Building your reach using a website

Business street

Building a website is just the start of your marketing journey.  The best business websites are established ones.  So get your website setup and published as soon as possible.  If your website is already published but (as in many cases) dormant this can be a benefit as the search engines know you exist.

Building your reach and popularity.

Here are some tips to build your website performance, reach more customers and get more enquiries.

Update it often – I’ve been saying this since the late 1990s but most businesses don’t because they don’t have the time, inclination, they haven’t seen a return on investment and possibly don’t know how to do it.  OK – so hire someone to do it.

Add good keywords, location – often forgotten is location – not just your location but where you do business.  Tag your pages and posts with the town or city, area or region you did business in.  If you want to reach a location specifically then tag using the desired locations.  As an example; I work with a furniture restoration company who have recently started reaching customers who weren’t too far away but hey didn’t get any enquiries.  Since we started tagging the desired town a flow of fresh customers have started coming in and of course, the momentum builds along with word of mouth.

Add good keywords, services – as above you can tag posts and pages with the services you offer.  For example; you are a printer and you are known for business cards and letterheads but you also provide posters and picture framing.  Tag your posts with what you have delivered and you also provide.

I hope this helps – contact us if you have any questions or comments.

Open for business early

Darlington

I walk through Darlington town centre most Wednesday mornings at 8.30 and notice some, not many, businesses are open for business.  Observing these businesses later in the day I noticed that they are the busiest.

Traditional trading times the UK is 9-5 but this is not a rule or a law.  You should be open and be ready for customers before 9 am or earlier.  The windows should be clean, stock refreshed, lights on and the shop clean and tidy, staff ready to serve.

In a past chapter in my life, I ran a retail outlet and later a restaurant.  The retail outlet was open early, if it was warm the doors would be open, a couple of potted plants outside and my signature – the pavement brushed and swilled with water.  This activity actually attracts attention and gives a good impression of an ‘on the ball’ business, its actually free advertising and great for staff positive mentality.  Activity attracts activity.

In an office environment, the same applies, get the staff in early, let them go early or give extra time off in lieu or build it into the employment contract.  They should be ready to take calls and conduct meetings at 9 am (or before) rather than just get going after a coffee at 9.45 ish.

Back to my observed stars in Darlington, the businesses I noticed were Savers, Relish, Alfornos and Taylors.  All successful expanding businesses.

If you are stumbling through the door at 9 am, hanging around outside, the keyholder is not there and the entrance is messy it won’t take much to instigate the above and the results will be great – all for free, just a little time and effort. The early bird gets the worm.

 

Why you should be on Social Media

As inane and boring and frustrating as it is Social Media is a must, must, must for businesses – most anyway.

You may have gathered that I dislike Social Media but why do I tell ALL my customers to be on it.  Powerful is an underestimated description of SS. Smartphones are awfully intruding and we have stories of seeing people at dinner all looking at phones, I’m guilty too, but they are brilliant and if you’re a business who offers a service or product, for obvious reasons you should be represented.

The key is to not throw information out and hope it sticks.  First, decide who you want to communicate with and adjust your activity and content to pull-in the target then plan a time and action plan to start publishing content.

For example, we manage all the SS for a manufacturing and restoration company.  We set the content to attract customers from further afield (specific towns) and to attract a higher end appreciative type of customer -bigger spenders.  We have now achieved this attracting customer with high-end furniture for restoration using better wording, mentioning high-end brands and painting a picture that our client is a high-end provider.  We use a mix of SEO and content to SS.  The results are attracting the exact customer profile in the area we want. And ongoing. This customer spends zero on advertising and all the business comes via the website.

If you want us to look at your marketing – let us know here and well book a chat.

SFEDI’s Executive Chair Ruth Lowbridge receives MBA | Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs

Ruth-Lowbridge-MBE-225x300

https://ioee.uk/ruth-lowbridge-mbe/

Ruth Lowbridge has been made an MBE for her Services to Entrepreneurs and UK business by the Queen at today’s Buckingham Palace ceremony.

Born in 1953 and brought up at Hartlepool Headland, the pursuit of entrepreneurial success has been a defining feature of Ruth’s entire life. Her mother, Mary Pattie, was a determined business woman who ran a successful boarding house for ten years and then went on to establish and run a baby linen and wool shop for many years. Having replicated her mother’s self-reliance and commitment to entrepreneurial innovation throughout her working life, Ruth took to the helm of SFEDI, the Sector Skills Organisation for enterprise and business support, just over ten years ago.
She said:

“I feel very honoured to receive this award in recognition of my work, which I couldn’t possibly have done or continue to do without the support of my wonderful family and the whole of the SFEDI team. Inspired by my mother, I have always strived to encourage new and existing small and micro business owners to make the most of themselves by developing their enterprising skills.”

Ruth’s early career saw her working with some of the UK’s most disenfranchised communities to promote and facilitate skills training amongst young people. She also worked with pre-release prisoners to improve their potential for successful re-entry into society through training and employment.

Over the years, Ruth has run a number of successful ventures including a bistro, a conference centre, a software company and a training consultancy. Today, she brings that vast wealth of experience and insight to her driving passion – helping others to fulfil their entrepreneurial potential.

As someone from a relatively modest Hartlepool background, the SFEDI Group Executive Chair described herself as ‘humbled’ by the Honour, which came as a complete surprise to her:

“I’m extremely proud and humbled to be recognised in this way. When I received the offer letter, I actually thought that they must have mistaken me for someone much more important! However, it does prove that with the right support and determination anything is possible – who could have guessed that the girl with the school report that always said ‘could do better’ actually would!”

Ruth has been instrumental in redefining the enterprise skills landscape on a regional, national and international level. Because of her, the way that enterprise skills training is delivered, accredited and promoted has undergone dramatic and positive change.

Additionally, throughout her varied career, Ruth has always been a firm advocate of the value of enterprise mentoring. Having benefited from the input of good mentoring early in her own working life, Ruth has gone on to both become a lifelong enterprise mentor herself and to implement the IOEE’s fantastic Meet a Mentor initiative.

For five years, Meet a Mentor has been connecting experienced enterprise mentors with enthusiastic new entrepreneurs in order that valuable knowledge and experience may be passed on to the small and micro businesses that form the UK’s economic backbone. Ruth anticipates that this sterling work will only continue to enrich our ambitious enterprise communities. She said:

“I am looking forward to sharing the work of our SFEDI and IOEE family team with many more business owners, helping them to start-up, survive, thrive and feel good about themselves and their futures in the process.”

The SFEDI and IOEE team would like to congratulate Ruth Lowbridge on this much deserved achievement and recognition of her dedication and support to entrepreneurs and UK business.

Darlington Upholsterer use website to streamline customer service with ‘Fabric Choice’ page.

http://bjupholstery.info/fabric-choices/

BJ Upholstery Services

Jo at BJ Upholstery realised that the links at the foot of her website was a very useful tool in helping customers choose a fabric.  The links are links to fabric suppliers range.

So Jo decided to develop this simple tool and set up a ‘Fabric Choice’ page.  Cleverly though she retained the footer link so that her old customers still knew where to go to find the fabric supplier links.

Keep it simple and it will work!

BJ Upholstery work with established and proven fabric providers. We have listed below some providers with links to their websites so you can select your fabric.  Make a note of the company and fabric name, we can show you a swatch when we meet.  You can provide your own fabric as an option, any customer provided fabric must be fire safety compliant.

Jo responded to how her customers were working and picked up on what they like.  Using very simple and readily available technology Jo developed this to set up an improved customer process that helped her customers and her.  Paul Harper | Zedcomms.