Another great meeting with standing room only

Which for half term was wonderful news, relieving the isolation some small business owners in Norfolk feel at times, especially those that work from home.

Packed agenda with loads of business ideas and news to include:

Review of last month’s main focus, being creating Irresistible Offers to encourage engagement and seeing what members have been able to devise and use, and to what effect.

GDPR is being talked about everywhere, and we had a great example from a charity called Cool Earth, managing to combine humour with their message.

Cyber security is key to protecting data and too many of us don’t pay proper attention to our mobiles, which can be vulnerable. We had 15 top tips to stay mobile safe, with the top two being ensure updates are applied regularly and secondly use a VPN (virtual private network) whenever using public wi-fi to keep your phones safe – very cheap and cost effective solution. Plus of course whenever possible we should use our mobiles for two factor authentication too.

As ever we had some interesting articles from the Harvard Business Review which were entirely relevant to include networking tips, 8 questions to ask someone other than ‘what do you do?’, self improvement myths, and finally how to work with a bad listener! Plenty of lessons to be learnt here although whether we will fully embrace the American open way of networking remains to be seen, but it proves the point this is a skill that needs to be worked on.

Our very own Martin Reynolds, social media marketing expert, explained the implications of the Facebook changes recently announced, producing an essential guide and fact sheet as a take away – there is so much to learn here that Martin has agreed to do another feature next month. Online and digital marketing is crucial to most of us, and his tips were invaluable.

Moment of Truth was our main topic – in other words every touch point between us and the outside world is a moment of truth (MoT) which of course can be good, indifferent of poor. We ran through an example of a high end hairdressing salon and all the touch points – there are so many chances of creating a great impression, from the moment of making a booking on the telephone, entering the salon, how you are greeted, the list goes on and on.

We had plenty of example so both good and poor practice in the outside world

We then applied this to our own businesses, looking to deliver a great experience whenever anybody has any form of contact with us – none cost any money but all make a huge difference and of course, move the argument away from price.

We reviewed the Daily Accountability sessions which are running at the moment – great progress is being made by most of the members, achieving remarkable progress simply by focusing on small daily steps of no more than 20 – 30 minutes at a time, classic Tortoise and the Hare. Never again can lack of time be an acceptable excuse!

Our podcasts are being listened to in increasing numbers; recent Chamber of Commerce workshop was fully booked; Hiut Denim continues to be a shining example of how clever marketing can work plus of course we had plenty of networking opportunities throughout the room!

Next meeting 13th March and the key topics will be working on building the Moments of Truth into our sale processes, looking at each contact and what would be the ‘wow’ factor; social media marketing; business ideas and business news relevant to our small business community; plus of course our normal rants and frank discussions!