Set up your new business

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

Administratively there is quite a lot to do to set up a business.  It can seem quite overwhelming but don’t worry – the following list will take you step by step through everything you need to do. 1.  Choose and purchase a domain name for your business.  Obviously you can only do this once you’ve got your business name decided upon.  There are a few things to consider when selecting your domain name.  It’s a little like choosing a company name actually! Ensure your domain name is easy to type and avoid slang – such as u instead of you (it may make your site harder for your customers to find) Keep it short – the longer your domain name is, the more chance it could be mistyped.  Short and simple is the way to go. Target your area – if your business is local you could consider including your …

Creating a Marketing Strategy….that works!

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

So often overlooked…but fundamentally the most critical element to the success or failure of any business….your marketing strategy. Does the word ‘marketing’ scare the pants off you?  If so – you’re not the only one.  For many small business owners, the term ‘marketing’ refers to having to spend a great deal of money on advertising that is entirely hit and miss and probably won’t yield any addition to their bottom line. What you may not realise however is that ‘marketing’ doesn’t just refer to advertising it’s so much more than that.  Furthermore, you don’t need to have a huge budget to market your business successfully. The main thing when it comes to marketing is that you do it continuously – when you’re trying to build your business, you market it, when things are going badly you hit the marketing…and when things are going well…guess what…you need to keep marketing.  Now, …

Creating your Business Plan

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

How to Create a Business Plan If you’re not sure if a business plan is REALLY necessary or think that is sounds like an awful lot of work then I recommend first heading over to my article on ‘The Importance of Having a Business Plan‘ before you read any further. Assuming you’ve done that already, or are fully committed to the importance of this task – we’ll get stuck right in! This article will walk you step by step through all the sections of your business plan.   Don’t expect to get it all done in one sitting – there’s a lot to think about and will be a fair amount of research to do too.  It’s a big undertaking and will be a working document that you will use and review time and time again. There are lots of different ways of writing a business plan – some are …

Obtaining Finance for your Business

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

  An Intro to Your Finance Options As if starting a business wasn’t scary enough.  If you need to obtain finance to enable your business to get going – or if you’re an existing business owner and need finance in order to expand – this can make life even scarier! Now, before I go any further, I need to make it clear that I am not a financial adviser, nor am I qualified to offer financial advice.  I am able however to give you some solid things to think about, to help you explore your options and to help you prepare to apply for finance. Before you do anything else you need to make sure that your business plan and marketing strategy are both completely up to scratch.  If you haven’t got one or other of these then now’s the time to get on it!  You’re going to need both of those – and …

Wow with your Website

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

In this day and age, no business can afford NOT to have a website – but if you’re spending a lot of time, energy and money getting people to your site then once they’re there you need to know that, that effort hasn’t been wasted. Thankfully, these days it doesn’t cost the earth to get a good website done and in fact if you’re relatively computer savvy and you don’t need a website that is too complicated then potentially you could even develop one yourself! There are four elements that are critical for a successful website: Design & Development, Copy, Usability and Readability. I once read that a website should be like the 100m sprint – rather than a cross country.  Both are races but the sprint has a straight run from start to finish with nothing in the way until the runner has crossed the finish line.  The cross …

Does GDPR Affect Small Businesses?

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

  WHAT  a minefield!!!  As of tomorrow (25th May 2018) GDPR is fully in effect and companies big and small seem to be scrabbling around at the last minute to get ready for it!  But what is GDPR?  Does it REALLY matter to small business owners? In answer to the first question – GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation.  It’s the changes in the law that come into effect on 25/05/18 that mean that ALL companies, no matter their size, have to be much more responsible for how they collect, store and use the personal information of their clients or potential clients.  Effectively, this is being done to make SPAM a thing of the last.  Will it work? That remains to be seen. “But I only run a hobby business, surely I don’t need to bother” I hear you say.  Unfortunately this new law applies to anyone and everyone …

Developing your Marketing List

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

Developing your Marketing List Your marketing list will be the central point of your marketing strategy.  A marketing list should be so much more than a bunch of names in a notebook or on a spreadsheet – it’s pivotal to the growth of your business. For many small business owners their marketing list comprises of a bunch of names and email addresses that they have pulled together (often over a long period of time) from sales and even from research on the internet or local publications.  They then send regular emails out with details of promotions and upcoming events etc which unfortunately often end up either ignored or in a spam folder.  Marketing of this type rarely works. The Continuum of Behaviour Before reading any further, it’s important that you understand  The Continuum of Behaviour.  The decision to purchase is nearly always affected by the continuum of behaviour whether someone …

How do I find my niche?

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

How to Find Your Niche So you’ve decided you want to start a business of your own but aren’t 100% sure what your business should ‘be’?  Don’t worry – you’re in the right place! First of all – what IS a niche? Wikipedia tells us: A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused.  The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact.  It is also a small market segment. In more simplistic terms – a niche is either a product or service being offered to a specific group or groups of consumers. But how do you work out what your niche should be?  And how do you know that you can build a profitable business around it? That’s a good question and …

I’m a small business…do I REALLY need a business plan?

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

I get it – you’re a small business. Business plans are for big companies aren’t they? Actually no – business plans are for ALL companies. Running a small business can feel incredibly overwhelming at times can’t it! If you’re a small business owner then chances are that it’s all on you….even if you have a few employees, you no doubt feel the weight of the responsibility of the company rests entirely on your shoulders! There’s so MUCH to do that it seems impossible to focus on any one particular thing…and then you can feel that you’re getting no-where fast. It’s even harder if you have a family, another job or other commitments as well. Sound familiar? The answer?…yup…your business plan… It doesn’t have to be war and peace! A complete plan could fit on a single A4 page if you have a hobby business. Simply put, this critical document defines who …

Handling Objections

Cressida Johns Uncategorised

  Handling Objections Don’t be frightened of objections – this is a completely natural part of the process and should be expected.  Your client isn’t being negative – 9 times out of 10 they are actually just asking for more information or a bit more time.  At the same time, when they are giving an objection it’s a critical time to listen to what they are saying. Knowing how to handle objections when a potential customer is genuinely interested in….or doesn’t understand and would benefit from…your product/service is one thing – pushing and pushing someone who is clearly not interested at this time is both fruitless and will give you no chance of getting their business in the future. It’s just as important to know when it’s time to back off. Here are some of the most common objections and how to respond. ‘It’s too expensive = ‘Tell me why …