Business Growth Club April Meeting

Our monthly meeting of Norwich and Norfolk business owners met in Poringland on the 10th April, and we were so busy it was standing room only for some!  A great range of businesses represented in just about every category, all looking for advice on how to grow and sharing ideas and best practice.

We looked at why run a business and put ourselves through all the ups and downs of business ownership- although we want to make a difference, the primary focus is to make a profit, enabling us to re-invest and grow.  Interesting point and may feel like stating the obvious, but so many big businesses miss this very point – a recent Chamber event highlighted just this fact.

We looked at the use of humour in advertising – and the need to be cautious as so easy to get wrong and give a confusing message. We looked an example of just that, and using a full page advert that appeared recently, with the name of the company blanked out – not a single person could identify correctly what the advert was about! Bonkers waste of thousands of pounds.

A local tree surgeon had produced a decent A5 postcard advertising their services, which was cleverly done.  However it could be improved quite easily by simply adding some form of social proof – Norfolk Trusted Trader or Trustpilot/Feefo or Google reviews on their website; a declaration as to how many jobs they have done would be impressive too.

Last week it was reported that sales of digital books have declined, print stayed static and yet audio has increased, in particular in the male 25 to 44 age range. A great opportunity to produce podcasts to attract this audience if your target market.

The BGC podcasts are well received, and one BGC member used the information to start the process to claim R&D Tax Credits for his firm, successfully receiving £1.5 million! You never know where our information will end up or the impact it will have – tell the world your news is the message.

Social proof is vital and most of us realise this, and some companies are now offering to pay not only for a review but to ask questions on sites such as Amazon – a slippery slope as hardly unbiased and independent, plus questionable legality too.  We need to be genuine in our approach here and case studies work well.  We discussed how to get people to leave reviews, as only a minority do –  Harvard Business Review article explore differently methods, and one of the most successful was simply asking people to leave honest reviews to HELP OTHER PEOPLE decide – a different approach appealing to the social side of people’s nature, which seemed to work.  Worth trying.

Two simple mistakes on spreadsheets have caused a public company to collapse earlier this month, wiping out over £500 million – simple mistakes that should have been picked up by any number of people as even a cursory glance would have highlighted the problem.  The moral here being never, ever be afraid to ask what seems like a stupid question, if you don’t understand something financial – always ask!

Our main topic this month was a LinkedIn workshop run by the excellent Mark White a professional LinkedIn trainer who can be found here:

An outstanding session, which highlighted how much more there is to this platform than most of us realise and what a fabulous resource.  I came away with a list of things to do, with complete list of instructions as to how to implement and a sense of real excitement too!

A great meeting and the bar for next month’s meeting, May 15th, has been set very high indeed.