Thank you for taking the first, and most critical step, in finding out how our PUSH to PLAY services can really help you take your new business forward over the months and years ahead.
PUSH to PLAY is a unique offer provided through PUSH Marketing Partners and Business Growth Specialists. Our aim is very simple; we want to give you the very best chance of succeeding in your New Enterprise.
Through our strategic alliance with LloydsTSB Business Banking (East Anglian Region) we offer TWO main services that are designed to give you the knowledge and confidence to step into your new business and know that you are ready.
Pre-flight Check (CLICK HERE FOR BROCHURE)
It’s amazing how many people, who are about to start a new business, focus on the important elements like retail space, suppliers, finance, staffing, etc. but often overlook one of the most vital elements of every successful business – Sales & Marketing.
Making sure your business is financially viable from day one and ensuring that you are profitable IS the ‘bottom line’. To ensure you’re completely confident in this area you need a simple but practical view of how you will market and sell your products and services. Everything else comes second to this.
If you’ve not yet written out at least a basic Marketing Plan, or thought how your Sales and Marketing function will work, then now is the time to address this.
With Pre-flight Check we’ll walk you through a very simple but highly effective process that will ensure you have everything you need in place before you let your new business fly.
“Many thanks… you helped me realised how important it is to focus on my approach to sales and marketing; it’s started paying off already”
Pre-flight Check is an audit and review service; we ask you to complete a simple questionnaire (and we can help you with this as well), then we review the results and give you a practical plan to follow.
Pre-flight Check - Standard Audit Charge – £197.00 However…
LloydsTSB Business Customers can claim a New Enterprise Voucher for this and obtain the service at NO COST.
Please note; in every case we conduct a brief telephone consultation to ensure the suitability of this service and confirm your eligibility for this free New Enterprise Voucher. Also, there are a limited number of vouchers available each month so please register your interest first and ensure your application is live.
“the Pre-flight Check really helped me understand what I needed to have in place to get my business started, now I feel so much more confident”
Need Good Training?
The Second PUSH to PLAY Offer available is our Flying Start Enterprise Training events. Here’s the BROCHURE just click.
These half-day workshop-based seminars will ensure you have everything you need to make your new business fly. Learn the essentials basics that every smart owner/manager knows and give yourself the best opportunity at succeeding.
To find out about these training events please request details via the contact form below. Just put ‘Flying Start’ in the request.
To register your interest in a Pre-Flight Check – call us now on 0843 289 4320 (lo-call rate), or register your interest in the form below and we’ll contact you back direct within 24 hrs.
Comments or questions are welcome.
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Can any business afford to ignore a sales opportunity these days; apparently the answer is yes.
Having worked in the marketing and promotions industry for well over a decade now I’m quite familiar with the simple process of placing orders for things like advertising space and print for point-of-sale. On the whole I’ve always found it to be a quite straight forward task. The golden rule is to set out clearly, in a language that suppliers are familiar with, the exact specifications of your needs. This ensures you get an accurate quote, the supplier recognises that you know what you want and in the vast majority of cases you get a good quality of service at a price that meets your budget. Everyone’s happy.
Perhaps this is changing and now I need to learn that the very first thing a written request for a quote requires is a clear statement at the very top, which reads:
‘THIS IS A LIVE SALES OPPORTUNITY – I’M ASKING YOU FOR A QUOTE BECAUSE I’M READY TO BUY’
You might detect a modest hint of sarcasm in my comment above and that would be correct. I’ve recently approached four local printers with to request a quote for a reasonable size print run. I’ve been shocked and disappointed that three of the four haven’t even bothered to reply. One did contact me to ask for some clarification on the copy but I’ve not heard a dickie bird since then. Thankfully the one printer who did respond was quick off the mark and offered me a great deal on a larger print run. Sadly his best offer doesn’t suit the requirement as it stands, so I’m still left looking. The other three seem to have completely passed by this sales opportunity.
Let me say quite clearly that I’ve often found printers to be very easy to work with, very professional and frequently willing to work hard to deliver a great service and build a good supplier/client relationship. Anyone in the print industry will know just how competitive this marketplace is. So this most recent experience is a slight shock and disappointment. Of course, the lack of effective follow-up on sales leads isn’t unique to one industry, or even the Business-2-Business market, we find it constantly in the Business-to-Consumer market as well.
I’m sincerely hoping that this recent experience is nothing more than a minor blip and purely coincidental. I could also look back at myself and remember that ‘Communication is about the result we get’ as I tell my own clients. This is always a good place to start. Did I really make it clear as to what my needs were, or the fact that order is quite urgent? In this instance I feel confident that I’ve done both of these effectively, so this experience leaves me bemused. The order itself isn’t mammoth but it will be the first of many repeat orders, so my Average Lifetime Customer Value could be quite high.
I’m sharing this experience with one clear objective; I want to provoke you to go back to your own business and confirm, beyond all reasonable doubt, that your own sales process is completely water-tight. I suggest you test the system, perhaps with a mystery shopper, to make sure that when an inbound sales enquiry arrives at your door it always enters a process that results in a clear and defined outcome. Then go one step further than this. Make sure you have some back-check process in place to ensure that every call, email or face-to-face request has been fully dealt with and ensure there is evidence to back this up. In every case there should be some record of how the request was concluded; did the prospect go ahead and place an order, or did they decline, and if so do you know why? What will you do to maintain contact with them and perhaps find a way to win the next sales opportunity they present?
In a time when so many businesses really need to ensure profitable sales continue to flow and increase, there can be no excuse for not having even the most simple of systems to ensure that every crumb of opportunity gets picked up and dealt with effectively. They also need to demonstrate that they’re open for business and ready to serve.
So, will I get my print order completed in time; yes, I’m sure of it and perhaps a few red faces might be the price worth paying to be made aware that something isn’t quite working as it should be.
Please don’t ever find yourself in the same situation.
The F-word is Back!
Nope, it’s not another TV series with our favourite Celebrity Chef who suffers with Tourettes and I’m not about to launch into tirade of inappropriate language. Mother wouldn’t like it! It is that F-word that seems to raise it’s head all too often and only eleven days into the New Year I’ve had two clients talk about it in the space of a few hours… I’m talking about F-O-C-U-S and the need for it in every business.
There will always be a never-ending line of business experts ready to give you their best advice and perhaps tell you that there is a quick way to fame and unlimited riches. Certainly, there are some basic business tactics that will help you cut the learning curve in half and propel your results but there is one fundamental element that is much overlooked; the ability to apply real focus.
Driving a business forward, especially in such ‘interesting times’, is not for the faint-hearted but fortune does indeed favour the brave. The quality that seems to be common to all successful individuals, be it in business or any other field, is the ability to apply near-pathological levels of focus to the task at hand. That may strike you as a strange concept; excess is never a good thing (or is it?!), so why is FOCUS my top prescription for a quantum shift in your results? Well, because I’ve seen too many examples that prove the argument…
Just stop and think about it for yourself for a moment; consider all the people who you could list, according to your own definition, as being successful, or better still, hyper-successful. What attributes could be linked to all of them? I’m sure focus would be high on the list.
I think most people would agree with me in that Albert Einstein is probably regarded as one of the greatest thinkers in the history of the human race, and yet the quiet, modest man, who helped shape the world we live in today, was famously quoted as having said “I’m not smarter than anyone else, I just stick with a problem longer than most other people”. His message was clear; it’s not just about the level of your intellect that will determine your success, it’s your ability to apply real focus when it’s required.
So how do we find this elusive level of concentration and when? Any situation where you really need to deal with a challenging task requires high levels of focus. Perhaps you’re creating a new product or service, or maybe planning a new marketing campaign. Or you might be be aiming to push hard on sales performance for the next quarter. Of course people have different ways of finding focus but here are my top 3 tips:
1) Make space to focus; this might sound obvious but it’s vital to lay a good foundation. Space in terms of physical space and time. Make sure you create time to dedicate yourself to the task at hand. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you can multi-task and allow interruptions.
2) Create mental space too. Having a quiet place to work and allowing yourself uninterrupted time to focus are vital but you must also allow yourself to remove other distractions. Mental space is great way to liberate yourself from the daily tasks and ‘allow’ yourself the fully-deserved pleasure (and believe me, it really is a pleasure!) to ignore other priorities. Create a temporary island and jump aboard for a few hours, or even a day or two. Leave everything behind for a while and know that it will all be dealt with soon enough.
3) Find out WHY it is important to do the best job with this task. The WHY is so much more important than the HOW, or the WHEN, etc. Among the very many valuable lessons my own mentor taught me was that “when the WHY is strong enough, the HOW will become easy”. When you think you’re able to articulate the WHY, go one level deeper and really identify WHY it is really important to you.
Start using the F-word in your daily business diet in 2011 and you’ll see a positive change, guaranteed. You’ll feel a greater sense of control, you’ll achieve higher quality results and you’re going to stretch your abilities and help yourself grow.
10th Jan 2011
A well worn phrase that people of a certain again (like me!) will have heard many a time from parents and relatives in the past. Come to think of it, isn’t it interesting that all these old clichés that our parents repeat, and that we used to scoff at, turn out to be sound advice after all?!
I’ve found it fascinating to watch how so many businesses have moved their price position over the past year or so. With the economy in very sensitive times and now with a VAT increase to factor into the ever-changing fiscal landscape, there seems to be a theme emerging that suggests the only way to win customers is to discount prices.
Slash and burn tactics on your pricing are all very well and good… if you’re a market trader, selling poor quality items that people will only buy when the price point is ludicrously low. For the serious business person, attention to price point is even more critical right now and any changes need to be thought through with real care.
In seminars and with clients I’m constantly explaining to that price point is just like any other business-critical factor; you need to have evidence to make decisions on changing it. The biggest myth of all is that “if I reduce my prices I’ll win more new clients”.
Of course this could be entirely true. If you’re over valuing your offer and if the marketplace doesn’t share your perception, then you’ll find it hard to attract buyers. However it’s dangerous thinking to believe that all consumers focus on price as a priority.
There are certain products, commodities like fuel, that are price critical but in the majority of cases the prospective consumer is looking not at price but at value. If you’re facing a challenge over increases in VAT and scratching your head to figure out where you can cut costs just to keep your price point static, then you should consider taking a very different perspective.
I’ve always taught clients the concept of stacking up value. It’s a remarkably simple principle, so simple that very few business owners ever do it. So here’s my sixty-second buzz session on it!
Before you rush to the calculator to work out how you’re going to factor in a new VAT rate, or rather, before you just decide to pass on the increase and blame Mr Osborne, stop and take a fresh look at your product or service. Then do two simple things:
- Break down the product or service into the separate parts and assign a nominal value to each. But rather than focusing on the £s value of each consider the benefit of each to the consumer. For example, if you offer free delivery look at how that saves the customer time and provides convenience. You should end up with a more comprehensive summary of the features and benefits and know how to articulate these – this is marketing!
- Then look at simple and low cost ways that you could add extra value to the product or service. The trick here is to add value that costs you less that the perceived value to the consumer. Write up the new added benefits in a way that will get your customer thinking.
This simple process is something every business should be doing in their six monthly review (what do you mean you don’t do a six monthly review?!). Essentially you’ll increase the perceived value in your product. If you’ve got fierce competition, then look carefully at what value you can add to your product/service to make it stand out, without cost you much or even anything.
Above all, don’t rush to chop your prices about and don’t lay the blame for falling sales at the feet of a new VAT rate, as easy as that might be. Of course the good news is that if you take this more tactical approach the chances are that your competition wont be and you could end up grabbing more of share of the marketplace as a result!
One final thought on this subject; a student on our PUSH Marketing Academy recently learned this very concept and came rushing back a few days later to tell me how he had used value-stacking in a call with an enquiry. In the space of ten minutes he turned a request for voluntary services into an £800 sale and confirmed booking!
5th January 2011
It’s often said that timing is everything, especially in business. There’s no doubt that it’s an essential skill for lots of people in all walks of life. I’ve met lots of people who excel in their chosen field, some are business people, some are inspirational leaders, and some have very ‘ordinary’ jobs but do them exceptionally well. Some seem to have been successful because they just happened to be ‘in the right place at the right time’… or did they?
It’s said that luck is ‘where opportunity and preparedness meet’. In other words, you’ll only ever be lucky if you’re ready to spot when it comes knocking on your door. I strongly believe that opportunities wash backwards and forward over all of us. Some people are looking for them and some run terrified at the very thought that they might need to do something about them.
So here’s my question to you; how do you know when the time is right?
There’s absolutely no doubt that being speculative in business is essential and you’ve got to be prepared to take a few risks. The smart people calculate the risk and work out all the possible outcomes. Then they act with conviction and determination. And this is my point. You can only ever really feel lucky if you’re willing to act, sometimes on a hunch or a gut feeling, ideally after you’ve done all the work and calculated if the risk might be worth taking.
There’s one sure fire way to avoid being lucky and that’s to do nothing. Strangely that’s how many people tend to live their lives. They seem to be waiting for everyone else to make the first move. And it’s always the first move that has the best opportunity.
So is good timing something that we’re born with, or something we can grow into? Do you gain more confidence as you take more risks and when is a little bit more too much? Well, here’s a reality check; you’ll only ever know if you do it. There’s no other way to answer the question.
It’s been a strange year, we’ve seen the UK economy go through the spin cycle and it seems as if everyone’s just waiting to see who jumps first. A new government has brought about some dramatic change, with more to follow it seems. We certainly do live in interesting times. Perhaps you recognise that confidence is creeping back into your marketplace, or perhaps not. So who will lead this return to more confident times? Who’s been nominated for the role and what makes them better qualified than you? You’ll get my point… be the change you want to see around you.
I’m still searching for the answer to that question; when is the right time? All I can say, with complete conviction, is that the biggest step changes I’ve achieved in my personal and professional life have been a result of action.
If we wait for the ‘right time’ perhaps we’ll be waiting forever.
A Testimonial -
Another great testimonial for the PUSH Marketing Academy, this time from Debi Hanley, an inspirational entreprenuer and great client to work with.
“Nial, I just wanted to congratulate you on a fabulous first days training at the PUSH Academy!
I have gained so much from it for both of my businesses; it has given me some clear actions to follow and challenged my thinking greatly. The first day of the course has helped me to find the focus I needed…thank you!
I felt the style of delivery was a positive mix of theory, practice and group involvement. I also found the day great fun and really enjoyed it.
There are certainly challenges ahead but I feel with yours and the groups support the next four months will be much more targeted towards success.
Founder of Flax & Finch
A Testimonial -
We’re delighted to share this testimonial that has been provided by Jackie Willis, one of our PUSH Marketing Acadmey students…
“I have known Nial Adams for 5 years now. Nial helped me as my business mentor for 6 months from 2005 into 2006. I was a real ‘rookie’ to the business world, having come out of a secure job in the teaching profession.
Nial taught me so much and it’s only since that time that I have come to realise just how much I have actually implemented in my business, and in my personal development, that has come directly from him.
Now I am back with Nial, on the Push Marketing Academy, and it has a feel like ‘coming home’. I can’t really describe it except to say that Nial really knows his stuff and is able to put it across so well. I cannot speak highly enough of him nor recommend him more highly to others.
The structure of the Marketing Academy and the materials provided really ‘hit the spot’ and pushes you to do all those things you know you should but keep putting off – you know, that marketing plan and your budget and all those figures (aaagh!!) and, of course, the ‘test and measure’, Nial’s famous mantra. But, like all things that do you good, you know you have to face it and Nial will help you do just that.
So, if you are hesitating about going on the next Academy course, hesitate no more and go for it! You won’t regret it, I promise.”
Jackie Willis Cert.Ed. Dip.DI
Director Care Motoring Ltd