This week’s blog is dedicated to Oscar the Cockapoo puppy, the newest member of the Mitchell-Mehta family household, welcome Oscar! Get ready to awwww…..
But being a newbie in the business world is not all belly rubs and chasing sticks, it can sometimes feel like you are pushing treacle up a hill, but the mere fact that you have set up a business shows you have the drive and determination to push forward, something that may just prove to be your biggest asset in the battle against the big dogs*.
So let’s focus on what you have in abundance and not what you don’t have, i.e. money to burn, and in order to make the biggest and best impact possible you are going to tap into your creativity and ingenuity.
I am sure you are fed up by now hearing me go on about plans and strategies but for any project to succeed you must have a poa! That’s plan of attack for those not yet in the know. Start by setting yourself realistic goals and then think of how you can reach these goals.
A common one is ‘to get noticed’ and let’s face it, it is the best one to start off with, but in this (*tenuous reference to aforementioned battle alert – sorry) dog eat dog world you will be putting your best paw forward initially as the underdog so need to work doubly hard to make a lasting impression.
So where do you begin? There are a few things that will put you on the right path and they include the following:
Get a website
Get on Social Media
Attend networking and business events
Use facilities that are readily available to you i.e. email
When setting up your website, besides having well written, search engine friendly and informative content, you must make sure that potential customers know exactly what you do as soon as they reach your site and how to contact you. Your website is also a chance for you to showcase your work and give examples of what you are capable of. Where possible add reviews and testimonials because no matter how big a business you are, word of mouth and referrals are still a businessman’s best friend.
You should also have links from your website to your social media pages, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on and so forth. These sites are a great way to ‘meet’ lots and lots of people in a very short space of time and interact with them regularly. But remember that you need to work at building your online relationships, you’ll be barking up the wrong tree if you think it will happen overnight with lasting effect.
Attend events and follow up on leads immediately regardless of whether or not you think they might be a customer. If you don’t do this you will be left chasing your tail and hoping they remember who you are… and anyway, it shows good business ethic and discipline.
Be proactive in your endeavour to gain business and get noticed, there is no shame in leafing through the phonebook or business directories to find companies that you want to do business with and then writing to them explaining a bit about you, your business and what you can do for them. Trust me, it feels great when you get a positive result from this ‘method’ you almost feel like the cat that has got the cream, or in this case the dog that has got the bone.
Hell, even walk up and down Union Street with a sandwich board if you think it will help, but be careful not to detract from your brand identity by doing anything controversial or risky at this stage because before you know it, you will be in the dog house with potential customers without having even got off the ground!
So there you have it, some simple yet effective ways for new businesses to get their name out there. You may think I am barking mad with that last point… hmmm, some would probably agree with you but nonetheless you will be amazed at how far a little quirk can get you.
Seeing as it’s nearly summer, ah, roll on the dog days, next week the topic shall be seasonality and how to plan your marketing around annual events and seasons. See you then.