3 things to do (even more) when business is quiet!

3 things to do...

Hello there.

Okay, so it’s nearly November and there are some whose thoughts are turned towards Christmas. If you are a product based business this may be a busy time; for services, maybe not so.

So, what do you do as an SME or entrepreneur or if you are self-employed?

A few things.

Catch up on your paperwork.

While no one particularly likes paperwork; it is necessary. We all must account for our time, so it makes sense to use periods which are quieter for all the ‘background’ work.

If you’re up to date with your paperwork; good for you!  You could still use this time to take stock of what has been happening in the business and sit down to write a marketing plan if you haven’t already done so.

Attend training or workshops

While you’re catching up on all those jobs that you don’t like, why not fit a few workshops, events or training into your schedule. Not only will it break up the monotony but it will get you equipped and ready for the next phase of your business.

Online courses such as FutureLearn Business Courses are there to enhance your current skills and help to develop your business.

I’ve done quite a few FutureLearn courses and they have great interaction with other learners. You may be someone who prefers to meet others face to face while learning new skills.  If that is the case, then Build.Blog.Boost is for you!

What is Build.Blog.Boost?

If you are in business and you aren’t sure about social media or blogging or PR, and you’d like to know how these strategies can help grow your business, then go along to this one -day workshop at the Let’s Go! Business Hub.

During the day, myself of PM Noble Consultancy Services, Vernette John Joiles of 7D Web Design and Colette Machado, will explain how social media and blogging can help the online presence of your business and how PR can add that extra something to your business.

Workshops are always good places to meet other like-minded business folks, who want to be more productive.  Speaking of meeting others, this leads nicely into the third thing to do during a quiet period….

Networking

You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money or join the highflyers (unless you really want to).  There is always something going on which is either free or has a small fee to pay.

Spend some time thinking about those in your circle. Who needs the kind of help you can offer? Who in your circle is a real champion of yours? Who is always singing your praises to others about what you have done for them? The effort is never wasted when we remind those close to us to spread the word about what we do.

Remember Build.Blog.Boost can be booked via Eventbrite. There are still Early Bird tickets available for £55.00. If you are a Let’s Go! Business Hub member tickets are on special offer for £45.00.

See you there!

Patricia Miller

 

 

 

 

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Know Your Worth!

Gold Bar

 

Hello there.

Welcome to August!

So, we’re halfway through the year. Some of you will be taking time off with the children or maybe taking a break. Well, for the rest of us who have to keep going, here’s some motivation in the form of TED, with TED Talks.

If you’re wondering who or what TED is, according to the website

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).

And as part of their mission means they,

…believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

TED Talks is a vehicle used by TED to spread their mission with a wide range of subject matters, through videos.

TEDx  London is a programme of local independently organised events that bring people together to share ideas.

The talks which I’ve selected today are business orientated, but the good thing about TED is that you can find a talk about almost anything.

Here we go:

In the first of the TED Talks, Pricing Consultant Casey Brown speaks about not undervaluing what you do, so that you can Know your worth and then ask for it.

I felt that I should start with this video as this can be a tricky area for most SMEs or Startups to handle. Knowing what to charge clients can be quite difficult.

In the second video, Social Psychologist Adam Galinsky addresses How to speak up for yourself, 

In the last video, Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, shares his thoughts on The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed.

I hope that you found these TED Talks inspiring. Check their website for more information. Who knows, you may even find yourself setting up your own TEDx event.

Take care,

Tricia

P.S. I hope that you enjoy my blogs.  Remember, if you need help with your own blog or website content, check the PM Noble Consultancy Services website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can I help you?

 

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Hi there.

This week’s blog is about customer service. Whether it is good, bad or even ugly, we all have an opinion as to whether we have received the customer service that we deserve.

I like to be treated well regardless as to whether it is the very start of the day (beginning of a shift) or the end (when an employee could be tired).

While this is a bug-bear of mine, this is blog is not a rant about bad service; as I would probably be able to write a series covering the most common faux pas in customer service.  So, instead, it is a few pointers that we all need to be reminded of.

I found this great article by Help Scout called 15 Customer Service Skills that Every Employee Needs.  Now, whilst the article is directed to ’employees,’ we as business owners or as self-employed will either work with the public ourselves or sub-contract work, so these are reminders we all need, and they are handy not just within the working environment. We can actually apply them to relationships – treat others how you would like to be treated.

If you are an online business and you want to make sure that your customers are happy, then why not take some advice from TLCVIRTUALPA. As the highly-experienced owner of TLCVIRTUALPATerri points out,

“Customers who feel valued are more likely to stay loyal to you and your business.”

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Whether in the UK or not it seems everyone has a story to tell. In Forbes, Josh Steimie shares, What Customer Service Should Look Like.

So, we all know that communication is key, so what about feedback? Well, according to Client Heartbeat, there are essential reasons to make sure that you receive customer feedback, that may give ‘insight to create a better customer service.’

I know, I started out by saying that I could write a series about bad customer service, and we are always quick to complain. However, I think that when we experience good or exceptional customer service, we should always contact the organisation concerned. In the past few days, I have given feedback about the professional service I received from a shop.

I hope that this blog has been useful and not too patronising. I  have found it useful to re-visit what should be commonplace in everyday business dealings.

Remember if you need help with blogging, social media management, website content or proofreading, please email me, as I would love to hear from you.

Lastly, (at the time of going to press) there are still places available on my Introduction to Blogging workshop at the Let’s Go! Business Hub. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Thanks for reading.

As ever, take care,

Tricia

 

 

 

 

Bonjour mes amis!

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Hi there!  Hola!   Hallo!   Ciao! 

This week I thought I would look at the benefits of learning a new language.

I have always believed that learning new words and phrases when visiting a new country shows respect and helps you to experience the culture more.

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I  don’t think that we should assume that everyone speaks English or actually wants to speak English. Did you know that Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the World, Spanish is second, and English is third with 335 million speakers? See  Infoplease.com

So why brush up on your language skills? According toLingholic.com some of the benefits are:

  • It improves your brain power
  • It improves your employability
  • It helps you to develop confidence

These are really good reasons for an adult, so what about children? Anita Busby of Gold Medal Tuition recently carried out some research and found that teaching children a foreign language through songs and games from a young age actually helps with their own language skills.  This is backed up in an article in the Telegraph, see  Children should start learning languages at age three

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Now if you don’t want to pay out huge amounts of money, or you just want to learn the basics, here are a few websites to get you started.

Duolingo.com – I have been trying to top up my school book French with this site and it is okay if you have some prior knowledge.  It tells you how fluent you are at various stages.

FutureLearnRegular readers of this blog know how much I love Futurelearn courses. I recently started a Spanish course to top up on some prior knowledge I had.

BBC Languages and Alison are also good sources of help.

Lingua has some good articles about why you should learn a language, and of course, the site allows you to learn a variety of languages too.

With all this help around, there is no excuse for you not to start right away.   So my advice would be:

Fonce!

Ve a por ello!  Tu es!  Fallo! Go for it!

Tu es!  Fallo! Go for it!

Fallo! Go for it!

Go for it!

Take care,

 

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want the right workspace?

 

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Businesses such as Flexible Future, Zinfinity, Enfair and Loving Social Media have benefited from the Let’s Go! Business Hub

 

Hi there.

I started to think about work spaces and working from home after I read an article by The Guardian Small Business Network called, Can business hubs give entrepreneurs a head start?

If you have not heard of them, The Guardian Small Business Network is an online network which produces news, views and articles geared towards small businesses. They send newsletters to those who sign up to the group. I’ve found the articles to be interesting and informative and I’ve noticed that my online presence has increased since subscribing.

Now back to the matter in hand – work spaces. The work hubs mentioned in the article appear to be quite specialised, however, this does not take away from the importance of what these facilities mean for small businesses.

According to BBC Business, The Office of National Statistics states that the number of people working from home is at its highest, and 4.2 million people in the UK are home workers. These figures include those who use their home as a base but work in other places.

With these numbers of home workers, you can see why hubs or work spaces would be beneficial. They offer flexible spaces, for working and meeting clients. Working from a hub also means that you will hopefully be sharing space with like-minded people, and this should take away some of the isolation that may come with working from home. Depending on their prices, these spaces may even work out more cost effective than working from home all the time.

A local space that I use is the Let’s Go! Business Hub at Enfield Business Centre. See Enfield Enterprise’s website – www.enterpriseenfield.org. As one of the registered hub users, I have access to free Wi-Fi, hot desking, meeting room hire, business advice and workshops.

To answer the question that was raised in the article, I can say that being part of a community of hub users, has definitely been beneficial to me and my business.

I’d suggest that if you’re a home-based business, you do some research and see what’s on offer. From a quick search on the internet, I found the following that seems to offer the same facilities and permanent work spaces:

www.coworkinglondon.com

http://www.atworkhubs.co.uk

www.thehotoffice.com/work_hubs.php             www.workhubs.com

I cannot vouch for any of the websites, so once again, cross check information with other websites.

I hope that you feel inspired to do some research, and get out there and use your local hub space!

Take Care,

Tricia