Blogs | 1230 TWC - Part 5

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"I always feel inspired and refocused when I come to 1230 TWC"
Johanne Narayn


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Roller Banners – for the vertically challenged!

lightbulb_momentladder_peepsThe average height of a roller banner, you know the ones that arrive in a neat carry-case, retractable, is 6’ 5”.

I’m 5’ 4½”.  So opening the case, pulling out the banner, hooking the looong pole into the top of the banner, takes some doing, (standing on a chair is not an option, borrowing a tall person – maybe, but not always readily available) unless you have a method.

And I have the perfect method!

To extend the Roller Banner

  • Remove the banner from the case
  • Remove the folded pole from the banner insert
  • Extend the pole to full size
  • Place roller banner on the floor
  • Insert the pole into the metal casing hole

Important
Do not pull out banner feet at this stage

  • With plenty of room behind you, hold the pole, grip the top of the roller banner firmly, walk backwards pulling out the banner horizontally as you go – roughly shoulder height.
  • With the banner fully extended (still roughly shoulder height) hook the pole into the top of the banner.
  • Push the banner into the upright position
  • Pull out banner feet.
  • Bingo – one fully extended roller-banner!

To collapse the Roller Banner

  • Push the banner feet back into the base
  • Reverse above details.

dancing_beans

1230 are you sitting comfortably

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Tip # 2  Neck rolls

Desk-side exercise – and lose calories!

exercise_bar_whiteLooking forward, slowly allow your head to relax to the left side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder, stretch and hold before straightening.  Repeat with the right side.  Pull your chin in and lower towards your chest, hold then turn your head slowly to the right to look over your shoulder, hold and turn back slowly to the centre.  Repeat turning to the left

Are You Sitting Comfortably? Tip # 1 Shoulder shrugs

exercise_bar_whiteDesk-side exercise – and lose calories!

With arms hanging by your sides, raise your shoulders upwards and hold, then let them drop down and relax. Repeat…

Time-saving Tip No 3

How to save time when you’re marketing your business

When it comes to marketing your business one of the biggest problems for a lot of people is finding the time to do it.

There was a reason why you set up your own business and you want to spend as much time as you can doing that stuff – not having to market. But your marketing doesn’t have to be a time drain. Look out for my three time saving tips – you’ll be well on your way to freeing up your time so you can do more of what you love.

3 – Save time by automating your marketing

So I’ve already spoken about ways in which you can save yourself time by planning and taking advantage of time management training. But how can you actually save time with your marketing?

Easily.

153403731There are a bunch of very cost effective tools out there that can help you save time by automating a lot, if not all, of your marketing. If you are promoting yourself using social networks you can use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite  to schedule your social posts well in advance.

Similarly with your email newsletter, if you don’t have the time to sit down and write individual newsletters why not plan yourself an autoresponder series? You can find out how to do that easily with Constant Contact here. It will allow you to reach just as many people on your list, but once you’ve done the work you can set it and forget it.

Marketing your business need not be hard or time consuming. Just remember that there are plenty of people out there to give you a hand. I’d love to hear what your biggest marketing challenge is. Let me know in the comments.

Time-saving Tip No 2

When it comes to marketing your business one of the biggest problems for a lot of people is finding the time to do it.

There was a reason why you set up your own business and you want to spend as much time as you can doing that stuff – not having to market. But your marketing doesn’t have to be a time drain. Look out for my three time saving tips – you’ll be well on your way to freeing up your time so you can do more of what you love..

No 2 – Take advantage of time saving tips and training

picjumbo.com_Girl_sunlightNo time to relax?  For a lot of people time saving and planning doesn’t come naturally. This isn’t anything to worry about for two reasons. The first is that you’re not alone. The second is that there are a bunch of tools and resources out there that will help you to save time and spend more time doing the things you love in your business.

If you pop into your local book store you’ll probably find a bunch of stuff on time management that will help you get started. Alternatively if you prefer getting face to face assistance, why not attend a time management workshop? You can find out about the ones run by 1230 Business School right here  Sessions being added all the time.

Time-saving Tip No 1

How to save time when you’re marketing your business

When it comes to marketing your business one of the biggest problems for a lot of people is finding the time to do it.

There was a reason why you set up your own business and you want to spend as much time as you can doing that stuff – not having to market. But your marketing doesn’t have to be a time drain. Look out for my three time saving tips – you’ll be well on your way to freeing up your time so you can do more of what you love.

No 1 – Take time to plan

PlanB_yellow_blobTaking the time to plan will make sure that your marketing is most effective. Before you start diving in at the deep end, take stock of what you have in terms of your marketing resources. List where you have a social presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) if you’re using an email newsletter make a note of that and list any blogs and websites associated with your business.

Then figure out exactly what you want your marketing to achieve. It will most likely be different for all of the channels that you have, but if you have it written down and write down a few steps towards how you will achieve that, you’ll be on your way to marketing success.

My social presence:
Facebook – Jackie Groundsell and 1230 The Women’s Company
Twitter – @1230Jackie
LinkedIn
Pinterest 

Look out for Tip 2 – coming soon

How to save time when you’re marketing your business

When it comes to marketing your business one of the biggest problems for a lot of people is finding the time to do it.

There was a reason why you set up your own business and you want to spend as much time as you can doing that stuff – not having to market. But your marketing doesn’t have to be a time drain.

Look out for my three time saving tips – you’ll be well on your way to freeing up your time so you can do more of what you love.

Learn to Earn

Yesterday’s 1230 TWC Maidstone meeting was pretty powerful!

Not only was I surrounded by some magical inspiring women, we were also in a new venue – Trish, owner of Nelson’s Restaurant looked after us superbly and the food was delicious.

But there was more than that…

Lucy Hall gave us guidance and expertise in setting our Strategy Checklist in her workshop – 1 in a series of 4.  Unwittingly, she guided me to a new strap line – “Learn to Earn”.  Lucy asked us to think “Why am I doing Social Media, what do I want to achieve?”   My response was – “I can learn and earn.”  Thank you Lucy!

This set me to thinking – We’re all in business to make money – right?  We have to stay ahead of the competition; it’s also said that we learn something new every day.  So not only is Social Media a great way to learn stuff, we also need to learn to give our businesses the successful edge, to enable us to earn.

So, think about it.  Are you learning to earn?  Let me know how you do this.  The best example gets a FREE 1230 TWC Membership!!

Before I leave this blog, I have to mention Britt Whyatt our guest speaker.  Britt and I have been in touch virtually for a while, but meeting her yesterday was something else.  If you get the opportunity – no, make the opportunity, to hear her story – believe me, you’ll be blown away as I was.

Let’s imagine

..that you’ve never been to a networking event – well, it happens.  You could be a start-up, never seen the value of going, whatever.  How do you know which to attend?  What do you do when you get there?  Do you need to prepare?   What do you do afterwards?

3 magic pointers to help you make those decisions

What is business networking anyway?  Networking (formal) is a low-cost method of making contacts with like-minded people to build trusting relationships for business growth.  Formal networking is at organised events, informal networking is talking to anyone, anywhere – supermarket, school gates.

So…

1)  Where to go

This decision can be confusing and difficult with so many choices.  If you’re a start-up business, funds are often tight, so it’s tempting to attend only “free” networking events.  They’re “free” inasmuch as you don’t pay an entry fee.  They’re not actually free because you need to factor in your travel time, time there, plus what happens afterwards.  You’re likely to meet a lively and enthusiastic bunch of people.  The down-side is that there is no structure to these events, there may be a speaker, but you are left pretty much to your own devices.  And if you aren’t prepared in how to manage your time whilst you’re there, attendance could be a total waste of your time.

Paid for networking events, in the main have a successful structure – perhaps a speaker and particularly important, the opportunity to showcase your business offering with a 1 minute talk to everyone present.  Notice I say “your business offering”, not “what you do” – we’ll come to that in a moment.

All networking takes effort, and success from your time doesn’t happen overnight.  Would you marry the first person you meet?  Well, some do I know, but generally you take time to get to know the person before leaping! It takes time to build relationships and is often a slow-burn so you need to attend regularly – otherwise, how does anyone know about you, you’re invisible.

Don’t be a networking butterfly, dashing here there and everywhere.  Try some events out, make the decisions and attend regularly – remember, you’re building relationships.

2)  What to do & Preparation

Having done your research on the type of people likely to be there, make sure you have the following with you:

  • Business cards or flyers
  • Pen/pencil paper (to make notes when listening to other speakers).  This helps you identify those to follow up with – don’t dismiss anyone.  Useful for referring to in future.Also useful should you not have any cards with you as you’re waiting on the printer – it happens.Always have these with you for those informal times too!
  • Pockets!  Pockets are extremely useful when networking.  Your business cards in one pocket, those received in the other.  For us girls, this means no fluffing around in handbags!
  • Your diary – to book those all-important one-to-ones – strike while the iron is hot!

If you’re a newbie to networking what to do when you arrive may seem daunting.  At paid for events (certainly at 1230 TWC meetings) you’ll be introduced to someone to get you started.  If not, then look around to see if anyone else is looking a bit lost.  Groups of people will generally open up and include you in the conversation.  If not, then ask the organiser to introduce you.

Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone, circulate to make the most of your time there.

3)  Afterwards

So what do you when you return to the office armed with business cards, flyers and notes?  Quantity doesn’t count, it’s quality of contacts.  So which can you manage better – 300 contacts including follow-ups, or 3?

  • Follow up – always do what you’ve promised.  Arrange 1:1 meetings to find out more.  BTW – your 1 minute should focus on how your business could benefit the audience.  Saying “I’m an IT trainer” is likely to turn the lights out in their eyes, but if you say “I can save you loads of time” then the spark will be there and they will come and find you.
  • Add the contact details to your database – you do have a database, don’t you?
  • Either phone or email – email doesn’t need to be lengthy.

Best of luck in building your relationships and business – you might find this short video helpful too  Please give me a call if there’s anything I can help you with.  020 8650 8015

Small businesses – Get with the times!

clocksThis weekend, I had the pleasure of going to hear my friend (and fab newsletter creator) Karen Haller speak at the Grand Designs LIVE show at London’s Excel. Grand Designs LIVE is a huge show with lots of stuff going on and lots of things to buy.

Some of the items on sale were big (e.g. whole conservatories, hot tubs, or furniture sets), and some of them were small (e.g. food and drink, kitchen gadgets, jewellery cleaner). As is my normal habit, I bought foodie things to take home to my husband, and would have bought a whole bunch of other stuff if I’d had the chance. However, 4 out of 5 of the stalls I wanted to buy from didn’t take credit cards. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me and it’s starting to get annoying.

Why bother with card payments?

Before we get into the how of taking credit card payments, let’s look at why a small business, like those who take stalls at shows and fairs all over the country, should do so. There are two BIG reasons:

1. No cash – No sale.

I pretty much don’t carry cash any more. I’m too scared of losing it, and I don’t like schlepping a lot of small change around in my over-stuffed purse. I normally have about £10 in cash on me tops, and I’m not unusual in that.

I also live in a town and work in a city. Most of the places I spend money (cafe, supermarket, newsagent, hairdresser, train station, etc.) take cards, so I’m used to paying that way. It’s my default to whip out my debit card for daily purchases. Again, I’m not alone – and with the use of contact-less payments on the rise in big cities, that’s not going to reduce.

So, if you want me to buy from you, let me pay you buy card. Before you ask, yes there are a couple of cash machines at Excel, however they are out of the hall, down the corridor, down the stairs, and right by the exit to the car park. Not the best place to grab some money before going back to buy more! This meant that the lovely cheese and the amazing jewellery cleaner did not come home with me yesterday. I probably would have spent about £30 on those things.

2. Big sales beat small sales.

Even if by some miracle I have some cash on me, what I can buy from you is limited by what’s in my purse. So, when I went to the yummy olives, baklava and nuts stall, I could only buy £10-worth of deliciousness, rather than the £20-ish that I wanted. They literally halved the amount I could spend with them.

However, on the funky kitchen slicer thingy stall, I bought two for £10 instead of just one at £7 because they took cards!

You won’t like it when I’m angry…

I mentioned earlier that this really annoyed me. I want to clarify that.

I’m not annoyed because small businesses’ not taking cards cramps my shopping style (that’s just an irritation). What really annoys me is that small business owners are HARMING THEMSELVES because they don’t make it easy for customers to pay them.

It makes me want to cry when I see a small business turning away good custom because they don’t have their act together. I really care about small businesses, and the people that run them, and I want them to thrive – but to do so they (and that means you!) have to get with the times.

So how do you do it?

Traditionally, in order to take credit card payments, a company would have to get a merchant account with a credit card payments provider. However, that could often be difficult and pricey.

However, now there are other ways to take card payments – whether you’re at your premises, or out and about, and one of those is by using a device called PayPal Here.

Very simply, it allows you to use the Here machine and your mobile phone to take on the spot payments from credit cards. If you have a PayPal account, you can use it. Simples!

…but payments aren’t the only issue.

Taking the payment methods that people want to use is only one example of how small businesses can keep up to date with what their customers are looking for. Here are a few other things that you should look at for your business:

  • Enabling customers to contact you via social media
  • Having up-to-date information on your website
  • Taking online orders/bookings
  • Offering a choice of delivery options for products
  • Being findable on mobile devices

…there are many more, so let me know in the comments what you think small businesses today should be doing.

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