Whether you are new to business or a 30 year veteran, it is never to early, or late to take pen to paper (I know, kinda old fashioned hey…) and jot down a few things about what is actually happening in your business and where it is at.
I love working with small businesses and this week had some really common threads running through our discussions, that I thought I would share them with you. Here are my Great Little Tips for a Small Business. They are a little random, but these strategies are what came up the most.
1. Never stop looking for new Ideas. Even if you are enjoying amazing business success, always keep adding fresh ideas to keep you super vibrant in the market place.
2. Go out and Network with people. Referrals are your best advertisement. You will build trust that is not easily built with a company name only. Your face is your business, be more personal, head out, mingle in business groups, be prepared for questions, make personal connections & always bring your business cards!
3. Be visible Online. A whopping 97% of internet users will search online for local goods and services, before heading down town to buy. So if you do not have an online store front, even and information page, now is a good time to pursue one. You don’t have to break the bank, even Facebook is better than nothing at all.
4. Offer something for Free! If you have an online store, give customers free shipping, 58% of consumers say they are willing to add extra items to their cart to meet the free shipping threshold. Simply offering that perk can mean more turnover and money in your pocket for 2018.
5. Lend the Money! On your e-commerce website, offer Online Lending services such as Zip Pay or Afterpay. This means customers enjoy the convenience of having something now, and paying for it later. (You still get payed now too…)
6. Be Available. Can your customers easily purchase from you? Can they contact someone? Can they easily make an appointment with you? I often meet in a coffee shop so we both, as small business owners can “get out” for a while. I meet at the next available opportunity I have, even if our project isn’t starting for another 3 months.
7. Build an Email Database. Do you have customers email addresses so that you can send them information directly to their mailbox? This is another way you can generate more leads by engaging people via email. Create a weekly Newsletter, offer tips, advice and also some specials if you have some.
How will this be good for business? Well…
Keeps you and your brand in forefront of your customers minds.
Will help you to be seen as an authority in your industry.
Will build trust.
Your Newsletter may even be forwarded on to others.
8. Blog. It fuels SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) on your website. You don’t have to be a professional content writer, just know who you are writing for and why. It can be anything that shares your expertise, creates conversation, or gives your company a voice. A
blog post is the heart of your marketing efforts. It is fuel for Facebook, Linked in, Twitter and Newsletters. You can gain leverage from the content from your blog to all social media platforms.
So there you have it, these are my Great Little Tips for a Small Business, and they are all so easy to implement. If you need help with these, or are after some genius marketing ideas (Thats what my clients say!), give me a call… make 2018 the year you don’t waste any opportunities that come your way.
To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand…. That is the question….
So what is a brand?
Well, It is NOT your logo… ok?
A brand is what people say about you when you’re not around. Your “brand” is what your client thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual, (i.e. the boxes are teal with a teal ribbon on it), and emotional (i.e. it’s luxurious and romantic). Your brand exists only in someone’s mind. It’s your reputation, the feeling people get when they think of your business. Every business has a brand, whether you like it or not. Your brand is who you are, what you do. Or perhaps more to the point it’s how the world perceives who you are and what you do.
Are you thinking of a rebrand? Why?
Rebranding can be a terrible mistake, or a huge success, and the best way to ensure it’s success is by using an exact plan of attack.
Think about your goals, and think about strategies on how to achieve them, then ask yourself, why do I want to rebrand? Look at, your competitors, the market that your business operates in, your target audiences and technological advances, all of which may affect your business now and in the future.
7 Reasons to Rebrand:
Your audience or customers are changing.
Your current branding does not reflect the business any more due to growth or change.
Considerable growth has led to new markets and the business has outgrown its image.
You want to be moving with the times, the current branding may be old fashioned, maybe your logo was a cheap knock up on opening day with little or no meaning.
To differentiate the business from competitors that have a similar look.
You have a change in your business strategy: Target Audience, Market positioning and Market Share.
To reflect a change in the type of goods or services you provide. Maybe when when starting out, the business offered a particular type of goods or service and a brand was built around that, the name might also reflect this. But as the business has grown, the product line/services have also grown. Your aspirations for the business may also have grown too. This means that the branding has been out grown and needs to be revamped.
The 7 VIP’s (Very Important Points) on Rebranding.
Give your brand a story, find out what makes your product or service resonate with your clients. What makes it different from the rest, how can we raise peoples affection to it.
Be reliable, be steady and trustworthy to your customers. With the change maintain your customers trust and don’t let the brands equity be compromised.
Streamline your identity, avoid the clutter of to many names for to many services.
If your logo is working, keep it, if your name is working, keep it!
Revitalise your brand to broaden your appeal. Make your brand relevant.
Revitalise your brand to broaden your audience. Create a new buzz to reach a new target market.
Rebranding is really hard work. Every change – from your website to your stationery to your signage, to your Facebook page, it all needs to happen simultaneously to avoid uncertainty or confusion for your clients. Be sure to consider your timeline in advance of the new roll-out.
Rebranding is not for everyone. When making major aesthetic shifts or changing the outlook or the core focus of your business, it can be a confusing process for customers, clients and staff alike. Therefore, communicating your rebrand is essential. Include your staff in the change. Keep them included and provide open communication. Have a prelaunch celebration for your staff to keep them in the loop. Ensure your stakeholders are aware of the rebrand prior to implementation and keep lines of communication open throughout, build up to the release and celebrate.
Other than that Good Luck!, be excited, be ready and be pro-active to change and embrace your new look and new phase of business! Nat:)
I have worked from home/provided a mobile service for 12 years.
Follow your dream… and if you need to work from home to achieve it, do it.
I am a Marketer, a Graphic Designer and Web Designer. I feel am living proof you can have your cake and eat it too. I have enjoyed an incredible career, as well as been there for my kids. I have met amazing people, been invited to amazing places, established strong friendships and business relationships with all kinds of people, and still been home in the afternoons for my children, sport and to sit down for evening meals.
Its a juggling act, but if you are organised, committed and passionate, it can work.
For me, I set myself a few ground rules, they really worked for me.
Have your own room, studio or office work area.
Turn up, bright eyed and bushy tailed everyday, get dressed, madeup, heels and ready for work at 8.30am, even if no-one is likely to visit.
Never work in your pyjamas.
Never eat at the computer. (Have breaks)
If someone wants something done and you have never done it before… but it’s totally in your mind set, say yes, and learn how to do it on the job.
Never undervalue your skills, just because you work from home or co-work or are a mum, you are still an absolute skilled professional, so charge your worth.
Word of mouth is your best advertisement.
Don’t work for friends for free, or don’t work for friends full stop.
When people come to you, they come with a problem. They are after goods or services that you provide that will solve their problem. Your job is to solve that problem and if you do, you will have a customer for life!
Return all calls, messages and texts as quick as humanly possible.
Don’t become all consumed by Social Media, Vanity Likes and Post Reach. The only people that matter are your clients and the quality of the jobs you do for them. New clients come from word of mouth, your work and your portfolio. (Oops, who said that?!!)
Shut that studio/office door at 5pm on Friday and do not go back in till 8.30am Monday.
This has worked for me. I hope it can help you. Nat:)
Degradation or “Low Resolution Pixelation” is a common problem for many businesses and their Logos.
Over time, and use the files become small, distorted, stretched or even lost. Its not until the organisation needs a large sign or promotional materials or embroidery work, that they realise they don’t have a quality version of their files available. If this has happened to you, don’t worry, I can redraw and “Save” your logo.
I have rescued many logos, tidied them up and supplied all new files in all the versions required. Including ones you cannot open for sign writers and embroiderers. Here is the Horse Driving Trials Club Logo. See the before and after. Squashed and ratty, now smooth, angled and in proportion.
All is not lost and with all new shiny files, the pain and frustration of lack lustre Logo files will be gone!. Nat:)
No matter whether you work in a commercial building or from a home studio, whether are a paid creative, or like to do stuff for your own enjoyment… your creative space has to be perfect. Its a special space, an inspiring space, put aside entirely for the purpose of creating. The energy, the position, the feel, has to be just right.
For me a light filled, striking space with a few statement pieces around makes it my own. I like it sparse, plenty of desk space, with containers or little wooden boxes for everything to go. Sometimes I clutter my area up with post–it–notes, and torn offpages as ideas and brain storms happen. I make notes and sketches in coloured pens and pencils on scraps of paper. When Im designing packaging, there is cut up pieces of paper everywhere! By the end of a week, my studio is deep in clutter, but my aim is to have the desk clear by afternoon. Monday mornings I start a fresh again. I like a space where I can be me, and my creative processes can just flowwww.
In my studio I position my desk so the morning sun is streaming in. I love the feeling of sunshine on my face and hands. This also contributes to lighting. A combination of natural light, from an open window, as well as good white lights, work well against computer screens. I like to work in the light.
If you are lucky enough, there is nothing nicer than a view out a window. It’s even better if there is a tree or trees outside as well. To keep your head clear, try to find a space that has no pollution, fumes or traffic. Personally I like to work in fresh air and in silence. I like it to be peacefully chaotic in my head… it’s a beautiful mess in there!
No matter what gives you inspiration, having a studio or space to call your own doesn’t require a lot of money, or even a lot of of space, just as long as its an area you can call your own. The most important part is that your studio is your perfect creative space, your very own creative temple.