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September Newsletter

10 weeks to make 2013 your best year yet
When I first thought of this article it was going to be a spin on the 12 days of Christmas but I am running 2 weeks behind myself. Have you ever done that? So now, to be flexible, its 10 weeks to make 2013 your best year yet instead! And believe me that's plenty of time to finish this year on a high.

In the Business Growth Academy we start every week asking our groups – 'what is the single action that, if taken, could have the biggest impact on your business right now?' And then tell them to go do it! So as you read these 10 week steps, to make sure this year is your best ever, apply the same question to each point and pick the action that can have the biggest impact on your business results.

  1. Week 1 – plan the rest of your year so you know what you want to achieve before the year is out. What is it that, when achieved, will make this the best year ever? If you have business or personal goals revisit them. See what you have achieved and what is still to be achieved and make a list of the actions you need to take to get the results you planned. Schedule them across a 10 week plan and prioritise those that will have the biggest impact.
  2. Week 2 – review where you are now. Update your management accounts, record any other key performance indicators and see how they have moved since the start of the year. Celebrate progress. Notice how much gap there is between your goals and where you are now. Check the actions you set in week one will get you to your goals.
  3. Week 3 – do some marketing. Which route to market will secure the extra leads that you want this year? Who do you want as a customer and how do you get your offering in front of them?
  4. Week 4 – focus on sales. How many leads have you nit followed up that you could follow up and convert into cash before the year ends? Go follow them up!
  5. Week 5 is about working smarter. If you feel like you have spent the year running up a steep mountain only to reach the top and see another summit still to climb then this step is for you! In our business growth groups we keep timesheets to help identify where our time goes so that we can allocate tasks to others. What are you doing that someone else could do faster, better or that when passed on would free you to do something only you can do.
  6. Week 6 – building on from week 5 what systems do you need to introduce that would help you and your team work smarter. Start by listing them all and then prioritise those that will have the greatest impact.
  7. Week 7 – we are readily approaching the year end now. Who and what do you need to follow up and bring conclusion to this year? Are there any offers you need to make to close the deal? What about joint ventures you want to progress? Achieving closure on those last few deals will make the difference to your annual results.
  8. Week 8 - review your plans for the year and flex them to ensure they are still appropriate. How have you done and what is left to achieve?
  9. Week 9 - relax and celebrate, after all it is Christmas!
  10. Week 10 – with the new year on you, it is time to start all over again. Plan what it is you want 2014 to bring you and your business.
Of course, many of you will not wait 10 weeks to complete these steps. However, we all have different time available and a different approach so if you really only have time and focus for one key thing per week splitting it like this will still get you results.

And if you do want help with this there are still just a few spaces on our introductory workshops running next week – to join us and finish your year on a high:

For Tuesday 29th October, at 9.30am book here:
http://thriveandsurvive29oct2013.eventbrite.co.uk/

And for Wednesday 30th October, at 6pm book here:
https://thriveandsurvive30oct2013.eventbrite.co.uk/

Wishing you a productive and fun filled end of year

Joanne




Get noticed – using video to connect with your customers
By Laura at NeonCloud TV


Our guest article this month comes from NeonCloud who earlier this month created a fantastic introduction to the business growth academy for me. To see this video click here:

BGA introductory video

I am therefore delighted to introduce you to Laura from NeonCloud to share her tips on using video in your business:

We all like to be told that we’re doing a good job by our customers and many businesses recognise that sharing this positive feedback turns just a nice compliment into a valuable marketing tool.

Written testimonials are a common sight on many websites, but what elements do they need to make them even more effective? Is it important that they should be trustworthy and seem genuine? Is it important that they are engaging and showcase the benefits of a businesses products, expertise, or whatever it is that makes that business special? If you consider the answer to those questions to be yes, then perhaps what you should also be considering is, is there a way to get more out of your testimonials and make them really work for you?

Imagine this was a written testimonial from one of your customers:

The products are great and I would certainly recommend them to family and friends, N Shah, Chelmsford

Seems like a happy customer. But are readers now going to buy this product on the basis of that testimonial? How inspiring is it and how genuine does it seem?

What if you saw N Shah explaining why he thought the products were great? Now he becomes a person we can identify with. We can see him speaking and we trust that he means what he says. Now we can see the products too, maybe he’s using them as he talks, demonstrating how useful they are to him. Suddenly we have lots of possibilities, a line on a page has turned into a real customer showing us just how useful your product is to them. Also by adding visuals the message becomes far more memorable.

Here is an example; this is a video testimonial we produced for a manufacturer of storage trolleys for vets. They wanted to show their products in action and clearly demonstrate the benefits of using them to a modern, busy veterinary practice. (This video does contain scenes of keyhole surgery).

http://www.gratnellsveterinary.com

Of course it is important to think about why your customers may want to help you market your business in this way. People do enjoy talking about positive experiences and things they are passionate about. If your clients are businesses themselves then they have an added bonus to taking part. Using the above video as an example; what impression do you, the viewer have of this veterinary practice? Is it fair to say that the practice is attractive, the vets are patient-focused and using modern techniques and equipment? These are positive attributes that any veterinary practice would like as many people as possible to know about.

If video testimonial is a marketing tool you would like to explore then the first step is to consider who should be your testimonial. Obviously your ideal subject depends on your business but a few points to consider are: Using video to share your testimonials can be a fantastic asset for your business. Going back to the vets, imagine that content as just written text on the page. Would it have been as easy to understand, would the benefits of the product have been showcased as well and perhaps most importantly would the message have been as memorable? Whether you supply businesses or consumers, video testimonials offer a huge range of creative options from basic talking heads to ‘documentary-style’ content.

If you are interested in finding out more about how video testimonials can help you to market your business then please contact us at NeonCloud – 01206 544 773 or e-mail laura@neoncloud.tv. We can use our expertise to ensure that the video we produce for you conveys the messages you need to effectively market your business.

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