There’s something about the start of a new year that brings a sense of excitement and optimism. As we get 2014 started it seems that things here in the UK are broadly heading in the right direction and that’s great news for all of us small business owners.
For this post I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon of reflecting on 2013 and making crazy off the wall marketing predictions for 2014 as the internet is already jammed with those. So I turned to clients, business networking friends, suppliers, business partners and folks met through social media and asked them what their one big hope was for 2014. Here are some of the responses:
Nicola Macdonald owns and runs Attractive Marketing – helping small business owners attract prospects and business opportunities.
I’m very lucky because the hopes I have for my business and the way I’m going to go about it is exactly how I shall be helping my clients too.
I’ve created a marketing plan for Attractive Marketing which clearly identifies the clients that I can help the most. I’ve adapted services that resolve their problems, in particular how they can keep front of mind, position themselves as experts in their field and become the must go to person.
I’m also looking at different ways in which I can reach my prospects and continue to build relationships with my existing contacts. Even if these people don’t become clients, I want them to feel that I’ve been able to help them in some way too.
By setting my own goals and making them very clear for me, it’s been so much easier to devise a way to help others to be clear and have a plan to achieve their hopes for 2014.
I’m doing this by running ‘Attractive Marketing Planning’ workshops. The first in January sold out immediately, which I’m sure this is an indication that there are many business owners out there serious about achieving their hopes in 2014. I’ve quickly added another date for 12th February and will continue to hold them throughout the year as it’s never too late to start to plan!
I have a plan for a successful 2014 and that’s exactly what I’m planning for those I work with too!
Jean Atkinson is Managing Director of Eden Marketing, providing sales and marketing training to business owners and teams throughout the UK. Eden started trading in 2011 and is currently mid-way through its third year.
As with many new businesses we’ve been finding our feet and adapting our service to meet the needs of our market. This has culminated in the creation of the Marketing Minds Academy™ and the development of our individual training programme. My one big hope for 2014 is that we can engage and educate more business owners as to the importance of marketing in developing their business. Marketing is always seen as expensive and ‘everyone is a marketer’. We want to continue to dispel myths and ensure businesses are carrying out effective marketing activity.
For Eden our focus is to move forward to grow the business via a mix of growth strategies including franchising and market penetration based around the core elements of our business. We’re a small company with big ambition and bringing in additional members of the team will support us in achieving this goal. We’re currently riding the roller coaster of business and hope that by the end of 2014 we’re at the helm!
Abbi Forman works at Powervibe, a private personal training and fitness studio based in Notting Hill, London. They offer one to one training, semi private classes and small group classes.
We’ve been running Powervibe for almost 7 years and all of our classes and training have been carried out in just one room. After thinking long and hard, surviving the recession, creating a fun and unique enviroment and attracting fabulous clients we have decided to move (only a short walk down the road) and go bigger. It was definitely the next step for us, this new site or home as we call it, allows us to offer our clients lots more and help develop their fitness on another level too. It is not just a job for us it’s our passion, our life. Our clients have become our friends and they are all as excited about the move as we are.
So for Powervibe it’s just about making this move a smooth and successful one and hope that we will continue to get bigger and better in everyway in 2014 … and of course world peace 😉
Marie Shallcross and Nathan Waterfield run Plews Garden Design, a gardening and landscaping business based in Beckenham, Kent. Plews are truly passionate about gardening, inspiring clients to design and build beatutifully planted gardens and outdoor spaces.
Hopes for 2014
We do offer a wide range of linked gardening services, but in 2014 we intend to focus on two main areas:
1) Developing the ‘core’ section of the ‘Design and Landscape’ package
a. By specific advertising – e.g. The English Garden app; possibly a directed marketing campaign
c. By pointing articles and our other services towards this core element
a. Both Marie and Nathan find this a satisfying aspect of the business; creatively and as we can work together and independently on clients;
b. With the right support (on site and admin) enables us to have multiple clients on the go at once, with projects at different stages, thereby reducing weather dependency to some degree
c. Range of job sizes = good range of potential clients
2) Getting the gardening eBooks into print; looking towards their promotion to a wider market
a. By having the eBooks proof checked and edited with hard copy rather than eBook in mind; photos likewise re-considered
b. Increasing awareness of existing eBooks and printed editions through our newsletters, email signatures, Twitter, and then probably a directed marketing campaign
a. Passive income, useful in weather dependant business
b. Go-to experts
c. Higher profile = more design & landscaping work (core function)
d. Leads to more garden related books being written, eg ideas already for ‘Grow it, Eat it’ recipe book
Nicola Addison runs Eqvvs Training with business partner Mark Harrop. Eqvvs is a one to one personal training studio based in Knightsbridge and Nicola is known as one of London’s leading personal trainers.
This year we’ll be working hard on our bottom line, auditing costs to ensure we increase profitability. We are aiming for a 15-20% increase in turnover growth. This will remain online with last year. We will hold an annual summer party (started last year) as a retention tool to clients and staff. Most importantly we want to continue to have fun.
Leonie Wright runs EatWright, helping people to reach and maintain optimum health and fitness by looking at what they eat, the exercise they do and what they drink.
Hopes for my business in 2014:
To write a recipe book that will be finished by the end of November. This book will contain recipes that help people to eat their way to a better health.
Robin Adams is Commercial Director at Perfect Blend Video, who combine 20 years worth of marketing experience with over 25 years in video. That blend sees them produce a variety of business videos that actually add value to their customers. Of course, instead of writing anything for this post Robin has sent in a video, so here you go:
Andy Dickinson of Speak Performance is a performance coach in public speaking. He specialises in helping business professionals with the actual performance of their presentations, pitches, or speeches. As he is a theatre director, too, he is able to offer penetrating insights into body language, voice, movement, dress, and the semantics of visual aids and props. He is particularly rigorous when it comes to unifying the details of the content to the rhythms of its delivery. In the world of academia he has coached international postgraduate students. In the world of business he coaches individuals or groups, and he holds workshops in Latin American embassies.
In 2014 Andy is hoping to help craft and direct many more presentations, pitches, or speeches. On a more personal level, he hopes to be performing his own TedX talk.
David Walkley runs Chicane School Of Motoring and has been a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor since December 2004. David coaches pupils with their driving theory test and helps right through to them passing their practical test. He also does post test coaching, particularly motorways and the Pass Plus course, helping them to be safer and more experienced on the roads.
In 2014 I wish to promote my business locally in Bromley Market Square to find new pupils as this was successful two years ago. This coming Autumn/Winter I will work towards refreshing my look and feel of “Chicane School Of Motoring” plus purchasing a new Ford Fiesta next January. This would bring in more customers and be promoted via Twitter, Facebook and, of course, more networking!
Steven Hill works at the Dunbar T-Shirt Shop, an independent family owned t-shirt printing shop in the coastal town of Dunbar. They offer a wide range of printing for personal and business customers with a large array of Garments and gifts which can be customised, from mugs to teddies and t-shirts to hi-vis.
2014 is shaping up to be a huge year for our community and business. With major sporting events (Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup), tourist events (John Muir festival – Dunbar is John Muirs Birthplace and the Year of the Homecoming Scotland) and political events with the Scottish Independence referendum we feel there is huge marketing potential to be a Scottish based business.
Having established ourselves in the local market, 2014 will be about building blocks on our strong foundations. Attending as many events as we can from music festivals to tourist attractions we would like to grow our outreach programme beyond our local county. We also see growth via online, with investment in both technology and SEO to help gain a foothold in the national market specifically in the Stag do t-shirt and hen do t-shirt markets.
Beyond our own business we are also instrumental in our local Trades association and having gone through a period of transition we will be leading on investment programmes for economic regeneration and re-localisation of the economy. Bringing together the advantages of faster broadband to reduce carbon footprint coupled with the increase in growth and promotion of local food sources.
What big hope do you have for your small business in 2014? Drop a comment in the box below and let us know.
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