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!

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you need a Marketing Plan!

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Hello, there.

So, you thought of a business idea and had a plan in place. You’ve now achieved your dream and you’re running your business. That’s great! Now, what’s the next step? Well, that depends on what you want to achieve and who your target market is.

What tools are available to help you move your business forward? Glad you asked?

Having a marketing plan in place will help you to focus on what you really want for your business. There are so many great sites around, all bursting with information that this week I thought I would share a few, to get you started.

First things first – What is a marketing plan?

‘A marketing plan is a business document outlining your marketing strategy and tactics.’

This definition and some useful information can be found here – TheBalance.com.

 

So, now that we have a definition, let’s look at some sites with all the tools to equip you.

Marketing Donut has a section called startup and SME resources, with handy guides and templates, which can be found here – marketingdonut.co.uk.

 

‘If you don’t plan, you’re doomed!’

In a quick video from Entrepreneur.com, and in the accompanying article, we are given some nuggets of information and advice as to why we all need to have a marketing plan, which should be reviewed yearly. As they said, ‘If you don’t plan, you’re doomed.’

 

‘Done properly, your marketing plan will be the roadmap you follow to get unlimited customers and dramatically improve the success of your organization.’

In Marketing Plan Template: Exactly what to include, Forbes, gives you what they state, the exact sections needed for your plan.

If you live in Enfield or the surrounding areas, Sara Carter Business, offers business coaching and marketing advice for SMEs and Startups.

So, in a nutshell, your Marketing Plan helps you to think about your product, your audience, your goals and which tools will help you achieve your objectives.

I hope that this has made you think about your marketing strategy. I know that I need to take my own advice and start to plan ahead!

Remember, I usually just provide a taster of what can be found on the world wide web. Check out a few sites yourself, after all, you may find that one size does not fit all.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,

Tricia

P.S Remember to follow PM Noble Consultancy Services on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

5 Books for Business

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Hi, there.

Do you need some encouragement for your business but you’re not sure where to look?

Whether you are a reader or not there are some non-business books which can impact your personal and business life.

This week, I’m compiling a list of website articles to point you in the right direction along with a few books which I think stand out.

So here goes:

‘And this book is an action book.’

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (first published in 1937, but has since been updated)

 

‘Those who develop the process of thinking can rule themselves.’

How successful people think: Change your thinking, change your life by John C Maxwell.

 

‘And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.’

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.

 

Here are some standout book and sources:

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Business Insider

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield Business Collective

And sources of book lists:

Inc.com

Financial Times

I hope that this inspires you to look for guidance and motivation in new and unexpected places.

Take care

Tricia

p.s #Keepgoing

 

 

4 simple ways to improve your business today!

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Hi there.

Do you want to know about some easy ways to enhance your business?

Here are four steps which you can implement straight away:

Set yourself some realistic goals

Are your goals SMART?

S.M.A.R.T

Make sure that your objectives are specific. It’s much easier to target a specific area.

Are your goals measurable? For example, do you want to see an increase in sales? Can you measure this by a percentage increase?

Is what you’re hoping for realistic? Is it achievable? Being a small business is difficult enough, without setting yourself unrealistic objectives.

Is what you want to attain relevant? Should it be done? Why does it need to be done?

Time, timing or time-based. Can you achieve what you want in time? Have you set yourself enough time?

Keep an eye on current trends

Keeping an eye on current trends and keeping up to date with your own personal development and training puts you in a stronger position.   I ‘m reminded of this by PR Expert Colette Machado.

Make sure that you get regular feedback from your customers

If you want to offer top notch customer service, start asking your customers what they think you do well and (if you’re feeling brave), what areas need to be improved.

Take a break

It may seem like a bit of a no -brainer but you’d be surprised how easy it is to slip into bad habits like not having lunch and working long hours. You need rest. Your mind and your body will thank you for taking a break or two!  If you don’t believe me read this Huffington Post article.

Well, thanks for reading and I hope that you found this useful.

Take Care,

Tricia

 

 

What is your Startup strategy?

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Hello there.

Do you want to start your own business but have no idea where to start?

Do you own a Startup but your progress feels stagnant?

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of help at hand. This week is a quick guide of seven points to consider when planning your strategy.

Ideas

Do you have ideas for new Startups? Do you have ideas about what to do with your current Startup?  Will the idea work? Is it creating a solution? Here’s something to consider about your next project. Paul Graham says,

‘Live in the future and build what seems interesting. Strange as it sounds, that’s the real recipe.’

In How to Get Startup Ideas Graham writes about what he has encountered and how he found solutions.

Entrepreneur.com has The Simplest Test of Whether Your Business Idea is Good or Bad.

Resources

What kind of resources do you need to push your Startup forward?

There’s online help from Start Ups. To help get you begin, you can access 10 Steps to Starting a business.

If you live in Enfield or surrounding areas, Enterprise Enfield runs programmes and offers Help and support through their expert business advisors.

Product

Do you already have a brilliant idea for a product but it’s not complete yet, read You Don’t Need a Finished Product to Launch Your StartUp by Fortune.com

Planning

Have you got a business plan? Do you need to update the one you have?

You can get some ideas from Business.com.

The wonderful advisors at Enterprise Enfield can also help with this, in one to one sessions.

Trends

If you need your business to be in the market and in some respects ahead of the game, then you’ll need help with your brand.  A knowledgeable business coach and marketer who can help to make your business and brand grow is Sara Carter of Sara Carter Business.

Investments (Funding is more appropriate)

For advice about finance and loan, you can speak to someone at Enterprise Enfield

For funding applications, Diana Roy of Up Write is an experienced expert in her field. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/UpWriteUK .

Teamwork

Who is on your team? Are you a one-person crew at the moment?

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Steve Jobs knew a thing or two about teams. He knew to have people around him with different skillsets.   While we may have to work on our own, to begin with, when we do have a team, we need to surround ourselves with people who are really good at what they do.

Fast Company has a suggestion for your team in The only 6 People You Need on Your Founding Startup Team.

I hope these seven key factors have been helpful.

If you’ like to know more about me or what I do, find out here.

Remember to follow me on Twitter and like PM Noble Consultancy Services on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,

 

Tricia

 

 

 

Grammar Series – Part Three

 

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Hi there!

I hope you are enjoying this grammar series. Last week I mentioned how English grammar history has been influenced by Latin.  Seeing the journey that English language has taken it is easy to see why it is so complicated.  With this in mind, we will be looking at errors which have found their way into everyday language

. A good example of a word which is used incorrectly is Columbia. Apparently, the Colombians are tired of their country being spelt Columbia as opposed to Colombia. This is a common mistake and whilst the eagle-eyed will have realised that this has slipped into our vocabulary as an acceptable word, we have to ask how has this happened?

It could be said that over time, many words are now part of mainstream language due to the fact that they are commonly used.  All you have to do is look through an old dictionary from ten or fifteen years and compare it with one today and you will see the difference. Another theory can be found in an article in the Telegraph called ‘People can be too clever to spell’, where Jessica Salter raises some really interesting points about language and how we decipher and try to spell them according to what we know about them. Salter goes on to say,

Ian Brookes, the managing editor of dictionaries at Collins, said: “The real spelling problems occur when people have learnt the rules or have a bit of knowledge, but then make mistakes in how they apply this.”

For the full article see the Telegraph.

If this is the case it seems almost impossible to get things right unless you have a Masters in English and Linguistics.  Well, not necessarily. Whilst no one will ever get everything correct, there is a whole host of services and resources to help.

Firstly, use the spellchecker on your computer. Although not perfect as it is limited it what errors it finds, is a start. Next, letting a friend or family member cast their eye over the work is also helpful, as long as they have fairly good grammar skills. Thirdly, the humble home dictionary- either Collins or Oxford.

For a more than just spelling try one of the following: Online dictionary thesaurus     Online grammar resources like:

grammarbook.com

www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/english

https://www.grammarly.com

Or an article from Life hacker

Okay, so what are these errors that we inadvertently make all the time? There are words where a subtle change in the spelling makes all the difference. The words continuous and continual are prime examples.

For an explanation of these words and more excellent examples see Litreactor. Another example is in the use of the words affect and effect, which many seem to find difficult. For more about this and other grammar tips check Hubspot. I hope you have found this helpful. See you next time.

Take care,

Tricia