Beaminster launches brand new community website
Beaminster, 16 March 2013
Beaminster businesses and residents are proud to announce the launch of a brand new community website. After a year of challenges within the community, a group of businesses and residents grouped together to launch ideas that would promote Beaminster as the idyllic place to visit as well as promote the local services and suppliers to local residents.
With the first launch of the Be Local, Buy Local, Buy in Beaminster campaign, all businesses in Beaminster were encouraged to get involved in a promotion of the town’s services and supplies and the awareness of all that the town offers. All businesses were encouraged to put the Be Local, Buy Local posters in shop windows and a social media campaign was launched.
Following on from the success of the campaign launch, the group then got together to develop the town’s first community website. Recognising the need to have a central portal which local residents and businesses, as well as visitors, could access in order to obtain useful information about the history of the town, the businesses, events, town news, important links to other key organisations such as the Beaminster & District Business Chamber, the Beaminster Town Council and the Yarn Barton Centre.
The Beaminster Community Website also provides access to places to eat, drink and stay as well as various campaigns running throughout the town which people can become more involved in.
The launch of the website will be done mainly via Social Media, as well as via press and community notice boards. The Beaminster Community Website can be found at www.beaminster.net.
Social Media is both fascinating and daunting, creating a sky rocket of activity amongst construction-related companies in the last few years. Fascinating because of the wonder of the visible functionality of new marketing media and daunting because of the learning curve and time investment required.
And the pace quickens! Each month there seems to be some new app or technology appearing in our in-box. Our relatively new friends in the guise of media technologies have been developed to reach or communicate with a very wide audience. These amazing technologies available for architects and builders today will harness huge benefit for your own business. If we neglect them we are going to lose out on the potential to connect and engage with both an existing client base as well as a previously untouched audience.
Look Before You Leap
But beware, before you run headlong into trying to use the myriad of technologies available within the social media arena – stop and think!
What are the best and most effective tools for your building company or engineering practice? Use them well and use them wisely. Implement and then test the results. Review the available media and then either learn to use them or outsource to those in the know. It is certainly more cost effective and will be up and running in half the time.
You should start by drawing up your social media plan of action (another post) and then research the capability of each technology and how it fits in to your business plan (yet another post).
Social Media Is Social
I feel it is important to stress here that it is all about social media. Social media is about engaging, connecting and networking with others. Builders engage with architects and architects with engineers and so on. As people connect with you and you with them they will begin to discover how much they can trust you. We do business with people we trust. That’s my point.
A Social Media Revolution
We are seeing social media grow at an exponential rate. In my opinion we are not going to be experts in all of these technologies. So, my advice is to choose the best media for your own practice and run with it. If you choose Twitter and it best suits your business then learn how to use it well and develop your network. When you are reasonably proficient move on to learn another platform.
It is always good to do your homework when measuring if it is worth taking the plunge. In my personal opinion it is vital that social media becomes a part of your marketing mix. It provides excellent networking possibilities with work providers as well as with your peer group in construction.
I have researched some figures to help you understand the social media footprint in today’s world. Facebook has over a billion users with customers embracing social media as part of their lives including the over 50s who are adapting at staggering rates. In the UK alone over 30M active users on Facebook, 32M users on Youtube, 15M Twitter users and 10M using LinkedIn. If we conservatively say only 10% of business uses these platforms we have a huge audience and potential people base we can connect with and ultimately call customers. After all, that’s the aim of marketing. The world awaits you!
One of the best ways to market your business is through the nurturing of good working relationships.I guess that is why social networking and social media marketing is so popular today. It is a feather in our cap when we get a referral and hopefully this will happen often. However, in reality, relationships need to be cultivated and this will take time. This is where you might consider bringing in a freelance marketing consultant who will become a part of your team and help to develop your client base.
CMM will work with you in this process of developing good relationships with work providers. There is no hard sell here only the persistent and consistent contact process to achieve the purpose of new business opportunities. You can then get on to other aspects of business development and leave the marketing to us.
Fresh Brew Marketing are pleased to introduce the first of many guest blog articles to come – all with the intention to impart some of their knowledge, skill and, most of all, advice to start-up businesses.
Ritsonlaw discuss what their Top Ten Legal tips for Start-Up SMEs are with a range of handy tips that are sure to get you excited about growing your new venture!
1. Choose The Business Model That’s Right For Your Business
All new businesses need to consider this fundamental question BEFORE they start trading. Is the business going to be a sole trader, partnership or limited liability company?
Which model is right for you will depend on a number of factors such as how many people are going to run the business, what is the most tax efficient model for your type of business, how are profits and losses to be dealt with?
Advice should be sought from a solicitor and accountant before making the final decision and your solicitor can then prepare the necessary legal documentation to put your business model into effect.
2. Do Any Laws Or Regulations Affect Your Business Activity?
This can cover a huge range of areas such as:
· Health and Safety
· Public and Employer’s Liability
· Tax and National Insurance
· Employment Contracts for Employees
· Regulations Specific To Your Trade or Business Activity
Advice should be sought from a suitably qualified lawyer and/or accountant to avoid running into problems in the future.
It is essential to put the foundations of your business in place.
3. Understand What You’re Signing
Make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations before signing or agreeing to anything.
This applies to:
· Leases/Tenancy Agreements
· Contracts for the supply of goods or services
· Employment contracts
If in doubt: Seek Advice.
4. Set Your Budgets – And Stick To Them!
It is easy to get carried away, particularly in the early stages of running a fledgling business so be strict with your spending – not all of it is “necessary”.
5. Understand Your Business Plan And Have A Clear Marketing Strategy
It is easy to deviate from the objectives you set at the outset so revisit your plan regularly and keep it updated. Make sure your marketing plan is targeted at the right audience – your potential customers!
6. Use As Many Free “Tools”As Possible To Promote Your Business
Sign up to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and start promoting your business and products – it’s FREE!!!
Compose a blog and newsletter and start emailing your customers to direct them to your blog post or website.
7. Join the Local Chamber of Commerce
For support and advice, usually for free. Membership can also have the benefits of networking with other businesses.
8. Get Your Family And Friends To Rally Round
There is no better advertising than word of mouth – so get those closest to you to put the word about and sing the praises of your business.
9. Get The Right Legal Advice
It is always cheaper to prevent a legal problem arising than to sort it out after it has arisen. The cost is often less than expected.
10. Never Give Up Or Lose Momentum
There is no doubting that starting up is hard. You must have the will to succeed and keep trying the things that you know will succeed, even in the light of initial failure.
We pay lots of money to be part of a busy 2 or 3 days, and yet many of us seem to think that all we need to do is just to pitch up at an event, and expect the business to come to us!
We wanted to share 10 top tips with you, taken from our Event Marketing Training Courses, that could give you an idea of what you can do to help the event work for YOU, and to deliver the return on your investment of time and money.
1. Make sure it’s the event for you.
Ask questions: Make sure you know who the audience is. What buying power do they have? Are your fellow exhibitors also potential business partners and customers?
2. READ THE MANUAL (we left the obvious out…)
Organisers do not write exhibitor manuals, out of sheer joy. They do it because they want to ensure that you know of ALL the opportunities available to take advantage of the day. It also includes important stuff like times, setting up, parking….
3. Advertising opportunities
If you are one of the lucky ones to have a spare few coins in your marketing kitty, why not ask your event organiser of any advertising or sponsorship opportunities available for you to get your brand seen, that little bit more. Most events have Guides and Programmes – so why not feature on the back page?
4. Go in with a plan
Get your team together and decide on what the objectives of exhibiting at the event are. It is absolutely crucial that you have the buy-in from the entire team.
5. Ensure your objectives are Measurable
You cannot manage what you can’t measure! Whether your intention is to increase your contact database, or grow your sales revenue by 10%. Whatever it is, set objectives that you can measure – therefore awarding yourself the easy chance to be able to identify whether this event worked for you, or not!
6. Understand your space.
When booking your stand, think about the space. Don’t take a space that is too big for you, and don’t take a space that is too small. Take something that suits your budget and decide on an event presence that will accurately echo your business message. Lay the stand size out on your boardroom carpet, with some masking tape. If you’re planning on having 4 people on the stand – make them stand in that space. Does it work? What furniture did you want to bring? What promotional material?
7. Use your noggin… and the 5 senses.
Exhibiting at events doesn’t always mean it has to break the bank! Get back to basics and think about the little things that attracts you to other exhibitions or people. Use the senses of smell, touch, taste, feel and sight to echo the message that you’re trying to convey. We all love a freshly baked something, and the sound of birdsong generally has us stopping for a smile… let your imagination go and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!
8. Choose your team – WISELY.
We are all too often ready to rope in anyone and everyone who is willing to help. When it comes to exhibition presence – CHOOSE your team. Think about the person who is customer-facing… the one that stands on the edge of the stand and greets people walking by. Think about the person who has all the product-knowledge… they are NOT always the same person. Don’t get them mixed up either. This could determine the success or failure of your exhibition.
9. Ensure you have a follow-up plan
Don’t just leave it down to “We’ll sort it out when we get there”. Make sure you have a way to capture as much information as possible, from potential customers. Whether you take notebooks, or invest in high-tech scanners – make sure that information is captured, and most of all, that you follow up within a time period agreed by the team.
10. ENJOY the day.
Nothing worse than passing by an exhibition stand and the exhibitor is looking bored, unamused or just downright unfriendly. NEVER eat or drink on your stand, and definately no work! Cut all mobile phone and laptop usage and ban anything that will detract from the reason why you are there. Forget the office, and TALK. And…. most importantly… forget the office-talk. 🙂
There are many more top tips included in our course training sessions – so if you’re interested in knowing more – why not give us a ring!