Introducing our NEW Chamber Blogs!
Our Chamber Blogs page has been developed to offer businesses and individuals, across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, access to information and advice concerning current, important topics.
These topics include, how to set up a new business, growing a businesses, sustainbility, skills and much more.
Not only will you be able to read blogs written by our Chamber team, but you’ll also hear from our Members who are experts in their industry and a wealth of knowledge they’re willing to share.
Start Your Business
Have you recently started a brand-new business, or perhaps you have an amazing business concept but don’t know where to start? Then these blogs are for you!
Read more about our Members and the advice they’d offer you as a start-up. The blogs listed below will tell you all about the do’s and don’ts, as well as give real life experiences of what it’s like to start a business from scratch.
See below blogs from our Members…
From Second-hand Laptop to Business Owner
It started with a £200 second-hand laptop, typing skills and some dodgy software. My first client netted me about £250 in my entire first month. I was actually paid to do something. On this occasion, it wasn’t typing and I felt like a fraud. Not worthy, but I felt the fear and did it anyway.
A friend of mine once said, “Say yes to everything and work the rest out later!” and I did. It isn’t the ideal way to start anything but my, it makes you learn – fast!
As it happens the ‘fast’ learning was in the wrong direction and although I loved what I did, it was too time consuming for too little reward. About twelve months ago I made a lateral move to leverage my core skills which revolve around traditional secretarial and business support. My earlier career saw me as department head at Christie’s in London and significant spells in blue chip companies such as Deloitte, KPMG and various high profile law firms.
So began my journey that is now Hewson Business Support Limited. Initially as a virtual assistant, six years later I have my own office and I’m about to hire my very first employee focussing on administrative and secretarial support for businesses, law firms, surveyors and academics.
The key skills I have learned to date are to constantly challenge yourself to learn but also listen to and be flexible enough to change direction if things are not going as well as you planned. We don’t get it all right and it’s important to not see it as failure and see it as growing and just “go with it”.
It’s also essential to ‘let go’. As a small business it’s almost instinctive, mostly due to costs, to do everything yourself. The accounting, marketing, HR and legals are all yours in the mistaken belief that only you can do it the right way. You’re wrong.
The very best thing and probably the first thing to do is to secure the services of a good accountant. They will save you hours of worry, dread and paperwork. The next would be a Business Coach. It’s tough making decisions on your own and they can really help you nail down your goals and help you get things out of your head and onto paper to be able to see clearly where you are at and where you need to go. Marketing is an art and more so an art that has to be used at the right time for the right reasons in the right places. Get it right at the wrong time and you’re flooded with too much work. Get it wrong at the wrong time can easily see thousands of pounds disappear without any return. Get it right at the right time and you’ll grow your business and keep your clients happy.
Above all, having the experts on your side allows you to concentrate on the business in your business, it relieves the stress and creates the space to see yourself from their eyes.
And you’ll need clients! Tell EVERYONE you meet what you do, you never know who they know who might need your services! Networking is key to building your business and getting clients. There are so many places to network both online and in person these days and a lot of them are free, so seek them out and get out there meeting people.
Starting a business is hard work but it’s work you’re doing just for you. The rewards are great but you have to listen to your gut. Recognise the good from the bad and be nice. The rest will follow.
Contact email: email@example.com
Navigating the Team Terrain: A Beginner’s Guide to Business Success
Hello there, fellow business trailblazer!
First off, big congratulations on taking the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. Whether you’ve recently opened your business or are just about to embark on this thrilling rollercoaster of a journey, there’s a critical element that can make or break your business dreams: Team Dynamics.
Now, I know what you might be thinking – “Team Dynamics? I’m a one-person operation!” Well, hold your horses, my friend. Even if you’re a solopreneur, understanding the dynamics of teamwork is crucial.
You might have the world’s most amazing product/ service and know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing but, a business will succeed or fail because of the people in it and around it. So, whether you do, or don’t, have a team around you, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the foundations of what makes a team – and business – truly triumph.
There are foundations, building blocks if you will, that all successful teams are built on. Without focussing and understanding on these key parts of the puzzle, may not result in total failure – it will result in you not being as successful as you could be.
To highlight that point; try this… write down a number that represents your business goal, be it financial profit, number of customers or number of products sold. I know you can achieve that goal. Now, scrub it out, rub it out, scribble it out. And. Write. It. BIGGER. Write down a bigger, bolder number! This is what you can achieve by understanding the dynamics of the team you build around you. I truly hope you achieve this goal! Nailing your understanding of team dynamics will generate more success for you.
- Trust is the Glue: Picture this: you’re standing on a rickety wooden bridge high above a gorge. Without trust, that bridge might as well be made of match sticks. Trust is the glue that holds your team together. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, trust yourself. If you’ve got a team, build trust like your business depends on it – because it does. If you don’t trust your team, your suppliers, your collaborators, why should they trust you? And, why are you working with people you don’t trust?
- Conflict is Good: Yep, you read that right. Healthy conflict is like a good cup of tea – it stirs things up but ultimately makes the blend better. Don’t shy away from disagreements; embrace them. It’s how breakthrough ideas are born. You can’t spend more than about five minutes in Human Everything’s office without the words ‘Productive Conflict’ being heard. If you don’t embrace conflict (and manage it of course) then what’s going to change? The status quo will never move and things will never get better.
- Commitment is Key: Ever heard of the phrase ‘all in’? Commitment is about everyone in your boat rowing in the same direction. Make sure your goals are crystal clear, and everyone’s on board. No stragglers allowed! This might sound easy… however, you’ve just had a big debate (lovely, lovely healthy conflict) about the latest idea or business direction and the team’s chosen a route that wasn’t your idea… are you truly committed to the choice the team has made? Is everyone else? Quick check – is everyone leaning in, look at the body language, is everyone leaning in to the idea, or is anyone – including you – leaning back?
- Accountability Matters: We’re not playing the blame game here. Accountability is about each team member taking responsibility for their actions. It’s the secret sauce to getting things done. Everything is a choice and choosing accountability is choosing the path to better results. Blame, excuses (don’t give me that it’s a ‘reason’ not an ‘excuse’ B.S.) and denial are the bedfellows of those who choose to not to take ownership, be accountable and take responsibility for their successes.
- Results, Results, Results: At the end of the day, it’s all about results. The sweet taste of success. Keep your eyes on the prize, celebrate victories – big or small – and learn from the hiccups along the way. Is everyone, including you, focussed on the results of the team? Park your egos at the door, if you’re looking for personal reward or some ego stroking then the team result isn’t front and centre.
Now, even if you’re a solopreneur, these principles apply. You’re not an island – you’ve got suppliers, collaborators, and maybe a virtual assistant or two. Understanding how you interact with others externally is just as crucial as internal team dynamics.
This is where understanding peoples’ behaviour steps in. Think of it as the instruction manual for your team members or collaborators. Knowing how people tick can save you from a world of miscommunication, which is a world of pain. Are they detail-oriented or big picture thinkers? Do they thrive on deadlines or need a bit more flexibility? Tailor your communication style to match, and watch the magic happen.
Remember, it’s not just about what you say but how it’s received. The same message can be interpreted in various ways. Communication is only successful if the message you’ve sent is the message that’s received – just because you understand what you’re on about, don’t assume the other a party does too! A nod to understanding others’ preferences – be they fast paced or cautious – ensures your words resonate with your suppliers, making your business relationships plain sailing.
In this exciting journey of entrepreneurship, the ability to navigate the seas of Team Dynamics is your compass. So, embrace the team building blocks, understand the quirks of your team (even if it’s just you and your laptop), and watch your business soar to new heights. Cheers to your success!
With a background in Anthropology and Engineering Human Everything are the proven difference in understanding your team dynamics and formulating a measurable people strategy that will build confidence, collaboration and sustain positive change in your business. www.humaneverything.co.uk
Lencioni, P. (2002) 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. 1st. USA. Wiley.
Schwarzenegger, A. (2023) Be Useful. Seven Tools for Life. 1st. USA. Penguin.
Bartlett, S. (2023) Diary of a CEO. The 33 Laws of Business and Life. 1st. UK. Penguin.
Connors, R., Smith, T. and Hickman, C. (2004) The Oz Principle. 2nd. USA. Penguin.
How do you turn passion into profit?
Who is Lorraine Gbadegesin? I am a certified Business, Entrepreneur coach with extensive experience in the fashion industry, exemplified by my successful fashion consultancy brand, Lozboutique. I am also a dynamic business speaker and Furthermore, l have a solid background in finance and project management, having worked with various public and private organisations in diverse roles.
My mission is simply to support other women especially mothers on their ‘mumpreneurship’ journey. It’s my desire to see women thriving in business, breaking barriers & reaching their full potential. And become the best version of themselves the way God intended for them to be.
How it all began
Growing up I envisioned myself in a beautiful marriage, having a lovely family, a rewarding career, and a successful business. It’s good to have all these elaborate dreams on your vision board. However, dreams are meaningless if you do not take action. You have to put in the effort to make everything work. Don’t just dream! Take action and make your dreams a reality.
To make your dreams a reality you will need to find your purpose?
Finding purpose often involves introspection. Reflect on your values, interests, and the impact you want to have. Consider your skills and how they can contribute to something meaningful. Engage in activities that bring fulfillment and explore different areas until you discover what resonates most with you. It’s a personal journey that may evolve over time.
How do you turn passion into profit?
Turning purpose into profit involves identifying a market need that aligns with your purpose. Develop a business model that addresses this need while staying true to your values. Communicate your purpose effectively to attract customers who share similar values. Balancing ethical practices with profitability is key for sustainable success.
This has been my blueprint in starting my business. To learn more about my journey, Please head over to https://hwchamber.co.uk/lozboutique-our-journey/.
Here are some of the questions to help you unlock your purpose and turn it into profit:
What do you really love doing?
What would you do if you didn’t need money ?
What makes your heart sing?
What difference do you make?
How can you ramp up what you do and impact more people.
What do you need to create consistent profits that will enable you to keep growing.
I love connecting and working with women across the globe whether it’s through my fashion brand or through coaching great things are birthed when women come together!
Or connect with me through Instagram and LinkedIn.
A Guide to Intellectual Property Protection & Starting Your Business the Right Way
Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging, filled with endless possibilities but also requiring meticulous planning and dedication. It’s crucial to set the right foundation, especially when it comes to protecting your Intellectual Property (IP). From choosing a unique business name to avoiding common pitfalls, here’s guide to help you kickstart your entrepreneurial journey with the best foundations.
Choosing Your Business Name:
Your business name is your identity; it’s how customers will remember and recognise you. When selecting a name:
Words to Avoid:
- Generic Terms: Generic terms could potentially limit your uniqueness or blend you in with competitors. Using wording not used in your sector can really make you stand out from the crowd.
- Trademarked Words: Avoid using trademarked names or phrases without permission; a search of the Intellectual Property Office will help you avoid this pitfall.
- Confusing Spellings: Overly complex or misspelled words might hinder brand recall and recognition. You want your name to be easy to read, spell and say, this will help it to be remembered.
- Restrictions: A company name cannot be offensive, abusive or suggest a connection with the government, a charity or trust if it is not. Eg. You could not call your business “ XYZ Trust” if you do not fall in to one of the Trust categories such as Charitable Trust.
- Creativity is Key: Aim for a name that’s distinctive, memorable, and resonates with your brand’s essence. Your business name should mean something to you. By doing this you are more likely to be able to register your business.
- Research and Mind Map: Consider wordplay, cultural references, or unique combinations. Putting all your ideas down on paper often result in innovative names.
- Check Availability: Before finalising, ensure the name is available for registration across various platforms and doesn’t conflict with existing trademarks. Companies House is a good place to start for this, but it needs to be remembered that just because something is available there, it doesn’t mean that it is truly available. There are many very successful and established sole traders out there, there isn’t one register of those, so you do need to do your research, check domains, socials and the Intellectual Property Office also. Businesses often register brand names for protection and exclusive use rather than the company name they register at Companies House.
Searches to Be Completed:
To secure your business name and protect your IP, conduct thorough searches. We have developed a search tool on our partner website Start.Biz which allows you to undertake a simultaneous search of Companies House, our internal register of Business Names which are protected against Passing off, and domains. Alternatively, you need to undertake these searches yourself:
- Companies House: Check for name availability and avoid similarity to existing registered businesses.
- Domains: Ensure the domain name associated with your business is available. Consistency across online platforms is crucial.
- Intellectual Property Office (IPO): Investigate trademarks to ensure your chosen name isn’t already registered or infringing on existing trademarks.
- Social Media: This is a way to check those businesses that may not be registered at Companies House.
Other Business Tips – Strategy and Intellectual Property:
Including IP within your Business Strategy is a great way to give your business the best foundations to start. Without doing this you may end up creating and producing brands or products that are already within the market. A thorough consideration of IP will begin to form your proof of concept.
- Identify Valuable IP: Assess what IP your business owns or will create—trademarks, designs, patents, and copyrights. Be sure to check that you have rights to this Intellectual Property. At National Business Register we too often speak to business owners who unknowingly are infringing on another’s IP.
- Secure IP Early: Consider protecting the IP that you are creating and are able to register. This prevents others from using similar names or designs but also makes you a safer bet for investors should you need or wish to look for funding. If you are looking at franchising your business in the future registering your IP is essential.
- Consult Professionals: Consider consulting specialists to navigate complex legal aspects and ensure comprehensive protection. At National Business Register we have met with an incredibly capable and successful business owner, they have a line of products that are now being sold within national supermarkets. They protected their IP in respect of the manufacturing of their product but NOT the retail of it and therefore any other business in the same line of work could have used the same name but retail it in shops/online etc. Failure to register the IP in the correct area could have had catastrophic consequences for that business had they not engaged with us to review their Intellectual Property. This allowed us highlight gaps and to rectify this situation for them.
Research really is key. Failing to conduct thorough searches can result in unintentional infringement or clashes with existing brands. We have encountered many businesses that have chosen their name, had their website designed, ordered their business cards, stationery and uniform all with their logo on. To find out that they had been infringing on someone else’s IP.
Starting a business is more than just an idea—it’s about laying a solid foundation. By carefully selecting your business name, conducting comprehensive searches, and prioritising Intellectual Property protection, you’re safeguarding your brand’s future. Remember, being startup savvy means being proactive in protecting what makes your business unique. Be sure to include Intellectual Property within your business strategy and plan. This is something that needs to be reviewed at least annually.
Written by Michaela Cusack
Solicitor and Director of NBR Group.
A Comprehensive 8 Step Guide to Starting Your Business
Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is a thrilling endeavour filled with promise and potential, but it’s not without its challenges. The excitement of bringing your vision to life is balanced by the need for careful planning and strategic thinking. In this comprehensive guide, I will help you navigate the essential steps to turn your business idea into a reality, from defining your concept to building a successful brand and implementing effective marketing strategies.
1: Defining Your Business Idea
Your business idea is the heartbeat of success. Discover how to make it stand out:
- Value Proposition: Clearly articulate what sets your product or service apart.
- Uniqueness: Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) or competitive advantage.
- Feasibility: Assess practicality, market demand, and overall viability.
- Passion and Expertise: Align your idea with your passion and expertise.
- Scalability and Sustainability: Plan for growth and consider environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
In essence, your business idea is a well-thought-out concept, guiding your entrepreneurial venture.
2: Conducting Market Research
Understand your audience by employing diverse research methods:
- Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups: Gather quantitative and qualitative insights.
- Observational Research: Observe real-life customer behavior.
- Secondary Research: Analyse existing data and literature.
3: Creating a Business Plan
Craft a dynamic business plan:
- Executive Summary, Company Description: Concisely outline your business.
- Products or Services: Detail offerings and benefits.
- Organisation and Management: Outline your team structure.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy: Develop comprehensive plans.
- Financial Projections, Risk Analysis: Present detailed projections and identify potential risks.
Remember, a business plan is a living document that evolves with your business.
4: Legal and Regulatory Considerations:
Navigate the legal landscape with considerations such as:
- Business Structure: Choose wisely for liability, taxation, and governance.
- Name and Tax Registration: Register your business name and for VAT.
- Employment Laws, Intellectual Property: Understand legal obligations.
- Contracts, Data Protection: Develop clear contracts and comply with privacy laws.
- Health and Safety Compliance: Ensure a safe working environment.
- Consult legal professionals for tailored advice.
5: Building Your Brand
Create a lasting brand with:
- Memorable Name and Logo: Develop a unique identity.
- Consistent Voice and Messaging: Maintain a unified tone.
- Online Presence, Visual Elements: Leverage digital platforms and visuals.
- Authentic Storytelling, Brand Advocacy: Share your story and build a community.
- Building a brand is an ongoing process requiring dedication and consistency.
6: Financial Planning and Funding
Navigate finances by:
- Estimating Startup Costs, Creating a Budget: Identify expenses and plan for income.
- Determining Revenue Streams, Managing Cash Flow: Define income sources and monitor cash flow & working capital requirements
- Investing in Financial Software: Use tools for tracking expenses.
- Exploring Funding Options: Consider self-financing, loans, investors, crowdfunding.
- Approach financial planning strategically for sustained growth.
7: Setting Up Operations
Establish a strong operational foundation:
- Define Operations Strategy, Set Up Physical Space: Outline processes and arrange workspace.
- Invest in Technology, Build a Supply Chain: Implement tech and establish reliable suppliers.
- Hire and Train Staff, Develop SOPs: Recruit and train, create documented procedures.
- Implement Quality Control, Inventory Management: Ensure quality and manage inventory efficiently.
- Adaptability and iteration are key for sustained growth.
8: Marketing and Sales Strategies
Build your audience with effective strategies:
- Understand Your Target Audience, Create a Marketing Plan: Identify goals and target audience.
- Build Online Presence, Utilise SEO: Optimise your digital footprint.
- Content Marketing, Email Marketing: Develop valuable content and nurture relationships.
- Networking, Develop Sales Strategy: Engage in industry events and define your sales process.
- Establish a strong foundation for attracting customers and driving sustainable growth.
This guide is just the beginning. Explore additional resources, stay connected with the business community, and embrace continuous learning. Your entrepreneurial journey is dynamic—adapt, refine, and success will follow.
Managing Director; Sandler West Midlands
Starting Right: Why Core Values are the Key to Business Success
When the founder of the US e-commerce business Zappos.com was asked for one thing he’d do differently if he could restart his company from scratch, his response was clear: “I would actually come up with our values from day one.”
Establishing your business values early – whether as an entrepreneur, or a corporate giant – can be a game-changer in the success of your company as it grows. Your values are the heart and soul of your enterprise, influencing everything from your marketing brand to your culture and interactions with customers.
So where do you start?
- Understand your own Core Values first.
We all have 3-5 Core Values that drive everything we do. Once we understand what they are, we can use them to create the direction of our business.
Business is personal – so it makes sense to uncover our own core values first, before establishing the values that will create our foundation for growth. When we connect the dots between the two… that’s when the magic happens! By understanding our own Core Values and how they drive and motivate us, it leads to stronger decision-making skills, as well as creating the certainty and confidence that we are doing what’s right for us and our business.
You can then start to connect your Core Values with the values you want for your business blueprint.
- Create the Values Script for your Business.
Once we know the Core Values that serve us, we can start to create a script for how our business will stand out and stand up in the marketplace. This is often where business owners can make some innocent mistakes that mean the work on values is wasted.
The CEO of a Fortune 500 networking company had ‘a sense of urgency’ as one of his firm’s Core Values. This wasn’t because employees were always hitting deadlines, it was only included because he thought people were too complacent! It was an aspirational goal for his business, rather than a value that would drive the business in practice.
Communicating values is key here. We tend to presume that a value will mean the same thing to everybody who encounters it – whether that’s a new recruit or a potential customer – but it’s often not the case. In a recent workshop with a small sales team, there were ten different definitions for their company value of “Being Flexible”. It was no wonder that tensions had started to appear!
Spending some time on translating our values into a clear vision, mission and purpose is vital at the start of our business journey. Asking questions such as “Do I know how my values are being met?”, or “Do they match with the company values?” and “How do I know they are understood by others?” can really help to create clear communication.
If we can connect the dots between the company values and what they actually mean to each person that encounters them, the potential for success can only grow, while the risk of costly mistakes and future workplace conflict is drastically reduced.
- Use Them or Lose Them!
Probably the biggest mistake that business owners make is to spend some time developing values, only to forget about them as soon as the posters are up and the website updated.
Core Values are dynamic. Just as our business changes every year, so we need to ‘check-in’ on how the values of our business are holding up. Are they still as relevant? Can we see how they show up in the day-to-day practices with customers, clients and staff?
They can be utilised across the business and at all stages of its growth, like sprinkling the salt that makes everything taste better: in branding, marketing, hiring, performance reviews, skills development, wellbeing, managing conflict and retention.
However, let’s also recognise how tricky it can be to maintain and stick to the Values Script we create for our business, especially when times are tough: Living by stated company values is difficult. That’s why it’s important to check back with your own Core Values and think of them as your “portable psychological safety”.
If you and your business are fully aligned with your Core Values, then you know you can always reach for your own oxygen mask first, so you can then look after the business too.
Sarah Evans – The Values Connection
Create a Reputation That Brings You Long-Term Success
In the dynamic world of business, your reputation is not just an asset; it’s the cornerstone of your long-term success. As new start-ups embark on their entrepreneurial journey, it’s crucial to remember that while a reputation takes years to build, it can be lost in mere minutes. In this ever-evolving landscape, nurturing a reputation that resonates with reliability, excellence, and integrity is paramount.
The Value of Time in Building Reputation
The adage ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ aptly applies to reputation building. Establishing a strong, positive reputation is a gradual process, requiring consistent effort, unwavering commitment, and an unyielding dedication to your values and vision. This journey involves every interaction, every decision, and every setback. Over time, these elements coalesce to form the bedrock of your business identity – your reputation.
Working with the Best: Why Quality Connections Matter
A pivotal aspect of reputation building is the quality of connections you nurture. It’s advisable to aim to work with people and businesses at the top end of the scale – let’s say, on a scale where one is low and ten is high. The ‘tens’ are those who value and appreciate you for what you bring to the table. They are more than clients or partners; they are advocates of your business ethos. Collaborating with such entities not only enhances your brand value but also ensures a working relationship that is mutually respectful and fulfilling.
Why is this important? Because ‘tens’ are great to work with – they appreciate your work, pay what you’re worth, and do so punctually. Their respect for your business is not just in words but in actions, setting a precedent for how others should interact with your business.
The Downside of Lower Scale Associations
Conversely, working with people lower down the scale – those who don’t appreciate your value, argue over bills, and are generally difficult to work with – can be detrimental. Not only do such interactions drain your resources and morale, but they also detract from your reputation. The time and energy spent in dealing with these negative experiences could be better invested in fostering relationships that are more profitable and fulfilling.
Referrals: The Reward for Excellence
One of the most significant benefits of working with ‘tens’ is the power of referrals. A satisfied client or business partner who values your work is your best advocate. They extend your reputation through their networks, bringing in new opportunities that are already primed for success. This word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable; it’s organic, credible, and often results in long-term, fruitful business relationships.
The Road Ahead: Building a Lasting Reputation
In conclusion, building a reputation that brings long-term success is a multifaceted endeavour. It requires a strategic focus on working with the right people, delivering quality, and staying true to your core values. Remember, every interaction is a building block in your reputation. Aim high, deliver excellence, and let your work speak for itself. As a start-up, your journey is as much about building a robust business model as it is about crafting a reputation that precedes you.
Your reputation is your brand’s story told by others. Make it a story worth sharing.
Peter Roper Founder of The Family Business Practice
How do you build a marketing plan to grow your business?
Your approach to marketing is a key element in building a successful business. You may need to look within your company team to source strengths and marketing experience or you may need to reach out to an experienced team of digital marketers to support you to raise brand awareness and get your company noticed.
A digital marketing team will be able to create a marketing strategy with you. Using your knowledge of your industry, your experience within your business as well as before it, and using a collaborative approach to understand your budget and your intended outcomes from your marketing strategy.
It is important that you understand the elements included in a marketing strategy as you begin planning with your marketing team and this blog will help you to understand the foundations of this planning process.
- Website Design for brand accessibility
If you haven’t already got a website, or you are looking to update, this is the key player in your marketing strategy in a digital age. A place for you to share your brand identity, your company values and ethos, and a point of contact for potential business links and customers; your website needs to be ready to support everything you are doing to have an impact on your business.
- Graphic Design for brand identity
The visual representation of your company should be clear throughout every channel of your marketing. The imagery used and the style of design will filter through every aspect of your brand’s representation, allowing customers to feel familiar with your business and ready to connect.
- Content Writing for brand communication
Copywriting often holds together graphics and web. Providing the words to communicate anything, on anything, is where we come in! Marketing website copy that is keyworded for SEO, written content for brochures, banners, exhibition stands, blogs or social media. In other words, we write across industries and for anyone from small businesses, new start-ups, or larger, global companies too.
What is SEO and how does it help my business marketing?
SEO specialists understand how your website is functioning to increase the chance of you getting found on a Google search. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the making or breaking of the success of your website. If you aren’t getting found on search engines, you aren’t connecting with your clients or customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your site for keys words, using the correct heading tags and link building to support domain authority. These are just for starters…
The fast-paced nature of social media means that having a professional writer can generate content quickly; responding to new trends, and developments in the news and giving you more words in less time. This means efficient use of your company’s marketing budget.
Understanding the nature of each individual social media platform eats into valuable working hours for anyone running a business. By using professional support to create your social media content for you and provide social media support, you are making sure that your company has a professional image across the platforms which you select for your business. When your content is written by a writer who understands the platform it gives you the biggest impact on your social media content across the whole of your online reach.
Building a Bespoke Marketing Plan
A marketing team will show a range of skills within the possible services within digital marketing. Understanding the different services and different approaches to getting your business noticed is the number one job as you find the team you will work with. As you explore the options together, you will feel what will work for you and your brand, learning from your digital marketing team about how to use your marketing budget for maximum impact.
Many marketing agencies offer free consultations or free discovery sessions, get booked in and have a chat to find out more about the team and the services they offer. This will enable you to find out more about the marketing industry and to see how to build a marketing plan that suits your skills, budget and time commitment.
Building a robust marketing plan is a pivotal step in ensuring the growth and success of your business in today’s digital landscape. Whether you tap into the expertise within your company or enlist the support of a seasoned digital marketing team, the key lies in a strategic and collaborative approach.
Making connections and finding effective marketing approaches
This blog has provided valuable insights into the foundational elements of a marketing strategy, emphasizing the significance of a well-designed website, cohesive graphic design, compelling content writing, and the critical role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As you embark on this journey, consider the impact each component has on brand accessibility and communication. From the visual identity to the written content, every detail contributes to shaping your business’s online presence. Moreover, social media, with its fast-paced nature, benefits from professional writing that not only responds to trends but also efficiently utilizes your marketing budget.
Crafting a bespoke marketing plan requires a deep understanding of the diverse services within digital marketing, and a reputable team can guide you through these intricacies. Engage in consultations, explore options, and collaboratively determine the strategies that align with your brand, skills, budget, and time commitment. In doing so, you pave the way for a tailored marketing approach that not only suits your unique needs but also maximises the impact of your marketing efforts.
Promote Your Business with PR
Across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often face the challenge of promoting their businesses effectively. Public Relations (PR) is a powerful marketing tool that goes beyond traditional advertising, creating a positive image for your business and fostering meaningful connections with your audience. This blog explores what PR is and how it can elevate your business promotion strategy.
Public Relations is not just about managing crises or issuing press releases. At its core, PR is about building and maintaining relationships with the public, including customers, employees, investors and the wider community. It is the art of storytelling, shaping the narrative around your business to create a favourable perception.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Building credibility and trust
One of the key benefits of PR is its ability to establish credibility and trust. While advertising is often perceived as self-promotion, PR focuses on earned media, such as news articles, features and reviews. When your business is covered by reputable media outlets, it adds a layer of credibility that paid advertising cannot match. Consumers tend to trust editorial content more, viewing it as an unbiased endorsement.
Richard Branson: “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”
Creating a positive image
PR allows you to control the narrative surrounding your business. By crafting compelling stories, you can shape how your audience perceives your brand. Whether it’s highlighting your commitment to sustainability, showcasing community involvement, or sharing success stories, PR enables you to present a positive image that resonates with your target audience.
Warren Buffett: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Effective PR is not a one-way street. It involves engaging with your audience and building lasting relationships. This could mean responding to customer feedback, participating in community events or collaborating with influencers and thought leaders in your industry. These interactions contribute to a positive brand image and can result in valuable word-of-mouth promotion.
Steve Jobs: “You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t have effective communication, you have nothing.”
Beyond traditional PR
In the digital age, PR extends beyond traditional media to encompass online platforms and social media. Maintaining an active and positive presence on social media, engaging with online communities and managing your online reputation are crucial components of modern PR strategies.
Elon Musk: “Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.”
Promoting your business with PR is not just about getting your name in the headlines; it’s about crafting a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience. By building credibility, creating a positive image, fostering relationships and navigating the digital landscape, PR becomes a strategic asset in your business promotion toolkit. So, embrace the power of PR and watch as it transforms not just how your business is perceived, but how it thrives in the competitive market.
“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
You Do Better Ltd’s pay-as-you-go PR services offer a cost-effective and strategic solution for SMEs looking to boost their visibility and credibility. Visit their website at: www.youdobetter.co.uk to explore how You Do Better can help your business do better in the local market.
The Chamber's Blog
How the Chamber can support you, when starting a new business.
Starting a new business can be an exciting experience, but knowing how to take the first step can be daunting, especially when you have your business plan ready. At the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, we believe that preparation is key. To support new starting businesses the Chamber works closely with the Marches Growth Hub in Herefordshire and the Worcestershire Growth Hub. Together, we are experts at guiding new businesses with their new ventures, ensuring they are well-informed and equipped at every step of their new business. This is not limited to first-time business owners. Every business is different, and every journey has various stages; even if you have owned businesses before, we are all here to help.
Are you a Chamber Member looking to raise your business profile? We’re looking for Chamber Members, willing to share their knowledge and expertise with the Herefordshire and Worcestershire community, by submitting a blog post.
To get involved, or to find out more information, get in touch with our team.
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