

Gavin Preston
Gavin Preston Ltd

www.gavinpreston.com | info@gavinpreston.com

Gavin Preston Ltd, Connaught House, Riverside Business Park, Conwy, LL32 8UB, United Kingdom 0845 468 0271

Workshops & Seminars at the Introbiz Business Expo in Cardiff on 9th of November….

Please find a list of all the Introbiz Expo 2016 seminars & workshops including Time Slots for the seminars at the Introbiz Expo. Google Google Presents – “Tell Your Story Online” Learn how to make your website shine across all devices and improve your digital presence through social media, online video and Google My […]

http://passionateaboutnetworking.com/2016/09/30/workshops-seminars-at-the-introbiz-business-expo-in-cardiff-on-9th-of-november/

How to select good web designers in Wales

How to select good web designers in Wales: If you are looking for good web designer in Wales, then this post on, how to select good web designers in Wales, is for you? We have listed 5 easy steps to follow in order to help you to choose Good web designers in Wales. Follow these 5 Easy […]

https://welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/how-to-select-good-web-designers-in-wales/

Twitter Marketing Tip 10

With 42% of Twitter’s users following brands, it’s a fertile ground of marketing opportunities. 

You may have mastered the basics by now and know your hashtags from your trends, but there are some next-level tricks and ideas that often get missed out. 

Step up your social media game with this Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition: 

Import Email Leads Into A Twitter List 

If you’ve worked hard to build up an email list, why not see if you can strengthen the connection on Twitter? 

With an email integration tool, you can match contacts in your email database with their corresponding Twitter accounts. 

You can then keep up with these warm leads on Twitter, strengthening the relationship you have built with them. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like these Twitter Marketing Tips:

This Twitter Marketing Tip 10 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Cardiff Marketing Company

Welsh Business Marketing

The Voice of Social Media

Why Your Business Needs a Budget

New post on Online Marketing Hub

Why Your Business Needs a Budget
by christopherjanb

In business, you have to spend money to make money. But you should also learn to make a budget and stick to it, especially if you’re just starting out. Here’s why:

If you don’t have a budget, it’s very easy to run out of cash ( and if you run out of money, your business may be toast!)
You won’t know for sure if you are really making any money.
Just one unplanned purchase can mess up your cash flow for months.
Operating without a budget makes it harder for your business to grow consistently.
Creating a budget will pay off in the short-term and the long-term, helping you identify budget-busting items and spot downward or upward trends in your profits. Armed with a budget, you can actually plan ahead for your expenses and cut down on unpleasant surprises. In this article, you’ll learn:

The parts of a budget
How to figure a budget
How to analyze a budget
In the early days of my recruiting business, I relied on a budget from Day One. My partner and I knew to the penny how much money we had. We knew exactly what was owed to us and what we owed to others. We weighed every purchase decision against our budget.

For example, about three years into our startup, I was planning our first national convention. I needed the convention’s expenses to come in on budget or under budget, because we had zero money to be over budget. After the convention was over and we counted all of our income and expenses, I was $15 under budget. (Was I good, or what?!) Having that budget helped me stay disciplined while hosting a successful convention.

Now that I own five businesses, my financial picture is more complicated. I rely on my accounting department to give me monthly financials on all my companies, individually and combined. But learning to budget in those early days paid off, and helped me get where I am today.

What is a Budget?
A budget is simply a look at your estimated income and expenses for a certain time period. You can create a budget for a month, a quarter, or a year. A budget can help you control your spending and analyze your income.

The Anatomy of a Budget
A typical budget includes income, expenses and profit.

Your income consists of the sales from products and services, accounts receivable, and other sources of income.

Your expenses include everything you spend on your business: your utilities, supplies, payroll for your employees, insurance, marketing costs, travel expenses, etc.

Your profit is simply your income minus your expenses. You hope that your income will exceed your expenses and give you a healthy net profit.

How Do You Figure a Budget?
When you start planning a budget for your business, you will compare your expected expenses to your actual expenses, and the same for your income.

(My assumption is that you keep track of your business finances in some orderly fashion. If you use accounting software in your business, you can easily search your expense categories to find realistic dollar amounts for your actual expenses. If you are using a spreadsheet, this task may prove cumbersome, but not impossible.)

You may feel like you’re shooting in the dark when it comes to some of these numbers, but that’s okay: It will be an eye-opener! You can revisit the budget and adjust the numbers upward or downward as needed, and over time the picture of your business will become clearer.

A Sample Budget
Here’s an example of a budget for Kay’s Bakery. Her bakery generally has sales of about $6,000 per month, but Kay has recently launched a catering service to bring in some extra income. When she comes up with her budget numbers, she can count on a few reliable recurring expenses, such as her payroll for two part-time employees and the rent for her bakery. However, her utility and supply costs tend to vary somewhat from month to month.

Analyzing a Budget
The net profit for Kay’s Bakery seem to be right on target. However, she can look for ways to run her business more efficiently and profitably. Since her sales were slightly less favorable for the month, she may need to start advertising her bakery and her new catering service to keep bringing in that extra income.

Kay’s expenses were a bit less than expected for the month, with a variance of $38.55. However, while planning her next monthly budget, she may want to plan for higher utility costs, especially in the coming winter months. And since rising inflation is starting to hurt her purchasing power, she can be on the lookout for less costly suppliers, or negotiate discounts with her existing suppliers based on her excellent credit.

Conclusion
When you start using a budget, you may be surprised at what you learn about your spending habits. But recognize that some months will just naturally be better than others — people just may not be in the mood for donuts or shoes or whatever you are selling. However, learning the discipline of sticking to a budget will help you build a healthy, growing business for the long run.

Author information

Mike Kappel
President at Patriot Software, Inc.
Mike Kappel is a serial entrepreneur and president of Patriot Software, Inc., an online accounting and a payroll software company and one of five successful small businesses he has started in the last 28 years. Mike still enjoys the challenge of a start-up, and is passionate about supporting small business and helping others reach their goals. He shares his experiences in his blog, Small Business Expert. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeKappel and Google+.
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The post Why Your Business Needs a Budget appeared first on SteamFeed.

For more on this article including images see:
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/why-your-business-needs-a-budget/

The Why Your Business Needs a Budget page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

13 Holiday Small Business Specials….

New post on Online Marketing Hub

13 Holiday Small Business Specials
by christopherjanb

Small Business Tips You Can Use 365 Days A Year

Before the Christmas turkey is even cold, we’re off to shop for the holidays.

Amazon, Walmart and other big stores have their marketing, promotions and inventories set. But what gives them clout is a double-edged sword; they have to pray their plans work.

But if you’re a small business owner, you have the flexibility to adapt and attract sales that go beyond a one-time great price offer.

See the graph showing research at where affluent people plan to shop this holiday season.

HINT: They’re avoiding stores.

See link to original article below.

Therefore your small business needs to find ways to lure shoppers in and make them feel special.

The key to small business success is based on the relationships you build all year long and not just last minute holiday shoppers.

Further, the small business challenge is: “How do you set yourself apart from the big guys?”

My dad ran a local newspaper in Queens. Small local businesses were his bread and butter advertisers. When I worked for him, I knew these merchants on a first name basis.

In my father’s trading area, the average small business owner was often the jack-of-all-trades: sales, marketing, operations and finance. Frequently, the funds leftover for promotion was a tradeoff between dinner out with his wife or advertising.

As a result, I have a soft spot for small businesses and favor them wherever I get a chance.

13 Holiday Small Business Specials
Here’s a list of 13 holiday small business specials that yield results regardless of season. (Before you dive into this list, you may want to check these 10 holiday tips to ensure that you’re not making offers that hurt your profits!!!)

When you create these promotions, make sure that you’re targeting your best customers and understand how to increase their average order size!!!

1. Provide local delivery.
Go the extra distance for the people who live in your trading area. I’m surprised that more small businesses don’t offer this service. Take a page from florists and delis: create defined delivery areas.

Back when there were independent bookstores in my neighborhood, I decided to send a friend a new novel for her birthday. I called and asked if they could have someone deliver the novel to my friend who lived 5 blocks away. (Note: by NYC standards, this is a very short distance.)

Although the clerk initially told me no, the owner agreed to wrap the book and deliver it for another $5.00. That cemented my customer loyalty! I was surprised that they never added that as a service.

2. Give shoppers a place to rest.
Holiday shopping can be tiring, especially if you’re not the born to shop type. Put out a few comfortable chairs where shoppers can catch their breath. Large stores have done this for years. It’s a great way to calm waiting partners.

3. Put out the sweets.
Give buyers the energy to continue shopping. It’s amazing how far the sugar rush from cookies or cake goes. Trader Joes and William Sonoma are great at offering snacks to entice buyers and fuel their shopping venture.

4. Discount product that’s not moving.
Why wait until you have to severely discount it? Spotlight slow moving product and call it a “special deal”.

5. Test purchase with second-purchase offers.
This is a good way to try to move product that’s not resonating with your customers. For example, ‘Buy these pants, get a belt at half price.” You can do the same thing to encourage people to buy more than one item.

6. Create special shopping hours for your best customers.
Give them the Ritz treatment. Either open early or close late for your top customers to have a less crowded, more personal shopping experience.

7. Provide child minding.
Make a corner in your back room a place where children can stay without being in parents’ way. Go a step further and have someone read children’s books.

8. Stock up on related necessary products.
Don’t make your customers look for things like batteries. Make them a no-brainer purchase at full price so they don’t need to make an extra trip.

9. Create special, tailored services.
Get creative about how you can meet your target audience’s needs. For example, a food specialty store can offer cooking classes.

10. Collect canned food or other items for donation.
Show that you care about the community. At the holidays, people like to support businesses that provide for the less fortunate. Show your community mindedness.

11. Cross-promote other local shops.
This is a good way to extend your marketing budget. Talk to some of your fellow storeowners. You can promote their business and they can promote your business. This doesn’t work with direct or even indirect competitors.

12. Offer customer a special deal for January purchases.
Since sales traditionally fall off after the post-Christmas sales. Give shoppers a coupon to indulge during the January slump. The benefit: people feel good about coupons but often forget to use them.

13. Remind your customers about birthdays and other special occasions.
Holiday shoppers tend to buy for other people. Why not use this opportunity to capture information so that you provide a useful service without promoting them about products they don’t want.

Ask if their purchases are gifts. If so, add their content information to a special email reminder list. It can be as simple as leaving a pad by your register to capture information such as customer name, email address, reminder (including name, occasion and date.)

A local florist did this for a friend’s husband who purchased flowers for their anniversary.

The small business bottom line:
As a small business, you have to test a variety of different types of promotions to see what resonates best with your target customers.

Further, it’s important to think about long-term relationships. What can you do that your larger competitors don’t?

What other types of small business promotions would you recommend and why?

BTW, want some content marketing inspiration for the holidays? Here are 41 Titles to Rock Your Holiday Content Calendar

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
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The post 13 Holiday Small Business Specials appeared first on Heidi Cohen.

For more on this article including images and links see:
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The 13 Holiday Small Business Specials page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies

New post on Online Marketing Hub

20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies at @smbmsp
by christopherjanb

On Friday nearly a dozen members of the TopRank Online Marketing team had the privilege of attending a packed house at 514 Studies downtown Minneapolis for Social Media Breakfast aka #SMBMSP72.

The topic? Social Media Marketing case studies. And gnomes. And bacon. And made-up words like “magicable”.

Featuring case studies about local and national brands including Land O’ Lakes, Thomson Reuters, Axonom and two Fortune 100 technology companies, presentations were given by Jaclyn Grossfield @jaclynanng, Casey Hall @CaseyHall_ and myself.

While the Minneapolis / St. Paul Social Media Breakfast events are always well attended, this one was particularly so because of the insatiable interest in practical social media marketing insights. That and maybe the introduction of the “Social Media Gnome” pictured above. Instead of “Elf on a Shelf” think of him as a “Gnome in Your Zone” watching to make sure you’re following best practices. [Cue laugh track]

To help satisfy the broader interest in social media case studies and tactics, here are 22 takeaways, insights and tips from the presentations captured by the team at TopRank:

Alexis Hall – TopRank Account Manager

Tip 1: Use social media to encourage your audience to participate in and contribute content in a meaningful way. If the content connects with their own experience in a meaningful way, your audience will be more likely to engage with and amplify that content.

Tip 2: Activate subject matter experts within your organization in order to create content which goes beyond product marketing and provides helpful content which will resonate with an expert audience. Provide subject matter experts with quick and easy training on how to create content which works for a blog or social media up front and then empower them to write about the topics which they know most about.

Nick Ehrenberg – TopRank Content Marketing Manager

Tip 3: There is a fine balance between promoting on-domain content and off-domain content. Without the balance, you risk missing potential revenue and/or engagement with the audience. Regardless of the content’s source, it must fulfill the primary goal: driving buyers through the purchasing cycle.

Tip 4: Product promotions belong on product pages — that’s what they are meant for. Your organization’s blog should be the venue for subject matter experts to dive deeper into audience concerns or trends. Make your blog a resource for all people in the target audience — not just your immediate customers.

And if I was able to grow a solid beard, I would totally join the Marketers With Beards Facebook Group. [From Lee: You can do it Nick!!!]

Joel Carlson – TopRank Social Media Lead

Tip 5: Using typography allowed an agency (Exponent) to override the Facebook restriction of 20% or less text for ad images used with Land O Lakes campaigns.

Tip 6: Create a company blog (hybrid site) that is a combination of internal and external content. It will increase interest in the site and make visitors more likely to return.

Tip 7: Products should not be the focus of a blog, but instead, it should provide information that help visitors gain success.

Tip 8: B2B audiences are well informed, so when it comes to blog content, provide expert and technical content for readers.

Evan Prokop – TopRank Digital Marketing Manager

Tip 9: You probably already have subject matter experts in your company who can be grown into public facing thought leaders – with a little guidance and motivation. As marketers, it’s our job to not only help them master content creation tactics such as blogging and social media, but to show them why it’s important.

Tip 10: Appeal to your audience’s emotions. Land O Lake’s Mothers Day Facebook giveaway campaign tapped into a topic most everyone has strong feelings about (and spends a lot of money on apparently), their mom.

Kate Heithoff – TopRank SEO Copywriter

Tip 11: Social media is a great way to spread brand awareness and grab your audience’s attention. Using visual pieces with an enticing calls to action can have substantial results. Know your audience, and use appropriate language to receive engagement on social networks, whether that be likes, shares, comments or retweets. Emotion-evoking visual content and language can go a long way with the appropriate audience.

Tip 12: Whether creating visual or written content, know your audience and who you’re writing for. Provide them with information that is new and relevant. Do not only talk about your company, but rather talk about your audience and target their wants and needs. In your content, let them know that you value their time, and are not there only to press products or sales upon them.

Katie Konrath – TopRank Content Marketing Lead

Tip 13: There is no one “magic formula” for success in content marketing. Every audience has different content and social preferences. To succeed, you need to pay attention to what is working for other marketers, and then run tests to find out what works best for your audience.

Tip 14: To build relationships with influencers on social, you need to first learn about them. Who is their audience? What are their goals for engaging online? What is in it for them when they help you? If you are able to clearly communicate how helping you benefits the influencer, you will have better results when you reach out to them.

Douglas Fehlen – TopRank Copywriter

Tip 15: When it comes to social media marketing, self-promotion and helpfulness is a unique balance for every organization.

Tip 16: Provide content that customers will find valuable, even if they never buy anything.

Tip 17: Look for opportunities to inject storytelling into messaging through social media engagement – even if you’re in an industry not necessarily known for emotion-touched content.

Andy Thomson – TopRank SEO Copywriter

Tip 18: People want meaningful connections, so give the people what they want in an opportunistic way using real-time monitoring and popular platforms.

Tip 19: Efficient training and leveraging subject matter experts for great content can win buy-in from executive leadership, especially when internal resources are scarce.

Tip 20: Don’t be afraid to find loopholes in social network posting rules. For example, Land-o-Lakes achieved this using clever typography in their Mother’s Day photo ads on Facebook to get around the 20% text rule.

Thank you again to Mykl Roventine from the Minneapolis / Saint Paul Social Media Breakfast for the invitation to present at this event and a big thanks to the TopRank team members that worked on the client engagements shared in my presentation: Alexis Hall, Kate Heithoff, Ben Brausen, Emily Bacheller and Renee Whisnant.

20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies at @smbmsp | http://ift.tt/faSbAI

For more on this article or content marketing in general see:
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/20-magicable-takeaways-from-5-social-media-marketing-case-studies-at-smbmsp/

The 20 Magicable Takeaways From 5 Social Media Marketing Case Studies page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”