Monday, 8 October 2012

What does your design and print say about you and your business

Your stationery, business cards, website, e-mails, brochures and advertising convey your brand personality to your target audience.
The design is important in developing your image, how you are represented and what makes you stand out from the crowd.

Please make sure that you work with designers and printers that understand your vision for the business and that can create the appropriate and effective message for your business.
This is an area that can not be underestimated, even for the smallest of businesses.
You are going to spend some money to have this created, so get it right first time with the image that is right for you and your market.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Mentoring in leisure and hospitality

So what have I been doing recently?

One exciting piece of work that I have been doing is with a long term client. They are a husband and wife team running their own restaurant in Oxford for the past 7 years.

My role has been to support their decision makiing and planning in many different areas of the business, but predominantly relating back to the numbers in the business, including the obvious turnover and margins, but also reviewing the underlying numbers such as covers, average sale value, service scores, staff turnover and  to name a few.

This last week, we were looking at the seasonal flow of their business, highlighted by the recent visitors to Oxford for the open day at the Universities.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Understand your numbers and make them work for your future success

This is one area that I am truly passionate about and encourage everyone that I work with to really understand their numbers. If you truly understand your numbers it will be a major contributor to your future success.

Yes we would encourage you to effectively forecast your business and be on top of your accounts so that you can compare your actual numbers with your expectations, forecasts and previous periods

But we also encourage you to better understand your resources and identify the key trends for your business as this is likely to highlight areas that may require attention at an early stage rather than when it may be too late to change a price, review a supply etc.

Your forecast is likely to be your informed estimate, your budget, your planned outcome, but your management accounts show the actual performance and viability of your business.

I would suggest that by the time you receive your annual accounts back from your accountant, then the information may be out of date and irrelevant to what is happening right now. So accurate, up to date, information enables you to make informed decisions to improve your business and impact on your bottom line now.

We have seen the difference management accounts can make to a business for many of our clients.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Invited to speak in London

I am pleased to have been invited back again to speak at this years conference of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers in London on 7th November.

Last year, I spoke on the subject of Strategic and Tactical Marketing and was voted the 'the most popular speaker'.  This year, my talk will be covering the 7 effective steps to grow your bookkeeping business.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Is there a best way to market a business?

I have been reading many articles this week all suggesting that a certain way is the best way to market your business and I can see how this can distract business owners from their marketing focus and encourage them to try anything and everything to get a new customer.

This is fine if you have the time, as any new customers can be a good thing for some businesses. However many of the people we work with have limited time for marketing or are aware that only a certain level of investment in marketing activity will be worth the likely return.

So what is the best way to market your business? Online, offline?

Well it really depends on your customers and the ideal customer that you wish to attract with your marketing activities. so I encourage you to do some great market research to truly understand your target market and more importantly, what do they do.

So for example if your target customer reads a certain publication, then perhaps PR in that publication should be your focus. Maybe your target customer is on Facebook most of the day, then of course this is a consideration for your marketing spend with adverts on Facebook.

You will see there is no one marketing activity that best suits all businesses and the key is good research and focus. Without both, you are likely to be wasting some of your hard earned money.