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Making the most of your networking minute

Monday, February 16th, 2009

coffee-with-curl-biscuit

I do some networking for my business and in fact it has proven to be such a good form of marketing for me, that I am planning to do a lot more this year.

One thing that I read about quite often is how to make the most of your networking or how to be more confident in your networking. This not really something I worry too much about, being quite a confident and outgoing person.

However, I know that to some people networking is the horror of horrors – just as public speaking once was for me. And so any tips at all on more confident networking are always going to be of interest.

But there is more to confident networking than a few hints and tips.  It really comes down to how confident you really are about your business and your ability to do your job or serve your clients well.

In terms of networking this is crucial, because if you don’t believe in yourself or your business proposition then you aren’t going to come across as particularly credible.

Also, if you don’t really understand what you are offering and how it benefits your clients then again when you are networking and someone asks you “What do you do?” – you aren’t going to say the right thing, which really means you won’t be making the most of your networking minute.

clock-on-furry-cushions1

To make the most of your networking minute and to be more confident in your general networking you must:

(more…)

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Last night I had a dream….

Monday, February 9th, 2009

mass-production

(I am quite a vivid dreamer and often dream the strangest things so bear with me ok?)

My dream was that I was working on the marketing strategy of a middle sized manufacturing company that was experiencing lots of difficulties due to the current economic climate, both in and outside their company.

Outside: their sales were falling, customers were looking elsewhere for cheaper products and costs were rising.

Inside: their employees were getting nervous about being made redundant and so morale, productivity and quality were all falling having a knock-on effect on the operations of the business.

Weird right – but I told you I dream the strangest things!

So, I was looking at their marketing strategy and knew that I needed to address both the outside and the inside problems.  OK , the dream ended here and I woke up….

But I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would have done had this company been one of my clients……

(more…)

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Leave our language alone – please…..

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Good morning! I just had to write this very short post and rant about a news item I saw over the weekend on BBC Breakfast News. Apparently Birmingham City Council wants to drop the use of the apostrophe and is encouraging everyone else to drop it too!

Now given my almost obsessive nature about grammar I was sitting staring at my television in absolute shock and horror. There I was listening to nonsense about dropping the apostrophe from the English language because people didn’t know when to use or not to use it and my jaw was literally dropped open. (Quite a funny sight on a Saturday morning in my PJs I can tell you!)

So I know I have covered this issue in a previous Just Too Busy newsletter, but I think it is apt to include it again. Here goes:

ARE YOU USING PUNCTUATION CORRECTLY?
If, like me on occasion, you wonder just where that apostrophe should go or if it is in the right place then these top tips on using apostrophes correctly are just what you need.

The possessive apostrophe!
No, this isn’t about a badly behaved and jealous punctuation mark.  Using apostrophes is where I see the most errors in writing.

So here are your tips:

When, for example, writing about an object that belongs to someone or some thing, the apostrophe should go after that person’s or object’s name, even if the name, object or subject ends in an s – but don’t add another s unless the word or name ends in a double ss. So that is: James’ car, Molly’s house, the dog’s bone, the business’s marketing department.

You don’t need an apostrophe when you use plurals. The most common example of this is when people write about years or decades. I.e. “The 1990′s started out badly for Simon”, or, “It’s not like it was back in the in the 20′s”. You don’t need an apostrophe here – the years don’t possess anything, it is just a plural. There might be exception to this (there usually are in grammar) but I can’t think of one – please let me know if you can!

Finally (and what all the hoo hah is about in Birmingham City Council) the apostrophe in place names.  If, for example, a place is called St.Peter’s then there should be an apostrophe before the final s (as in the first tip) because this is a contraction of St. Peter’s Parish with the Parish being the item/place possessed by St. Peter.

However, the apostrophe is not used in a lot of places, St. Albans and St. Ives, for example, and it also isn’t used in places like Shepherds Bush.  This is because place names can act like nouns and although the area may have been named for a particular shepherd’s bush (a long time ago!) – it has become used as a noun and the usual apostrophe rules need not apply.

However, generally and to be absolutely correct wherever you see St. Peter’s or St. John’s or the like, you should be using an apostrophe especially when it is followed by Road or Church or Hospital etc.

Hope you enjoyed my little grammar rant! If you did and would like more of this sort of information or business info then sign up to the Just Too Busy monthly newsletter and subscribe to this blog.

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Quick fixes just don’t work

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Over the last few months and even more noticeably over the last few weeks I keep getting messages into my inbox about Getting Clients Now and Beating the Recession.

Very enticing, very exciting, just what we all need right now?  YES! And NO….

YES… because who wouldn’t want more clients and if you are struggling to find them then these kind of messages would certainly catch your eye. (If Woolies can go under then who is safe?)

NO…I am crazy? NO! Panicking and quick fixes are just not the answer.  Your clients can tell you are panicking – who doesn’t think that the high street is panicking with every shop having a sale?  That’s my point.

If you look like you are in need of clients, if you look like you are panicking – then you probably are and this will keep clients away from you much in the same way a commitment-phobic man bolts from the restaurant when his date turns up in a wedding dress!

I’m not saying there isn’t merit in adapting your business and marketing strategy to meet the current economic climate – just don’t do it in way that shows them the whites of your eyes.

  • Don’t slash your prices, start discounting ‘willy-nilly’ or give loads of stuff away
  • Rather, raise your prices and promote your exclusivity
  • Stay consistent in the promotion of your brand – despite the ‘fluffy’ exterior that some may attribute to it, your brand is the very cornerstone of your business and your success
  • People don’t just buy discounts – they buy confidence and that means your brand – keeping it strong and consistent is the key

For more business, marketing and creative ideas on how to set up, grow & manage your business to success sign up to the Just Too Busy monthly newsletter HERE.

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