Category Archives: Advertising

3 free ways to get your business out there

If only we could all have an enormous marketing and advertising budget. If only we could splash out on gorgeous marketing campaigns and be guaranteed financial returns. But we can’t. Starting a new business venture is difficult and brings with it a number of challenges that often cost money to overcome. So marketing your business tends to keep falling to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to expenses. However, there are clever ways to make sure your business gains some exposure without spending a cent.

Here are three ways to get your business out there that’ll cost you time but not money.

Fix your site and start a blog

You’ve probably set up your website already –every single business owner knows you must be online and have a website for prospective clientele to visit. It’s a no-brainer. But some websites do more damage than good when their pages are poorly designed and their static content is of the sub-standard variety. If this sounds like you, then fix it. Free website templates are easy to navigate and with enough practise you’ll be able to tweak the site to look and feel better. If you leave your sub-standard website online you’ll be doing damage to your business. Also, add a blog page and start writing. This sounds a lot more difficult than it is. However, having a blog page means you can create original content that Google will recognise as unique (improving your rankings) and that you can share across your social media channels. A blog is engaging. You can relate ideas and offer advice thereby establishing yourself as an industry expert.

Be social media savvy or die

You’ve definitely heard it before but you’ll hear it again and again. You must be present on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are free channels that’ll give you complete exposure if you use them properly. You need to share across all of these channels and ideally, automate your social posts. You’ll be able to share your unique quality content and respond to clients who engage. You’ll be able to start conversations and join in on forums or groups who’re talking about related topics.

Get out and socialise

Attend all and every event that is related to your industry and that attracts your target audience. This is basically real life social media. Find ways to get yourself on the guest list to events, conferences, seminars and community interactions. Spend some time online scouring through various social events, search for communities who are interested in topics relating to your industry and find ways to join them. The only thing you’ll be spending is your time and it’ll be well worth it.

When you finally have some money in the bank to spend on growing your business why not consider sending yourself on a couple of sales and marketing courses so you can keep your marketing internalised. In this way you’ll save money in the long run.

What lies in the future of marketing?

No one can accurately predict the future. Yet we can speculate on broader themes and examine what happened in the past. Making informed predictions does not mean absolutely perfect ones. To that end, we should wonder what lies ahead for marketing. Knowing what we’ll see means knowing what will work – and in this way, we benefit our business.

Social is king

Social media has come to dominate the modern landscape, with smartphone users. Even on the African continent, where mobile phone users outnumber even bank users, social media is rapidly spreading. Of course, social media is completely different than other forms of media since it is controlled by the audience itself. That is, they decide what to see but can then interact with major brands like never before.

This isn’t like an audience who could change the channel – on Twitter, Facebook and so on – users and brands can often operate on the same platform and have the same reach. As Inc.com notes:

“The social approach underscores the importance of the increasingly connected, interactive and vocal audience dominant in social networks. With increasing power over the kind of content they produce and consume, users are becoming more discerning. The mass market approach is thus no longer as relevant as before.”

Recognising the growth of social media is essential for any brands hoping to dominate or have some strong footing in marketing. Creating or working with a tech-savvy, socially capable marketing team is essential.

Mobile will dominate

Related to social media, mobile marketing will also continue to be important. What’s important is to recognise what technology is being used for. For example, SMS messages are no longer as prominent as they once were. This means if we’re still sending SMSes in 2017, we might look as relevant as VCR repair people.

But there’s another often overlooked aspect. As Internet Retailer highlights: “The more screens a shopper uses to access an online retailer, the more loyal and valuable she is.”

Good content

Customers want more than just what the business offers, in terms of products or services. They want an experience. One way to deliver that is to produce relevant content, tapping into wider social events and happenings. We want customers to feel they are dealing with people, not just a blank name or logo. By showing humanity, in terms of keeping up with social events, movements, thought leadership, we provide more ways for them to interact with us.

These are just some considerations for the future, but we should also keep up to date by doing marketing courses, providing us with more concrete foundations for consideration.  

Key features to look at when selling a used car

2012 Car

If you buy and sell cars as a side project you’re going to need to know the following to help you on your quest to being an entrepreneur. You’re basically becoming your own boss and investing in your own property. This can be seen as short term investment which can yield favourable results as your business as a car dealer grows. Buying and selling a used Mazda or used BMW for sale, may seem difficult but with these handy tips the process can be much smoother.

 

Be candid about the vehicle condition

 

Clearly state the condition of the vehicle in the advert as well as the receipt if the vehicle is being sold for spares only. Make known to the buyers if the vehicle requires substantial repairs. Stick to the facts as this will draw in potential buyers. Ensure you quote the service history of the car, whether the licence is up to date and if not, how many months or years outstanding. Make known your location as this may attract a greater number of buyers from your area. Keep in mind that fraudsters take chances so be careful when sharing your personal details. Genuine buyers will come and view the vehicle and check vehicle details for themselves. Keep receipts for any work carried out while you’ve owned the car. A fully-stamped dealer service record adds value, if you’ve got one don’t forget to hand over all relevant documents when you sell.

 

Pricing your vehicle

 

Don’t be unrealistic when setting the sale for your used vehicle. Realistically price your car by asking yourself, “Would I pay this amount for this car?”. Even if you want to make a quick sale, know the worth of the vehicle. Check the prices of similar cars in popular classified ads in newspapers or online sites. Be sure to have room for haggling when setting your price. The buyer may have the satisfaction of of negotiating you down but you’ll still get close to the amount you want.

 

Keep the following in mind

 

Don’t allow buyers to make copies or take photos of your vehicle documentation. Be sure to keep any receipts of past work carried out on your vehicle. If you have a fully-stamped dealer service record, this can add value to your sale price. Once you’ve sold the car, hand over all relevant documents.

 

How to let your business rise from the ashes

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A business can either fail or it can succeed. A smart business owner will learn to recognise the mistakes they’ve made before and implement a new strategy as to not repeat those mistakes. Any business will take a couple of hard knocks in its time. The goal should be to always get back up and try again. A second attempt with a different approach is perhaps the winning recipe for success.

 

Avoid repeated mistakes

 

Draw up a list of every aspect of your business which thrived and what you believe failed. Have reasons for why certain aspects of your business worked and what didn’t. This will allow you to be able to make a clear analysis of what you need to leave out and the reasons for it. Perhaps the strategy you implemented was a good one but the person who was in charge couldn’t execute it properly. Don’t rush your evaluation. Careful consideration should be made when starting again. Implement new and improved strategic methods to create solutions for any problems and apply for a business training course if need be.

 

Give yourself credit

 

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job. You need to believe more in yourself than anyone else. Your ego may be bruised because of a failed business venture, but take pride in knowing you took a leap of faith to make your dream a reality. There are many people who still have their ideas written down on a piece of paper, people who are too scared to take a risk. If you have a sound mind for business, you have what it takes to make a success of whatever you put your mind to. Sign up to business seminars and network with like minded individuals. You’ll be amazed at how much it will give you a boost in self confidence to get back in the game of entrepreneurship.

 

Change your outlook

 

Once you’ve had time to reflect on past mistakes you are able to move forward. There is no guarantee the second time around will be a success, but you won’t know if you don’t give it your best shot.  Perhaps you need to try a whole new business model, or perhaps you need to venture into something very different than before. The only aspect to keep in mind is to be passionate about whichever service you want to render. Do the necessary research to ensure there is a market for your business. Once you’ve established that your product or service is in great demand, you can move onto your next step.

New ways businesses can inspire their people

People don’t only want to work for money. The idea of work should not be associated solely with rewarding labour. We should offer alternatives to employees, creating an environment they want to work in beyond the salary. After all, many will tell you they’ve been offered higher salaries elsewhere, but maintain their current jobs for alternate reasons.

What we should consider is how to foster these reasons beyond salaries to make employees happy.

Don’t be strict

Freedom is difficult when we run a company. After all, we have a particular vision of where we want tasks to go. We know what projects should look like and can’t afford any mistakes along the way. When people work under us, we assume they need to be directed constantly. We put rules in place for dress codes, when to arrive and so on.

Yet, this could be read as insulting and, in fact, damaging. For example, consider what happened in Belgium when the opposite policy was implemented. The country’s federal social security service gave their people freedom and autonomy.

“Here people can work wherever and whenever they want, as long as they achieve the results we all agreed upon,” Frank van Massenhove, the service’s president, told the Guardian.

The results speak for themselves.

“In 2002, only 18% of the recently graduated civil servants wanted to work for the service. After the transition, 93% of the applicants prefer to work for Van Massenhove’s department.”

By treating people as adults, they saw increased results. Of course, not all situations are comparable. This, however, does show it is possible to focus on outcome while be more relaxed on the path taken. Results are what matter.

Create an enjoyable environment

The workplace doesn’t need to be doom and gloom. Getting people together can be a fun activity. People cooperating are better when they like each other. Team chemistry matters, as researchers have pointed out:

“Good team chemistry helps a team achieve its goals… We most often notice that a team has poor chemistry when the members are talented but fail to work well together to make the most of their abilities.”

You can create good working environments by showing more human sides. Create fun activities everyone can enjoy, such as half-days with food or drinks. Don’t, however, force people to interact or participate, since people are different.

It’s possible you may need to consider upgrading certain elements of your business to make it more enjoyable. This could mean exploring corporate finance options, to help you create such an environment.

What matters is recognising your staff as people first, as adults worth trusting and accepting. In this way, they will want to work for you for reasons that aren’t merely about the job.