November 17, 2015
Hello Sandra here and welcome to my newest blog on how to keep your business fresh and vitalized.
Having been involved in running and strategizing business for both myself and clients, I think I know my way aorund a business and how it works. That’s not to say all businesses are the same because they’re not. But, there are certain factors that you need to ensure a business can not only grow, but also to prosper.
Keeping a business current, relevant and “vitalized” is, in my opinion, the most important amongst these.
The Pace Of Change
With the pace at which everything changes today, keeping a business in that excited state can be a tough task. Today I’m going to take a look at a Recruitment agency that manages this with some aplomb.
Doug Bates and Chris Mason started Intelligent People in a small office in St Albans in 2002.
Both Chris and Doug had spent time working for corporate recruitment companies in and around London – learning the trade. They met in 1999 when they both turned up in the same place at the same time.
They quickly struck up a friendship, and after a couple of years working together thought they could do it better. Now, I know a lot of recruiters, and they are by their nature entrepreneurial types. Most of them think this way and to be fair agencies expect a number of their people to go off on their own at some stage. It’s almost in the DNA makeup of a good recruiter.
But, these Guys were brewing up something a little different.
They had traditionally worked in the IT (Information Technology) niche. Through the 80’s and 90’s as technology changed it had been a good market. Indeed the Year 2000 brought many challenges for IT departments and recruiters cashed in as companies made ready for the millennium.
But, with that out of the way and IT budgets having been savaged, there was the inevitable downturn. There were also moves afoot in the market with recruitment process outsourcing eating up large parts of the market. This inevitably made doing business more difficult. Doug and Chris, being the perceptive sorts they are, saw this coming, and started to make plans.
In early 2002, Intelligent People was born.
“We knew there were major challenges in IT at that time”, says Chris. “It was almost a perfect storm, but we had to use existing contacts to get IP up and running. So we started as a traditional IT agency”.
“However, we knew that was not our long-term aim” adds Doug, “We’d looked at other markets and wanted some that we thought had a long-term future, but on different terms than we were used to in IT. We were superb at building relationships and developing longevity of supply positions, but that was being usurped in the IT market by RPO”.
“Indeed, so we looked for a market that would suit our skills”, says Chris, “did we take a leap of faith when we went into Digital Marketing? You bet, the market was in its infancy in 2002. However, we knew technology would drive the market forward and we were already seeing huge increases in Internet speed opening up more functionlaity online”.
“So, we took that leap and went hell for leather at Online Marketing”, smiles Doug.
What was it like? I asked.
“I think Sir Aex Ferguson called it squeaky bum time didn’t he?” laughs Doug.
Chris laughs too, “indeed he did, and it was bloody scary”, he recalls. “But we did it, we totally revitalized how we worked and the market we worked in. Did It carry on? Of course it did, but would we have been happy there today? I don’t think so”.
So, how do you keep the business “fresh”?
“To be honest, the market does it for us”, says Doug. “Digital marketing moves so fast, new areas open for business every few months. The market is always ina state of flux. Five years ago SEO wasn’t a job – now it is, the same for having a PPC (pay per click) Exec, theese are roles that have only been defined in the last few years”.
“We add a new niche vacancy page to our website almost every month”, laughs Chris. “Recently we’ve added a page for affiliate marketing vacancies, product management, search engine marketing vacancies and broader web marketing roles – we’ll be adding more soon I think”.
Intelligent People really is a vibrant and interesting environment. The team are hugely switched on and most have some experience of working in Online marketing.
You can find them on Facebook by clicking here.
November 5, 2015
Running a business has never been more challenging. The competition is such that business owners are in constant search for ways to develop techniques in order to stay ahead of its competitors. But what happens when even with your best efforts your business has lost its vitality? Well, don’t just sit and wait for it to pick up again, do something and find ways to revitalize it.
If you don’t have an idea how to get the most out of every dollar you spend on marketing, here is a list of strategies that may help you:
Turn your focus from your company’s needs to your customer’s needs.
If you take a look at the ads around you, you will find that 95% of them are focused on the business and not on what the business can do for the customer. Make your marketing message about “what they want” and what you can do for them.
Make loyal customers and keep them for good.
You spend hundreds and thousands on getting a customer to come to your door yet you let them walk out without getting their name, age and address and all other vital information that may help you recognize their wants, needs and preferences. Take the effort to understand your customers through these vital information in order to better serve them. This way you will make loyal customers and keep them too.
Sell more to each customer.
Always make a sale an opportunity to sell again. Someone who has just bought from you is you is your hottest prospect. Do not waste an opportunity to make another immediate sell. Keep products that are oftentimes neglected by customers to include in their list but are basic and essential – at a strategic place close to the pay-out area.
Always strive to determine what your customers may need and appropriately find ways to answer them.
Create an “easy purchase” experience for your customers.
With technology at hand, today’s businesses has a 24 hour support service. Do not let your business fall behind. Get a phone service center or develop a website where your customers can do business with you wherever they are and whenever they want to.
Do not put your faith in one advertisement. Marketing is a continuous process.
In the past creating a strong brand for your business is a luxury, now it has become a business necessity. To boost your business your customers must be able to identify what makes you different from your competitors. A solid brand strategy can help you do it. It can also help solidify your business’ core values.
Good re-branding strategy.
If your company is in need of a makeover, implement a solid rebranding strategy:
- Create a catchy company name.
- Create influence for your business with a new logo.
- Redesign a better more comprehensive or up-to-date website.
- Keep your employees and existing customers in the loop. Get then excited as you are for the big change.
- Show off for social media.
Treat Relationships like an Investment.
The time and money you invest in your business relationships are as vital as the money you put up for your company. Never be too busy to check on your customers and contacts, for as you know they are the reason you are thriving in your business. Also, be more understanding, go out of your way to reconnect, be honest and sincere, and be generous.
Let your curiosity help you. Do not settle on not knowing what goes around you. Discover how successful businesses are making it and learn from them.