Archive for the 'Business sales' Category

What’s M-Commerce? You Had Better Find Out!

M-commerce captured 15% of on-line retail sales since Q1 2011, says the latest research from IMRG and Cap Gemini.  Purchases from laptops and PCs decreased over the same period.  Purchases made via mobile devices accounted for 23% of online retail in Q2 2013, tablets representing a massive 85% of this.  But even so smartphone transactions rocketed by 210%.

Researchers believe the increase in m-commerce stems from improved, mobile-optimised websites being developed by retailers and the growth of consumer confidence in the security of m-commerce.

There is more about the research at:



Is Your Customer Service The Best It Can Be?

Customers expect their suppliers to provide a product or service that delivers

 what they want, when they need it, at a cost that they are prepared to pay and to a quality level that meets their expectations.
Enlightened businesses refer to this as the “Customer Promise”. Keep your promise and happy customers will return to you for more of what you delivered.

So how do you deliver what you promise?

To find out, read UKBA Boost Your Business in this blog soon!



Birmingham Home To Fastest Growing Businesses – Poll

According to a poll by GrowthAccelerator birmingham is home to the fastest growing businesses in the UK.  Closely followed by by Westminster, Leeds and Manchester.  If you think your business location is key to your growth and prosperity click here for a Guardian poll on the subject.

Top Tips To Help You Win government Contracts

A series of videos to help SMEs and voluntary organisations pitch for and win government contracts have been released. We want suppliers of all sizes to be able to compete for and win government business and we have reduced many of the barriers and bureaucracy in public sector procurement. But we know that bidding for government contracts can seem overwhelming – government is after all, a highly desirable client, one that pays on time and requires a large number of services, so we understandably expect

Click here for more

Marketing For Success

The only way to reach potential customers is through marketing. You

Marketing For Successshould have numerous channels to your market, all of which are measurable, so that you know which activity is giving you the best return and more importantly which ones aren’t delivering. Obviously you do more of what works and none of what doesn’t!

Generating sales, and profitable sales at that, must be the top priority for any business. A passive approach, waiting for repeat business and referrals from existing customers, can take a business so far.

A proactive approach is necessary to build a growing business that can thrive even when times are tough. Such an approach has four key elements.

The Marketing Plan

Adopting a customer-focused business ethos is a proven method to increase the chances of a sustainable and profitable future.
Developing a marketing plan is at the heart of any truly marketing-oriented company, and ensures the customer is at the centre of key decisions. The plan needs to be a written document that specifies how your business will generate profitable revenue. It does not have to be lengthy – an excellent plan can be written on one or two pages.

Before you start writing your plan, you will need to do some research and
planning to discover the following:
• What is your current situation?
• Who are your current and potential
• What marketing environment (both  externally and internally) are you
working in?
• What are the opportunities for growth?
This part of the process will enable you to get a clear understanding of where you are starting from and the paths to growth that are available to you.
The next step in developing your marketing strategy will call on you to
make a choice about the path(s) to growth that you will follow. An excellent tool to use to help bring clarity to your thinking is the Ansoff Matrix that specifies four broad approaches as follows:

• Market penetration takes a product that you already have and increases
its market share. This is usually the easiest and least risky approach.
• Market development takes one or more existing products into new
• Product development involves developing a new product for a
market you are already in.
• Diversification would have you develop a new product for a new market.
As such, it is the option that takes you furthest away from your comfort zone and area of competence. While you are considering your options and
developing your marketing strategy, it is critical that you are clear about how you are going to compete. There are two elements to this – deciding on your target audience and identifying your most promotable competitive edge.

Your Target Audience
Who you are going to seek to sell to is often not as straightforward as you
might at first think. Usually there are middle-men, as well as end-users and different types of end-users and different types of middle-men.

It all starts with a marketing plan that specifies effective methods of lead generation, supported by a solid lead conversion process and a commitment to actions and measurement of all marketing and sales initiatives.

Your Most Promotable Competitive Edge

Similarly, identifying your most promotable competitive edge is worth
spending time on. What is it that makes you stand out from your competitors that you can promote to win business?

If you have a patented product or similar, the answer is obvious, but if
not, the answer often lies in your customer service. But don’t stop there! What aspect of your service makes you stand out? The more precise you are, the sharper your marketing can be.

A Powerful Message

When you have decided what your target audience and your most
promotable competitive edge are, you need to go to the next stage and turn them into a powerful message.

So, for example, the competitive edge of “the most technically-trained staff in the industrial fasteners business” might become “We’re nuts about bolts”.
Finally, you need to bring that powerful message to your target audience at every available opportunity. At this point, it is time to consider your
marketing tactics or, as they are commonly referred to, your marketing
Your marketing mix is your selection of
the 7 P’s:
• Product
• Price
• Place
• Promotion
• People
• Process
• Physical Evidence
Your marketing plan should summarise how you intend to use each part of the marketing mix. When deciding on your marketing mix, keep in mind the two stages of marketing – targeting and positioning.


Defining your target audience involves breaking down your customers into different groups (segmentation) to ensure that the specific needs of each are catered for by tailoring your marketing mix accordingly


Positioning comes through communicating your powerful message
(derived from your most promotable competitive edge) to ensure current
and potential customers perceive your company in the way you would like them to.
In simple terms, you need to:
• Find your most promotable competitive edge
• Turn it into a powerful message
• Deliver it to the right people
Once you have completed your Marketing Plan, you need to start to
use it to generate sales through the two-stage process of lead generation
and lead conversion

This article was produced by UKBA as part of their Boost Your Business series of articles.  To download the full article click here:

More information on UKBA and MGBA in the Midlands

Comments and questions can be placed in my comment box or you can email me at


GrowthAccelerator is a new partnership between the government and the private sector designed to help growing businesses to identify and then overcome barriers to growth. Small and medium sized business owners and senior managers will get to work with world-class growth experts to help them achieve their potential. The programme focuses on areas such as:

  • Creating new products and services.
  • Developing new business opportunities.
  • Effective marketing and sales.
  • Improving management capability.

Businesses can find out if they qualify for support by entering their details on the new Midlands GrowthAccelerator page.

Business Twitter for Beginners

May I begin by saying, if you are an experienced Twitter adherent in your business, then this blog ain’t for you.  However if you are considering using Twitter to help market your business then perhaps I can help.

Firstly please don’t imagine that because Twitter is free then it’s use is without cost.  You can easily spend hours using to absolutely no business advantage.  That will make it pretty expensive!  So firstly be very clear about why you are using it and what you hope to achieve.  Remember SMART.  Twitter like everything else must have a measurable objective (ROI)

If you are interested, have a read of my article about ensuring you get a return on your social media activities. Click here.

However if you are looking for some really simple points remember when you are starting to use Twitter to market your business, read on…

  • 70 Characters max.  Shorter Tweets are re-tweeted twice as often.
  • Use attention words.  Words like WOW and TODAY ONLY grab attention
  • Make tweets personal. This can mean funny. interesting, informative.  They are re-tweeted more and personalise your brand.
  • Provide useful news.  Content that educates and informs is re-tweeted more often. Much more popular than simply hard-selling.
  • Offer a deal. Tweets with deals are 16% re-tweeted 16% more.
  • Tweet about upcoming events.  Builds a sense of anticipation.  Try news about an upcoming sale or exhibition or event/

Finally, don’t expect results immediately.  Twitter is a medium term tool and you will need to keep going to build up your following.

If you would like more information on using Twitter in your business, put your question in the comment box below or drop an email to Martin Parry

Sc: MGBA/UKBA/Martin Parry

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