Business Relaunch

Business not working effectively? Have you considered a business relaunch?

If your business isn’t working as effectively as it once was, a business relaunch might be for you. Relaunching a business is a proactive decision taken to ensure that your business stays relevant and engaging in this new fast-paced, dog eat dog world. If a business is relaunched successfully, it can shed its old, ineffective face – and usher in it’s new, more successful era. Here are our tips for business relaunch, to make sure you nail it.

Our Tips for a Successful Business Relaunch

Do Your Homework

The first step of any major change is to work out what isn’t working. Analyse your business, and work out what was effective, and what wasn’t. Recruit someone to give you a hand with this; preferably someone unbiased who won’t sugar coat the truth. From here, go deeper and work out why your business wasn’t working; have your customers changed? Has your market changed? Is your product still what it once was? This is the defining moment of a relaunch decision – carry it out accordingly! Having extensive knowledge of both your own business and the wider market is key to a successful relaunch.

Learn from your Mistakes

Now that you know what wasn’t working and why, it is time to make some changes. In front of you there are two ‘piles’: the good things and the bad. Keep the good things – be it your software, product, or even your business cards, and take the lessons from the bad things. These lessons are the most important part of a relaunch – learn from, and don’t forget them. Make positive decisions based on what you learned – this is where your business has its grand rebirth – it is a landmark moment. You have an effective business again – go you.

Spread the Good Word

Now you effectively have a new business – but no one knows about it. This is your time to share your business with the world (again). If you can signal the relaunch of your business with an event, and promote it in such way as to get people talking about it, you’ll put yourself in a strong position to start well. Your main aim here is not only to promote your business, but also to differentiate it and shed the image of the old one. If you can express the fact that your business is leaner, meaner, (maybe cleaner and greener), and here to stay – then you might be onto a winner.

Want to read more?

This article focuses on business relaunch options, and introduces the concept of pivoting your business
While slightly older, this article shares some fantastic war stories of businesses that have relaunched.
Look here for a quick relaunching guide from Marketing Donut.

Job sheets and accounts software for tradesmen

We get asked all sorts of things by clients and this morning an electrician startup asked us

“Got a recommendation for a job sheet and accounting app that also incorporates inventory management?”

We did some research among our clients and contacts and found two options for them to check for inventory management and time management.

Two videos for you to watch
Contact Bevan at Jobsheet App support@jobsheetapp.com for more information
Jobsheet app is used by David Mortimore at Precision Plumbing  he’s used it for a few years and has 6 guys on his team.
Rowperfect is a client who uses the new Xero inventory system and it works fine.
And when you’re ready for marketing advice for tradesmen – give Creative Agency Secrets a call!

New discovery regarding Google PageRank

Why Google PageRank may differ

The other day we noticed that one of our client’s Google PageRank suddenly dropped. The reason we noticed that was because we did a search on CheckPageRank to see how their website matched up. With a quick search on the Google FAQ page we found out that the reason to the major drop was that Google PageRank only updates a few times a year, and on that particular occasion something must have happened (such as their tracking code going haywire).

What is Google PageRank?

In short words, it is a tool that calculates the importance of a webpage based on things like how many links the webpage has pointing back to the page. PageRank is the number that Google assign to the website and the websites with higher PageRank numbers are more likely to end up on the top of Google search results. The rank is scored our of 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being reserved for the likes of Google, Facebook and YouTube.

Updating Your PageRank

With some further research we found out that you can automate updating of your website’s Google PageRank by adding a Google PageRank Button/Icon to it. These add-ins are more trustworthy and frequently updated than relying on Google PageRank alone to find and rate you..

How do I apply for the Google PageRank Button/Icon

You can easily get the Google PageRank Button/Icon here and insert it into you website. If you’re just looking to see your current PageRank though you can enter your website domain name in the white box and click generate, with the details appearing below.

We did a quick search on how our website is ranked and you can see the result: 

 

CAS PageRank

 

 

 

 

Business & Marketing Tip: Following up with leads and relationships

A mutually beneficial client winning strategy

Marketing education is a big part of our overall new business strategy. At Creative Agency Secrets we strive to find ways to connect with our potential clients and be a part of their marketing success whether they work with us or not. We hold complimentary marketing management and idea calls, host free marketing seminars, create appraisals for websites and so on. But what makes it all work is our ability to follow up with the people we meet and educate. It’s one of our core lead generation and client winning strategies, and it could work for your business as well.

What following up does for your business

Staying connected develops relationships between you and your prospective clients or friends. This means you build up a network of people who can use your services, direct you to new clients and endorse your work.

Here’s a case study of a sports equipment online retailer we manage marketing activities for called Space Saver Rowing Systems. The client was so impressed with our work that when their manufacturer started looking for marketing assistance, the client directed them to us.

In another example, we worked with Zeald website designers to host a free marketing event. From that connection we gained several new clients, among them – European Auto Spares. We followed up with them individually after the event.

We’ve got loads of these stories and all because we helped our contacts in their endeavours and kept up communications with them.  In short, following up with people can net you leads and create a healthy flow of revenue for your business.

relationships casKeep the relationship flowing: the different ways we follow up

Meeting summaries for prospective clients – summaries are quite common, usually in the form of a dreary PDF or bullet-pointed word document. Along with that, we like to include anecdotes or a friendly sentence relating to something new we learned about the prospective client from that meeting. This gives those who joined the meeting more reason to read the email and even better, a reason to reply. To the right an example of a regular email following up a business meeting.

Something that we love to include in these that makes all the difference, is a link to one of our helpful blog posts or free eBooks. We look for a related topic in the email, then link a keyword or two and mention it may help. For example, if the email pertains to construction an email campaign, we might link to our cold emails eBook!

Newsletters – if you run a regular newsletter about your personal or company activities, invite your contacts to it. Make sure first that they’ll get something out of your blog posts and focus on explaining that to them. Newsletters don’t only inform, they help keep you and your business in the minds of others. This can make the difference between whether or not they think of you when new work arises. For an example, sign up to our newsletter list and see what you learn.

Related business – categorise your past clients and business friends by business type. This lets you update contacts in different industries on related updates to your activities or information you find.  To make the most of this, as soon as you form a new business relationship you should create a related industry update alert via a tool like Google Alerts. This way you’re following the industries most related to your activities and the alerts remind you that you have a connection to that industry. Then you can report any exciting news you find straight to them.

Us? Well, we’ve created our subcontracted services listing for exactly this reason. It’s an activity we do whereby we list all the work we can’t do or isn’t related to our services, and those listings get picked up by other businesses with the right set of skills for the job. It’s a fairly simple information sharing activity but with huge potential impact. As a result, people loves connecting with us.

Follow themif you keep up to date with the activities of your contacts you can provide more relevant input or updates. This is another exercise making sure you keep your follow ups linked to you with context as opposed to random email drops asking them how they are.

Daily tasks for this would include reading LinkedIn status updates. Weekly or monthly tasks include reading your contacts’ newsletters. One way we keep up with our industries and clients is by setting Google Alerts searching for company names. We also set an event on our Google Calendar that has a list of company websites and blogs to read up on in the description.

In Summary

Be diligent and consistent when you’re following up with people. Sometimes they are busy or skip emails, life gets in the way. Keep trying while not being too aggressive and you’ll grow on the minds of your clients and leads. Change up your approach to be more informative if a friendly nature doesn’t catch their eye. For example, you could direct them to tools or blog posts that will directly improve their way of business or provide them with a new opportunity. We posted up several examples of catch up emails and following leads through email that we’ve written previously to help you on your way.

Many of these ways to follow up with contacts can fit into your day to day activities, especially if you’re a marketing agency like us. If you spot yourself working on something that could help out some of your business contacts, send them an email and keep up to date. But more importantly – keep your business in their minds, and leading with a positive impression.

 


The blue icons opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.  6 Create Opportunities icon5 Relationship Development icon

Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing

 

 

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain has New Clues – time for newbies to read the original!

I listened to the FIR podcast #790 and found that Cluetrain has been updated!

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain Original

New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.

Your marketing strategy for 2015

If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up.  Forget it.  The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.

Rant over.

Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!

New Clues for Marketers

The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more

decision tree for creative agency services

Can you help us test our new “decision tree”?

We’ve changed our website home page.  It’s now got a new graphic of an apple and orange there.

Behind this is a cunning “decision tree”.

What happens next?

Please help us test it out by visiting our home page and clicking on the image (or by clicking on the image below) and see what you discover.

Please send us your feedback! It’s a new technology we’re trying and want to hear your thoughts.

Thank you

decision tree for creative agency services

Could you use a similar device on  your website to help guide your prospective customers through your services and products?

 

This is the second one we’ve done – the first was for FeedBlitz – they use it to help readers understand the FeedBlitz services for RSS delivery for email, feeds, podcasts as an alternative to FeedBurner.

FeedBlitz leaves FeedBurner standing

Leave FeedBurner

Write your new business development year plan with us

What’s the best way to market my business to get more paying customers?

The answer, is a new business development plan.  That’s a month by month chart of activities.  It includes proactive marketing that builds up your business profile which leads to enquiries which become sales.  It’s a continuous cycle.

Join us for in a business development workshop to write your own plan.  

This workshop is for business owners and managers who are responsible for finding new clients and growing revenues.  It will show you the practical, tried and tested techniques that the Creative Agency Secrets team uses for its clients.

Eventbrite - Write your new business development year plan with Creative Agency Secrets

You will learn:

  1. How to create a unique company profile.
  2. A check list of marketing activities .
  3. New business pipeline analysis and tracking template.
  4. What you need to do to get better known in your industry.
  5. Learn relationship building for getting and keeping long term clients.
  6. How to spot opportunities for new business sales.
  7. The business process that delivers leads.
  8. What to measure to track progress.

And it is all compiled into a unique 12 month plan for your business.

“I thought it was great, enlightening and thoroughly enjoyed the ideas. I also appreciated all the little things that can be done and those things that don’t take money but have a big impact. It was great and I thoroughly would recommend it to all business owners looking to expand business online.Julie Soboil, co-owner, Hushamok

The business session with you was very good – reinforced my thinking but was given expert and very helpful and thoughtful information for me to digest.Dr. Helen Mitchell, Managing Director, Anti-Aging World

Each attendee will take home a high level plan for their business – planned through the year with month by month activities.

You will walk out at the end of the day (29th of August) with a plan lasting twelve months, bespoke to the needs of your business.  These plans work – we use them all the time for our clients – so the method is tried, tested and very adaptable to YOUR business needs.

This is your chance to get top flight advice without the price.

Be Quick – there’s a BONUS OFFER for early bird subscribers on the event page.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming you.

Kickstart your business for biz dev success with Creative Agency Secrets 

3 ways to improve proposal writing next steps

We advised a client today about how to make 3 improvements to their proposal ending texts.  Writing a descriptive of your service or product and pricing it is only part of the new business development process.  It is essential that it leads to a next step to keep the discussion going and lead towards a buy/no-buy decision by the prospect.

Three key information points in a proposal

  1. clarifying next steps
  2. adding a timescale
  3. pushing the client towards buying what you want to sell

Here is the original ending paragraph they wrote:

Let me know if you are interested in talking more. If it would help, we can quickly provide a demo of steps 1 and 2 if you provide us with some game event data. As part of that demo we can demonstrate how simple creating new reports / analyses is.

By improving the text the reader is given clear expectations about next steps in the discussion process .

We recommended editing the last paragraph to give clarity on the 3 key information points

“The next step is for you to send us with some game event data and we can quickly provide a demo of steps 1 and 2.  

As part of that demo we can demonstrate how simple creating new reports / analyses is.  We would make a nominal charge for this work of $XXX which will be fully refundable if we proceed to a full implementation.  

I will call you on Wednesday next week to confirm when you can send us the data and a date for the demo.”  

Although sounding rather presumptuous this text sets clear expectations with regard to timeframes and next steps against which you can update your biz dev pipeline.

What are your favourite closing sentences in a proposal?7 Make New Biz Happen icon

GoHachi introduces you to new biz dev prospects

Getting in front of the people you want to sell to is difficult. Hell, we even wrote a how to manual about ways to research and find contact details of people online.

GoHachi threatens to make this history with its network-of-networks approach to business referrals and introductory sales.

I was an early beta tester and I love the idea of joining together all my networks and using whichever works best to connect with prospects.

So when Hachi invited me to test it out again, I jumped at the chance.

Hachi is improved

Take a look at the nice graphics and easy site layout.  All good for UX.

I added in my Linked In contacts.

Hachi linked in connections

Hachi linked in connections

– but was a bit confused because I thought I’d already done them.

My profile photo isn’t rendering properly (but I know what I look like).

Hachi helps make a connection to a prospect

Hachi helps make a connection to a prospect

So I thought I’d try out a couple of new introductions.

I browsed the “surprise me” tab to see who Hachi thought I should connect to.

Then I ran and saved a search for “marketing managers” in Auckland, New Zealand.  Came up with someone at Fonterra – a  milk marketing and buying company so I thought I’d give it a go.

Hachi offered me 5 possible routes to connect and I selected Jason – who I know from PocketSmith (cute financial planning tool).

Irritatingly, it doesn’t offer me the chance to just click and send.  I have to manually type in his email (necessitated going to Linked In which I thought I’d connected).

Hachi requires you to insert email

Hachi requires you to insert email

There’s a nice page where you can keep track of all the introductions you have in progress.

Let’s see what comes back.

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