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Building your customer base on a budget

Posted on June 22, 2016 by admin

Businesses starting out will often be challenged by the need to generate brand awareness but with a limited marketing budget.

Minimising costs will often be at the forefront of business owners minds with uncertain revenue and copious amounts of capital expenditure; marketing is unlikely to be a top priority. However, new businesses need brand exposure in the early stages as potential customers or clients are unlikely to just appear.

Here are some ways business owners can cost-effectively create awareness:

Social media
Many small businesses are reluctant to use social media. Whether they are “time-poor” or “confused” by social media, there are ways to get involved without hassle. Social media could take as little as a few minutes each day and can be delegated to a staff member who is confident with using different social platforms.

Businesses selling tangible products can take advantage of platforms intended for sharing photos such as Facebook or Instagram, as visuals are a key selling point. For businesses such as professional services firms, utilising platforms that sell their knowledge and expertise is important, for example, creating a blog.

Communities of interest
Unlike well-established businesses, new businesses need to form brand equity to attract new customers and clients. When starting out, businesses need to present their brand proposition to target audiences and referral partners, also known as communities of interest. For example, a wine-maker would present themselves at a local wine and food festival. There will be a community of people interested in your product or service, so presenting and engaging in the places where they are gathering makes sense.

Partnerships and associations
“It’s not what you know but who you know” is a popular phrase and for good reason. Social connections and associations are everything. Many businesses will seek out partnerships or sponsorship’s with complementary brands to enhance their reputation via association. If a well-known, respected brand wants to associate with your brand, then people may conclude your brand must have something unique to offer.

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Tips for incorporating career mentoring into your business

Posted on February 28, 2020 by admin

A career mentorship program involves partnerships between employees to develop professional skills and gain industry knowledge. Due to their requirement for a collaborative effort, career mentoring programs are often seen as powerful development tools for cultivating both leaders and employees within a business.

Whether you are a small business owner or a multinational corporate leader, the implementation of a mentorship program will always be profitable for businesses as not only does it create a harmonious workplace culture, it also helps to attract and retain employees.

As straight-forward as career mentoring sounds, there are a few key tips to keep in mind when building a mentorship program for your business:

Make sure your mentoring program is clearly defined:
To create a successful mentoring program, both mentors and mentees should have a concise understanding of their roles and what they would like to gain from the mentorship. By succinctly outlining the purpose of the mentoring program, mentors and mentees are more likely to keep organised and communicate respectfully with the guarantee of mutual rewards.

There should also be short-term and long-term goals established for all parties involved, including the business. These goals could be the narrowing of particular skill gaps or creating a more open workplace culture. By having these goals set in stone, both mentors and mentees and have a clear direction to work towards.

Personalise the match-making process:
Often times, businesses will match a mentor and mentee together depending on their skill-set and position within the company. While on paper, this may appear to be an efficient process, but the lack of chemistry between a mentor and mentee may prove to be devastating for the workplace environment.

As a result, be sure to involve both mentors and mentees in the match-making process and take into account personality traits. You could do this by asking employees to take a personality test to ensure compatibility in career goals, personal interests and preferred communication methods.

Be involved as a third-party:
Lastly, it is the responsibility of the business to check-in on the progress of mentorship programs in order to understand how mentors and mentees can grow together and what improvements can be made to the program. Remember to always refer back to the long-term goals established and consider the feedback provided by mentors and mentees from the program.

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