There are lots to cover today.
For some, the Ox is slow and steady. For others, the Ox comes charging!
Welcome to 2021, the Year of the Metal Ox, a Yin year which means the Ox arrives at a slow and steady pace. However, for me and some of my clients, we see the Ox charging ahead. Whatever we choose to do, we just have to keep moving forward. Even if they are small steps. The important thing is to take the first step. Here's why.
There will be uncertainties
From bushfires to COVID-19, we have seen the world in turmoil. Changes will continue to be rapid, whether they are legislation changes, the impact of technology, climate change etc.
What can we do?
I read various reports on 2021 business trends and most of them have these in common.
Visible digital footprint
More people are spending significant time on the internet due to COVID-19. If you feel you are lacking a great digital presence, then start now. You have seen how Facebook (and other online channels) can shut down business pages, change algorithms and manipulate the behaviours of your page.
Therefore the most important digital asset that you can own is your website, so I suggest you invest in it.
Your website is a great platform for you to do your branding, marketing and sales campaigns. It's a great way to attract and engage your customers, create partnership opportunities, highlight your products, services and offers and build communities.
MBF is offering its members a deeper learning training on How to Build your own Website, so take a look at this training, which covers what important content you need to place on the website, where and how plus the SEO works.
Visibility also means being out there - with the community face to face or online where your customers are.
At the last MBF Meeting on 5th February 2021, Ray Lind, Chief Flying Instructor of the Hastings District Flying Club reiterated that in order to fulfil your business dreams, your business must have QUALITY PRODUCTS DELIVERED WITH QUALITY CAPABILITY TO ENABLE DELIGHTFUL OUTCOMES EVERY TIME! Our interactive session led by Rod Bucton of Sports Adventure also gave us some practical thinking on how we can chase our dreams.
So thank you very much to Ray and Rod.
Based on the presentations that day, we agree that no one will know you have a good product or your excellent capability if you are not marketing it well. In my conversations with many small business owners, some blame an ad for not bringing in sales. One ad is not marketing.
Marketing is a consistent, continuous omnichannel effort of letting people know what you stand for, what problems you can solve for them, how you can help them and why you are the best person for the job.
The trick to good marketing is personalised, interactive engagements during the entire life cycle of your customer. There are a whole art and science to this. So reach out to me if you wish to understand what this means.
Do you find closing a sale challenging? During MBF's December meeting, we covered some of the sales techniques that will work for four main personalities.
Nowadays, people are impatient, so speed is the essence when it comes to responding to your leads. Do you have the sales tools to help you walk through the product, service and delivery easily with the customer? Do you have customer reviews in place to help you get more leads?
A sale is not done until money is collected. So it is important to ensure that your sales processes include receivables management.
Quality delivery is not just the after-sales service. It is the customer experience in the entire buying cycle with you. You might not be good at everything, so invest time, money and efforts where it is critical.
If you need to package your products and/or services to be competitive, reach out to other businesses and form collaborations.
It is also important that you keep developing personally and professionally so you are always good at what you do.
If part of the customer's buying cycle includes better marketing or effective finance, consider engaging experts in areas where you lack. The most important thing to remember is to obtain expertise that enhances your business capabilities.
Being agile means the ability to make quick shifts where needed be it in service delivery, marketing or operations restructuring etc. The world is turbulent so being adaptable is important. That leads to ensuring efficiency and productivity at the same time. Therefore clarity is important so you don't feel you are all over the place. Depending on the nature of your business, the degree of agility may be more critical in some.
So keep moving forward
As always, I encourage small business to keep moving forward and not get stuck. Go chase your dreams, develop your skills, improve your capabilities continually. Our committee is here to help you, especially Barbara Smith, who as Mentor is available to chat.
Let me know how you go.
MBF's purpose and values
MBF moves forward with the help of its committee. Here's what we believe.
We believe in making a positive impact to small businesses in Port Macquarie-Hastings region by having the COURAGE to TAKE ACTION.
Our values guide us to make that positive impact together with MBF Members.
Have ownership and accountability to those actions
Having FUN doing it
Being On Time
We do this by SUPPORTING our members; provide EDUCATION through our meetings and deeper learning and provide a NETWORKING platform through monthly coffee connects.
So thank you to our very hard-working MBF committee, who volunteer their time to make a positive impact on small businesses in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
Veronica Lind, President
Glenda Hamilton, Vice-President and Acting Treasurer
Alison Carroll, Membership Secretary
Barbara Smith, Mentor
Vicki Carnes, Events Manager
Stuart Lyall, Photographer
Upcoming MBF Events
Vale Hilton King
We received this notice from Liz Paine today.
Many members of Micro Business Forum will remember Hilton King, who was an active and vibrant member of MBF and a valued committee member for some time. Hilton very generously supported MBF and its members, contributing his extensive experience as a lawyer to the benefit of MBF and by offering personal support and expertise to members.
Today, sadly, we express our deep sorrow at the loss of this generous man who passed away suddenly this morning. We will miss you Hilton. You were a wonderful friend to many including myself. Your passing is a great sadness for our community.
Our thoughts are now with Hilton's lovely wife Marianne King. We offer her our support and love at this very sad time.
President, Micro Business Forum