Thursday, 15 March 2018

Digital Marketing | That Social Media Thing

Digital Marketing | That Social Media Thing!

The best you can say about the use of social media platforms by small businesses is that they have 'sort of' adopted them. A lot of small businesses have a twitter account, facebook page and perhaps a blog. Some of the more aware ones have a pinterest page. Many more do not partake at all. There are some misapprehensions out there!

If your target audience is perhaps largely young women, then you should have an active presence engaging with your audience on a regular basis on the sites where you are likely to be seen. Not that older people and other people cannot be reached. The requirements for someone connected to the beauty business are going to be different from an air conditioning firm for example.

If you are not engaging with Professional business firms you still might get through by using LinkedIn. All those so called serious business folk have families and many have a sense of humour.  To read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd, just click here.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Running A Business | Business Ethics Are Key

Image for LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd Associates | Running a Business, Business Ethics

Running A Business | Business Ethics Are Key!

The way people behave in business has been troubling me lately. The integrity of a business is what is presented to the outside world. It starts off with politeness and courtesy, moves on to turning up on time and then to doing what you say you can. It also covers not saying you can do something when you can’t!

Communication is a lot to do with it. If you say when you are going to pay, make sure you do what you say. For any business struggling with cash flow that is a useful tip. Much better that you get in first and tell them what you can do rather than wait until the boys are coming round and start bleating then!

Think about all the times you have received poor service. A lot of it was unmanaged expectation. Had you been told some investigation was needed and a reply would be given within a certain time you would have waited. Had you been told what was happening/why there was a delay/ given an apology for whatever was amiss it is likely you would have had your opinion of the place enhanced and may even have recommended it.  To read the full article by Bob Shepherd on "Business Ethics", just click here.  Simple really!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Business Planning | Is it time well spent?

I had a client who was a tyre and exhaust depot who had tyres in every corner of space. I asked him how many and he had over 600. There was no real reason why he had to keep a couple of everything made when he could get them delivered in a couple of hours. His cash flow improved when I pointed this out.

We the consumers should demand less choice. That way when your Christmas tree lights don’t work and you try to buy some bulbs you will not need to discover there are dozens of variations which are essentially the same, but not interchangeable.  To read the full Bob Shepherd LinkedIn article, just click here.  Simple really

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Business Marketing | Just Who Are You Talking To?

LinkedIn article image for a Bob Shepherd Business marketing article

Business Marketing | Just Who Are You Talking To?

“Business Marketing” – that old thing! It’s part of that section of company activities you could label “Shouting to the outside World”. If you do not tell anyone you are there they can only find you by accident.

For a small business the need to be seen and heard is paramount, but limited by resources of money, expertise and most importantly time available. Having sorted all that out the business of what to say comes under consideration. What shall we tell them? How shall we tell them? How can we make them listen?  To answer that question, you'll need to read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd - Click here. Simple really.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Traditional Marketing & Digital Marketing - It’s still Marketing

Linkedin article banner for Bob Shepherds article on business marketing

Traditional Marketing & Digital Marketing - It’s still Marketing

How do you push your business? There are many possibilities and you probably need to do most of them!
What about your website? Is it Optimised for relevant Keywords/ Key-phrases? Is it mobile responsive? How fast does it load? Have you set page goals? Have you worked out the unique selling point of each page. Are the most important points "above the the fold?". That's just the tip of the iceberg.

What about networking, some telemarketing, some effective PR and when should you use Social Media? How do you do that effectively?

To read the full LinkedIn article by Bob Shepherd, just click here.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Marketing | The Pricing Ceiling

Bob Shepherd Article Image on business Marketing

Marketing | The Pricing Ceiling

There are interesting effects that a price ceiling invokes and there is a need to be careful in using them.
For example a life assurance plan at “less than £1 a week” is not going to be worth a look if I want a meaningful financial benefit . Assuming I am representative of the sort of clientèle the company really wants to attract, they are likely to haul in precisely the opposite. It smacks of the post war burial plans that were collected at the door at a shilling a week. In those days the sheer quantity of them made them a useful contribution to the company’s funds and since many of them got lost or were never claimed for some reason there is a tidy sum kicking about somewhere.
The value of money has skewed dramatically in the last few years. Incomes are considerable now in......... To read the full LinkedIn article by Bob Shepherd, just click here.  Simple really

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Business Presentations | Many ways to skin a cat

Business Presentations | Many ways to skin a cat

In my corporate career, I was sent on many courses and seminars. I think every time there would be someone there saying they could not think what they were doing there as they had been doing the job for two years, or that it was bound to be a waste of their time in some other way.

I thought at the time that I was missing several major points. Even if they knew everything about the subject we were going to get another perspective on the subject. We were going to spend some time with peers which might have some contact value or the opportunity to know and show who we all were. There was always a potential for some little nugget in the presentation that would prove useful and when else would we spend some hours concentrating on that particular aspect of our working life?
Altogether a positive experience, or it should have been. A lot of people did not see it that way however.......... To read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd, simply click here

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Business Networking | Knowing your onions isn't enough

Linkedin Article Image by Bob Shepherd Associates on Business Networking

Business Networking | Knowing your onions isn't enough

Professional knowledge is essential for any business but building an extensive network of relevant contacts can be just as important. This is particularly the case for a conceptual business. If you are a Printer, or an Accountant, or something with a definite label then people think they know what you do already. (They don’t of course but you have to see it positively) Getting to know the right people can be critical for business success.

The first purpose of networking is making contacts, building possible....... To read the full LinkedIn Article by Bob Shepherd, just click here - Simple really.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Business in a box | Franchises

Business in a box | Franchises

One very basic question applies to all Franchises of whatever flavour, size or type. It all comes from this.........

"Is the money you are spending to get a ready made business as much or even more than it would cost you to set it up anyway?".
You might be surprised how often the question is ignored and how often the calculation is a close run thing. There may be other reasons for using a franchise but – buyer beware! The considerations for buying a Franchise are not that different to setting up a new business. In some cases the promised delivery of leads, dedicated areas, training and all the incentives that make it look worthwhile are just not there in sufficient quantities, once you have paid over the money.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Marketing | The digital follow-up to networking

Article banner for Bob Shepherd Associates | The digital follow up to networking

Marketing | The digital follow-up to networking

Recently, I have been catching up on my business contacts (do stay on top of this!). I take a card from the pile that is starting to topple over and I go through the following process....

  • I look to see if there are any Social Media icons with the businesses tag present? – Yes/No (7 second have lapsed)
  • If no, go to their website: (14 seconds have lapsed)
  • Are there any Social Media icons at the top of the page – Yes/ No
  • No, scroll down to the footer – Yes/ No
  • No, click the contact icon (are they hidden Here) – Yes/ No