Blog

When the Going Gets Tough – the Tough Get Going

Many business owners I’m meeting at the moment are being very open with me about the fact that they are struggling. We’ve seen the headlines of big retailers closing stores, but smaller SME’s are also finding the current climate tough. Is it due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit? Who knows, but many people are finding what is usually a busy time of year, to be anything but. So what can you do about it? Well the only thing that’s going to help your bottom line is if you take action. So how do you get fighting fit? Well a good place...

Read more >

Do You Have Marketing Overwhelm?

Recently I (Natalie Montagnani) have been speaking at some business expo’s and many people have been talking to me about how they find marketing overwhelming. To be honest, I’m not surprised. With the advent of the digital age, marketing has become far more complex than before. For SME’s marketing is now seen as a burden, a complex field that many feel is beyond their capabilities. Although you can use agencies or outsource, the question then becomes, who do you go to? And what exactly are you going to ask for? Get a Strategy The first and most important part of marketing is to...

Read more >

Marketing – How Much Should a Company Spend?

Now this is a million-dollar question (quite literally in the case of some companies). We often get asked this by new clients who have not had consistent marketing campaigns running before, as it can seem a daunting investment, especially in the business start-up phase. Age is just a number One figure that gets bandied about frequently is 10%. According to Gartner Research, in 2014 companies spent an average of 10.2% on overall marketing. But that figure might differ depending on how mature the company is. A well-established brand might not need to spend a great percentage. However, a company in the growth...

Read more >

How to be outstanding with your branding – 4 quick tips for SME’s

Branding – no doubt the word conjures up certain images. An apple with a bite out of it, the Golden Arches and the Loki Cola font letters that make up the name of the world’s most popular soft drink all spring to mind. Big brands have a lot of money to spend on their branding. They can hire teams of branding experts and designers who create an image, spending weeks mulling over tiny variations in shades, font colours, imagery and how it can be used. They will put together brand guideline manuals with precise and detailed instruction on how to use...

Read more >

Gain More Business Contacts – The Key to Networking Part 3

Last time we discussed how to prepare for the event, what to wear and what to research prior to the event etc. Check out our last blog on how to prepare for the event itself. So the day has arrived, now the question is how to behave at the event? Do not fear, we have a few simple tips for you to follow: First of all speak to the organiser. You will need to register to receive your name badge or welcome pack. Ask about others you want to speak to. The people who organise the event will know who has arrived and...

Read more >

Gain More Business Contacts – The Key to Networking Part 2

For next few weeks we will tell you how to find, prepare for and be successful at networking events and how to secure the deal of exchanging contacts. Last week we discussed how to find a networking event that would interest you, remember that you may have to pay for some of them, but they are worth it. Click here for last weeks blog post Gain More Contacts – The Key to Networking Part 1 This week we will discuss how to prepare for the event, by simply following these easy steps: Register for the event – most of the events,...

Read more >

Gain More Business Contacts – The Key to Networking Part 1

Many of us keep hearing “I met so and so through the last networking event I attended”. In order to be successful you have to be a good networker, so what are the secrets of great networking? Over the next couple of weeks we will tell you how to find, prepare for, attend and be successful at a networking event. So first of all, how do you find a networking event to attend? Easy, here are some ways you can find networking events in your local area: Ask other business people for recommendations – if you know others who attend networking...

Read more >

The Secret to Successful Social Media

Here are some notes from a handout I recently created when I was an expert speaker for Business Link on it’s Secrets of Online Marketing seminar tour across the South-East, I hope you find them useful: What – is Social Media? It is web based and mobile technologies that create an interactive dialogue and use ‘User generated content.’ It’s all about being ‘social’ which means discussion, sharing, and the imparting of information between organisations, communities and individuals. Who – are the companies involved? As a small or medium sized business the main social networks you need to consider are: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Google Plus Also,...

Read more >

Marketing for free!

Great marketing need not cost the earth, in fact there are lots of things you can do for free, they just require time, effort and organisation. Here are some ideas: Send out press releases to your local newspaper, radio station or to a media that is right for your target audience Post blogs on your website that are informative and motivational, not to mention written with SEO in mind to boost your rankings in the search engines Collect together some testimonials/case studies and display them on your website or in your literature Use the power of direct marketing to increase...

Read more >

Do people like you?

Have you noticed how often you’ve chosen a supplier based on the fact that you like the owner or salesman? The bottom line is that from the smallest transactions through to the largest, people buy from people. I see this all the time with my clients when they are looking to hire someone, we will have two people quote for a job and if they are both equally qualified or provide the same product or service, the client ends up choosing the ‘person’ they like the most, even though their price may be higher. Also, I’ve often spoken to customers about...

Read more >

What is the secret to great marketing?

There are many definitions of marketing. The Chartered Institute of Marketing says it’s “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” But I decided to create my very own definition: “Marketing is about identifying, informing and motivating your target audience/s to take action…whether that’s to buy your products/services, donate funds or change their point of view or way of doing things.”  Natalie Page And the secret to great marketing? Well that’s simple, its: “Testing and carrying out a variety or ‘mix’ of planned activities to a high standard, on a consistent basis, so as to maximise budget and return...

Read more >