Tag Archives: micro business

Roll out the Red Carpet for 2017

Have you rolled out the Red Carpet to welcome the New Year and the opportunities it may bring?

Or are you just crossing your fingers and hoping it will be better than last year?

Now the Christmas and New Year festivities are over, the Holywood glitterati are rolling out the red carpet for the Awards season. Accustomed as actors are to being centre stage, it’s not surprising if they see acceptance speeches as an opportunity to draw attention to the current events, political issues and good causes that are personally important to them.

What will be important for you and your business in 2017? Are you prepared for whatever may come your way? Are you ready to grasp the opportunities as they arise?

There’s no denying that we all face the coming months with some uncertainty, so having a business plan in place that enables you to monitor your progress and adapt to meet the challenges ahead will be more important then ever.

Here are five things you can do now (it’s not too late!) to make the most of 2017:

  1. Do your market research. Even if  you think you already know everything there is to know about your market, now is a good time to re-visit your existing market data and see if anything is likely to change in the coming year. Have your customers’ needs changed? What are your competitors doing? Are there any new legal requirements you need to incorporate in your plans?
  2. Complete your SWOT analysis. Use the market research to ensure you are making the most of  your strengths and to highlight any upcoming opportunities. Identify any weaknesses or skill shortages in the business. Ensure you are aware of any external threats, such as new legislation or a competitor product launch.
  3. Use the SWOT analysis to formulate your business plan. Set your business targets for the year, define your objectives, review your financial planning and work on a strategic marketing plan to make sure you achieve them. Don’t forget to allocate sufficient money to your marketing budget to enable you to meet your sales targets!
  4. Create a monthly advertising, promotions and events calendar, making sure you maximise the opportunities from seasonal and local highlights such as Easter, Bank Holidays, Christmas, local events, etc.
  5. Address any skill shortages you identified in the SWOT by learning a new skill, employing new staff or outsourcing to experienced professionals.

Outsourcing skills you don’t already have to a professional is a great way to give your business the edge. If you need some help with your 2017 business plan, or would be interested in attending a business plan clinic or training session, contact us for more information:  http://www.bluejmarketing.co.uk/contact-page/

Jackie Wilson MCIM APM

Get Set For Summer – Holiday Checklist for Small Businesses

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When you’re running your own business, there never seems to be a good time to take a holiday. There’s always another customer to see, an urgent order to fulfill or a meeting you just can’t miss.

But taking a break can…

  • boost creativity
  • reduce stress
  • improve happiness levels
  • increase productivity

…so it’s even more important for small business owners to book that holiday and get away from it all for a few days.

If you’re having trouble deciding how to fit in a holiday…and worrying what will happen to the business whilst your away…we’ve put together a useful checklist to help you get your business ready for that all important break.

Small Business Holiday Checklist:

  1. Give your customers plenty of notice of the dates you will be away.
  2. Manage your time carefully, ensuring any outstanding work is completed before your holiday.
  3. Consider delegating or outsourcing essential jobs that can’t wait till you get back.
  4. Make sure your expenses, invoices and outstanding bills are up to date before you go.
  5. Update your email auto-response and answering machine message so your clients know when to expect a reply.

And finally…

…dig out those flip-flops, book your space under the parasol, sit back and relax!
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Whatever your plans, we hope you have a fun and profitable summer season.

Jackie Wilson – Marketing Consultant & Business Mentor
Catherine Wainwright – Finance & Accounting
Elizabeth Worrall – Corporate Financial Planning
John Wilson – Quality, Environment, Health & safety