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Tag: strategy

Business Update with Terry Gilbert – 21st November 2010

“Keep Up”!!

It’s all changing so fast – legislation, VAT, fuel costs, gas and electric, petrol. We must watch the trends and react to keep control. November/December predicted to be quite healthy, but brace yourself for January and February. Get prepared now and consider every type of promotional activity – sales, special offers etc. The pro-active business will cope with it, if the business is in a rut it will continue to spiral downwards.

The big indicators ie Bank of England, interest changes, inflation are exceeding all predictions, so the things out of your control will be improving to help. It is now down to you to grab the nettle and make the most of it. So I think I can wish you all a happy Christmas and I would love to add – a Prosperous New Year.

And finally:
We all have a moan about Christmas
And everything going so bad
But when Terry got this letter from Santa
It made him feel ever so sad.
I’m sending this note to advise you
That taxes have taken away
The things I found most essential
My reindeer, my workshop, my sleigh.
Now I’m making my rounds on a donkey
He’s old, crippled and slow
So if you don’t see me at Christmas
I’m out on my ass in the snow!

Cow turns into field, recession finally over?

Well, more figures show the recession is over! Which is good news – they are even predicting a slight run on the Stock Market.

Good news shows some support to SME’s for Research and Development. Tax credits could help small businesses to carry out R & D spending.

Hero’s welcome in the UK. We are asking all of our businesses in North Somerset to consider displaying the logo on the shop door and to offer a value added service eg small discount on products or services. Plus Armed Forces day 26 June is an event that has grown. There is no charge for this and will be of interest to children and adults. Lots of events across the town – look out for the publicity and get involved – show your support to our armed forces.

On 1st January a number of measures were introduced that will affect almost all businesses and organisations that supply or receive services from overseas – VAT complications.

And finally:

As legislation is increasing in every section, will I need to join the Magic Circle – as I helped a farmer turn a cow into a field on Sunday!

Terry Gilbert is Business Support Manager for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk as well as being the director for the Weston Town Centre Partnership and Chair for Weston 200 and Weston Arts Social Enterprise.

Business success in 2010 will be all about value

Creating value for businesses is far more than merely offering discounts and products at a cheaper price. Although this can work, one of the areas where many businesses fail, is not extending that value to the customers, or to their wider business model and strategy. This value does not need necessarily to be driven by cost – it’s driven by innovation and giving people what they want; it’s about being different – providing the best services (services that are indeed offered by X number of competitors) – enough to stand out. Creating value comes down to thinking what your customers will benefit from – and giving it to them. The ultimate question businesses need to be asking is: ‘Is my product really solving a problem?’ and ‘How does it solve it in a clear, unique way?’

Getting this right, means you will be able to have a hold over your competitors.

Oli Johnson is an Advertising Copywriter and Creative Director of www.orangejuicecopy.com. He’s passionate about working with businesses to ensure they’re making the very most of their products and services, through the words they use across all their communications. He also likes Cherry Bakewells.

Merry Christmas from the Chamber of Trade

high street image2 300x225 Merry Christmas from the Chamber of TradeThey say the shops turned over £4 billion this weekend alone – who stayed up and counted it all?! I am pleased that expenditure has increased and people are spending today, but they will cut back in January and February – a good time to tighten the belt, but also a good time to network and market your business.

Weston-super-Mare Chamber of Trade are very pro-active, linking with lots of local organisations, including Star Radio.

A slow recovery is now predicted and the recession is over!! That is a general statement, and while I think it is true, this is not the case for all businesses. Some still have to take stock. I will say however, if you grab the nettle you could speed up the recovery by 50%. Plan to grow now.

And finally:

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, but more than that we wish you a healthy New Year. Remember your business is like a trumpet – if you don’t put anything in, you won’t get anything out!!!

Terry Gilbert is Business Support Manager for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk as well as being the director for the Weston Town Centre Partnership and Chair for Weston 200 and Weston Arts Social Enterprise

The Business Review December 09

Mortgages
As many as one in three customers are paying more than they need to for mortgages. There are so many special offers at the moment and it is a great time to get a free check to see if you are on the right package with insurance also being far too high on some policies.

This applies to business as well as domestic mortgages – Get a free 30 minutes check free of charge for peace of mind – telephone the North Somerset Enterprise Agency 01934 418118.

Innovation
Innovation and diversification are major factors in who will cope with the recession, even during these hard times we see plenty of examples of local companies who are doing well and bucking the trend. In fact many of the world’s largest corporations were founded during times of economic downturn, such as Microsoft and Disney! Some of the positive aspects of a recession are labour is easy to find due to large amounts of redundancies, competition is less fierce due to cost-cutting and rivals going out of business means more trade for those still operating. What is your business doing to stand out from the crowd?

Health & Safety Straightjacket!!
David Cameron is currently reviewing Health and Safety Legislation, and is looking to clear out alot of the bureaucracy involved to help us run our businesses. Its election time in a couple of months so maybe common sense will return!!!

VAT
VAT rates return to 17.5% on 1 January 2010, so remember to update all your books and systems for any finances or invoices due beyond the 31st December 2009

Bank Loans
Bank loans for small businesses allegedly readily available, enquire with your Bank manager today and let us know your experiences in the comments section below!

The Grand Pier
The world will be watching our pier which is growing every day, and is on track for completion for the summer season in 2010. We all need to use this – if they can rebuild the pier, we can all rebuild our business – onward and upward!

Terry Gilbert is Business Support Manager for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency www.northsomersetenterpriseagency.co.uk as well as being the director for the Weston Town Centre Partnership and Chair for Weston 200 and Weston Arts Social Enterprise

Too many local businesses lack Brand-strategy

In the current climate, it’s never been more important for businesses to live and breathe their Brand. It’s who they are; it’s everything they do. After all, we are all nothing less than ‘Global Microbrands’. Everything about a business and its service is built around an understanding of it; the way it acts, the way it communicates with its customers, its partners and affiliates, staff…everyone. So why is it that so many local businesses seem to be lacking a vision for their Brand strategy?

Brand strategy for many local businesses and services seems to stretch to a facebook fanpage and a few facebook events and groups. . . perhaps even a website and an email address. Though all of these identify what the business is, and often what it offers. None of them form a Brand, or a strategy, or a direction. Many don’t even have a brand promise. Even words are brands, and local businesses appear to be failing to notice the power, words/advertising can play in driving business and moving forward in a troubled climate. Without a relevant and powerful Brand strategy, I find it difficult to see how they can survive.

Oli Johnson is an Advertising Copywriter www.orangejuicecopy.com. He is also Creative Director of Kerouac’s Dog Magazine TM – an independently published, underground Magazine for Creatives in Bristol – and Team Cheesecake TM Vintage & Pinup Boudoir photography