5 Easy Ways To Market Your Business

It does not matter what sort of business you run today, one thing that you need to do is market it effectively. After all, competition is fiercer than it ever has been because the barriers to opening a company have been reduced. Because of this, it is important to make sure you do everything you can to stand out and to ensure that customers pick you over the competition. 

  • List on a business listing website – The first suggestion that we have for you is to sign up for a business listing site. There are a lot of listing websites but you need to choose with care. After all, you need to make sure that the site you choose is reputable and relevant to your target audience as well. However, the great thing about business listing sites is that people who use them are actively searching for a company just like yours, which is why they are perfect for marketing. 
  • Connect with people on social media – Social media is free to use, and it provides you with a great way of connecting with customers. It enables people to get closer to your brand than ever before, and this is something you can use to your advantage. However, it is important to remember that social media should not be used to simply post an endless string of promotional messages. It is all about engaging. 
  • Create a stylish website – Of course, one thing that all businesses need to have today is a stylish and professional website. Your website needs to be optimised, easy to use, and quick to load as well. The good news is that it does not have to cost a lot to create a professional website today, as there are a lot of excellent website builders out there for those who do not want to pay for a web design and development agency. 
  • Run a competition – Another way to market your business effectively is to run a competition on social media. People love getting things for free, so you can be sure that they will be interested in entering your competition. This is a good way of essentially getting people to market your business for you, as they will share your competition post with others.
  • Write guest blog posts – Finally, writing guest blog posts to place on other websites and blogs is another way to tap into an engaged and readymade audience. You simply need to make sure that you team up with relevant businesses that have a good domain rating. If you post content on websites that are completely irrelevant to your own, you can end up hurting your visibility, not benefitting it. 

 

As you can see, there are a number of different ways that you can get the word out about your business. We hope that this has helped you to get some fresh ideas on some of the less time-consuming and difficult ways to go about marketing and reach new people. 

3 Benefits Of Working From Home All Mums Will Appreciate

Sometimes, you can get frustrated when working from home. It’s far from perfect, and it can be a bit challenging when you have toddlers or young children in the house with you. Some days, you long for a productive office environment that helps you work more efficiently. 

Nevertheless, you should definitely start appreciating things a lot more. While it has its downsides, working from home will present so many benefits that all mums will enjoy. Want to know what they are? Keep on reading below…

 

More time with your kids

As much as they can frustrate you and make work a challenge, you have to appreciate all the extra time you get with your kids. When they grow up and spend less time in the home, you will wish you could wind back the clock to now. Yes, they can be a handful, but you should look at the positives; you get to strengthen your bond with them, have more time to create memories, and keep them close to you throughout the day. 

 

Save a lot of money

Arguably the best thing about working from home is that you will save a fortune. If you’re a business owner, the money you save from not renting an office can be huge! Not only that, but you can save money on other common daily expenses – such as your car. By not needing to commute to work, you save money on fuel every single day. You also keep your car in the best condition possible, meaning there’s less chance of expensive repairs being needed. If you drive every day, you’re going to wear things down – like the gasket material in your engine, your brake pads, tyres – the list goes on.  

Additionally, you can save money on things like food and clothes as you don’t need to buy them for work. You can wear the same outfits every day at home, and you can buy food for much cheaper when you’re not out in the office. Overall, the savings can be pretty substantial!

 

Make the most out of your day

We spoke about commuting above, and it plays such a crucial role in your day. Most people can spend hours every day commuting to and from work, leaving you with very little time to do anything else. When working from home, you can make the most of your day by having more time on your hands. It leaves you with more free time in the evenings to relax and let your hair down. For a lot of people, this can leave you with a better work-life balance as you’re not rushing around or feeling super stressed. 

 

When you look at it like this, working from home has some pretty powerful benefits that can improve your life. The saving money point is particularly impressive; this can put you and your family in a more commanding financial position, with less to worry about. So, the next time you get worked up about working from home, remember these three benefits!

 

Taking Your Amazing Ideas to the Next Level

The world is full of people coming up with unique ideas every day, and we see them all the time: virtual reality, cloud services, and smartphones. But most ideas stay just that. Most don’t get off the ground. Sometimes it’s due to motivation, but an idea fails to launch most of the time because someone doesn’t understand what it takes to develop an idea into something tangible.

The process isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Even the most talented business people and innovators such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson employ an army of people who help them develop their ideas into shippable products. 

And here is a quick overview of how they do it.

Concept and Actualisation

A concept is generally thought of as an idea. But it is more than that. When it comes to a product or service, your concept defines your initial idea. For example, you may come up with an idea for a temperature-controlled baby bottle. That’s a great idea. But it doesn’t explain anything. 

Therefore, you develop the concept:

  • Calculate costs
  • List and contact potential investors
  • Appeal to key demographics (new parents)
  • Research IP, copyright and patents
  • Highlight key features

These are all critical criteria that you must thoughtfully manage during the concept phase of your product development. Yet, you then need to develop your concept into a prototype. And the first step to that is to design.

As highlighted in your concept, key features need to be addressed. A reputable product design company is highly beneficial for releasing a great idea and notion into fruition. Working directly with you, specialist teams can design, prototype and manufacture your product to your specifications.

Marketing Strategies

The best innovative product in the world is useless if nobody knows it exists. This is where marketing comes in. Following your excellent concept development and professionally designed and manufactured, you need to move your stock. To do this, a solid marketing infrastructure must be in place so that retailers and individuals alike can make orders for you to fulfil. Thus begins your actual production. 

But marketing is an industry unto itself, and unless you are incredibly talented, you will have trouble launching a product. Fortunately, the world is full of marketing experts, and one of the most exciting subsets is digital marketing. As you might have guessed, digital marketing focuses efforts on internet-based sales. Some examples include:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media campaigns
  • Website and blog design and development
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Digital advertising (banners, ads, etc.)
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns
  • Influencer marketing
  • Mobile optimisation

In a world of digital information and excessive internet use, this type of marketing outperforms traditional and established methods. So much so that over 90% of businesses include digital marketing techniques as part of their overall strategy, and 58% use digital marketing alone. 

Traditional methods include TV, radio and newspaper/magazine advertising. These ads have their place, but they are usually expensive, where some digital marketing methods cost almost nothing.

Commercialisation

With a solid marketing plan in place, you need to bring your product to market. The process is complex, with multiple layers. However, it is known by its umbrella term as commercialisation. At its core, commercialisation aims to get a product from A to B. A being manufacture, B being the end-user. But there are many steps in the process, such as:

  • Manufacture
  • Marketing (which has been covered)
  • Order fulfilment
  • Shipping
  • Order reception

And the cycle continues based upon orders and your ability to fulfil those orders. Each step in the process is dependent on the previous step. For example, it is not advisable to manufacture products without a demand. This will cost money and could end up becoming deadstock. Or there’s no point in marketing a product you are unable to fulfil. 

Of course, this is a blanket view of commercialisation, and each step also has sub-processes that are complex in terms of logistics.

 

4 Ways to Build Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships

Attaining enviable success as an entrepreneur is not an isolated affair. Instead, it takes a great deal of hard work, commitment, and, most importantly, strategic partnerships to reach that height. Mutually beneficial relationships are the primary driving tools of business operations and, therefore, must acknowledge the significant role. With six million private sector businesses established in the UK, there is no doubt about the number of strategic relationships that take place. Apart from drawing attention to your business, you will be smiling at the bank. For more information on how to go about yours, find out more from the discussion below.

Identify suitable business partners

When you’re already running a business, there will come a time when you need a strategic partner to buy into your ideas and products. The question now is, how do you identify them in the first place? That potential business partner must have values and goals identifiable with yours. Secondly, their business operations should be one with the potential to make excellent use of your product(s) for mutual benefits. Do not forget that as you evaluate your possible business partners, they will also be working in the background to learn every relevant thing about your company too.

Additionally, remember that it’s not always about the metrics and how much revenue a potential partner brings in. On the other hand, a good reputation and brand image are pivotal in your decision-making. If your business partner has a terrible reputation, it will, without a doubt, affect your company’s image too. That explains the need to set clear criteria for what you want to be associated with your establishment, regardless of how much revenue they can give you.

Conduct a thorough investigation of their abilities

What is your business partner bringing on board? How have they manoeuvred challenges in the past for the greater good? Again, what do you know about their previous and existing relationships with other business establishments? Before signing that partnership deal, there is every need to be aware and convinced of their abilities and business prowess.

The last thing you want is to transact business with an establishment that is all talk but nothing to prove it. In essence, a good track record must feature prominently on your list before starting your business marketing activities with them. Keep in mind that you have every right to ask for evidence of success claims they report. You must clear the path for your products to be beneficial to the other business.

Ensure your product is of excellent quality

Before embarking on B2B marketing, you must be sure of the quality of your wares or business products. Don’t rely solely on how much you stand to gain without considering the prospects of repeat business. As B2B marketing expert Alex Croucher puts it, it is crucial to grow your pipeline and concentrate on developing more leads. Indeed, the more leads you have, the better your chances of selling more of your products to them. Keep in mind that no company has survived for long by selling inferior quality goods to discerning enterprises.

In other words, you have a responsibility to be honest about your products. This is very true of overzealous entrepreneurs who promise the moon about their business products. Instead of riding on deception, be clear and concise about what your product can do without making it sound like the next big thing ever to hit the market.

Keep open communication lines

Effective communication is the lifeline to successful business partnerships. Without it, not much can be done. The guiding principle is to nurture these communication lines to keep information flow smooth and unhindered. Apart from the regular invoice and formal communication activities, experts recommend going the extra mile to keep the vibe. For example, keep your marketing communication open with your strategic business partners.

Additionally, send regular emails in connection with work without forgetting to ask for feedback about your products. You do not have to wait for them to initiate that call. As a business, you will be projecting your establishment in a better light. Even better, the other companies you do business with will have a positive image of your entity. Again, be deliberate about sending gifts or thank you messages during festive seasons. If it helps, during such festivities, you can offer discounts to the buying company. All these things help nurture communication and your marketing relationship.

Also, do not forget to conduct market research about your product. The reason behind this is to hear from the end-users themselves and not necessarily from the buying company. Hearing from the ‘horses own mouth’ can provide a better perspective on what you’re offering.

4 Small Things to Make Your Home-Based Business Look More Professional

So, you’ve decided on a business idea that you know has all the potential in the world, now you need to fulfil it. The problem is that small businesses, especially those that run out of your home, can find it difficult to get off the ground. If not done right, they seem amateurish, especially when there are other businesses to contend with. How can you make your small business stand out then and stay within your budget? Here are four small things that can help. 

 

Prompt Replies

Communication between the company and the client is key in business, and if you want to appear more professional, you must make sure you are prompt when responding to emails. This not only shows that you are organised, but it also demonstrates that you care about their business. No one wants to wait five days for a response, and if you wait this long, the customer may look elsewhere. Instead, be sure to respond as quickly as possible. Ideally, this should be within the hour, but if you make it a policy to respond within 24 hours at the most, you will prove your worth as a business owner.

 

All The Information

Small businesses rely on word of mouth, especially in the early days while they are still trying to establish themselves. However, this word of mouth is not possible if future customers cannot find any information about your business. You must take advantage of services like Google My Business to detail your phone number and email address at the very least. If you’re working out of your home, you may not want to include a physical address, but a PO Box is effective for receiving mail.

 

Branding

You must establish a brand that people will automatically associate with your business. This brand can include a logo for your social media pages and your website, but you can do more than this. Using Label Printing services can make your company look the part when you send packaged products to clients. Rather than scribble their name and address on the envelope, a branded label will make your company look bigger and more professional than it is, which make them feel they are working with someone reliable, increasing the chance of future business. 

 

Professional Photos

Okay, perhaps not professional photos, but good quality photos are essential for your company looking like it means business. You can use your smartphone camera to take photographs of products considering how good the resolution is now, and it’s also worth investing in quality product photoshoot equipment. The same goes for your website photographs, especially on your About Me page. As for the rest, you can get away with stock photographs from websites like Unsplash or Pixabay to save you some money but still get a truly professional effect. 

 

Looking The Part

Your business must look the part if you want to get ahead and appeal to customers that will help you grow. With these small but effective steps, you’ll have no trouble establishing your company and looking more professional. 

 

How To Manage Your Business as a Busy Mum

Work-life balance is a popularized phrase. When people use this term, they typically mean the proper and healthy balance between work and life outside of work. The question then becomes: what does it take to achieve such a balance? Keep reading for some of the elaborate ways to accomplish this.

 

Have an Elaborate Work Plan

An elaborate plan will help you stay on top of the situation as an Amba and allow for smooth execution. First, identify the key activities and tasks that need to be completed to get things done efficiently. To do this, think from all angles and don’t forget about long-term goals and short-term ones. Next, create realistic deadlines for each activity or task based on its criticality and importance in achieving these goals. Finally, always keep an eye out for new opportunities.

Further, keep changing priorities based on circumstances; don’t get stuck into fixed ideas about what should be done in what order. Finally, ensure you use technology to help you stay organized and save time.

 

Outsource Some of the Operations

A business mum does not have to be everything. There are times when you need to step back, delegate duties and let someone else take charge of the work so that your energy is conserved for what you do best. This can include delegating tasks like customer service, accounting management, or even social media marketing.

Also, outsourcing some operations will help you concentrate on the most important ones. It will also help you save time, money, and energy, as it will provide you more time to focus on your business areas of expertise.

 

Equip Yourself With a Good Management Team

To run a business smoothly, communicate with your team regularly and have a good management team. It would be best to have people who could handle your tasks and operations while building the company. Furthermore, it would be best if these people are someone you trust because they might have access to sensitive information about your company, which will jeopardize both of you if they decide to leak this information. 

Having an enemy now could cost not just your personal life but also ruin everything that has been built so far by both parties. To equip yourself with the right kind of manager, hire only those who have proven their capability through years of experience within an organisation or industry.

 

Value Quality and Efficiency

Quality and efficiency are two crucial factors to keep in mind when running a business. While the need for quality is evident, you need to avoid rushing through actions that will be detrimental to the business long term. This will help your company save money and time, leading to greater profits down the line.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, running a business as a mum is a challenge. However, it is possible to do so by following some of the tips mentioned above. You can start by having a workable plan and hiring an efficient management team as you improve on other bits of the business.

Mumpreneurs: 8 Things Your Customers Really Want From Your Business

Businesses prioritize meeting customer needs and expectations. According to many business leaders, offering excellent customer care is one of the best strategies for gaining a competitive advantage. However, the business environment is crowded, with many companies and customers. This aspect makes it hard to understand individual needs. As a mompreneur, what do you think your customers need? What do they expect from your business?

To win customers’ minds, hearts, and pockets, you have to place a great emphasis on what customers want. Here are things customers want from your business. 

 

New ideas and perspectives

Customers cannot come up with solutions for their problems. That is why they come to you to find something to solve their issues. Offering a new perspective and idea is the best way you can use to win them. It is all about bringing something new to the table.

 

Quick deliveries

Nobody wants to wait for ages for their goods to be delivered. Offering quick deliveries is one of the best ways to meet customer needs. Think about ways to make Parcel Delivery faster so that they can get what they buy in time. 

 

PERSONALISED experience

Whether you offer self-service or online shopping, customers always want services tailored to meet their individual needs. Ensure you personalize your services, communication, and products. This is a way of enhancing proper customer relationships. 

 

Options for contacting you

Customer satisfaction stems from the services you offer, related to how well you interact with them. In a nutshell, customers want ways to keep in touch with the business every time they have an issue. Additionally, customers expect seamless communication with your customer service representatives. 

 

Quick response

It does not matter where you are. Whether in the store or online, you have to respond to customer concerns promptly and honestly. You ensure your channels are configured to guarantee timely response and reduce wait time.

 

Your time

Your customers want you to dedicate your time to them. They want you to listen. For instance, you should not collect feedback if you are not ready to act on them. Consumers currently have a loud voice, and you should listen before your competitors do. Take action for every feedback you collect. 

 

Consistent answers

Above everything else, customers want consistency. Most customers cite inconsistent answers as one of the most frustrating things about a business. If you have multiple response channels, ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your products and services to give consistent answers all the time. 

 

Superior value

How does your price compare to other offerings in the market? You have to prove that you offer the best value for customers to consider you instead of your competitors. Regardless of what you offer and your price points, you have to ensure you offer value for money. 

 

The bottom line

Do you take time to understand what your customers want? This should be your primary focus as a business owner. Find out what they want and how they want it to gain a competitive advantage. Involve customers in product design and purchasing process to give them an easy time doing business with you.

 

These 3 Things Are Stopping Your Home Business From Making Money

Starting a home business is great as you can run a business without leaving the house. Many ideas lend themselves to this concept, and they are perfect for mums that want to earn money while still being able to look after the family at home. You’ve got yourself a great business idea, and you have set up your home business. However, you seem to struggle to make money when you look at your profits every month. While many things can factor into this, here are three that could be preventing you from earning what you deserve:

 

Excessive running costs

Believe it or not, but many home businesses can have excessive running costs. You assume that it costs nothing to run a business from home, but that’s not the truth. The key culprit is your energy bill, which will go through the roof when you run a business. You use up loads of electricity working on a computer all day, but you can also use up more gas energy as well because you’re in the house and want to feel comfortable. 

Therefore, you need to work on lowering these two running costs. Find things like spray foam insulation to make your home better at retaining heat, negating the need to keep your heating on all the time. Use eco-friendly equipment to lower electricity costs, and you should save a fortune. 

 

A large tax bill

At the end of each fiscal year, you have to pay tax in one way or another. This can be via a self-assessment, or you might pay corporation tax depending on how your company is set up. In either case, your profit margins can decrease when you fork out a hefty tax bill each year. 

Consequently, you can tackle this by learning how to legally reduce your tax bill. Certain things can be put down as business expenses, which get deducted from your final bill. It is well worth learning what you are allowed to put down as an expense as it can help you save a lot of money. Thus, your profit margins open up as you are spending less cash. 

 

Poor marketing

Home businesses can struggle to find customers as they might rely on one form of promotion. Typically, this is word-of-mouth marketing, where you get friends and family to spread the word. When you receive customers/clients, you hope they further spread the word about your business. 

This should form part of your marketing strategy, but you need to implement other means to generate more interest and find more customers. Set up a website and improve your SEO, get on social media, use local SEO as well, try digital advertising – the list is endless. If you have a strong marketing strategy, your business should make a lot of money. 

Yes, these three things are something of a generalisation and your business might not suffer from them. However, there’s a high chance at least one of them could be the reason your home business is struggling to maximise its potential. 

 

4 Ways to Have Strong Branding in a Small Business

When it comes to branding, the logo is a strong part of the brand’s identity. This brand will be recognized by consumers and the general public just solely based on its logo or even slogan. This logo will include a specific font, cohesive color palette, images, or maybe a mascot throughout their materials. If a brand wants to be recognizable, it’ll need a consistent brand image. This brand image will not only make it easier for the public to remember them, but this is the way to build trust and increase sales volume.  Whether your business is just beginning or already starting to thrive, these tips will help you out in perfecting your brand strategy.

 

Start with a visual representation

They say that a picture can paint a thousand words, a brand’s logo is a visual representation of their brand. This is far more than just some icon, typography, or mascot. Things such as visual puns are fun and can help customers remember what your brand is about, just don’t forget to look into a security operations center as this could prove to be helpful too with your business. . Just make sure to personalize your logo and the rest of your branding to represent you, your business, and something that’s going to be aesthetically pleasing to your customers.

Have more visibility online

Businesses need to be online, as this will lead to exposure. Depending on what type of business you have, you can heavily benefit from being shown on websites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and even directory websites. Other ways to help your brand get more visibility online would be having social media accounts, Linked In, YouTube, or even being a part of a community online. Online visibility matters and it’s one of the best ways to make your business more recognizable too.

A strong relationship with customers

Having trust is one of the most important things a business needs if they want to outlive their competitors. This is where a relationship with customers comes into play. A benefit of having a strong brand image would be building this relationship with your customers. It’s still very much possible to have privacy as a business owner while still building relationships with customers.  As you build your business, over time you’ll gain customers, these customers will stick around, and building a bond and trust between the two parties is something that’s considered special. Offering free samples, discounts, or promotional swag that includes your branding on it is a great way to continue building a relationship and gain loyal followers.

High-quality product or service

Whether you’re selling a product or a service, it needs to be good if you want to attract customers. When you establish yourself and have strong branding, your reputation will get out there. Once your business has a reputation, people will begin assuming that your product or service must be of high quality. Selling something that’s high quality will lead to positive reviews online from websites such as TrustPilot, Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews. 

But also this is going to drastically help with word of mouth marketing, and will drastically help with leaving a great impression when you’re out there networking for your business.  If somebody is out there familiar with your brand, they’ll be more than likely to purchase from you knowing that you have a good reputation and a high-quality product. 

 

Things To Do Before Opening Your Retail Store

When you are opening a retail store of your own, there is a lot to plan. From ensuring that you have the finance in place and the products in order, to ensuring that you speak to the marketing team of yours to get your business out there, there is a lot to organize. Success of your retail store is going to rely on the things that you do on repeat over time, but you need to make sure that your opening night goes without a hitch.

 

There are a lot of things that you’ll do day to day to keep your business ticking along, but it’s things like buying your external signs from ICE Signs before you open so that people can see you. You have to have a checklist of things that you need to do before your big opening day, and we’ve got that exact checklist that you need below:

  1. Make a point of doing a security inspection before you open up. You need to ensure that your customers are going to be safe in the building and some of the things that you need to check out include the exterior of the building, the windows and doors for forced entry risks and more. You also have to ensure that the alarms are working and review any security footage to ensure no unsavory characters have been hanging around!
  2. Get the cleaners in early. You want to ensure that your store is clean and presentable for when people come in on the opening day. This will help the customers to see that you are serious about ensuring that your business is the best place to be. Shine the windows and do a sweep of the floor. Cleaning the building is a must, and you need to ensure that there are no risks for your customers to trip on or fall into.
  3. Get your electronics turned on. The power company should turn the power on for you before your opening day so that you can check that things are working as they should be. The HVAC, signage and all security systems have to be working as much as the cash registers and the point of sale machines. 
  4. Get your products stored properly in the back. All your business products have to be stored correctly to ensure that you have everything you need before you really get going with customers. No one wants to be in a store with a constant flow of low stock. If the stock is never replenished people won’t come back.
  5. Print your marketing materials. In the local area, you want billboards and posters, leaflets and business cards all ready to go. Post flyers and leave business cards on the wipers of the cars around your store. Make sure that all of the businesses in the area know you’re getting started, too, so that they can all support you and you! It’s vital that you are aware of the ways you can find support. Good luck on your first day!