How to set up and run a small business

Leaderboard – Run – Sales

You are here: Home » Run a Business » Sales & Marketing

Sales, Marketing and PR for small businesses

Key Guides

successful video marketingVideo is a potent and wildly effective marketing tool, but only when it is part of a measured and considered content strategy.

It is no easy task to succinctly and effectively communicate your brand values and core messaging to an audience in a way that is original and compelling.

Before you even begin you need to have spent time seeking to understand who your customers are in the first place. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Start-ups and small businesses have to be prudent in their go-to-market activities. There isn’t the budget to splash out on extensive marketing campaigns, or the time for spray and pray customer targeting.

As a business owner, you are often the face of the business at every turn. Whether you’re dealing with customers, suppliers, partners or staff, what you do matters and sets the tone for your whole business.

How successful you are often comes down to how good you are at persuading and influencing people. With these skills being so important, we asked behaviour expert, Ally Yates, to outline how you can become more persuasive in business. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

marketing psychology - using emotion to connect with customers

The more people feel, the more people buy. That’s the clear conclusion from the last decade of work by two of Britain’s top marketing analysts, Les Binet and Peter Field.

They delved into the IPA DataMine – a huge database of ad effectiveness case studies – to find out how advertising really leads to meaningful business effects, going beyond short-term sales spikes to look at profit growth and market share gain.

So what is the key to effective marketing, and how can businesses apply this to their marketing techniques to boost sales and grow profits? We asked Tom Ewing to explain;

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

how small business beat big businessIn its 50 years, business book publisher Kogan Page has remained buoyant in a sector that is dominated by much larger companies.

The fact that its business is still prospering is testament to a few basic concepts that are as true today as when the company started in 1967. We asked Managing Director, Helen Kogan to share her experiences of how a smaller business can gain competitive advantage over bigger, dominant competitors. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

real time marketing word cloud

Real-time marketing (RTM), the strategy and practice of reacting with immediacy in digital channels to external events and triggers, has been steadily growing in use and popularity.

An expanding array of tools and digital channels (e.g., social media and listening capabilities) has made real-time accessible, in theory at least, to virtually every marketer.

As digital channels increasingly function in real-time, all marketing organizations must consider to what degree they, too, will adapt, so here are 12 steps to help you get ready for real-time marketing; Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Questions to ask about SEO

A website can be a very powerful marketing tool for start-ups and small businesses. An effective site helps smaller firms to reach out to a huge audience of potential new customers and take on bigger rivals.

However, the battle to be found online can be fierce, so if you want your small business website to be successful, you will need to look at search engine optimisation, or SEO as it’s commonly referred to.

With SEO becoming more complex and specialised, many small businesses look to outsource the work to an agency. But with so many practitioners and firms out there offering SEO services it can be tricky to find the reputable providers.

To help you sort the wheat from the chaff, here are the 5 questions you should ask an SEO agency before you think about hiring them.
Continue…

{ 0 comments }

PR Tips for start-ups

June 16, 2017

PR tips for new businesses

As a start-up the chances are your marketing budget is smaller than you’d like, so it’s important to get as much out of it as possible.

Although not right for every business startup, PR is a marketing tool that is well worth considering as it builds both awareness and credibility. It can showcase your expertise while delivering third party endorsement from respected journalists and media outlets.

In addition, PR is great for your SEO; having articles authored by you or quoting you filling up the first few pages of Google is just what a start-up business needs.

So how do you do it? We asked, Chantal Cooke, author of PR Demystified; how to get free publicity by giving journalists what they really need, to share her blueprint for DIY PR success;

Continue…

{ 0 comments }

You may have attended presentations that dragged or others that gripped people throughout. Perhaps you have given talks yourself and wondered what really makes the difference.

Whatever the situation, there are numerous factors that affect your chances of success. Everything you do contributes to the overall audience experience and even small things make a big difference.

This guide gives you 9 proven, practical tips to deliver more engaging and more effective presentations. Each one makes a positive impact, and you will know best which will be most useful in your own presentations. Continue…

{ 0 comments }

Prospecting research to find customers

Prospecting is the foundation of B2B sales strategies. Or at least, it should be. Many businesses aren’t prospecting as well as they could be, if at all.

Research-led sales prospecting is a highly targeted, measurable way of identifying businesses for your salespeople to approach. It is important to realise that prospecting is not lead generation.

While prospecting can provide a framework that the sales team can use to qualify leads that come in (as we’ll explore), it is otherwise a distinct activity wholly concerned with finding and approaching the businesses that make up your target audience.

Continue…

Power of business blogSetting up and running a small business isn’t easy. We all know that.

The first few years are often spent seeking the answers to — what seems like — a never ending list of questions, like, “Who is my target audience?” and “How do I reach them?”

Whatever industry you’re in, we all strive for the same thing: more website visitors, more valuable leads, more sales and more loyal customers. But how can you achieve this? Continue…

Local SEO tips for startups

According to recent research by Google on search behaviour, a whopping 50% of all people who conducted searches on local businesses visited the business the same day. If you’re a startup owner and serve clients locally, this might sound like music to your ears.

People who conduct local searches are highly motivated and are looking for an instant solution. This is why you should do everything in your power to go after these searches aggressively. Continue…

Marketing is about getting more business – and that includes getting more value out of your existing customer base – through delivering them multiple times the value you get.

If all you did was chase new clients, then you would be regularly losing the ones you already have, which means you would need to be constantly building. This is hard work.

There is an important model that will help you understand what to do in terms of sales and marketing for your existing customers, and it is one that every business owner should know and understand. Continue…

Many small business owners view ‘big data’ as something exclusively for large businesses. But that isn’t the case. Astute small business can benefit from using data to grow sales.

To help business owners understand more about ‘big data’ and how they can benefit from it too, we asked Oliver Rowbory to explain;
Continue…

Pop-up shop tipsPop-up shops are an excellent way to test new ideas and products, engage with your target market and get feedback from potential customers, without making a big, long-term investment.

In addition to their value as a testing ground for new concepts and new businesses, pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular as a way for existing business to take their offering to new locations.

There are lots of different factors that can determine the success or failure of a pop-up shop and it’s vital you consider these before starting your pop-up venture. Here are 6 key considerations to help you get your first pop-up shop running smoothly and generating income for your business. Continue…

guide to content marketing

When you are looking for ways to promote your new start-up or small business you will, without doubt, soon hear the words, “content marketing”.

There’s a lot of buzz about content marketing at the moment, but what does it actually mean and how can small business owners use content to help grow their business?

This guide answers those questions, and also offers useful, practical advice for businesses that are interested in developing a content marketing strategy of their own. Continue…

“Will you give us a discount on that figure?”

“Can you match the lower price I can get down the street?”

“Can’t you do it cheaper?”

These are the kind of questions people running start-ups and small businesses get asked an awful lot.

But what are the best answers to give? Here, we look at how small business owners can respond to these kind of questions, without losing business and without cutting prices and profit margins.
Continue…

Starting your own business means you suddenly become the owner of several hats – one for selling, one for bookkeeping, one for planning, one for looking after customers and one for marketing to name but a few.

The marketing element of a start-up is one of the most complex, especially given the changing ways small businesses need to reach customers in a digital world.

Digital marketing can be a bit of a mystery to many small business owners, so to help you explore how you make the most of the opportunities it offers, we’ve asked Tink Taylor, founder of dotmailer, to share some simple tips to get you started on your digital journey.
Continue…

Trusted selling

We live in incredible times of change; there’s no disputing that. Old business models are dying out, new business models and disrupting technologies are being born every day that are turning industries on their head.

At the same time, trust is at its lowest level ever. We no longer trust politicians, we no longer trust banks and bankers. We no longer trust the proven models and establishments that have supported us for years, never more proven than in recent times with Brexit and Donald Trump becoming US President. Continue…

If you’ve been involved in running a website, you’ll know that it’s relatively “easy” to get eyeballs on your site. Throw money at it and they will come.

But, it’s getting those visitors to take action, to buy from you – that’s the hard part. So it’s no wonder that a website’s ‘Conversion Rate’ is one of the most keenly tracked metrics in online business. It measures the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, which in e-commerce means making a purchase.

Improving your conversion rate means more sales and higher profits, so finding ways to convert more of your website visitors into buyers is a key plank of ecommerce success.

Continue…

If you’re starting a new business you’ll, no doubt, want to establish and build a strong brand. Doing so will bring huge benefits over the long-term, helping you to stand out from the crowd, generate more customers and ultimately build a more valuable business.

But how do you build a brand, and where do you start? We asked branding expert, and author of ‘Winning in Your Own Way; the Nine and a Half Golden Rules of Branding‘, Robert Bean to explain;
Continue…

Build a brand, build a business – Part 2

January 24, 2017

…continued from Part 1 of Build a Brand, Build a Business

What is the purpose of your business?

December 22, 2016

When you are starting a business, you will need to answer many questions. However, one of the most fundamental questions any business owner will be asked is, what is the purpose of your business? So what would your answer be? How you answer the question, has a significant bearing on whether your business is likely […]

When to get SEO for your website, and when not to

December 13, 2016

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 […]

5 Questions to ask before you stand up and deliver a presentation

December 8, 2016

As a business owner you are your own best marketing tool. Presenting in public not only highlights your business, it also establishes your credibility, makes your listeners trust you (and people prefer to do business with those they trust) and generates leads. But, even if you have a stunning presentation with fabulous visuals, you can […]

How to plan and implement a successful email marketing campaign

December 5, 2016

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 […]

The 10 things you’re doing wrong in your presentations (and how to fix them)

November 24, 2016

It doesn’t matter how many presentation skills training courses we’ve been on or how many truly terrible presentations we’ve seen, we all end up falling into the same old traps when we present, pitch or speak in public. To help you avoid making yawn-inducing presentation mistakes we asked Steve Bustin, author of The Authority Guide to […]

How the lines between online and offline retail are blurring, and how to capitalise on this trend

November 23, 2016

Let’s start with a sobering statistic: Retailers opened the lowest number of new stores in the last 5 years in the first half of 2016. What’s more, 15 stores pulled down their shutters for the last time every day. Altogether, that means nearly 2000 more stores were closed than opened in that six-month period. Today, […]

Turn your website browsers into buyers with personalised product recommendations

November 18, 2016

Understand how to shape the customer journey and convert browsers into buyers. The more relevant you make your website for each visitor, the longer they’ll stay, the more they’ll do, the more they’ll spend, and the more they’ll tell other people. And a great way to do this is to make the experience more personal. […]

Why 1 in 3 Customers don’t buy your full range of products or services

November 17, 2016

One in three customers do not buy your complete range of products and services. Why? Well the answer is very simple! It’s because they don’t know you offer them! So is your business unknowingly falling victim of this profit-crushing statistic? A thought-provoking question, isn’t it?

How to out-think your business competition

November 10, 2016

A standard approach to the resolution of business problems is to ‘brainstorm’ a range of possible solutions. The problem is that the method doesn’t work! How many times have you sat through a brainstorming session and thought ‘I could have produced that list of solutions on my own?’ How many times has the most senior […]

Customer Power: Real world examples of why it’s crucial to get the balance right

October 7, 2016

Customer-centricity is one of the hottest topic in business today. Across the world, companies of all sizes are looking for new ways to become more customer-centric in order to give themselves a competitive advantage in a decreasingly loyal marketplace. Unfortunately, however, for many businesses the phrase “give them an inch; they’ll take a mile” is […]

5 steps to kick-starting growth in your business

September 22, 2016

You’ve established a company, it’s successful, and everything is running smoothly. Congratulations, that’s a fantastic feat. But… … at some point every company will find that its growth has plateaued. Although things are stable, stimulating growth becomes an issue and the company isn’t climbing to the next level. When this happens to you, do not […]

6 Easy steps to get better results from your small business website

August 25, 2016

We live in a connected age where you can purchase pretty much anything you want at the touch of a button on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. With this in mind, you may find it surprising to learn that not all businesses are tapping into this, or even quite know how to.

5 Ways data analytics can help you generate more leads and get the most out of your marketing spend

August 17, 2016

Lead generation is absolutely crucial to identifying potential customers that are interested in you business’s products and services. With online leads coming from various sources such as search engines, email marketing, banner advertising and social media, you need to take an informed approach so you can reduce waste and focus your marketing budget on the […]

How to attract customers from heaven – not clients from hell!

August 8, 2016

You’ve done your market research, you’ve got a solid business plan, you’ve registered your company and pulled together funding, suppliers and everything else you need to start your new business. You’re ready to trade – you just need some customers. However, not all customers are created equal; some are a delight to deal with, while […]

Become a better negotiator – 5 steps to asking powerful questions

August 2, 2016

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 […]