Every year, as we dip towards Winter with its longer, darkening evenings and the ending off the old year, I feel the urge to discard things I no longer find useful or have never been needed in my home and life.
The declutter bug comes nudging.
And never more is it needed than in my office space where office clutter and business stuff just seems to grow and multiply. I’ve been inspired by the lovely Hazel Dow from Freespace to write a blog about decluttering your office space and making it a beautiful and healthy space to work in.
Continue reading “Declutter your office and your business”
If your marketing plan is something you always think about but never get round to planning, then this is the year all that changes!
Now I’ll be upfront from the start, I’m not going to get into SWOT analysis, target markets, analysing your competitors etc If that’s what you’re after, there’s plenty of articles on Google for you to get your teeth stuck into.
This blog is quite simply a resource to help you plan a simple marketing strategy for the coming year so you can put reminders in your diary of when you need to write and send blogs, schedule social media campaigns, create content for printed materials and when to advertise your products and services. Continue reading “How to create your small business marketing plan”
The humble email signature sits at the bottom of the hundreds of emails we send every year but how much thought do we put into it other than the standard logo, contact information and social media icons?
Did I really say hundreds of emails a year? That’s hundreds of opportunities to market your business and get extra exposure where it’s needed.
I’ve put together a list of different things you can add to your email signature to give your business that little extra promotion. Continue reading “16 creative ideas for your email signature”
When I first set up my own business one of the first things I did was set up and organise my desk (probably like a lot of you).
I had my lovely, shiny new Mac and I was all ready to go. It wasn’t until quite a few months down the line that I realised that I’d set my desk up just like I’d had it in paid employment – very dull and utalitarian and strewn with papers.
Because I was trying so hard to prove I was serious about my new business venture, my desk got all serious too. It didn’t make me feel very happy and it didn’t make me feel very creative.
My turning point was when I bought a lovely wooden desk and I wanted it to look beautiful. And I wanted to walk into my office every morning and feel energised about starting the day. And it was New year around that time so I was wanting to feel healthier too.
So this culmination of events made me rethink my work space.
Over the past five years, through running my own business, I’ve met some fabulous business owners who have helped me make my life healthier.
So with their help, I’ve put together 8 tips to enhance your work space and make it more healthy. Continue reading “8 easy ways to create a happier, healthier workspace”
Summer is a great time to give your business image a mini makeover. It’s a funny time of year as people are on holiday, taking time off with the kids or just taking advantage of sunny days to relax and recharge their batteries.
If you find yourself staring at the phone willing it to ring, shift your focus away from selling. I have lots of little ways you can update your print marketing, your social media accounts and your website.
Get your notebook ready, make some lists and refresh your marketing. Spend a little time on your business this summer and you’ll reap the rewards come September. Continue reading “5 ways to refresh your marketing this Summer”
Creating consistency with our marketing materials is always at the forefront of our minds, or at least it should be. It’s how we become recognisable to our customers and potential customers. And it’s also how we stand out from our competitors.
Creating a brand style guide is a great start as it keeps us on track. I create one for every logo design job and adher to it myself so I keep myself on track. It’s very easy for the designer in me to get carried away. And just because the design is nice, it doesn’t mean it’s right for the brand.
Continue reading “8 great tips to make your brand look consistent”
You’re thinking you need to do some marketing, you need some sort of a flyer. An A5 flyer will do. Everyone gets those so it’s fine for you too. But is it?
Now don’t get me wrong, A5 flyers are a classic and have their place. If you’re doing a leaflet drop or you need something cheap and throwaway then this is perfect. Gardeners, trades, garages, promoting an event, new restaurant in town – you’re just letting everyone know you’re here. Get 5,000 printed. Perfect.
But what if you want to create marketing collateral that people will keep, not just fold in half and shove in a pocket or handbag. And yes, we’ve all done it with flimsy flyers.
What if you want to look more professional? What if you want to stand out more? What if you don’t want to give your leaflet to the masses but rather to your super customer who will hopefully buy your products or services?
What if you don’t need 5,000 flyers to sit under your desk for the next five years? You’d be fine with a few less and really think about who to give them out to – a particular networking event, a conference, a fayre, on your counter if you have a shop, a place where you know your super customer will see them and hopefully pick them up.
If you’re looking for something a little different or you just need some inspiration, I have five alternatives for you to think about. Continue reading “5 design alternatives to the A5 flyer”
You’re only a small business, you’re self employed, your desk is the kitchen table. So why on earth would you bother with brand guidelines? That’s just for big, corporate companies, isn’t it? Little old you doesn’t need fancy brand style guide.
Well, for a start, don’t knock your small business (Steve Jobs started in his parents garage). But more importantly, you have a brand whether you know it or not.
Your logo is the visual identity of your business, it’s how your customer recognises you. Your brand is how your customer feels about your business, and this encompasses every thing you do in print and online. So whether you’re bothered about branding or not, your customer is out there seeing and reading everything you put out there and forming an opinion.
Now, it’s starting to look more important. Good, because I’m going to help you put together some simple guidelines which you can refer to regularly (and update if you need to) and these will be the foundation of every contact you have with your customers, and your potential customers. They will help you create consistency making you more recognisable to your customers and help you stand out from your competitors. Continue reading “Why does my small business need a brand style guide?”
Your business card is probably the smallest piece of marketing you use for your business but it has such HUGE potential. After a networking event or client meeting, the humble business card is the one thing that stays with your potential customer.
This tiny piece of cardboard is a tiny piece of your business, a tiny piece of you. And I see so many business cards which are either blank on the back (such a waste) or they’re not using the back to their full potential.
Fortunately, because most of us go through business cards pretty quickly, it’s not usually too long before you’re ready for a reprint. And when you are, have a think about some of the following ideas. Could you use them for your cards and make them work that little bit harder for you? Continue reading “10 creative ways to use your business card for marketing”
How often do you think about your logo? Is it something you put together yourself when you first started up? Or have you been in business a while and don’t think about it any more? Perhaps you’re thinking about it all the time. Is a logo really that important?
Well, the job of your logo is twofold. Firstly it has to make your business recognisable to your customers. And secondly, your logo has to make your business stand out from your competitors. Whether you think it or not, it does a really, really important job.
Lots of elements have to come together to make up a logo – colours, font, graphic, style, layout. And each of these go towards creating an overall impression of your business. Are you fun, quirky, serious, modern, traditional?
When I mention Apple, Nike, McDonalds, you can immediately imagine their logo and feelings about their company spring to mind. Now we’re looking at things on a much smaller scale but how do your clients and competitors feel about you when they see your logo?
Be honest and take a good look at your current logo. Or ask your clients what they think (friends and family are usually too polite to give an honest answer!)
Then see if you answer Yes to any of the following questions: Continue reading “4 reasons it’s time to update your logo”