Small business owners - doing what they do best!
Do you run a business? Are you planning to open a business? Perhaps you’ve been in business for a long time.
Whether you are new to starting an enterprise or a seasoned business owner of many years, it seems the forecast for UK business is becoming an inclement one.
Have you ever considered if your handshake is a proper handshake?
In business, we are expected to give a firmly-gripped handshake to our colleagues and clients. Did you know a firm handshake with good eye contact shows self-confidence?
A handshake is a form of non-verbal communication and can say a lot about a person. An intense and forceful handshake can indicate someone being very dominant, whereas a feeble handshake can indicate someone who is shy, insecure and possibly an introvert.
The importance of networking more than just your business
Networking is one of the most important and effective activities for business growth, success and prosperity.
However, until more recently I found business networking to be hard work, awkward, unimaginative, often boring and usually unrewarding.
I would come away from networking events feeling disappointed. The whole experience seemed to transform my once buoyant spirit in to one of discouragement.
What makes networking so unproductive? If networking is one of the most important and effective of activities to grow business, why doesn’t it render winning results more readily?
Across the city I call home I am surrounded by people in their 20s and early thirties who seem to see fitness, gym attendance and a public display of body sweat and near exhaustion to be a way of life.
Not so with me. I’m from a different generation. That’s not to say people of my peer group didn’t exercise. I just don’t remember it being a staple of our regular week of activity when I was of a similar age. Or, perhaps it was just me.
Why Brand is so Crucial to Competition and to taking Market Share
At our September training event in Zambia I developed discussion around business competition, the concept of taking market share and the crucial role brand building plays in the process.
I was prepared for a reasonably lukewarm reaction, as I had already learned that competitive business with the aim of actively taking market share doesn’t sit so well culturally with Zambian business owners.
4 Questions to determine who will
I have lots of meetings with clients from businesses of different sizes selling all manner of products and services.
Such opportunities are eye-opening, and enriching and it is a privilege to engage with experts across a spectrum of enormous diversity, success and prosperity both locally, in different parts of the UK and overseas.
When it comes to business and brand building, however, I see a lack in levels of objectivity that evidences poor quality market research – or no real market research at all!
You will have heard people speak of a ‘USP’. This is short for ‘Unique Selling Proposition’, or ‘Unique Selling Point’, or sometimes ‘Unique Selling Position’.
A USP is essentially a statement that sets out why your business and the products and services you offer are different from your competitors.
It is the reason (or reasons, if you have more than one USP) customers will choose your business over others that supply the same or similar products and services to yours.
We can all remember slogans, or taglines or memory hooks, as they are also sometimes called. I can still remember slogans from when I was as child growing up in the UK.
The magic worked. How do I know? It is clear to me now that I only seemed to process slogans that were for products I was interested in at the time. Opal Fruits (now Starburst): ‘made to make your mouth water.’ Fudge: ‘A finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat.’ Mars: ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.’
A good business is usually based upon a sound business plan.
A sound business plan will have a brand plan and from the brand plan there will be a brand marketing plan. A brand marketing plan will set out the methods business owners use to take their brand to market.
Marketing activities will then ensue and these will be supported by brand collateral, commonly a combination of well-written copy with elegant design across printed advertising materials, a website, video, social media, signage (including digital) and the like.
Of course, the brand should do much of the marketing work itself. After all, it is the brand with which individuals will resonate, identify, associate themselves and to which they will eventually become loyal.
But what about our use of the most ancient of social media – WOM? How can the full potential of WOM be realised in the digital age for your business, as part of your business marketing mix?
Future Point 4 Business
What's your business for?