Category Archives: Inspiration

10-to-12-business-club presentations

Preparing A Killer Pitch

A lot of things can happen in 60 seconds:

250 babies are born around the world, 1.8 million ‘likes’ are made on Facebook and Americans eat 21,000 slices of pizza. But what can you do in 60 seconds?

In networking circles, you have between 40 and 60 seconds to pitch your business to a room full of potential collaborators, sales people and customers. So what you say in that pitch is really important. Which is why it kills us to see people waste their time with something thrown together at the last minute. So this month, we have a few tips to help you put together a killer pitch for your next networking event.

Actually Prepare!

We see this all too often – people will book on to networking weeks in advance, but when they turn up on the day they make up their pitch on the fly. Now, some people are very good at this – just standing up and speaking about their business in a way that both explains what they do and convinces people to talk to them, in the space of 40 seconds. But more often than not, it’s obvious that they haven’t prepared. So our first tip is simply to actually prepare! You only need spend 5 minutes thinking about what you’re going to say and putting it on paper, and the impact on your pitch will be incredible. Some of our members even prepare them in bulk – sitting down for half an hour at the beginning of each month and writing out a range of pitches, so that if they can’t write a new pitch the day before the event, they can just pull out a pre-prepared one instead.

Focus On Value 

Odds are unless you do something truly, spectacularly unique, most people in the room will at least have a vague knowledge of what you do. So instead of reeling off a laundry list of your services, focus on telling them room how you add value to your customers. What do you do that makes you better than your competitors, and keeps your customers coming back to you time and time again? This gives them all the information they need to go out into the world and sell your business on your behalf, and is a great talking point for those who want to find out even more about what you do. In a world full of commodities, everything is about added value – so what’s yours?

Tell Stories

People connect with stories. They do not connect with lists of services, followed by ‘if I can help let me know’. If you’re in a crowded room full of businesses all pitching, you want to make sure you stand out. And you can do that by telling them a story that will make them remember you. It can be a real story of how you helped a customer, your spin on something you read in the news or even a made up scenario to illustrate a point. But the human brain is designed to lap up stories, and some of the best business pitches are ones that don’t sell, but tell.

Be Specific

If you’re a member at a regular networking event, then after a while everyone is going to know what you do. So instead of just repeating yourself every time, you should alter your pitch so that you can see some benefits. Before each meeting, pick one of your current prospects. Someone you’ve been struggling to get hold of, or who you would just love the opportunity to talk to. Then ask for an introduction to that person in your pitch! It’s not always about the people in the room, but about their own networks and connections as well. Specific pitches are much more likely to result in action, and you never know who knows the person you’re looking for. Honestly, if we had a pound for every time a specific pitch had been met with ‘He’s my next door neighbour!’ we’d be rich. In fact, I attended a networking event just last week where a man asked to speak to a specific woman within an organisation by name. In response, another man in the room stood up and said ‘Yeah, I can introduce you to her. She’s my wife!’.

If you would like to get some more advice about pitching to a room, or would like to try out your new pitching skills on a lovely group of supportive women, then we can help you. Just check out our meetings schedule and come along to one that suits you, or get in touch with us today for more information.

Seaside holidays

Oh I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside…

Category : Blogs , Inspiration

Business Owners Holidays

Deckchairs holidayWho doesn’t love a good holiday? Whether you enjoy sitting on the beach or going exploring in new cities and discovering new cultures, everyone needs some time off. Sadly, as business owners, this is a luxury we rarely allow ourselves to have. Which is a little bit crazy, when you think about it. The majority of people become their own boss so that they have the ability to decide their own schedule to fit around their life. And while many will move around work hours to take a long weekend or make sure they are at home for the kids returning from school, very few feel comfortable taking a longer duration of holiday such as 2-weeks. We feel guilty about doing it. So much so that 76% of small business owners don’t take holiday at all. But today we are saying; ladies, embrace the summer and treat yourself to some well-earned time off! We’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare for going away and hopefully make sure everything will be running smoothly so you can actually relax and enjoy your holiday, without constantly glancing at the emails.

Plan And Prepare Early

calander plan aheadIf you know a few months in advance that you’re going to be away for 2 weeks, start preparing for that now. Let your clients know you will be away during that time and that if they will need any work done during that time, to let you know now so that you can get it done early. It might mean a week of extra effort and a few longer days squeezed in, but you will be confident that when you walk out of the door everything will be taken care of. Not only will this help you enjoy your break more without worrying about work, but it will also help you transition back to work. There will be no giant pile of extra work to greet you and undo all of that relaxation, instead just your standard workload.

Automation Is Your Best Friend

Marketing tools have come a long way in the last 5 years, and now they are the perfect companion to help keep your business ticking over while you’re away. Schedule all of your marketing, whether that be Twitter, Facebook posts, blogs or newsletters before you go away. No one even needs to know you’re not at work, everything will still be going on. Make sure you carve out a bit of time in your schedule the week running up to your trip (there we go with planning again) to write some blog posts or an email newsletter ready to go out while you’re away, along with all of your regular social media postings.

Tie Up Your Loose Ends

Of course, it’s not just the physical work we have to think about as business owners. Think about tying up all of the loose ends around your business at the same time. Will you have bills due to be paid during your holiday? Schedule payments or pay them early. Do you have networking meetings you would usually attend? Arrange for a substitute to go for you. A meeting arranged? Reschedule. Make sure you address all of the little bits and pieces that usually get forgotten and make sure they can’t impact your holiday. The last thing you want when lying on the beach is a phone call informing you that you have missed a payment

Consider Hired Help

hired help holiday coverIf your budget will allow, consider hiring help to cover when you are away on holiday. This could be a collaboration with a colleague or employing the services of a company to answer your telephones and respond to your emails and only contact you if urgent. Having the peace of mind that your customers are being looked after in your absence allows you to relax more and enjoy your time away from the office. The have many members that offer this service and are only too happy to provide you with details.

And Finally… 

Relax! This might sound theatrical but it’s actually the hardest thing for any business owner to do. We have this built in idea that our business will fall apart without us and we will come back to a smoking ruin. You can be confident that if you’ve planned ahead, this won’t happen. If you work by yourself, make sure you’ve got a filter on your emails that will send anything marked ‘urgent’ to your phone, but otherwise set the out of office, turn off the work phone and leave it alone. If you have a team of people working with you, brief them properly and hand over the reins while you’re away. It will be a massive confidence boost for them to see you trust them, and it gives you a chance to truly switch off and unwind. The most important thing to remember is that you work to live, you don’t live to work, and taking some time out of the business is crucial to avoiding burnout and exhaustion. So stop making excuses and book that holiday!