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Launch Your Business - 6 Tips

Launch Your Business – 6 Tips

6 Things to Think About Before You Launch Your Business

Here at All Things Scene we can help guide and navigate you on how best to help you achieve top results when you launch your business.   From the initial concept and processes of what to consider, the design of your website, how best to approach social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. and, exactly what approach that should be.

6 Things to Think About Before You Launch Your Business

Getting online whether starting from scratch or migrating an existing business on to the digital plane is never an easy feat. But as with most things in life, planning ahead is your best option. Think rationally, decide what you want to achieve and most importantly; never be afraid to ask for help.

These 6 starting points will put you in a better place as you Launch Your Business:

  1. Decide what to sell and through which media platform

A crucial decision, if you are serious about a plan to launch your business, one important point is choosing what to sell online. Once you have decided on your niche product or service it is important that you stick to it and iron out those inevitable wrinkles in the sales plan. Take what you know about the sales track for the product in the shops and apply as much as you can to your online approach.

  1. Where will you sell your products?

Leave the geeky stuff to the professionals. An easy route for any online business is a full-service ecommerce platform. This can help you get started with very little technical effort, and its flexibility will support your business as you grow. If you choose to go it alone and set up a standalone website; the first step is deciding on an available domain name and securing hosting which will support ecommerce, then you can set about developing your site. This is not an easy task for an amateur.

There are of course easier options for selling online through established channels such as EBay, Amazon and Etsy.

  1. Would an online store such as Etsy or EBay be right for you?

Sites such Etsy or EBay may sound easier initially, but you would not have the brand control that having your own website gives you. With your own site you remain in complete control of your product, marketing and pricing so that you can truly scale your business. Many third party sites like Amazon and EBay take a percentage of your cut from the start and this makes it harder to see how profitable your business is.

  1. Funding for an online business

Funding for a start up will always be a challenge, and launching any business is costly. The good news is that setting up online when starting small is a greatly reduced expense from setting up in the high street. You can attempt to gain funding from your bank with a detailed business plan which a business advisor can help you draft or you could go through a more modern approach such as a kick-starter campaign which many big thinkers have had success with in the past but my advice would be to start small and build up. Securing large sums of money to throw into grand ideas at the beginning might prove frivolous as you go on

  1. Get the right look and think about establishing a trustworthy brand

Online shoppers make a snap decision within seconds of loading a website, whether you are selling double-glazed windows or perfume or bespoke stationary, and that all important first few seconds will establish if they follow through with their transaction. Getting them there is half the battle but completing the “checkout” is of course the most important. It is not just about looks though, site functionality must be smooth and easy to navigate otherwise a frustrated customer will simply sign off. This is where having the professional’s design the site pays off.

A trusted brand is an exceptionally powerful tool. People are creatures of habit and will always go back to a site or business they have used before and branding helps create this loyalty. So don’t be afraid to enlist professional designers to help you develop a logo or colour scheme for your site because something as small as a recognisable logo will attract repeat business.

  1. Will you use social media and email marketing for your business?

Once you have decide on your product, your site and business plan you will want to keep momentum going and marketing is invaluable.

Email marketing is highly measurable and highly targeted, this will generate your highest ROI out of any organic channel. Email marketing can also be outsourced to various free apps or marketing agencies can guide you through the pitfalls. With Social Media having such an extensive reach to all manner of folks you would be a fool not to utilise this direct line to potential customers. There is no shame in employing a professional social media writer or marketing company that can grow your online presence and this will free up you valuable time to focus on the running of the business.

Following these as a basis for starting up your ecommerce venture will hopefully keep you on track and motivate you, clear small steps is all it takes to quick gain pace and increase your business into a fully fledge success.

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Planning to Market Your Business and Basic Marketing Strategies – Tips for Dave!

Planning to Market Your Business and Basic Marketing Strategies – Tips for Dave!

What marketing strategies work for businesses today? What are the best ways to get customers to know about a business, contact them or make a purchase? Finding the right marketing strategies for a small business has always been challenging, but the growing number of marketing channels makes it even more difficult to decide what marketing strategy to use. So, what is the best way of promoting your company? Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed marketing idea that will send a steady stream of customers to your door. No matter what your business does, you must use multiple techniques to attract and keep customers.

Firstly you will need to identify who your target market is. It’s no good planning an amazing marketing strategy with no idea who you want to aim at. What type of person will buy the product or service? How old is the person likely to buy it? How much money will they need? Where are they most likely to look for this product? There is a myriad of profiles that your ideal customer might be. Narrowing down the target audience for specific marketing strategies will help make them more successful at gaining the customer you want.

You have to promote what the customer wants to buy. Most of the time a customer will not want the service you perform; they want a solution to a problem or the benefit that the service provides. For example, with a plumber, the customer doesn’t really care about plumbing; they just want their leaky pipe fixed. If you need help finding out what your customer’s want to buy, ask them. You can use this information to get better results from your marketing by focusing on specific problems your service solves or benefits you provide. Making yourself a trusted resource to your customers and prospects will help when your marketing plan goes live. Customers like to buy from people they know and trust, and don’t like being ‘sold’ a product. Become a trusted source by providing information to help customers make a good choice, rather than forcing a sale of something the customer doesn’t want, they’ll be less likely to trust you or provide you with any more custom. Setting up professional profiles can really help with a marketing strategy.

It’s a well known fact that a huge number of the public use public media. Set yourself or your business up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and include a link to your website on all of these pages. If you meet a potential prospect and they happen to lose your business card, if they type your name into a search engine they will be more likely to find you through social media. You can also use discussion groups to put across useful information or resources, widening the chance of a bigger audience for any marketing campaign.

Now to start with actual marketing techniques, the most basic would be to write articles to post onto your website. Although this may not attract people, it will help once people to come to the business. Well written, expert articles can help the credibility of your business; as long as the articles are related to your products or your services they will have a better impact. Don’t be afraid to include an ‘about the author’ section to give customers a little bit of information about yourself, or whoever wrote the article.

A really simple way to start marketing is with brochures or flyers, you can print off a small amount and hand them out in the local area, attend some membership group meetings and hand them out here if allowed. It might seem like a basic and flawed method for finding customers, but if you start locally, you are onto a winner!

Volunteering to speak at local business groups, which are always in need of interesting speakers to attract members to their meetings, can really help attract other business to you if you’re B2B based. Talk a little about yourself and what your business specialises in, but mostly focus on the audience’s information needs and problems they want solving. Use your social media presence to connect with people. Tweet, mention, comment, like, link to your articles, use others articles. Just staying active on social media can be a really effective way of marketing. Social media can help grow your name and get you speciality seen by the customers you want to see it. As well as social media you can use email to stay in contact with people and grow your name, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations, get your name out there. Having a fully functioning and attractive website is the perfect way to show you are a legitimate business and using your website to promote your business can also be a very good technique for marketing. As a majority of people will use the internet to find any product or service they need, making sure that your website is running smooth and is great at grabbing attention will be key to marketing well. A poorly organised, slow and boring website will give a very bad opinion to customers about your business.

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Finally, never stop marketing. Once business starts coming in, it’s easy to think that you can ease off of marketing or networking yourself, but this would be a massive mistake. In order to keep customers coming in regularly, you need to keep the pressure up on your marketing strategy.

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Creating Killer Content – Dave Learns How!

Creating Killer Content – Dave Learns How!

Creating powerful and gripping content can be difficult, and if you don’t know where to begin then the task seems that bit more daunting. Dave was having this problem, but he really wanted to use a blog to keep his customers updated about the daily news of his business. After spending several hours attempting to write a decent opening paragraph, Dave started feeling useless. After spending a few more hours trying to turn his blog into something great and failing, Dave decided to give All Things Scene a call…

After explaining what he was having trouble with, Dave asked All Things Scene to give him some help with his blog. All Things Scene understood Dave’s problem, and gave him advice on how to craft a great blog as well as set up and write a few to get him under way. Firstly All Things Scene informed Dave that in order to start writing a blog, he would need to spend time thinking of a topic. This topic would be the base for the entire article, so it needs to be interesting and gripping. If you take time developing a strong topic, the article tends to flow better once you begin writing, and is more likely to engage with the readers. Next Dave was told that he would have to create a catchy title, something that will draw people’s attention. When you have your title, you will know what theme the blog will follow. It could be comical, serious or informative and the title will flaunt this.

Dave was starting to feel a bit more confident about starting his blogs, however All Things Scene still had a few more tips to share with Dave. They told him that he would need to make sure his opening lines were just as interesting as the title, because this is what will pull the reader deeper into the article. This can be done in many ways; asking a question, telling a story or saying something unexpected, just to name a few. After telling Dave to start the article with strong opening lines, All Things Scene showed Dave that he would have to make his points clear when writing the rest of the content for his article, you’re not writing a mystery novel, so make it simple for the reader to understand the point being made. Once a clear point has been made, Dave will need to add depth to it. There are lots and lots of ways to add depth to an article, for example; adding your opinion, looking at the opposite of your points, using quotation or examples. By adding depth to an article, you make the reader more interested in what has been written. Lastly, All Thing Scene let Dave know that he had to make sure his article was well polished. People don’t like spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, so it is important to double, triple or quadruple check the article and ensure there are zero mistakes. Get another person top check the spelling and grammar before publishing the post.

With all this information, Dave now knew exactly how to persevere in writing his own blogs. All Things Scene had provided Dave with enough knowledge to create his first decent blog. Dave knew that All Things Scene could write articles for him at realistic prices if he did struggle, and that they would do it to a timescale that suited Dave.

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A Challenge for Most Businesses is Knowing How to Retain Customers – Dave Learns How!

A Challenge for Most Businesses is Knowing How to Retain Customers – Dave Learns How!

A challenge for most businesses is knowing how to retain customers. It’s well known that bringing in new customers is much more costly than maintaining the ones that you already have, so Dave wanted to make sure he kept his customers coming back rather than letting them disappear after the first sale. Dave spent hours trying to brainstorm and plan ways to engage with his customers, but kept coming up empty. Dave decided to call All Things Scene, where he received helpful, tailored advice that was exactly what he needed. All Things Scene gave Dave several tips on how to retain his customers; Firstly they told Dave that he had to be reliable if he wanted his customers to be loyal to his business. Reliability is formed by creating a consistent product or service. Customers all want to receive the same product or service that a business promises to deliver. All Things Scene used the example of McDonalds to emphasize how reliability can be achieved. McDonalds have standardized all their products, so if you went into any of their restaurants around the World, you would always get the same Big Mac and fries. Dave was assured that reliability results in repeat business, because if he assures his customers that they will receive the same top-quality product or service every time they do business with him, then Dave will see an increase in their loyalty towards him. Dave understood exactly what All Things Scene meant, but this wasn’t the only advice they had for him.

Dave was informed that he would also need to make his products or services credible. Credibility is enhanced when you do exactly what you say you’re going to do – every time you do it. All Things Scene let Dave know that he shouldn’t try to hide anything from his customers. Customers understand that a business is there to make profit; it’s a bad idea to try and imply that you are only there for fun. Dave needs to provide clear value and remind his customers of this value. If they are already a customer, then being more credible will surely increase their loyalty towards him. All Things Scene went on to tell Dave that he will have to be responsive to his customer’s needs. He would have to share his customer’s sense of urgency. Provide them with easy access to information they will require, such as delivery schedules, tracking of shipments, or anything that Dave would need to supply. Dave could integrate this into his website if possible as people are coming to expect such access online. Otherwise he could end up with some nasty comments on his answering machine! Dave would need to have an aggressive customer recovery strategy. He has to be sure that all employees recognize the value of each customer and to teach them to recover potentially lost customers, even if the short-term cost may seem high. Showing his customers that they’re to his business is important to Dave in order to really increase how loyal they are to him. Lastly Dave was told to look for things that give customers difficulty and to solve them. Work to reduce customer paperwork (especially repetitious forms). Continuously simplify processes for the customer. Consider delivery alternatives. Ask for feedback about what is helpful or nonproductive. Listen to what the customer needs. The information Dave received from All Things Scene helped him to simplify his plan, and ensure he was making his customer’s come first which would help towards retaining their loyalty. All Things Scene had worked with Dave to understand exactly what he wanted for his business and were able to supply professional solutions without offering services that were unnecessary. Dave knew that this wasn’t the only thing All Things Scene could help him with, and knew he would always be able to rely on them for help if he needed it.

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