Posts Tagged ‘Free Advice’
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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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
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.
This is the perennial cry we always hear from the Managing Director, the Senior Managers and everyone else who has a serious interest in the bottom line of our business. Of course, that’s totally understandable; essentially every commercial venture lives or dies on the basis of sales activity and the resultant income that in turn translates into profit in the bank.
However, I’ve often wondered why so many people seem to miss the undeniable link between sales and marketing. For many people the answer for more sales is simply to turn up the heat on sales activity, push more through the pipeline and in many cases, dial up the pressure on the salespeople who sit at the coalface.
If sales is the workhorse then marketing is mostly seen as the racehorse; perhaps an expensive extravagance that looks good, tells the world that we’ve got a bit of money to throw about but in general it’s costly to run, can be temperamental and very few people know how to handle properly.
The answer to more sales could be just to drive the workhorse a little harder each day, aim to get a little extra value from our investment and there are endless ways of trying to achieve this. A large number of organisations, large and small, will restructure the rewards and incentives for each sales person, or being even more blatant just move the goal posts by telling the sales team that more is expected of them… end of!
Salespeople of quality and ability know this and play the game in return; but when the pips start to squeak and the remuneration is no longer enough to maintain their interest they’ll be off to hunt in new pastures. Why do you think that the very best salespeople are so hard to find and even harder to keep?
This scenario will probably very familiar to you, irrespective of which side of it you come from. Sales is a tough game and only the strong survive but is it really the best place to focus all your energy on if you want more transactions flowing through your business?
I often ask clients ‘If you had just uncovered a spare £50,000 in your business (and you had to spend it on your business!) where would you allocate it?’. More often than you might imagine the reply is ‘on better marketing’… you see, at an intellectual level many business owners know that better marketing is needed and actually crave it.
So why is it that so few people stop to consider that if you want more sales the best place to start is at the very top of your sales funnel… with your marketing?!
It’s not just a case of aiming to get more results from your marketing, trying to get a bigger bang for your buck has (and always will be) the never-ending objective of every good marketer but how about changing your marketing to create better quality and not just quantity. Another much overlooked element of good marketing is that it actually influences the sale process significantly.
As every good salesperson will know ‘qualifying’ your prospects is vital to ensuring a smooth and successful progress through the sales process towards secured business. Marketing is the very first step in properly qualifying your leads; this process of ‘self-selection’ is a powerful way to weed out the tyre-kickers and allow you to focus on those with serious intentions of buying from you.
The lesson here is clear and I hope you’ve already started to join the dots for yourself; marketing is wedded to sales and better marketing will help you increase sales potential. If you knew, with complete conviction, that better, more effective marketing could increase the flow of potential sales, and that you could enhance the quality of those leads wouldn’t you pay more attention to it?
If your workhorse is looking tired, unlikely to give much more output and you’ve already realised that you might need a better tactic, perhaps it’s time to up your game, improve your skills and saddle up your thoroughbred and be prepared to hold on tight to the reigns.
It could just be the ride of your life!
If you want to increase your sales and feel that your marketing could be the right place to start then I’d encourage you to consider our PUSH Marketing Academy – you’ll find everything you need to know HERE.
Ready to move up a gear with your marketing? This simple shift in mind-set will increase your marketing ROI, guaranteed!
People often ask me “what’s the one thing that I can do quickly and easily to get a better result from my marketing”.
Not surprisingly, everyone’s looking for that elusive silver bullet to transform their marketing output. Well the good news guys, is that there IS a fundamental principle that will transform your marketing results, and what’s most surprising is that so few business people are aware of it.
I believe that business should be like any other professional vocation; you need to know your subject and continually update and expand your knowledge; and you probably feel the same – that’s why you’re reading this blog! Also see the PUSH Marketing Academy if you’re serious about getting better results.
So what’s this amazing principle and how does it work?
Let me describe a scenario that many business owners and managers would recognise. The vast majority of people I meet in business have a view of marketing that looks not too dissimilar to gambling. They expect to pay a price for the risk they take in trying to marketing their offering, be it products or services. They accept, without question, that they’re going to throw money at marketing and hope that they get a result that makes a profit. This is known as ‘spray and pray’. I’ve even met people who tell me that as long as they don’t lose money on their marketing spend they’ll be happy… that’s just crazy, marketing is all about creating a profit!
Marketing is actually very simple; it’s not an exact science and you’ll need to accept that some guesswork is required. However, there’s a fundamental principle you need to know before you commit to spending anything on your marketing plan and this is it:
Learn how to BUY more customers at a PROFIT
Most people spend their budget and hope that they’ll get enough back to make it worthwhile. This is a totally flawed approach and if it’s one you’re using now, I implore you to seriously consider what I’m about to tell you next.
Take a long hard look at your figures and understand the relationship between the Average Lifetime Customer Value in your business and your accepted/defined Cost of Acquisition. The relationship between these two will tell you how much you are able to spend to BUY each new customer at a profit. So start with what your figures tell you and they will guide your marketing strategy.
Understanding how Average Lifetime Customer value is calculated is essential to every business – Here’s a tool produced by Harvard Business School to explain it.
I’ve described this as a form of Inside-Out thinking for marketing. Many business owners/managers are looking outside for the answer, they want to use resources to go out and hunt down enough customers to keep the business alive. Instead, they should understand what their business is able and willing to spend to buy each new customer. This can be applied to any business, it’s not industry specific and a completely scaleable concept.
When you know the relationship between the real value of each customer (by looking at your costs and margins) and have decided what you feel is worth paying to buy them (known as the Cost of Acquisition) you will have a defined budget that you can work within and always ensure your marketing is profitable. And here’s your starter clue… aim for a CoA of 10-15%.
Applying this sort of mind-set to the way you view your marketing will transform your overall strategy. You’ll understand what you need to do to acquire more sales and build customer relationships that support and grow your business. You’ll feel in more control and above all you will feel far more confident in your marketing.
If you want to know more about this principle read more on my blog at www.nialadams.com and look out for the next edition of The Marketing Index about to be released later this month.
…ask them to design your product as well!
Times have certainly changed; there’s a new cool breeze blowing through marketing and it’s sweeping away the old guard. People are finding better ways to do things and harnessing the immense power of technology that every business – and yes, that includes YOU! – have at our very fingertips, right now.
You’ve possibly heard about the revolution that’s known as Permission-Based Marketing. As far back as 1999 Seth Godin and his team identified the fact that new ways of thinking about marketing could turn the traditional method of ‘spray and pray’ on it’s head. Seth explained that we could ‘turn strangers in to friends and friends into customers’.
Welcome to a new dawn in the story of marketing..!
Despite the fact that this idea has been about for over ten years, I still come across people who refuse to accept there could just be a better way to spend their marketing budget. They continue to flog the proverbial dead horse by sending out marketing that is dull, completely irrelevant and to people who really have no interest in how many sheets of paper a photocopier can spit out in a minute.
Only a year or so ago I met someone who suggested the idea of using facebook for marketing was going to damage their prestige brand and, after all, facebook was just for kids! Sadly this mediaeval perspective still exists in some dark corners today. Thankfully other companies, the smart ones, are making hay while others sleep.
I’ve recently read that Papa John’s, the American pizza company, is using facebook to recruit fans and then asking them to come up with a winning pizza recipe! Talk about engage with your target market! This stroke of genius is simple, fast and has already caught the attention of our pizza-loving friends. Over 6,500 people entered the Papa’s Speciality Pizza Challenge and the facebook application has been loaded over 80,000 times.
Oh, and I think they’ve sold a few more pizzas too!
Now, your business may not be operating on the same scale as Papa John’s but there’s a clear and simple lesson to be learned here; engage your audience and find out what they really want and make them feel part of your team.
The fatal flaw that can be found in so many businesses is that they’re designing products and services they like the idea of and want to sell; instead they should be asking the customers what they actually want and create it for them.
So I’ll leave you with a few challenging questions:
- How do you engage with your target customers to find out what they really want?
- How do you know that what you’re selling today meets the needs and desires of others?
- What could you do, within the next fourteen days, to turn your business into a customer magnet?
And… What’s your combination for that killer pizza on a Saturday night?!