Tag Archives: London Virtual Office

Networking: Great Tips For Long Term Business Partnerships

1. Always be networking.

networking session

Social media makes it so simple to connect. Social media is amazing, but it’s not that easy to build long-lasting business relationships, especially with a person who has an extensive network of contacts. How make yourself stand out so you can develop a deeper connection with ideal contacts?

It seems to me that  a good starting point is to attend live events to network with the right people in person. Let them see the person behind the Linkedin and Twitter profile photo.  That way you can connect with the movers and shakers in your niche and actually get deals done.  If you atten

I always make it a point to attend the big speeches at conferences so you can get a feel for what issues the organisers belive will resonate.  You can always mail the keynote speakers after a conference and refer to their speeches and points you felt you connected on.

In order to develop a positive relationship with someone you meet at a conference it is good to focus on 3 or  4 key points where you think your interests intertwine.

2. Nurture Relationships Without an Agenda.

Don’t focus primarily on what you can get from a new contact, abruptly asking for what you want. If you are seeking financing for startup or expansion you should take a more rounded approach.  Seek help and information rather than instant investment.  Develop contacts as friends rather than as 2-legged banks.

Entrepreneurs should seek out the ways they can provide additional value to potential partners or investors by simply being naturally curious. A great question to ask might be something like: Who would be an ideal referral for your business, and how would you like me to introduce you?

The key is to provide as much value as you can without expectation. In the end, it’s usually worth it, as reciprocity is one of the critical components in creating influence, according to Robert Cialdini in his bestselling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. During his research, Cialdini found that if you do something for someone first, they are more likely to reciprocate. He also learned the favours don’t have to be equivalent in value, so sometimes a small favour can beget a bigger one in return. If you continue to provide value within your relationships without the expectation of a quid pro quo, it establishes trust and creates a natural bond.  In fact, this approach is remarkably similar to what relationship therapists would suggest in couples counselling.

Reciprocity is a very strong instict that lies at the basis of many business relationships.  This is why marketeers are keen to give prospects something ‘free’ that is of some value to establish a chain of reciprocity right from the start.

3. Ask, But in a Subtle Manner. 

If you’ve appropriately nurtured a relationship, you can naturally align interests that can provide synergy to the deal. So when you believe the time is right, you can make your request. However, the context of how you ask is just as critical as what you ask. Rather than directly asking about partnering on a project, it’s better to ask in a way that lets the other party initiate the move to a deal.

For example, schedule a time to talk with your potential business partner and position your ask as follows: “Can I get your advice on something? I’m looking to partner on a business project with someone and wanted to see if there’s anyone in your network you can recommend.”

This strategy gives your potential partner the option to express interest and learn more if they are curious. If not, you are giving them an easy way to defer. Either way, you can take a step in the right direction without harming your relationship, and you gain the opportunity to share your vision.

When you are talking with our team here at Hold Everything please feel free to ask us if we have other clients who might want to network or partner with you.  Our clients are very entrepreneurial and open to new projects.  We might just be able to do a bit of business ‘matchmaking’ for you.

 

How to Create a Powerful Business Strategy for 2020

business strategy

business strategist in virtual office

Evaluating Your Business Strategy

A new year, a new business quarter. This is a great time to look forward and develop your business strategy for the months ahead.  Management thinking suggests that you start by examining your key strengths.  Obviously, these are basic factors that have got you safely through to 2020 so spend a moment examine them critically.   Perhaps you are great at customer relationships and that you outgun your competitors in responding to customer queries and complaints.  Perhaps your key strength is market awareness or keen prices.  A successful key strategy is something that is reliant on you and your resources and not on something that you depend on elsewhere.  This is often the case in internet marketing where your strength depends on your affiliate relationship to another company entirely.  It might make you money but the key strength does not ultimately lie in your hands.

Grab Your Opportunities

Second, the best strategies seize one of your biggest opportunities and play into it.  Seizing a key opportunity is the attack strategy that lets you score points and win the game.  This may be investing heavily into a specific product or a market niche.  This is the idea of feeding your winners and starving your lowers. The secret is that any winning strategy must help you seize a key opportunity that has genuine potential to yield significant results and help you scale up..   For example, if you are exporting to a region like Italy, perhaps you should look at the opportunity to set up your own distribution on the ground in that marketplace rather than us an agent.  It night cost money in the short term but if a realistic opportunity arises then maybe you should grab it and run with it.

Lessen Your Business Threats

Third, the finest strategies reduce or make irrelevant  one’s  gravest business threats. For instance, if you sense a threat in that 65% of your turnover is with just one client, then by following the first 2 strategies I mention, it will help you grow other customer fulfilling relationships so that you have some safety net from the loss or diminishment of this giant customer. Certainly this is one of the hardest areas for many business owners to look at, since we don’t wish to acknowledge our flaws or shortcomings, but by identifying our achilles heels.  However, by doing this, we can then develop a path  to overcome them or lessen their impact on our future development .

So as you plan out the year ahead take a  look at your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and try sketch out a careful plan to achieve your goals and reach the next goal within your business plan. Remember our team of experts are here to help you grow your business.

 

3 Top Ways to Improve Your Small Business Marketing Using Psychology

 

Here at Hold Everything, our main concern has always been for the small business which is why we are enthusiastic to dispense helpful information about small business marketing. Which is why we are glad to share advice from Melinda Emerson’s site who is a recognised American guru on small business marketing ideas.

Small business marketing can be tough sometimes. As well as focusing on lead generation, you have to spend time nurturing and pushing customers through your sales funnels to create essential customer loyalty. Sometimes, you could benefit from extra strategies to give your small business marketing an edge. Using the power of psychology in your marketing will add power and potency to your marketing messages, generating more customers and ultimately, more sales for your small business. 

How to Use Psychology to Boost Your Small Business Marketing

In this article, we’ll take a look at 3 ways to use psychology to make sure your small business marketing is as powerful as possible.

The principle of reciprocity states that humans have a tendency, as well as a need, to want to give something back when they receive something. Or, put another way, people feel obligated to do something when something is done for them. This is GREAT news for your small business marketing! 

You can use the principle of reciprocity for new customer acquisition as well as nurturing existing customers by simply giving them something extra. A discount, a free coffee, a free product from your store or another free benefit. These strategies give customers extra value and the result is that they’ll be more likely to spend money or leave a review for other products or services (which boosts your brand awareness as well as sales). The principle of reciprocity is an important psychological tool for developing stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships too. It’s a win-win.

Top tip: Use your ‘gift’ to make customers feel unique and valued. Achieve this by using demographic insight or use existing customer data to send individualised rewards to each customer. 

2. Social Proof: Get Those Reviews

Think about it, when you see a long line at a store or restaurant, you immediately want to join it, don’t you? In your mind, something must be worth having at that business because so many other people are waiting to get in. That’s social proof- the psychological theory that says we all want to have or do what everyone else is just because they are. This is a really powerful marketing tool for any small business. 

You can capitalise on social proof in your small business marketing by building strong social media profiles on platforms such as Instagram or gathering great reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. For your customers, seeing how other people have visited, interacted with, or purchased from your business will make them want to do so as well; it’s kind of like FOMO (fear of missing out) for small business marketing. Taking the time to constantly boost your social proof by asking for user-generated content or customer reviews will really pay off, so don’t skimp on it.

Top tip: Make getting those essential reviews easier by automating your review request process via email or push SMS. Making it as easy as possible for every customer will increase your social proof, leading to more reviews and more customers.

3. Halo-Effect: Supercharge Brand Awareness

Every small business knows that for customer sales and new leads, brand awareness is essential. But the halo-effect takes brand awareness to the next level

The halo-effect is the tendency for positive associations of a person, brand or company in one area to influence positive associations for other areas too. For any small business, this amplification of brand values is a marketing goldmine. 

Use social media platforms to continually promote your brand reputation to customers and followers. Include case studies, testimonials and ask for user-generated content on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to consistently share what makes your brand or business great. 

Top tip: Your customer stories and experiences are essential for boosting your halo-effect. Make asking for reviews and user-generated testimonials a clear priority, highlighting every single time your small business does something great.

Psychology Can Amplify Small Business Marketing

Small business marketing is constantly developing. Small businesses need to create stand-out marketing campaigns that not only create new customer leads, but that also help generate lasting customer loyalty too. From the principle of reciprocity to the halo-effect, your small business marketing will benefit from utilising psychology and the tendencies of human nature to amplify your message and reach. Your marketing will be more powerful and cost-efficient, helping to make sure your small business is a lasting success.

Remember, the team at Hold Everything are waiting to help you expand your small business projects by giving you the support of a prestigious London office base and a helful secretarial team to answer your phone and forward your mail.

 

Some Great Tips To Expand Your Small Business

We all look at our small businesses and think ‘how can we develop in a good, strategic way?’  A very interesting article in the entrepreneur site has some great suggestions for all of us.  Here, then are 5 top tips from a world acclaimed source.

1. Develop a company culture.

A strong company culture is what will keep your small-business team together during times of exponential growth. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself and your team questions such as:

Why does our company exist?

Why do we do what we do?

What does our company believe in?

What are our values?

Where do we want our company to go, i.e. what’s our company’s vision?

When employees feel connected to your company, they’ll be more likely to stick it out through uncertain times. Plus, a strong company culture can actually attract new customers to your business, so be consistent with it and splash it everywhere, including your website, social-media platforms, marketing materials, etc. When your target audience can see the values behind your company, they can connect with your business on a deeper level.

2. Hire the right people. 

The hiring stage is critical to growing your business successfully. It’s important to take your time and find the right people for the job. Do so and things will go swimmingly. Hire the wrong people, and all of your hard work will come crumbling down. To avoid the latter fate, consider recruiting people based on their technical skills and experience. You should also determine if they’ll be a good fit during this time of growth. For instance, you could ask a candidate how they interpret your company’s vision to see if they’ll mesh well with your team. Startup life isn’t for everyone, so find employees who will be eager to take on the challenge.

3. Focus on innovation … in the right places.

When expanding your small business, you might be tempted to spend a bunch of money on improving your product or creating/offering more products. Instead, focus on innovation in other areas. As one example, try innovating your onboarding experience or adopting new technology like live chat to scale your customer service, as with this savvy Petplan campaign. Innovating your current processes will take up less of your resources, and it’s critical when growing your customer base. Once you’ve achieved more stability, then you can think about introducing new products.

4. Build brand recognition. 

When a consumer sees your logo, advertising campaign, product packaging or slogan, you want them to be able to recognize it as your company. This all comes down to building brand recognition. Take Nike’s Iconic “Just Do It” slogan. When consumers hear that phrase, they instantly know whose behind it. Your small business might not be able to reach Nike-levels of immediacy, but you can still work to become a well-known brand among your target audience. An easy way to do this is to start networking more often on social media. The more times consumers see you online, the easier your company will be to remember.

5. Don’t forget about existing customers. 

Many small-business owners focus too much on getting new customers and not enough on keeping the ones they already have. In fact, according to statistics from Small Business Trends, just six percent of small businesses focus on customer retention. To make your existing customers feel valued, consider creating a satisfaction survey that allows you to gain insights on what your customers love about your business currently, what could be improved and what they’re looking forward to regarding your expansion. You can then use this feedback to improve your business and reduce customer churn. After all, customers who are happy with your business will be more likely to spend more money and recommend you to their family and friends.

 

Climate Change Affects London Business Too.

We have all been watching in amazement over the last few weeks as the young Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg lectured world leaders on the environmental disaster facing all of us.  So in our latest weekly news report we have looked at recycling and the problems we face in our capital.  Waste collection giants Biffa have been complaining in the media that labelling is inconsistent and incoherent and discourages us from recycling enthusiastically.  Our very own Mayor Sadiq Khan is pushing his heating cashback scheme to persuade London businesses to upgrade their boilers and cut back on the pollution they produce in our industrial zones.

At our virtual office centre here on Regent St we are aware of the pollution from an endless flow of buses and taxis along Regent Street.    We do, of course, keep many business workers from making a daily commute to Central London by letting them work from their home office and let us be their face in London’s West End.   Since we work for many overseas companies providing them a virtual office service we also help them save their carbon footprint in travelling to London unnecessarily.

Nobody knows just how serious the climate change situation is, there are far too many agendas being promoted in the media but it is certain that it is in all our interests that London remains a clean and unpolluted working place.