The Importance Of Planning And Goal Setting In Networking

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The Importance Of Planning And Goal Setting In Networking

It’s January, which means it’s the time of new beginnings, resolutions and generally planning for a better 2018. But as well as deciding what you want in your personal life, and maybe even in your business life, have you looked at your networking strategy? Looking back on 2017, could you have got more out of your networking groups, or given more back in return? Many people who find networking ineffective for them only do so because they don’t have a goal, or a plan for achieving it, when they walk into a meeting. But networking is just like any other business activity – if you don’t have a plan  for it, you won’t get anywhere. In this month’s blog, we want to talk about goal setting and planning in networking

How Do You Plan For Networking?

Before you get into the detailed planning of the day. You need to set yourself a wider strategy. This involves looking at your business plan and your target market, and choosing the right events to go along to. What networks will be right for your business over the next year? Will they help you achieve your business goals, or will they just eat up your time? It may sound harsh, but time is precious, and if your networking isn’t bringing in results, then it might be time to move on. Look back over the previous year and see which groups delivered a good return on your time and monetary investment, and which didn’t. Of the ones that didn’t, did they fail because the room wasn’t right, or because you didn’t work hard enough with it? Did you neglect your follow up’s from referrals and one to ones, or maybe not send hot seaters when you were absent?

Another big part of the planning is in the preparation for each event. The day before your networking meeting, make sure you have everything you’re going to need. That’s business cards, flyers, any props or samples you might want to use or give out. Most groups will ask you to do a short presentation – around 40 seconds to a minute long. Rather than winging it on the day, prepare what you want to say in advance and write it down – even if it’s just bullet points. Also prepare a series of questions you can ask – things to break the ice and help you learn about the other people in the room. We’ve got a list of great ways to break the ice at networking events here, along with our top networking tips here. On the day, make sure you are clean, dressed properly and well groomed, so that you can make the best possible impression on the people there.

So What Are Your Goals?

Of course, it’s easy enough to say, but how do you decide on your goals for networking, and follow through on them? Our resident business coach and member of the Reading group, Jana Green, has this advice:

You cannot reach goals you don’t have. Success = having a goal.

The very first step towards any success, whether business, personal or networking, is to have a goal. People who master the art of goal setting become very successful because then they apply it continuously throughout their lives towards any activity. When you know your goal, you can work out back all the steps you need to take to achieve it. In business goal setting, focus on how much you want to make, what you want your business to look like and work out what you need to improve. There is a very good chance you need to improve your marketing, sales and money beliefs to do that.

In networking, remember that apart from the socialising, meeting new people and listening to other people’s experiences, your main goal is to find more business. Whether that is through people introducing you to connections who could help you achieve that or finding an actual client. So set yourself a goal of never leaving a networking meeting without making a step forward in your business.

You can find out more about what Jana has to say on her website

So take January as a time to look back over the last years networking and reflect. For some people, the success of networking isn’t just measured in revenue, but in partnerships built up or even in friendships. All of these outcomes are good, but only if they align with your business strategy. At 10-12, we are dedicated to bringing our members not only a chance to connect and network, but to learn and grow in a supportive, all female environment. To find out more about how we can help you grow your business in 2018, get in touch with us or book in as a visitor to one of our meetings.


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5 Ways To Grow Your Business Organically

As an entrepreneur, starting up your new business it can be incredibly exciting. But getting it off the ground can also be equally as difficult. When profits start to appear and you get used to the demands of your business, expansion could be the last thing on your mind. But while it’s important to enjoy your new found success, you may also want to look at growing your business.
When it comes to business growth, it’s important not to do too much too soon. Instead, focusing on growing your business organically will help ensure steady growth and profit, instead of making a huge and uncertain leap into paid growth and falling short. But how can you successfully grow your business organically?

Invest Some Time In Your Online Presence

In the words of Bill Gates, ‘there will be only two kinds of businesses, those with an internet presence, and those with no business at all.’ We are living on the internet of things, so it’s important to make sure you’re online. People turn to the internet for all kinds of information, and you want to be there to provide it.  Even if you’re running a one-man business, it’s worth investing some time in your online presence. Get yourself a website and make sure it is optimised properly so that people can find you online easily. Use social media to regularly interact with customers, prospects and other businesses.

Network Like Your Life Depends On It

One of the things that helps many businesses stride from start-up into small and even medium sized businesses is networking. Getting your face out there, meeting local business owners and building relationships is crucial for any successful growing business. There are a lot of different options for networking out there, and the best way to find one that’s right for you is to try some out! For example, if you want a very laid back and casual approach to nurture ongoing relationships gently, you could try Business Biscotti. If you’re looking for something structured, aimed at accelerating growth quickly with structure, and are prepared to commit to an early morning weekly meeting there’s BNI. Or if you’re looking for a supportive group of women who can help you and your business grow at a pace that suits you, there are groups like 10-12 Business Club. The trick to getting networking to effectively grow your business is finding a group you like, that works for you and your business type. So try out every group you can find, then dedicate yourselves to the ones that work.

Keep An Eye On Your Cash Flow

The saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’ might hold some weight, but small businesses still need to keep a close watch on their spending. Businesses will typically calculate their cash flow based on what’s left over after all of their essential expenses are paid and non-cash items are adjusted on the net income. When you start to think about business decisions from a free cash flow perspective, new growth opportunities become more apparent. But if you start to lose sight of your cash flow, you may find yourself making big capital investments with large depreciation costs that provide little long-term value, and you can get into trouble.

Build Key Relationships

Relationships are one of the most important things to any growing business, and spending some time building and nurturing them can be worth its weight in gold. Whether it’s with your suppliers or with new customers, those relationships are critical. You should also look at making connections with other businesses in the area that could grow into partnerships. So, for example, if you provide a marketing service, you might want to build some key relationships with specialist service providers, such as social media gurus, bloggers or SEO specialists. Make sure you are spending time helping the relationships you do have, and the return will be huge.

At 10-12, we are all about helping business owners connect and build their businesses together. All of our members are dedicated to not only making connections but building giving as much help and support as they can to other business owners on the road to growth. If you are interested in trying out a new networking group and joining a network of supportive, successful business owners focussed on growth, just get in touch with us today, or arrange to visit one of our groups.


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evolution for women

Dreams for your future

What are your dreams for your future?

Unlike me at her age, my daughter is not really a dreamer for the future if I ask her. She is very much about the here and now and even though a part of me wants to hear her talk about her dream job (knowing that it will change), I actually like the independence that she shows in not being under pressure to talk about growing up.

As a child, one of my dreams was to work in Africa saving animals, partly influenced by watching the Diane Fossey story in Gorillas in the Mist and others like it. Back then, before the days of social media, if you wanted to help a cause, you went out and got involved, you couldn’t make a difference in the world via facebook and perhaps you still can’t. I still hold on to that dream a little, perhaps one day I might go to Africa for a time when my daughter no longer needs me quite as much and offer my services to an animal charity.

Our Dreams May Have Changed

Our dreams may have changed since we were little as our responsibilities have grown, what’s the dream that gives you the reason to get up, work hard and do what you need to do in your career or for your loved ones every day?

  • Retire early?
  • Get a better work/life balance?
  • See more of the world?
  • Spend more time with or caring for your loved ones?
  • Buy that holiday home or move abroad?

Is this just a dream or are you making the plans that you need now to help this to become a reality?

Saving for The Future

When we are in our 20’s or 30’s it can be easy to not look too far into the future while we are busy focusing on the financial demands of the here and now, juggling work and family life and the additional living costs at this time. For many, this is the reality, well into our 40’s with big mortgages and low disposable incomes. Saving for the future seems impossible. In our 50’s, some have managed to get to point when we can start seriously planning for our future though the task ahead of them to achieve that dream can seem quite daunting at that time.

Savvy Choices with Your Spending & Borrowing

Whatever stage of life you are at, savvy choices with your spending & borrowing can help you to make your dreams a reality sooner than you think. Planning for your future in other ways such as protecting your income and family, can help you to cope better with the curve balls that life may throw at you. It’s not too late to start. We want our clients to have fun, be happy and spend quality time with loved ones with the peace of mind in knowing that your finances are in order, you have a financial plan for the future and your family will be provided for during some of the more difficult life events that can happen. If you know or think you need help in all or any of these areas to make your financial future more certain, please get in touch with me or your local Evolution for Women Adviser and see how we can help you.


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Our Top Networking Tips

Our Top Networking Tips

Networking can be tough, especially if you’re the new one in the group. When you first step into a room full of complete strangers, all chatting and laughing like they are old friends (which some of them are), it can feel hugely intimidating. But networking is an essential part of small and medium business life and it can do so much good for your business, your growth and you as a business owner (it can be awfully lonely otherwise). But how do you make the most of your networking time? We have a few tips for you.

Show Interest In Others 

This should be your first and golden rule, but so many people break it. There are always the boring people who talk about themselves non-stop, or their own challenges and worries. Those types of people get nowhere in networking. Yes, if someone asks you about something you should respond, but the real value comes in showing an interest in others, rather than talking about yourself and your business for the whole event. It makes people feel valued like you are listening and endears them more to you as a person.

Be Specific

If you are in an event where you can stand up and offer a 40, 50 or 60-second pitch to the room, make sure you are specific. So if you’re looking to speak to a certain company, try and find out who it is you would be dealing with and mention them by name. You should also be specific about your reasons for wanting to speak with them, and what value you would offer. This helps everyone else in the room be on the lookout for the right person and introduce you in the right way – which is more likely to result in being referred. 

Be A Giver And Help People (If You Can) 

If someone drops their business cards or a stack of paperwork, be the first to offer them help. If a newcomer is looking lost, make sure you approach them, welcome them and make them feel comfortable within the room. Be a giver within and outside the room, as that generosity will often come back to you 10-fold. Showing basic courtesy and offering help, support and guidance is likely to help cement your relationships with the people in the room, which is ultimately what leads to more business. 

Dress Well

We don’t mean you have to dress up in your Sunday best or in black tie, but just take a second to choose your outfit for networking and show that you care about what you look like. Ask yourself ‘would I like to meet me looking like that?’ It’s not just about clothes either – make sure your personal grooming is up to scratch and your body odours are under control. Reflect the personality of your business in the way you dress, creative people can get away with more informal dress code than that of a solicitor.

 Don’t Just Hand Out Cards

There is nothing worse than watching someone rush around the room, pressing their business cards into everyone’s hand and then walking right out the door again. You should only hand out your card to someone who you have had a meaningful conversation with, preferably after they have asked you for it. Simply throwing your cards at people sends out a really bad message about you, it shows you are more interested in quantity than quality.  Cards given to people you have an in-depth conversation are more likely to be used than those sprayed around a room.

Be A Good Conversation Starter

Conversations are hard to start, so make sure you have some basic ideas in your back pocket if you start to struggle. Keep up with recent news and try to find something better than ‘nice weather’ as your go to. One of our favourites is to always aim to have an interesting fact available. That way you can start a conversation with ‘I didn’t realise this, but did you know…’ This not only gives you a conversation starter but leaves the person glad to have met you. If you are really stuck then read our 4 Ways to break the ice at Networking events for some inspiration.

Listen More Than You Talk

Have you noticed that listen is an anagram of silent? When you’re talking to another person or group of people at a networking event, make sure you are listening to what they have to say. We’ve seen so many networkers who are only ever looking over the shoulder of who they are talking to rather than actually paying attention. It’s horrible to see and even worse to experience. Make sure you give the person you are talking to your full attention, button your lip and be a good listener – you will get much more respect for it!

Make a Commitment and stick to it

Structured networking events normally come with a membership of a year or less and require a commitment to attend on a weekly or monthly basis.  If you join one of these groups, make sure you clear your diary for those monthly or weekly meetings and stick to them. Your investment will be totally wasted if you just turn up occasionally, lack of attendance can show that you are not committed to growing your business, even if its because you are so busy. Groups often allow you to send a hot seat so if this is the case, get a list of “hot-seat” fellow business owners, plan your diary in advance and make sure you always show up or send a replacement.

Want to try out some of these tips for yourself? Come and join us at one of our monthly networking events, meet our members and promote your business. For more information, get in touch or book here.


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Business networking 1-2-1 meetings 10to12 Business club

Unleash The Power Of Your 1-2-1 meetings

Here at 10-12, we are big fans of 1-2-1 meetings. So much so, in fact, that we include a special slot for them in our networking events, right at the end. This means that everyone has had a chance to find out who is in the room and what they do, so they can figure out if they want to talk to them further. 1-2-1’s are arguably the most powerful tool we have as networkers, but why?

Why We Have 1-2-1’s In Our Meetings

One of the things our visitors and new members always comment on is the fact that we hold 1-2-1’s within our meeting. For many networking groups it is a bit unusual, as most spend that time doing longer pitches, feature presentations or passing around slips of paper. But we prefer to dedicate time to having short 1-2-1s because it creates a stronger bond between our members and allows us to get to know each other a little better. For visitors, 1-2-1’s allow you to get 10 minutes of someone’s attention and ask them all the burning questions you thought of during their 40 seconds. For members, they help you reconnect and find out new things about your fellow members. The thing that networking is famous for (and women’s groups in particular) is creating meaningful relationships that generate business for everyone involved, and the way to really maximise the chances of that is by utilising those 1-2-1’s.

Taking It Outside

10-12 meeting 1-2-1 meetingsOf course, within the confines of our monthly networking meetings, you only really get 10 minutes to chat – 5 minutes each really. And while that’s really useful for building a foundation and understanding of someone’s business, it’s the external 1-2-1’s they lead on to that are truly powerful. You see, there’s a reason most structured networking groups encourage 1-2-1 discussions and meetings. During these external meetings you have more time, are often in a more comfortable environment and can really dig deep into meaningful conversations about you and your business. The power of 1-2-1’s isn’t really about business – it’s about getting to know someone and making a deep connection that strengthens trust and builds a rapport. All sorts of things can come out during a good 1-2-1, and many friendships have blossomed from them as well. In getting to know other business owners, you get to know who you like, who thinks in the same way as you and really come to understand how you can help each other. Without 1-2-1’s, all you would have to go by is your 40 second pitch and a few brief moments of casual networking, and not much business comes out of that. But with that added trust and bonding that only comes from a one on one meeting, you have a much more powerful tool at your disposal – a networking partner who actively wants to get you business.

10-12 Business Club Networking ReadingUltimately, everyone who comes to our networking group is there for the same reason – to build connections and do business. But expecting someone to want to do business with you and refer people they know to you when they don’t really know you themselves is a bit like expecting to be able to swim after reading a book on it. You can apply all the right techniques and still end up floundering. But by taking the time to get to know someone, showing an interest in their life and business, you can start to build up the trust that leads to fruitful business. Want to see the power of 1-2-1’s in action? Come along to one of our meetings and discover just how good 1-2-1’s are for relationship building.

 


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A Guide To Dealing With Difficult Clients – That won’t Pay!

No matter what you do for a living, there is always one thing you can count on. Difficult clients plague everyone from time to time, and they never get any easier to deal with.  With that in mind we hope our guide To Dealing With Difficult Clients – That won’t Pay, helps you make some changes in your business process. Do any of these issues with clients and invoicing sound familiar to you?:

  • Asking for much more than originally agreed but  insisting the price stays the same.
  • Discounting because they don’t agree with what they have received.
  • Constantly refusing to pay your invoices on time. Or at all!
  • Saying the invoice never arrived, they haven’t seen it!
  • Promising payment that never arrives.

It can be difficult to stay in control of the situation and ensure you don’t end up out of pocket. At a recent 10-12 Business Club meeting this was our the topic of our brainstorming session. We came up with a few ways to keep your cool and deal with difficult clients.

Get Payment Up Front

A lot of the difficulties, we discussed as business owners tended to revolve around customers not paying their bills on time, if at all. Cash flow is a really important thing to all business owners, but even more so to smaller companies or sole traders. Getting invoices paid on time is crucial to your success as a small business!

Peggy_Marco / Pixabay

If you have dealt with a client previously who has missed payment dates, the easiest way to avoid the same issue happening again is to get full payment up front. If your client makes an issue of it, simply explain that due to the issues you experienced last time you worked together, up-front payment is required to ensure payment is received, and no work will be done until this is paid.

You can of course do this with new customers who you believe will be an issue, or instigate it as a general policy if this happens a lot. If you’re not comfortable with asking for so much up front, you could split the difference. Many companies operate on a payment basis of 50% with a confirmed order and balance due on completion or delivery, which helps you and the client with cash flow.

Make sure you have sent your invoice on time and that the client has received it. This can be the biggest delay for any small business in receiving payment for work agreed.

Start Using Service Agreements

‘Scope creep’ can happen during any project, but it tends to happen most in the creative industries, or any area where something is being built.

service-contractThe client will give you an initial brief, but as you go along they start adding things until the workload is actually twice the amount you quoted for. The client of course then expects all of this extra work to be done at the quoted cost, because it’s ‘all in the same project’.

To avoid this, service agreements will become your best friend. When you get the brief for the project, put it into a basic contract and have your client sign it before work commences. You can also include a pricing structure for extra work on top of the agreed brief, based on timescale, volume, whatever you want really. Always include your payment terms and what will happen if they fail to meet them. Summarise the potential costs of non-payment and state that you will take legal action.

You can use the same basic document for every client and simply substitute the brief in each time. By doing this you have it in writing (and signed) exactly what the quote you gave covers, so any extra work can be charged accordingly. Scope creep has become significantly less of a problem for us since we started doing this!

 Develop A Thick Skin

Sometimes no matter what happens, clients can get angry. They might be frustrated that something can’t be done in the time frame, that you won’t do extra work or that you’ve said no to their unreasonable request. Whatever the reason, angry clients can get pretty nasty sometimes.

To be successful in business you need to develop a pretty thick skin to deal with unsatisfied or annoyed people, no matter what they throw at you. Try to remember not to take anything they say personally, and let it roll off you like water off a duck’s back. If you struggle with this, a support network like one of our networking group of ladies is the perfect way to get things off your chest and let people help you, reassure you and get you back on your feet.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No!

One thing we are all terrible at is saying no to work. When you’re first starting out you never say no to anything, taking on any work you can just to get by. As you grow and establish yourself as a business you can afford to be more selective about the clients you take on (though many of us aren’t).

noThis is an important step, as many of us get an idea of the ‘red flags’ for a difficult client. If you think a prospect will become a difficult client, don’t be afraid to say no! It’s better to spend time searching for a client who will be good to work with and worth what you charge than to accept a client who will be much more work for you. Sometimes, no price is high enough and you just need to walk away. And that’s OK!

Of course there’s lots of advice out there about dealing with difficult clients, search out some excellent blogs online. If you like what you have read then we have plenty more business topics to choose from.

This is the sort of issue we discuss in our meetings, allowing members to air their concerns and business problems and get advice on how to deal with them in a supportive and confidential setting. If you’re interested in visiting one of our groups, click here to book your place. We can’t wait to see you!


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Don’t Treat Networking Like The Gym

At one of our recent meetings, a member commented on the fact that many people would book places on her free workout sessions but not turn up, often without any notice that they weren’t going to be there. This is something of a trend across the fitness world, and I have noticed similar things happen for paid, pre-booked gym classes. It’s also something that tends to happen a lot with business networking sessions. Particularly over the summer months, when the number of no-shows soars dramatically and many meetings are postponed or cancelled so everyone can enjoy their holidays. But for the rest of the year, it’s important to remember not to treat your networking like your gym membership.

Commit Regularly

gym membership

Commitment brings results

There is common saying that nothing worth doing in life is easy, which for many things is true. Getting in shape, learning a new skill or starting your own business are all great examples of worthwhile things that are in no way easy. But there are some things, like networking, that fall into the ‘easy’ category while still being incredibly valuable.
The biggest issue people find with networking is not that it’s hard, but that it requires The biggest issue people find with networking is not that it’s hard, but that it requires commitment to see results. Just like you don’t do one session in the gym and expect a six pack, you can’t expect to go to one meeting and come away with dozens of new clients right away. In order to see the long-term results, you need to commit to turning up regularly and interacting with people. If you can do that, the rewards will soon follow.

Don’t Throw In The Towel

I read a very interesting article about gym memberships in the process of researching this blog. It turns out that a staggering 80% of new gym members don’t make it past the 5th month. So even if an average individual has neglected their body for years and wants that ‘beach ready’ body, they are only willing to commit 5 months of their life to trying to get in shape before giving up. This struck a chord with me, as it’s something I often see with networking and even business ownership in general. Business owners are willing to try out networking for a few months, but if they have not seen any results in that time they give up on the whole idea. Networking, just like getting in shape, is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight. So just because you’ve been going to a meeting a week for a month and not got a single referral doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Stick with it and you will see those amazing results.

Tell Someone If You Can’t Make It

We all understand that life gets in the way, and sometimes something crops up at the last minute and ruins your plans. But no matter what the situation, it’s important to always tell the person or group that you will be unable to attend that day. You see it a lot with gym classes – you’ve booked in to a class at 7pm and you’re super excited, but by 6.30 you’re exhausted and don’t have the ‘get up and go’ that you did when you booked in that morning. After 5 or 10 minutes of pep talk, you realise you can’t get there in time anyway and just stay at home instead. Meanwhile the instructor at the class is waiting for you, irritated that she could have given your space to someone else if you’d just told her you couldn’t make it.
don't keep it a secretThe same applies for booked networking. Maybe you slept in because you had a long night, or had an emergency issue or your childcare fell through. When you realise you can’t make the meeting, whatever the reason, you should let someone in the organisation know you can’t be there. Often they will be able to find someone to hot seat for you at the last minute – so you can still have your pitch read out and reap some of the benefits of the meeting.

At 10-12 we believe in a structured networking approach combined with a more informal attitude to create the perfect networking environment. Our meetings are structured, but allow time for individual development and conversations to take place. Like all networking groups, it can take time to see results, but our members have all been extremely impressed after building strong business connections and friendships. For more information or to book your place, get in touch today.


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12 Days of Christmas

Business – 12 Days of Christmas

Business – 12 Days of Christmas.

10-12 business club merry christmasI’m sure you will have heard of the Christmas song “The 12 days of Christmas”?  Well this month we are using the theme of the 12 days but applying it to our business.    If your business slows down over the Christmas period or in the run up to Christmas then take this opportunity to give your business an overhaul and do all the things you keep promising to do!

You can decide when you want to start your 12 Days of Christmas for your business. It could be on Thursday the 10th to finish on the 22nd of December or have a few days break and finish on the 31st of December? Or if you want to keep your business mind engaged then plan to do it over the Christmas holidays and start it on the 20th of December.

Whichever way you do it, consider the following actions and if you can think of any others that are more important to you then add or replace to the ones below.  Most of all if your business is quiet at this time of the year use the time effectively to reflect and plan for the future and perhaps even try some structured Business networking by the 10-12 Business Club.

 On the 1st Day of Christmas – Merry Christmas Message

Christmas giftsSend out a Merry Christmas Message to all your existing clients and prospective clients.  Use mail chimp to design a festive mails hot and import your database. Consider

  • What message are you going to say
  • Include contact details
  • Include links to your website
  • Consider an offer

On the 2nd Day of Christmas – Filing

Tackle your filing pile and I mean all of it, including archiving any files that are fit to burst! This could also include looking at your in box of your email! Do you file everything into various folders or does it just sit there in one big in box!  If you don’t have any filing then I’m impressed. Please let me know your secret to keeping it up to date.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas – Accounts

business club giftAccounts. Today, check to see if your accounts are up to date. If you do your own accounts take the time today to get everything up to date including up to date bank reconciliation. If you don’t do your own accounts is everything ready to hand over to your accountant/book keeper?

  • Have you loaded all your expenses?
  • Can you account for all the receipts?
  • Have you invoiced everyone?
  • Do you have a spread sheet or software that accounts for all your sales and expenditure? If not today consider creating one to use for 2013.

On the 4th Day of Christmas – Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan 2016. Today start the foundation of your marketing plan for 2013. Do you actually plan all your marketing activity including when and where you network? Think about your business and whether you could set a 6 or 12 month marketing plan including when, where and what you are going to say and how much it will cost you to get your message across. Consider what you are going to use to market your business;

  • Social media? Which one? How Often?
  • Flyers? What will they say? Where will you distribute?
  • Leaflet drops? Where?
  • Cold calls? When? Source data?
  • Networking? When? Where? How often?

Whatever you decide start to search out the best options for you and the exact costings for your marketing campaign.

On the 5th Day of Christmas – Linked In Profile

snowmanLinked In. do you have a Linked In profile? Is it up to date? When did you last update what you have done/achieved/qualified. If it has been a while then go in and make some bold changes:

  • add new skills,
  • Change your profile picture.
  • Update your opening statement to sell yourself and your services.
  • Recommend some fellow 10-12’ers for their services if you have used them.

On the 6th Day of Christmas – Website

If you have a website, give it a review with fresh eyes. If you don’t have a site, then consider what you would need to have on each of the pages.

  • Does it do what you want it to do?
  • Does it bring you in the right enquiries?
  • Does it have a call to action?
  • Is it getting enough visitors?
  • Is there anything you can do to make it better?
  • Ask friends and family to do the same for you and compile your results. Compare your site with competitors!

 

On the 7th Day of Christmas – Blog

Christmas PuppyBlog. Do you have a blog? Do you need a blog for your business? Do your competitors have a blog? If they do, what do they write about?

  • Think about how you would use a blog,
  • What would you write about?
  • Can you write down 20 things to blog about for your business?

If you can do this in 10 minutes then you need to consider a blog. If you don’t want to start a blog, maybe you could guest blog for others. Search out some other blogs and see if they allow guest blogging, if they do write an article for one of them and send it for consideration. Remember a blog only needs to have 250-500 words!

On the 8th Day of Christmas – Social Media Plan

Social Media Marketing plan. Do you use social media? Do you have a marketing plan? If not then today consider a social media marketing plan for your business. Think about:

  • How often you want to use social media in a week,
  • When can you allocate the time for to do it?
  • Where are you going to find the content?
  • How many posts, tweets, blogs etc are you going to do
  • Set targets for how many new followers, mentions, retweets you want to achieve.

On the 9th Day of Christmas – New Customers

Search out new customers. Today consider new areas where you could find potential new customers. Have you exhausted all areas for potential new business or is there places you could go, people you could see to get new business? Find some competitors and see who they are talking to in their social media, where are they advertising, what are they offering? Can you do similar? Consider using a telemarketing company to get more business leads for you. We have two members in the 10-12 Business Club.

On the 10th Day of Christmas – Business Plan

Christmas networkingBusiness Plan. Do you have a plan for your business? If so dig it out and review it today. If you don’t have one then consider starting to write one, it can be as basic or as grand as you like. At the very least consider setting yourself some goals and write them down to review throughout the year.

  • Does it reflect where you are?
  • Have you achieved what you planned?
  • Consider what you might have to do next year to achieve your forecasts.
  • Do you need to make any changes?

On the 11th Day of Christmas – Emarketing Campaign

e-Marketing or telemarketing Campaign.  Design and set up an e-marketing campaign to send in the New Year to your existing clients and find some potential new ones to send to also.  Consider your Linked In connections, have you ever sent them a Happy New Year Message? If not give it a try, they agreed to link with you so maybe they’d appreciate a short Happy New Year Message. Follow up with a telemarketing campaign to see if they receivedchristmas-kids-gifts

On the 12th Day of Christmas – Review

Review.  Take today to review all that you have done over the past 11 days for your business. Give your self a pat on the back and raise your glass to toast the future and the New Year.

  • Has it inspired you?
  • Motivated you?
  • Have you reconnected with old/new clients?
  • Are you confident of your marketing activity for the New Year?
  • Printed literature planned, costs obtained?
  • Business Plan modified or created?
  • Social Media considered and a marketing plan produced?

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Karen Livingstone

social media content, ideas on what to post

Social Media, what content do I post?

Ever wondered what you should post to your social media feeds? do you look at it and think, i’d like to, but what will I say? What should I say? and when should I say it?
These are all familiar questions raised by business owners who know the need to use social media but are unsure as to what they should say or do. some of you reading this post may even think, why should I bother with Social Media for my business?

At the 10-12 Business club we use social media to drive traffic to our website, engage with our members and discover new visitors for our structured networking.
It’s a free way to reach out to your audience and most of all it is fast, friendly and a more relaxed way to communicate to that of a company email or mailshot.
If you are a self employed business owner you can also manage your social media out of office hours in front of the TV or on your way to work if you commute using public transport.

So all that said what do you talk about and how often should you do it? We all have different opinions on this subject but our co-foudner, Karen Livingstone of Little Acorn Marketing has posted the following blog on “I don’t know what social media content to post

If you enjoy reading this let us know and we will top you up with more 10-12 Business Club members thoughts on social media.


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Karen Livingstone

Networking Events – Does size really matter?

Karen Livingstone co founder 10-12 Business club

This week co founder and owner of Little Acorn Marketing, Karen Livingstone has been looking at Networking and the size of different events. In her blog she has considered which networking works best and if we should really be bothered by size of networking events or should it really be quality of the people that you meet at the events?
Its an interesting subject and anyone that has ever networked, I am sure will have a view on which networking works best for them.

Karen says; “Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time networking in and around Berkshire. I have sampled lots of different groups from ladies only to mixed, informal just turn up style to structured and more formal. One thing I have noticed is how some people are very focused on the numbers. The assumption is that the more people attending a meeting the more successful it will be. But is this really the case? In my experience no it isn’t. (read more on Karen’s experience of networking on her Little Acorn Marketing Blog)

Please feel free to add your comments below on what you think makes a good networking event. Is it numbers that you want or is it quality contacts? Personally I would have to agree on the quality contacts as small events do allow you more time with individuals than often the larger ones. BUT the key to good networking is always staying focussed on BUSINESS and not allowing the conversation to drift into chit chat.