Good public relations are essential for any business, but especially so, for small and start-up businesses. If you can persuade editors to run a story about your business, it’s worth a dozen adverts or mailshots. And there’s also the huge added benefit of it not costing you anything!
However, writing a press release isn’t as simple as dashing off a letter to the editor of your local paper. For it to work, your release needs to be carefully crafted and put together.
Here we look at how you should structure your press releases to grab editors’ attention and maximise your chances of getting that elusive, but highly-prized free press coverage.
For a small business, email marketing offers an inexpensive but effective and efficient way to engage with your customers, and attract new ones – so long as the right planning has been put in place first.
It creates and maintains communication, helping to keep your brand front of mind and build customer loyalty. Campaigns can be designed around a specific purpose, e.g. to boost sales, or to increase website traffic, and they can be targeted – you decide who receives which email.
Most importantly, and unlike many other marketing options, its results are measurable – the best email marketing platforms will even provide you with reports outlining how successful your campaign has been, and what aspects worked best.
This makes it an excellent choice for small businesses with a limited marketing budget. As long as you take the time to really think about what you want to get out of it, it is also simple – follow these 6 steps for planning and implementing your campaign, and you won’t go wrong. Continue…
The cost of printing, scanning, and copying can quietly mount up for small businesses. But by making some straightforward adjustments to the way your business approaches printing you can save money, reduce environmental impact and increase staff productivity.
Here are ten ways small businesses can save money by making a few simple changes. Continue…
It’s estimated that almost one in every three small businesses maintain their own website, and with that comes a whole host of potential challenges to overcome.
Alongside the usual cost of building a new website, getting the right designer and managing your hosting prices, there are other factors which many small business owners do not consider when managing or monitoring their website.
In fact, there are a number of common mistakes which SMEs often make, but which are easy enough to overcome.
Here are the seven errors we most often see with websites designed for startups and small businesses.
If you could have lunch with any businessman or woman in the world, (alive or dead), to discuss your commercial/professional situation, whom would you choose – and why?
Chances are that you’d choose someone you admire or are intrigued by, perhaps because of their achievements, their values or their reputation/personal brand.
Most of us recognise the need to learn from the life experience and wisdom of others. We also aspire to accelerate the pace towards our own success, or at least smooth a few of the bumps in the road. A business mentor can be an invaluable asset to enable us to identify relevant principles of success and adapt them for our own situations and use.
No matter what business problem you have to solve right now, there’s a powerful way of finding the answer quickly and efficiently… and it’s called networking.
That’s a word that makes many people’s hearts beat faster. The idea of getting out to events and meeting a bunch of strangers is not something that seems natural!
Yet networking is a powerful marketing and business tool.
Picture the scene. You’ve spent years developing an amazing new product, the likes of which has never been seen before.
It will truly revolutionise the market and give your competitors many sleepless nights of agonising worry.
But it all depends on you shocking the world by announcing your new product at the annual trade fair. If word gets out before, it will ruin all your hard work and give your competitors a head start.
Do you wish everyone in your business talked with one voice? There are plenty of corporate cliches for this – being on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet – but it all boils down to one thing: having a strong company identity that everyone shares.
When you launch a business, you probably aren’t thinking about a brand, culture or values. However, by the time your growing start-up has reached the point where you employ more than a handful of people, it may be time to establish key words and values that ensure unity and continuity. Continue…
SEO has become an integral part of online marketing. If you want your business to be seen online, the general consensus is that SEO is absolutely essential.
Committing to a high quality SEO campaign can take up a lot of time and make demands on a startup’s budget that not everyone can meet. But seeking cheaper alternatives could mean you soon find yourself facing a Google penalty (the worst of which is your website being complete removed from their index), which can put your entire online presence in jeopardy.
The good news is that SEO need not always be a lengthy commitment and if you have some in-house capacity, it is possible to take on a large portion of the work yourself.
This in-depth guide explains what you can expect from a SEO campaign, and will help you determine if you can do some of the work yourself or whether you’ll be better off outsourcing everything from the start. Continue…
Running your own business can be challenging and often a test of your patience. When workloads mount and your calendar begins to clutter, feeling stressed may can be inevitable.
The Health and Safety Executive says that stress currently affects one in five of the UK’s working population and is costing businesses more than one billion pounds annually as a result of stress-related absences and a drop in productivity.
To minimise the impact stress has on your life and career, here are five top tips to help you and your employees avoid burnout and ensure that you remain in control of your business and your health; Continue…
Negotiations are something all of us need to do every day. Whether it is securing a sale, negotiating a discount with a supplier or simply making arrangements with friends and family (children make particularly good negotiators!), the kind of questions we ask influences the final outcome for everyone.
The quality of the questions you ask will determine the quality of the answers you receive, so next time you are facing a negotiation situation, follow these 5 steps to make sure you are asking the right questions:
Back in October 2014, Apple Pay – the contactless NFC payment method on iPhones – launched in the US, and we looked at its potential for small businesses here in the UK.
The question of whether or not SMEs should integrate Apple Pay with their existing payment systems was left unanswered, as it all depended on the adoption and success of Apple Pay across the pond.
Merchants in the UK will have less time to consider their decision now, as Apple Pay’s UK launch is imminent. Continue…
Any business owner is familiar with the challenge of attracting new clients and protecting relationships with existing ones. Fierce competition within many industries gives clients a wide choice of suppliers to choose from, and to make things even more difficult, some clients feel the need to change vendors periodically to avoid the common phenomenon of supplier complacency.
If your ambition is to do long-term business with a new or existing client you will need ensure that you engage as a serious partner: Well prepared, well informed, and far from complacent.
New parental leave legislation came into effect in April 2015, giving men and women the option to share child care over the course of a year.
Increased flexibility provided by shared parental leave will enable more men to be involved in child care and bond with their babies. It will also give women the freedom to return to work earlier if they wish, which could enhance their career prospects.
However, not everyone has welcomed the new legislation with open arms. Some of the harshest critics have been the Small Business Federation and The Institute of Directors who claims the legislation could create a “nightmare” for employers, particularly small businesses.
So what are the implications of shared parental leave legislation on a business and how can you overcome the practical challenges it brings?