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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Dos and don'ts when holding your own event or exhibition

 

Holding your own business event allows you to communicate your message and spotlight your product or service in front of a select audience of invited guests, without competition from other exhibitors. Get it right and you can show your business in the best possible light, but if you get things wrong there's nowhere to hide

Do…

Research your market carefully

Holding your own event is a high-risk, high-reward strategy. You need to make sure your invitees are the right people, and that they can all benefit from the events as much as you will.

Get it wrong and you may never live it down; get it right and you will reap the benefits and have a blueprint for future events.

Budget accurately

Costs can quickly escalate when holding your own event, so detailed requirements need to be set out from the start.

You'll need to focus on ROI - one of the main benefits of participating in or sponsoring existing events is the fact that the onus is on the event organiser to deliver a satisfactory ROI. When you plan your own event, achieving a return on investment is your responsibility.

Seek expert help

And listen to it. If you haven't held an event before - and even if you have - expert advice from an experienced event organiser can mean the difference between success and failure.

Either bring in a consultant who comes recommended, or draw on the extensive event management resources available online and via event industry trade associations.

Get the support of colleagues

Event planning and implementation can be a serious drain on business resources. With everyone contributing to the success of an event, more can be achieved.

Get the most out of the event

If you're organising a business event such as a conference or talk, you need to get something out of it on all business fronts - sales, marketing, product development research, data collection and even staff motivation.

Consider all your key business objectives, and consider how your event could support them.

Don't…

Get carried away and forget to stay on message

Every aspect of your event needs to be evaluated within the framework of what you're trying o achieve. New ideas, introduced at the wrong time for the wrong reasons, can distract and dilute your core objectives.

Think that "small" means "easy"

Every event requires research, planning and careful implementation. The smallest, most low-key event will take a significant amount of time and effort to organise.

Even a simple seminar, lunch or open day must be run professionally, to secure a positive outcome.

Assume staging your own event is the easy option

Event organising is a skilled profession, and the consequences of a filed event can be disastrous. Unless you are prepared to allocate the time, budget and resources needed, don't even attempt organising your own event.

Run the event on the cheap

A slapdash event will reflect badly on your own professionalism, and may be very difficult to recover from. Don't try to cut costs to the bone -  or conversely go OTT in an attempt to impress. Keep it simple and professional.

Let us put you off!

The rewards of a successful business event can be phenomenal. A special event can help you establish a rapport with potential clients. Face-to-face contact with customers and prospects on your own turf can be a very effective strategy.

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