Are you a Start-up? Here are some creative ideas on how you could boost your sales

WBA Support | Thursday, September 06, 2018

 


Written by Fortuna Advisory Group - Wanneroo Business Association's Business in the Spotlight for September 2018

As a person associated with marketing of professional services, I have often questioned myself as to which channel is the best of all and I can, with certainty say that there is not a single one better than another. At the end of the day, I suppose if a channel works great for your business, it should be pursued. While there is some degree of learning that we can gather from others, there is always a degree of trial and error – something that companies don’t always share.

I don’t believe myself to be a Sales guru or for that matter an authority in marketing. This belief helps me keep my eyes and ears open wide – in hope of getting some useful tips. Here are some that I found worth it and wanted to share.

1. Target Your Promotions to Specific Customer Groups

Who are you targeting? This, you’d agree is the first question to ask when running sales promotions. There are several tools in the market which help such as Facebook Pixel for example. If installed on your website, this could potentially help show your advertisements to people who have visited your website but not yet bought anything or accepted your call to action. There has been some discussion in recent times as to whether such ‘stalk the visitor’ marketing is socially acceptable, but as long there is no law advising refrain, one may as well use it. Analytics bear witness that targeted social promotion has yielded positive sales results.

Targeting specific customer groups doesn’t only apply to Facebook but for broader promotions as well. If you are focusing on existing or potential customers, a good place to start segregation could be your client list and perhaps take it a step forward to see where they hang out. Specific customer groups and locational knowledge can help build tailored advertisements – something that is normally expected to yield better results than generic adverts.

2. Use Videos to Create a Great Product Demo

Quick videos are becoming growingly popular these days, simply because it is easier for the viewer to get the information that you are promoting about your products/services without much effort of having to read it. Clearly, reading and even radio remain popular but the potential use of visual graphics can make videos really trendy. Besides, educational videos are more getting into fashion than salesy stuff and video is a great way of presenting educational content. This adds credibility, somewhat certainly.
Check out these examples to help you get started.

3. Create a Sense of Urgency in a Flash Sale Promotion

A straight forward way to create a sense of urgency for customers to purchase now instead of later is by driving a ‘flash sale’ promotion — one that involves a very clear deal, aesthetically pleasing call to action with an expiration date.
The key here is to be successfully able to streamline the promotional message across all channels – social media content to email campaigns and advertising, so that the deal you’re offering is emphasised from every angle. When releasing your flash sale promotion, stress on the hard deadline and remember, don’t keep shifting the deadline because then it loses credibility.

4. Give Away Coupons & Referral Bonuses

This is a popular strategy with big brand companies…When a user buys something from your business, offer them a credit coupon for their next purchase. This way, you may be able to secure their return, stay connected and encourage the user to buy something within a time period.

Other options may include:

  • Partnering with other businesses and offering their coupons
  • Developing a referral rewards program for existing customers and,
  • Collaborating with your bank to offer customers some cash back

5. Consider Offering an Upgrade Instead of a Price Cut

Have you ever wondered how some low-cost providers are surviving in the market, providing (if not, providing; at least claiming to provide) the same service/ product as you are?

For a fact, it is hard to compete on price, especially if you are giving a price cut without even ensuring that the customer is going to return. An effective way is to offer a bonus rather than a discount. Offering an upgrade or add-on could not only make a potential customer upgrade to the normal price later on but also is an opportunity for you to provide to him what is available. It could be a win-win, in the long run.

6. Personalize Your Business by Sharing Your Story

Many consumers are shying away from faceless massive corporations and taking their business to friendlier small companies. That being the case, it’s important for small businesses to introduce the people who drive the business and share their stories. It is often said, people don’t buy what you sell; they buy why you sell it; and to a considerable extent it is true, especially in the small business industry. People often want to know who they are dealing with; and more than often there is no need to promote sales; it is the personal genuineness of the business personnel that counts and in turn converts into sales. If you can effectively communicate your company values and what makes you special, you can expect to see a rise in popularity.

7. Make Sure You Have a “Funnel” in Place

Momentum, scarcity, and credibility are three crucial elements you should have when looking to boost your sales. This in pretty much how you could create a flash sale as well.

  • Momentum: This is the build-up, for example, 10 days before the promotion, you may need an email that informs your audience about this upcoming promotion — you need to build up the momentum and anxiety before the finale.
  • Scarcity: In your email messages, you’ll have to make it clear that this promotion is scarce. For example: “One day 25 percent off sales from May 5 to May 7 only.”
  • Credibility: Do not extend the promotion for any reason. At the end of the promised promotion period, you will have to end the promotion immediately. The key is to make the people who missed this promotion have something to “regret.” Next time, the people who had missed your first promotion will have a much better chance to convert.

8. Fine Tune as You Go

This is important. As mentioned earlier, there is some degree of trial and error in marketing and there’s always therefore room for improvement. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) could be tracked to analyse the returns your activities are generating. There’s often other supporting tools as well such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter analytics for example to help understand online performance. Although these don’t indicate how your ongoing promotion should be tweaked for better results, this does help by indicating if your current promotions are yielding good results.

 

Naturality – The New Normal in CRM

WBA Support | Thursday, September 06, 2018

Written by Fortuna Advisory Group - Wanneroo Business Association's Business in the Spotlight for September 2018

There are hundreds of management jargons which revolve around us on a normal day – while some of them are quite impressive to use at lectures, most are practically hilarious to real professionals. I had some time today and thought of writing about this new jargon – something I have been thinking about for a little while: ‘Naturality – the new normal in CRM’.

 

Professionals such as myself hardly prefer writing such theoretical content but what if the theory was naturally practical; and it generated more client satisfaction than ever? Yes, I am talking more dollars through your door as well…

Naturality in simple terms is nothing but the state of nature; the natural, inborn way of behaving; and this naturalness defines our individual existence; then why try to camouflage when it comes to client relationship?

Client relationship, you’d agree is a way of dealing with people in a way that they are feel comfortable working with your organisation; that they feel heard and that they feel you genuinely care. Sometimes, however, the fact is that you don’t. Would you be for real if you said you cared about every single client of yours equally as much at all times? If you think you are for real, stop here – this article isn’t for you!

Most of us, in practice, try to balance our client relationships with an aim of achieving the best outcome for them – in turn, with a motive of achieving the best outcome for our own organisations in the longer run. There’s of course nothing wrong in riding on the back of your clients’ successes; but very few people in the Client Relationship Industry want to admit it – at least directly. That’s because they are plastic!

Have a look at the two conversations below – between a client and Jerry, their Accountant:

Conversation 1 –

Client calls: Hey Jerry, how was your weekend?

Jerry: Oh, it was crazy. There’s just so much work at the moment and you know how we constantly try to exceed clients’ expectations.

Conversation 2 –

Client calls: Hey Jerry, how was your weekend?

Jerry: It was good; took the kids out to Margaret River. They hadn’t been there for fishing before so yeah was a good experience for them. What have you been up to?

Now, ask yourself who you would really prefer to work with? If you are smart enough, you would have already figured out the first conversation was nothing but ‘bull shit sold as a cupcake’; and as I love saying, you can’t sell bull shit as cupcake for too long.

The new mantra therefore is ‘Be natural’. It helps you connect with the right clients; clients who you will enjoy working with and clients who will enjoy working with you. Yes, right you cannot have all so don’t waste your time trying to get all. For a starter, these are some tips I think relevant for people in the client relationship industry:

  • Tell the client what is true, no matter how brutal it may be
  • Clearly, if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t pretend; just admit it rather than making up stories; making up stories and fluffing is not professional and so not cool!
  • Don’t be plastic in your approach.
  • No, you’re not busy all the bloody time! Even the best of the bests has time to go out have fun.
  • Catching up with clients without an agenda builds trust; it really does
  • Be yourself as long as you are ethically and morally correct; don’t just try to imitate another person entirely. If you are not ethically or morally correct, perhaps change your profession to something that doesn’t need you to be ethical (Oh, my imaginations are running wild on what all you can do; trust me, you don’t want to hear them)
  • Try to be interested in the clients’ well-being, rather than the clients’ business. Clearly, a loud shout to heaps of professionals out there.
  • If you love doing something, do it. You’ll be surprised how many clients share you’re the same interests. Yes, you’re right, don’t join the golf course to get more clients when you seriously enjoy gaming.

There will be so many more tips – all one needs to do is flex your brains muscles. The end line, however, won’t change – Be natural, be yourself because in a human society, we love working with people; not qualified robots.


 

Incorporating education and business!

Events Wanneroo Business | Tuesday, May 09, 2017

 

“My management team have even recognised that some of the concepts and strategy I have put in place are the outcomes of what I have learned in the course.”

I am the General Manager for a builder specialising in units and thought it be appropriate to get a formal qualification to complement my experience. I started studying an MBA with another university but found the pace unrealistic and felt I wasn’t maximising my learning experience. After looking over the course content of the Graduate Certificate of Business at ECU, I knew it was right for me. I was able to apply using recognised work experience.

Most of my studies at ECU have been online and I have had the opportunity to do some weekend classes, which has helped fit my studies around my work.

The lecturers have been extremely supportive and genuinely interested in my studies. They are always helpful and return emails and directives when needed. The facilities at the Joondalup campus are unbelievable.

My studies at ECU have taught me to consider problems in the workforce from a greater holistic perspective and have opened my mind to alternative ways of managing people, tasks, marketing, and how to approach problem solving. My management team have even recognised that some of the concepts and strategies I have put in place are the outcomes of what I have learned in the course.

Kerrian Devlin, ECU Graduate Certificate of Business and Master of Business Administration student


 

Cherished Cherub's CEO Conquers Everest!

Events Wanneroo Business | Monday, March 13, 2017

If your next holiday included a week of no showers, no power, no meat, no alcohol, no warmth, and no idea what you are in for, would you volunteer?

Well Suze Trappitt, CEO of Cherished Cherubs did just that and here's the story!

  

Namaste!! And welcome to my blog on our recent trip to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

I was trying to keep this shortish, but everyone is asking about our adventure, so here are the answers to the questions.

Why did we book?

Unlike many that do the trek, Everest Base Camp has never been on my bucket list. But a deal kept showing up on my emails again and again. My 17 year old daughter noticed as well, and in the end said, “come on Mum, let’s do it”. And that was it, booked for both of us in a couple of minutes and no turning back.

When did we go and why then?

We went in February 2017. The tour was 16 days so we took just over 3 weeks in total. It was perfect timing as it was after my daughter finished year 12, and before uni started. It was also when the younger children were back at school, so they had that to focus on.

What was the agenda?

We flew into Kathmandu and spent a couple of days there. We met the guides and rest of our group of 9 and had a couple of sight-seeing days. Then on a plane to Lukla (famous for its ultra short and interestingly placed runway) in the middle of the Himalayas. We trekked for about 14 days then a flight back to Kathmandu, to spend a couple of nights at a 5 star hotel to finish off.

How long were the trekking days?

Most days were around 6.5 hours. On the way back we had a long 8.5 hour day, and ended with a nice 3 hour hike.

How hard was the walking?

The guides set a pace that reflected the abilities of the whole group and allowed us to acclimatise gradually. I would say it was a steady pace, not fast or slow, and the harder parts had regular rest stops. There were 3 days that were much harder than the others.

There is a standard explanation used: western flat – flat, napali flat – sometimes up, sometimes down, but not for too long, and then there was steep, and yes that was challenging both on the legs and cardio. I was extremely glad we had trained before leaving!

The terrain was sometimes a path, other times were steps, and when close to base camp, we were literally climbing rocks. Good boots are essential.

As we climbed higher, the air thinned, which made things harder physically as the body did not get the oxygen it was used too. We would only walk a short way before we needed to stop to catch our breath.

We carried a backpack for our everyday items of water, sunscreen and to place our clothes as we layered on and off. We had Yaks to carry our other clothes, sleeping bags and items.

Tell us about the weather and how you dealt with it?

Let’s start by saying, I hate the cold in WA, so this was always going to be a challenge! To start the days were moderate and we only had a couple of layers of clothing. As we climbed higher it cooled more with temps around 0-2 degrees. It did hit -16 degrees on the day of base camp. Every day was clear and beautiful once the sun came over the mountains. The trekking would always warm us up a few more degrees.

The nights were icy cold, especially at the top. Having the correct clothing was essential, and luckily we had spent the money and did okay, although that doesn’t mean you don’t get cold, just not as cold.

For the nights you would wear 4 – 5 layers of clothing to bed, plus sleeping bag, plus doona, plus socks, plus beanie and gloves if need be. I have never daydreamt of soaking in a hot bath so bad!

Communal fires toward the top are fuelled with dry yak dung and kero. Yep that’s right. There is no wood, so yak poo is it. It does let heat out, but we didn’t volunteer to be the ones to restock the fire.

What was the accommodation like?

We had twin share rooms all the way and in hostels. The first few and last few days were quite comfortable, our own bathrooms, hot water and nice facilities. The week in between - completely different story.

There was no room heating, just the communal eating area where they would light a fire at 5pm. That sometimes gave enough heat for everyone, but sometimes it was borderline. Clothes were layered on.

There was only enough solar power for lights so we were not able to charge electronics or have luxuries like heaters.

There was only one toilet at each stop for all the group/s as the others were all frozen. Toilets are squat toilets, and with ice each side on the floor, you really had to be careful with your balance ;-).

How was the Food?

Even if you love noodles, rice and soup as I do, by the time you get to the top you are ready for something new. Sherpa stew is usually nice, basically vegetable soup with pasta, but again, you can only have this so many times. Potato, carrot and cabbage and eggs are staple foods.

We had some Yak meat. It was tough, then found out that they don’t kill the Yaks, they wait for them to die and then use their meat, no wonder it is tough.

They say don’t eat meat once you are half way, as chances are it has been frozen then defrosted, then frozen again etc.

The Yak cheese is quite nice.

As we were heading higher there were lists being made of all the foods we were going to eat as soon as we returned home e.g. steak, subway, fresh fruit…

What was the physical impact on the body?

As far as the body went from all the trekking, because of the regular breaks and the pace we went, we didn’t pull up sore like you do after a hard workout. We were physically tired at the end of each day and by 8pm were all saying goodnight.

Altitude sickness symptoms were the main signs we were watching out for. Headaches, nausea, physical pain, they are all acceptable for short periods and if not too strong. Most of our group experienced these at some level on various days. This is where the guides are essential, and ours were amazing. They were continually assessing every one of the group to ensure everyone was doing okay physically. For our group, we all made it to EBC and down again in a healthy way.

How would you describe the Himalayan people?

Visiting this part of the Himalayas is like going back in time. The people live totally off the land. Whether it’s the fields they tend, the houses they build, the food they grow to eat, the way they wash their clothes, how they get from place to place, and how they heat their fires, it is all back to basics.

We felt extremely unfit when we saw the Sherpas carrying 100 kg of supplies on their back and were going just as far as we were, at 5 times the pace. They would walk with these items for days to get them where they needed to be. Some were carrying beams for the buildings, amazing stamina and strength for small people.

They have traditional values of family and religion and lifestyles. They work hard physically, they appreciate everything, they give and give, and they smile a lot.

What about the Scenery?

Phenomonal!!!

The size of the mountains was astounding. The rivers were raging at lower levels and an amazing blue and white. The waterfalls and rivers were frozen up higher. The mountains, wow, the mountains!! The sunlight on the snowy peaks, the formations, the beauty. We would cross suspended bridges and just stop to admire. The serenity was very appealing.

The only mode of transport in this part of the country is horse, donkey, mule or yak. There is usually a whole train of them and you can hear them coming as they wear bells around their neck. Always give way to them, they stop for no-one.

And Everest Base Camp….

It was a hard day on our last day going up. The EBC site itself was special. Seeing the glaciers shows the fragility of the mountains. Seeing what the climbers have to endure to go further than Base camp, to Base 1, and 2 and summit, it gives you a whole new huge appreciation for those that have made the attempt.

What was the highlight?

Honestly, there is no one thing. Everything was amazing. The natural wonders, the gorgeous local people, the well organised tour, the fun we had within our group, I would not change a thing and am so glad we went.

Oh, we did learn a Nepalese card game that was a bit of a highlight to fill our nights J

Did you discover anything about yourself or in general whilst you were away?

I just so appreciate the experience, and the ability to be able to go, and with my daughter. I had to call on family, friends and babysitters to have my younger 3 children cared for, so I am eternally thankful to those people. I had my business operate without me, and I couldn’t do that without a great team and systems, which has taken years to develop. I am one very lucky person. I was quite surprised by the level of interest in our adventure, it was inspiring to have a following. The world continues to amaze me, and I am determined to keep exploring, even if it is just a few weeks at a time.

What would you say to others that have thought about climbing to Everest Base Camp?

Go through a reputable tour group, and listen to your guides.

Make sure you are physically and mentally ready for the personal challenge. The climb does not require extreme fitness, but the less you are struggling the more you can enjoy the adventure.

Break in your boots and have the right clothing!!

It’s awesome, if you seriously want to do it, what’s stopping you?


Other info:

Our tour was through Himalayan Social Journey. Bishnu and Pasan were our guides. Highly recommend them for their good communication, knowledge, care and friendliness.

Our itinery is below.

Day 1: Your arrival to Tribhuwan International Airport and transfer to Hotel. Orientation in the evening at around 5 PM. At evening welcome dinner with cultural program. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley (Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath, Swaymbhu and Patan durbar square) Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Kathmandu to Lukla by flight and trek to Pakhding (2600M.). Overnight Namaste Lodge.
Day 4 (Wed 8th Feb, meant to be hardest day): Trek to Namche Bazaar (3535M.). Overnight at hotel sherpaland.

Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar (you climb higher then come down to sleep):. Overnight at hotel sherpaland.
Day 6: Trek to Tengboche (3850M.). Overnight at Rivendell Lodge
Day 7: Trek to Dingboche (4350M.). Overnight at Family Lodge
Day 8: Acclimatization in Dingboche. Overnight at Family Lodge
Day 9: Trek to Lobuche. Overnight at Mother Earth Lodge
Day 10: Trek to Gorakshep (5160M) and hike about 2-3 hour to Everest Base Camp and trek back to Gorakshep. Overnight at Boudha Lodge

Day 11: In Early morning, hike to Kalapathar (5545 M) and trek back to Pheriche. Overnight at Pumori Lodge
Day 12: Trek down to Tengboche. Overnight at RivendellLodge
Day 13: Trek to Namche. Overnight at Hotel sherpaland
Day 14: Trek down to Lukla. Overnight at Hotel Numbur
Day 15: In the Morning, fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Morning breakfast and transfer to airport for your departure.


 

WBA Board's Big Day Out

Events Wanneroo Business | Monday, January 23, 2017

To celebrate the new year we started out in style, with a Board Meeting.

But then we hit the road for some fun visiting members and enjoying their amazing hospitality.

Geoff from West Coast Bus Charters arrived early and drove us in comfort to each of the activities, he even joined in on some! Geoff was a great host and a fun addition to our team building day. His professional and prompt service kept us running on time and made for a very easy day out.

Stop one was with Michael and family at EasyRider Adventures in Yanchep National Park. We each had a unique segway experience and everyone rocked the obstacle course and team relay. Each board member was able to ride a different segway that best suited their level of expertise. As Michael says, "no-one is left on the bench!"

EasyRider Adventures truly is for the whole family and the obstacle course has options for all levels, meaning everyone can have a go. Michael even offers park tours around the national park. Everyone had a really good time - it was definitely an unusual activity, one that will be fun time and time again.

After the competitive segway relay a hard earned iced chocolate was needed. We joined Sue (winner of the Mayor's Visonary Award) at her award winning cafe Chocolate Drops!

Chocolate Drops is a specialty 'Handmade' Chocolate Shop located in the 'Tearooms' venue within the picturesque Yanchep National Park, Sue's cafe has been in the park for over 8 years and Sue creates, on the premises, an array of Australian themed handmade chocolates. Yum! Here the WBA Board of Management took the time to talk with Sue, Michael and Geoff about their businesses and unique challenges. Lots of ideas were generated and some exciting joint ventures were discussed.

To finish the day we headed back to Wanneroo and joined Patti at Transgenesis School of Yoga & Meditation. We were lucky enough to be joined by Patti's good friend Rupert, a professional violinist, who performed live relaxation songs for us! Patti took us through some basic yoga stretches and poses and taught us some tension relieving moves for office workers. We then laid back in the spacious, comfortable and cool studio for some meditation and relaxation. Patti was calming and professional and made it easy for first timers to get involved and get the most out of their yoga practice - I think Patti's classes will have a few more participants next week!

We are so grateful to our members for showing us a good time and giving us a taste of what makes their businesses unique. Geoff, Michael, Sue and Patti were professional, welcoming and the perfect fit for our Board team building day.

Need a day out? Looking for a family fun activity? Something more relaxing? How about some transport for your next work do? Get in touch with our incredible members who put on a great day for us!

If you would like the WBA Board or staff to come and visit you, whether its to show off your services or get some advice on an issue facing you, get in touch with Lauren or Emily today.



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