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Business Networking Tips

Business Networking, courtesy of Jana Kollarova, RGBStock.com

Business networking is an effective form of marketing, especially for small business.

Networking has the potential to generate large returns for low investment – if it’s approached in the right way.

Five Business Networking Tips

The very best tips are always simple, so here are five simple tips to improve buisness networking:

  1. Practise saying what you do – in language ANYONE can understand. If you’re technical, then your customers are buying your expertise, but they still need to understand you first.
  2. Remember Radio WIIFM. People receive on Radio What’s In It for Me, so explain what you deliver not what you do (benefits not features).
  3. Help other people. If you’re helpful then others will be too.
  4. Follow up. If you offered to send information then do, if you found a business really interesting follow up and say so.
  5. Enjoy! People like to be around people enjoying themselves – not necessarily having a party! – but definitely wanting to be there.

Business networking becomes easier with practice and good preparation is a key element. Networking should form part of the business development strategy to make sure results are delivered. Read more about Getting the best out of networking.

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Hold on to Your Customers

Customers, image courtesy of Steve Woods, RGBStock.comHold on to your customers is simple advice and sound advice too, as it can mean the difference between growing and standing still (or even moving backwards).

Business growth can be achieved by reducing the number of customers you lose as well as by finding new ones.

Business Growth by Acquiring New Customers

In any business it is important to know the cost of acquiring a new customer. This means taking into account all related the marketing expenses (whether that’s networking or direct email, or the cost of maintaining a website) as well as any pricing decisions that have been made (possibly through offering new customer discounts) and other associated costs. Typically this is a higher cost than expected. Replacing lost customers can be costly in terms of money and time.

Business Growth by Keeping Existing Customers

Avoid the costs of replacing customers by keeping them. The time and money spent holding on to existing customers will be less than acquiring new ones.

To hold on to a customer you need to know why a customer might move away. Some reasons include:

  • maybe you don’t provide the products or services they need now,
  • maybe your customer has met someone who can do the same as you
  • maybe your customer has forgotten about you
  • maybe someone has offered a better service at a better price

Keeping existing customers means having a strategy, planning the actions to be taken and then implementing them. Read more about Holding on to your Customers.

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How to Increase Turnover

Turnover image courtesy of Sigurd Decroos, RGBStock.comBusiness development is all about growing turnover and more importantly profit. But what exactly is turnover? Turnover is money coming into a business, which is not the same as profit. However increasing turnover certainly should increase profit as well.

Two ways to generate additional turnover:

  • Win new customers
  • Find ways for existing customers to spend more

How do you do that? Through better marketing. Marketing is what attracts customers to spend – it’s about having products and services the market wants and informing them about how those products and services will benefit them. It includes a whole range of activities such as  producing a website, Google Adwords, email marketing, social media, blogging and more traditional media such as advertising, direct mail, newsletters, PR etc.

Four Steps to Improve Turnover

Here are four steps you could take to help increase your sales

  • Existing customers. Definitely the easiest and quickest way to grow your business. Upsell and cross sell your products to your existing customers. Identify which products they don’t buy from you and then tell them about them. You should also keep them informed of all new products and innovations
  • Referrals. Actively ask your existing customers to refer you to their contacts who would benefit from your services. Make referral marketing an active part of your marketing armoury as opposed to a matter of chance.
  • Promotion. Adding a promotional offer into your sales pitch will dramatically increase your conversion rate.
  • Leads. Leads are the life blood of most businesses. Rev up your marketing machine to generate plenty of leads and then ensure that your conversion strategies are in good working order.

However, for dramatic business growth, focusing on the seven levers to business success will deliver spectacular results.

Business development advice can help every small business to increase turnover and also to grow profit. Find out more about business development advisors.

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What is Profit? Business Development Grows Profit

Increasing Profit image courtsey of Steve Woods, RGBStock.com

The ultimate objective of business development is to grow profit. But what exactly is profit?

Unfortunately there’s no one correct answer – accountants can provide a precise definition, but even then there’s more than one sort of profit. For a small business, profit can be described as the difference between the money coming in and the money going out – it’s also what you pay tax on.

In relation to business development, profit is all important because the aim of almost all businesses is to make money and normally as much as possible.

How to Grow Profit

There are only two ways to grow profit:

  • Increase income
  • Reduce costs

That may sound easy, but as with most things in business, it’s taking action that counts – and most importantly, making sure that the right actions are taken.
Some people will prefer to focus on one of the two areas above. While cutting costs immediately impacts on the  bottom line, costs can only be cut so far before it starts to have a negative impact on the business. This is where  a business development advisor can help by keeping both elements in balance.

Steps to Reduce Costs

To reduce costs, the following steps can help:

  • Understand and examine current costs. Although this may sound obvious, it is important to understand every cost and what benefit it delivers.
  • Identify alternatives. There is always more than one way to achieve a specific result, so look for alternatives (who else provides the same service, can you renegotiate costs with an existing supplier, do you still need it, etc)
  • Implement. Make decisions, implement some alternatives and reduce costs.

The objective of a cost reduction exercise must be to grow the business’ profit.

Steps to Increase Income

For most small businesses, increasing income is the same as increasing turnover. Find out how to increase turnover.

Business development advice can help every small business to grow. Helping to identify areas where costs can be reduced and providing ways to increase income. Find out more about business development advisors services.

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What is Business Development?

Image courtesy of Michał Koralewski, RGBStock.comBusiness development is the process of growing a business. –  and will often involve all elements of marketing. Additionally you will need to utilise good business disciplines such as upselling and cross selling to existing customers, supplying exceptional service, ranging, merchandising etc. The list is long and extensive.

Business development for the small business is often focused around generating new business, making profitable sales to new and existing customers. The key tool for doing this is marketing.

Marketing

There are many aspects to marketing, however two important elements are to:

  • Identifying what products and services the market wants to buy
  • Communicating your products and services persuasively so that customers buy from you.

Business Development Marketing

Focusing on the second element (assuming your small businesses already knows what the market will buy), here are five top tips for business development marketing:

  1. Remember that online marketing should support offline marketing – you need both, so don’t neglect one.
  2. Use direct mail
  3. Use email marketing
  4. Raise the business profile through PR
  5. Develop a referral marketing plan

Business development advice can help every small business to grow. Helping to identify areas where costs can be reduced and providing ways to increase income. Find out more about business development advisors services.

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Business Development Advisors

Mike Jennings from BDAWelcome to Help to Grow my Business – a blog brought to you by Mike Jennings of Business Development Advisors.

We are business development experts, based just outside Guildford in Surrey. We work with small and medium sizes companies to rapidly grow their turnover and more importantly their profit. We generate new customers for our clients and make sure that they retain and maximise the value of their existing customers.

We will bring rapid and sustainable growth to your business.

For an initial, no obligation chat to find out how Business Development Advisors can help your business either call us on 01483 200387 or fill out the Contact  Us form