If you put 21 people in a room, give them a list of Ice Creams and ask them to put them in order of preference Vanilla will always win – it’s the average, the norm, the least controversial or debatable.
Ok, we’re creatives so it’s all about the work, the passion, oh! And the money – just because we’re artists doesn’t mean we can live on fresh air. So do we need to be appreciated by clients as well? Or is that asking too much?
I was a slow learner when it came to reading. My mother – concerned about this, as she was about every aspect of our education, took to sitting on the end of my bed, knitting, while I read aloud from Shadow the Sheepdog by Enid Blyton.
Here at Blue Strawberry Elephant, we believe that design should be accessible to all business owners whatever their level of understanding because it’s essential to their business growth. We want to make it clear; in our studio, there are no stupid questions.
The current figures estimate 90% of businesses will be using some form of social media for customer service by 2020 and people spend up to as much as 40% more with companies that they have engaged with on social platforms.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with options for planning the year ahead, swamped by conflicting information and lost in a sea of voices telling you how to take your business ‘to the next level’; this one is for you.
Without being pedantic, about brand awareness and word of mouth – those conversations between non-customers and their friends who may become customers – if you aren’t pushing the right buttons with people who need what you do, you can bet your bottom quid your competitors will be.
“The Wren, one of our smallest birds, has a pound for pound voice 10 times louder than a Cockerel.”Funny that isn’t it – have you ever seen a Wren?They weigh about 12 grams, are 12.7cm long and have a wing span of 16.5 cm – about 2/3rds the size of a Robin, or if you’re not into your birds – a wren could easily fit into the mug you have your morning cuppa in – and you wouldn’t notice it till it threw the teabag back at you.
If a kitchen fitter turned up with a van load of 2 x 4 and a Tenon Saw – no pre made doors or drawers, no handles, no other tools – not a screwdriver, drill, plane, hammer or the tool box they should be in – you might wonder how he’s going to complete the job.Just as a kitchen can’t be put to use if all you have is the frame for a carcass made from 2 x 4, however skilfully put together with beautifully crafted Tenon Joints – likewise a website isn’t usable if it is just neat rows of code.
Anyone who has tried to drop a few pounds, eat healthier and get fitter, know the results are often not what was hoped for – but not for everyone. A lot depends on where you’re starting from.There’s a big difference between:A lifelong athlete suffering a minor injury, illness or boozy holiday getting back into training. And:Someone who has spent decades sitting still to socialise, work and travel – overcoming that sedentary lifestyle to reinvent themselves.It’s the same with marketing your business.
You know the kind of thing – a waste of an afternoon better spent playing email tennis with your regular clients, or worse – early business breakfast club that costs you a much-needed half hour under the duvet for very little return!
There’s no denying that branding is both the foundation and core of any successful business model, it inspires teams and promotes your values as a company to ensure the world sees you, the way you see yourself! Everything else – Signage, Liveries, Sales Literature….and of course, a website – are “vehicles” to carry your Brand to your Audience. But not just any website will work, THE RIGHT website for YOUR business is essential for business growth.
How many ideas have been brought to you that you thought too risky, or expensive or ridiculous?
How many times has a really big bold idea been brought to you that you got really excited about only to allow yourself to be talked out of it?
When you bring an idea to the table you should be able to explain where you think it might benefit the business, but possibly not much more, the discussion that follows between you and your partners, co-directors or trusted employees could whirl out of control achieving nothing except the inevitable “but we have paying work to do…”
Explain, ask for initial thoughts (to drip into your circle) and then keep the Circle solid by getting a development plan…
Every now and then we all get the opportunity to refer someone to someone else.
Many in business have made a profession out of “networking” – to me, its just something you do – help people out, introduce one person you like to another person you like, as and when a need arises.
A couple of years ago I introduced two of our friends to each other, both nice guys, both running established SMEs, each of whom have passed me very useful information, insights and contacts over the years.
One of them – Steve Pearson, owner of Valve & Process Solutions, needed a Forklift Truck for the new warehouse facility in his rapidly growing company. The other, Shaun Hessey, MD of family firm Peterman Forklift Trucks, advised Steve, arranged the appropriate machine, and Steve’s team, who thought they might use the truck once or twice a month for the heavy lifting and moving, are now using it every day…