Recently a new Insider and business owner asked us some questions to help them decide if they should join us. We thought we would share what we said. It sums up what we can do for you, your business and your team.
We really are happy to answer any questions you may have, so if we’ve missed something get in touch here.
However, before we get started we will have some questions for you too, because not everyone uses us in the same way (you will see why in our replies below) so we need to know;
It is always good to know what you are looking to gain from working with the BWN so we can ensure that’s the direction we go in.
The BWN helps in 2 main ways 1. To network and gain new business – spending time with people that get it and 2. To learn new ideas, learn trends, learn ways to grow your business and share your knowledge.
Is there a membership fee? Is it expensive?
Mandie Holgate set up the BWN in 2009 and was adamant we would always be low cost and have no membership. It used to be £125 for the year (1 event per month) and then £10 per month for the Insiders. People could come along to networking events ad hoc for £15 for any of the 17 events we were hosting across the UK. (Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, London, Kent, Warwickshire, Cambridge.)
During the pandemic when we went online we moved it all to be hosted through the BWN Insiders group, so we could cut the costs again. (Our mission is not to make money out of the BWN, but to re-invest everything we make from it back into building it for the good of our members. So the pandemic became a good opportunity to do more for business owners.
We also give all Insiders a 50% discount on all business, blogging, confidence and communication courses too – https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/rocket-profits-confidence-success/
I’ve got little ones and they don’t always want to watch CBBc!
We love it when children appear on screen. At our last event we had one young lady (5 years old) draw a picture for us and she said she intended to be a business woman like her mum – so cute. All joking aside we are a professional business growth and networking organisation so your little ones won’t delay or interrupt that. We like to run an organised networking and business growth event that is relaxed enough for everyone.
I’m not that confident, can I just come along and see what it’s all about first?
Not everyone is confident so you get involved as much or as little as you like. Mic on or off. Camera on or off. Your call.
I hate to say it, but my budget is small…
£10 a month is hopefully affordable to all – and we give business owners and their teams approx. £2000 of support a year for that £120. This includes, webinars, training, mentoring, coaching, events, exclusive competitions to win courses and training, planners, advice, business promotion on our site, writing for our blog for free (businesses pay us £75 per article – you get that for free!) promotion through our socials and more. It’s a lot for £120 a year!
Where abouts are your meet ups?
Virtual – members are mostly UK based, there’s a few in Europe, 2 in the middle east and 2 US. We think one maybe from Canada too but we don’t like to pry. You share as much or as little as you like, however it’s good to note attracting different people is really good for learning different ideas from around the world too.
What other types of businesses do you have involved?
Because our Founder is a business coach and works with businesses to grow the business and the teams too, we’ve a real mix of members. Business owners from all sectors, Public sector workers with side businesses, staff, charities – it is diverse.
How many other businesses are part of your membership?
Currently there are 130 members of the Insiders – it is not something we promote a lot because we genuinely work together and support each other in the growth of our businesses and anything else we wish to discuss. (A personal response from Mandie Holgate “It is with great regret and apologies that I admit, my eye has been off the ball for the last 30 months because my husband has had open heart surgery and cancer surgeries too – it has been a time of over 250 appointments and procedures. I still looked after our members religiously however I didn’t concentrate on growing the BWN. We are currently undergoing upgrades to our site with some new things being added so that we can do even more for business owners and for those looking to navigate through the cost of living and recession with a side business too. We are one of the top 15 resources for female entrepreneurs and an award winning business school too – we know what we do works and now we aim to focus on building that to help a wider audience, I personally feel we are better together and hope you fall in love with our business family as much as every other Insider.”
How big are you?
Personal question, but we like those too! The reach of our network is huge and not just the 130+ Insiders. All members can write for our blog at any time and that gets promoted on our social media accounts. We’ve not checked our follower numbers recently (We worry about quality of engagement not number of followers) but we believe that’s around 25,000 for the BWN accounts and then Mandie’s accounts are an additional 55,000(ish). (Her’s are huge due to her role as a blogger for big publications like @Lifehack , her best selling books (Taking control of your mind and Fight the fear – books on understanding yourself to achieve more, click here to read more), her international speaker status and the amount of years Mandie has been networking.) We’ve good DA scores for both businesses and the socials accounts connected with them.
Do you have any other network marketers?
Yes, we do, and do you know what we love? We love that they will help each other. We’ve seen 3 Tropic ambassadors in the same networking event share ideas and support for one another – we are a business family and believe in collab not competition.
Do you have anyone else from my company? I understand I wouldn’t be able to be involved if there was.
There is someone that does what you do however only as a side business and we don’t think we’ve ever heard them mention it at an event on in the confidential mastermind group. We don’t have block outs, so you would be very welcome and if this is your main business we would estimate you would do far better than the person that does it on the side and doesn’t mention they are a representative.
What coaching does your founder offer?
All sorts! Business growth, sales, confidence, team management, leadership, resilience, marketing, blogging for business, public speaking, elevator pitches. It matches a lot of the courses we have a 50% discount on – learn more about them here. And we are happy to talk more about that anytime so you can email us here or message us through our social media accounts. Mandie loves her clients like family and would pretty much do anything for them. Yes, she even did a nude calendar with 28 business owners for charity!
Sorry for all the questions
You can pretty much ask us anything, except what do you weigh? Because as Mandie says “I’ve not weighed myself since 2003 when I tried to kill myself – that’s a story for another day, but it’s why I trained as a coach so near death led to my best life.”
Ready to join us?
There are plenty of reasons to start a business today, but if you are a woman there are extra incentives and opportunities. Female-led businesses are thriving and are showing massive growth and returns. If you are a woman thinking of doing it for yourself, here are some things to consider.
Starting A Business Is Easier Than Ever
Thanks to new technologies and the outsourcing services they have made possible, starting up is easier than ever before. For female-led businesses and any other business, getting to grips with the nitty-gritty of entrepreneurship and the pressure of growth can be achieved by outsourcing admin responsibilities.
This comes with a few advantages. Having a professional answering service gives potential clients a great first impression, and you do not miss opportunities and leads while you chase down sales. The regular business tasks and responsibilities that come with hiring staff and managing accounts can all be outsourced, giving you more time to push your business forward.
Handling HR can be a time-consuming task, and there is a lot of information to maintain. Tasks like absence management can be easily outsourced, letting you get on with your go-getting. Not getting bogged down in admin tasks has let female-led businesses thrive, from day one.
The Future Is Female
Across the world, social pressure has been put on our politicians and culture to embrace women in business, science, and engineering.
The lack of gender diversity at the top of hierarchies in big business and places of media influence is finally being balanced, and companies are looking to hire women for important positions and work with female-led businesses. The boy’s club is over.
This has also led to an increase in investments in female-led start-ups and established businesses, as many of the world’s financial institutions and venture capitalists start putting their money where their mouth is. There is a massive increase in the amount of money being invested in female-led businesses, and the returns are already coming in. If you want a piece of the pie, you can get it.
Women starting their entrepreneurial journey are finding funding easily. This has helped them to get the boost they have been waiting for and take on the big boys in a fair marketplace. In all sectors and all industries, women are making huge strides compared to their male counterparts and are not stopping.
Every Crisis Is An Opportunity
The aftershocks of the lockdowns and social distancing measures of the Covid-19 pandemic are still rippling through our societies. One of the big changes is how people see their future employment, and how they want to balance their work and life into the 2020s.
Many people suddenly were working from home, and they do not want to give it up. This is understandable, especially for people with young families. Many young working mothers found themselves working from home, or on reduced furlough pay and looking for ways to make ends meet.
These factors have driven many people, mostly young women with children, to seek out ways to employ themselves and work on their own terms as things get back to a new normal.
There has never been a better time than now to start a female-led business. These opportunities are available to women who want to do it for themselves and start up a business that will one day grow large enough to fund their family’s future. Seize the opportunity before things change again.
There is A Generational Advantage
Women in our societies, across the centuries, have had several barriers to break in order to have an equal footing with men in business, sport, and day-to-day life. That work has continued, and carries on, creating more and more space and opportunities for women across all walks of life to step forward and take control.
The young women of today feel like there is nothing holding them back, and rightly so. Though there will always be more work to do to keep the playing field level for everyone, young women can approach the marketplace or a business meeting knowing they have the right to be there.
The challenges of modern business have been accepted by today’s young females, who have advanced degrees and a go-getting attitude in their arsenal. They are not going to accept anything less than success, for themselves or their start-up businesses.
If you are a young woman and thinking of stepping into the small business world, the road has been cleared for you by previous generations.
There are female entrepreneurs offering mentorship and advice, both online and in person. Women today have a wealth of shared knowledge they can tap into to help them conquer sales meetings and handle the setbacks and challenges that they face.
The opportunity, funding, and support are all there for women who want to start their own businesses. With the help of outsourcing, financing, and the will to succeed a female-led business can grow into an all-conquering behemoth.
Here our Founder Mandie Holgate shares some of the strategies from her very popular Public speaking course – this has many 5 star reviews from business owners who have used this virtual course to grow their business through paid speaking gigs and a better quality of public speaking. We know public speaking can be scary so let us know how you get on and of course post to the INsiders (Our confidential mastermind group) to get support and ideas to ensure these strategies work for you too.
“Communication is one of the fundamental skills every human needs.
From birth we learn that if we make a noise we can get what we want, so how do so many humans lose that power as they grow up?
Follow this 12 step process (I will keep it short) and you will be able to make a lot of money from talking.
I was petrified of public speaking in my 30’s and worked with some of the best speakers globally to learn how to speak powerfully anywhere — from the stage, to college, office to home, let me share some of what I’ve learnt…
Before you do anything know why you are speaking. What outcome do you want? What do you want your audience to do? To feel? To learn? Write it down so that you can check the quality of your speech against these key performance indicators.
2. Building communication confidence
I could write you the most amazing speech that will get your audience doing whatever you want them to, however if you lack confidence the rest of this process is going to be less powerful and you won’t get the results you want. So build your confidence first — click here to boost your confidence in 24 hours.
3. Your natural style of communicating and why it’s essential to know
I used to be petrified of public speaking and hated it so I know first hand how tough it can be to overcome (I’m now an international speaker) a big mistake I made in the early years was trying to be a speaker like everyone else. It would always be doomed because your audience can spot a fake even if they can’t tell you why. Acting like someone else may help you feel more confident but only take it so far. Learn what style is yours and even if you make a mistake your audience will still love you.
4. How to overcome your public speaking fear
Taking from my best selling books Fight the Fear and Taking Control Of Your mind is an example of my negative spiral strategy. For this explore what you are thinking, feeling or doing when asked to speak and write it down. Now from that you will have a choice of Feelings. Emotions. Actions or Results. Explore what happens and write it in it’s own box. This is a short version. To really know what is going wrong go deeper and deeper. You will find that it’s likely to be a number of things — the fear of what people think of you, the fear of looking stupid, the fear of making a mistake or the fear of looking arrogant. Which is it? You can then draw a positive spiral and follow my strategy to work out how to reverse what’s happening. Most readers (and clients) can make positive changes very fast.
5. How to think
Connected to your reason to speak is what you should be thinking. Challenge the quality of your thoughts. What are they saying to you? Are they saying “let’s do this, they are going to love this!” or are they saying “Why are you up on that stage, you’re no one special” one will empower, one will floor you.
6. How to act and stand.
Try this out in front of a mirror. Act sad — notice how your shoulders around, your eye contact goes lower, your chin drops. Now act Powerful (like a god or super hero) what’s different? You can use your body to……….
What would you like an article about? Email or message us any subjects you would like to see covered and we will ask our affiliates to write something especially for you.
Got a blog you want promoting? Did you know that all Insiders can be published on our site for free – it’s just £10 a month to be an Insider! Sign up here.
You may not know that we are owned by international best selling Author Mandie Holgate who is also a multi award winning business coach who grew her first business to over £1,000,000 in the 1990’s in a recession!
Over on Mandie’s blog there is an article that quite frankly we felt we ought to nick!
So here’s an abridged version of how to make money out of blogging*
Whether you own your own business, work for a charity, have a passion for K-Pop or Women’s football you can make money from blogging.
You can get your passion for any subject out there and help others benefit too.
And best of all check out step 11 where I share some of the amazing ways it can make you money!
Join me for the fastest 13 steps to a making your blog a money maker!
Make time — when I’m coaching someone on growing a business or earning more money I end every session by finding out when will the actions we set be completed by. If you can’t find 20% of your time to work on this, how will it happen?
What is the purpose of writing your blog? And if the answer is “To make lots of money!” or “To find lots of customers” Then think again.
Do you want to inspire? Empower? Educate? Stir up passion for a cause?
Yes, behind that reason is the desire to make money from blogging but foremostly consider how you are going to make a difference in the world. Customers buy when they are ready to from those that they trust. A blog helps you build awareness, trust and respect so that when they want something, it’s you they remember!
I was training a room full of business owners on blogging for business and when I asked this question someone said (and I’m not sure they were joking) “Anyone that has skin!” They’d been told that to sell their skin products they could sell them to anyone. I pointed out that my husband had skin and only used moisturizer if I bought it for him at Christmas, and even then 1 bottle could last a year!
Just like marketing is a lot easier when you really know your perfect customers (want more on that click here) blogging is a lot easier when you are talking to the right people. So take the time to describe in detail your perfect readers.
A big mistake bloggers make is that they write what they want to talk about and not what readers want to read. You may know that what they need to know is questions they’ve not even considered asking, so how could they know they need to know something they don’t know they need to know?!? (Confusing right?)…
All members of our mastermind group and networking events can write for our blog free of charge. Here Robyn Banks from Adavista Data Protection talks about “MARKETING FOLLOW UPS – BE CAREFUL!
Whilst it is very important – as Mandie keeps quite rightly reminding us – to follow up on approaches to prospective clients, you need to be mindful of certain “rules” in place.
Why am I writing about this? Because there is a very fine line between what is OK and what the recipient may interpret as harassment.
You should always remember that you don’t know what sort of a day your “recipient” is having – you could just be that last phone call/email that pushes the “now I’m really irritated and just had enough” button!
So – if you have had a preliminary “conversation” – by phone or email but its been a two way exchange – then you can legitimately contact them to follow up on this.
EXAMPLE – I have been contacted by two Insiders recently (you know who you are!) with a view to having a chat around my field of expertise. In both cases we have struggled to find a mutually convenient time – but I can legitimately contact both to try again!
BUT if I have received something out of the blue from someone that I don’t know, I have not responded in any way, and they send me a follow-up email which starts “just checking to see if you got my email”… or “I sent you an email last week”…Oh dear! Because I have not responded, these follow up emails are illegal as my lack of response should be regarded as withdrawal of consent to contact me.
I did tell you there is a fine line between doing this legally or illegally – probably not what you want to hear.
If all I have done is cause confusion, I apologise because that was not my intention. I want to ensure you get this right and avoid costly mistakes. If you want to discuss this further, then we can discuss this further at a BWN networking and business growth event, straight away on The Insiders confidential mastermind group or contact me here – As an Insider, we already “know” each other so its fine to get in touch. Thanks BWN for the opportunity to share my expertise with our members and women in business.”
If this has made you nervous of what you can and can’t do, don’t stop marketing your small business, talk to us. There are lots of ways we can help ensure your marketing communicates to the right people and leads to new business. Our Founder Mandie Holgate has been helping businesses to thrive through pandemics, recessions, global changes and more for over 25 years an is an active member of our mastermind group so you can ask her anything!
Follow up when done effectively will help your business grow and gain new opportunities.
Pricing has never been more critical to your business with costs increasing at a higher rate than inflation would suggest, staff able to jump ship and find a new job the same day and the pressures on the UK economies income making every £1 count.
Over on the Insiders (Our confidential mastermind group) the subject of price often comes up and the issue many business owners face is;
As a Founder of The Business Womans Network I’m one of the contributors to our award-winning website supporting women (and men) in business and with the issue of price it needn’t be a nightmare.
I’ve helped thousands to increase profits and gain more customers (not lose them) and there are key things to remember;
Firstly, you are running a business, not a charity. As an example, on the Insiders in 2022, I pointed out that a Greg’s sausage roll has increased from £1 to £1.35. I asked the Insiders if you increased your prices by 35% what would that look like and how would it feel?
The 3 questions above were often the key questions that people thought of (after the initial “We can’t charge that much!”)
If you handle pricing correctly not only, can you increase profit without working more hours or adding new products or services you can also ensure you are attracting the right customers that will pay whatever you charge.
Which leads me on to the second crucial point to remember. Your pricing can become secondary of interest if customers really want what you have. So understand your pricing structure but don’t get fixated with it.
As I like to remind our members, Eggs, sugar, butter and flour aren’t that expensive, and yet when put together by a baker they can be a £5 sponge cake or a £3000* wedding cake – it’s your choice. The substantial difference in the £5 and £3000 cake is that the marketing, the communication, and the target audiences are very different – have you really understood who your audience(s) are?
If you don’t know your audiences well enough, you aren’t going to be able to keep them loyal with a price rise.
It can be scary putting up your prices so don’t do it on a whim and just increase prices. Check out this article that looks at why people quibble prices, and what you can do about it to ensure you gain the right customers because when you know you have the right customers It’s never about saying “Give us more money.” It’s about analysing their needs, understanding their budget, and working out where that can meet in the middle. I can teach you starting with this article how to help everyone with a budget from £10 to £10000 Click here to read more https://old.thebusinesswomansnetwork.co.uk/they-quibble-our-fees/
In this article I talk about the issues that impact on successful pricing, so instead of repeating myself read that here – https://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/7-reasons-why-your-business-is-failing-and-how-to-fix-it/
It’s important to remember with pricing that it is about you not just selling something at the right price but selling the right things too. In my new book (14 vital strategies to make your small business grow* The secrets that no one will tell you!) I look in detail at the number of businesses that fail in the first 5 years and shockingly still one of the biggest issues is not understanding what people want or need to buy.
Take time to do your research and understand your target audiences. If you have studied, my target audiences course you will already understand who your audiences are and how they like to think. When you tap into that knowledge people want to buy because you’ve spoken their language https://mandiie-holgate-business-life-coach.teachable.com/p/learn-who-your-target-audience-s-are-and-get-them-buying
When you combine that knowledge with an ability to address the psychology of the sale which we look at in module 5 Turning No’s into Yes’s and in the marketing course in the sales mountain and the marketing production line modules, people don’t even notice your price increases (well not a lot) they are so blown away with what you do, how you do it and how you care for them as customers, they can’t imagine going anywhere else.
Remember Tech Giant Apple doesn’t really need to market its products and often it is still churning out beautiful adverts even when there’s not a new product about to drop, so why do they do it? To ensure you stay loyal to them!
A big issue for small businesses that need to increase their prices is that they’ve not been consistent with their communication to;
This means while you’re busy working on looking after your current customers, your competitor can jump in and work out how to steal them away from you. You’ve got to keep consistent and if you’ve studied the marketing course you will remember the module on consistency and what that does to your marketing results. Work out who will keep you accountable to the actions to successfully increasing prices and ensuring you have the right volume of customers.
“But Mandie, no one has any money!”
This is something I often hear. The cost of living is rising; however, many have put up their prices, many were furloughed in the pandemic and now are sitting on savings, and many are making a lot of money. Doubt me?
According to AA Financial Services, 85 per cent of UK adults spent less during lockdowns, saving on fuel, going out, holidays, etc. On average this was a saving of £617 a month for many UK Adults who were still receiving their full income. They also reported that 31% with savings accounts had increased their monthly deposits since the start of lockdowns. Backed up by Bank of England data, which found that personal bank deposits had grown by three times the recent average. The Bank also revealed that consumer debt was down by £7.4 billion!
It’s why the building trade is booming, like many other industries tailored to nice homes, people are spending money, however consumers have never been so savvy on how, why and where they spend it.
If you hold the mindset that people aren’t spending, your clever mind will find you plenty of evidence of people not spending, likewise if you have a growth mindset that says “I need to find the right audiences” then you will be able to find people to buy (remembering the above key points of course.).
I’ve touched upon the next key strategy in the 7 reasons why your business is failing article, and that is how essential it is to know your numbers. Please don’t do your accounts for your year end or quarter and then forget that information. Use that vital data!
With most clients at some stage, we work out:
How many days they actually work? (And no, it’s not 365!) Take out holidays (you may not get them now but imagine you wanted one, how many days would that be? My clients all achieve their family and personal goals! This process helps you to get the family on board in your business and they are a lot more aligned to your goals and needs!)
Now take out weekends. Getting so ill you can’t work. Christmas day. Etc.
Now take out time for admin, marketing, training – time that isn’t spent on money making jobs.
That leaves you with how many days you actually work – can you see how it’s not 365?
Now convert each day into number of customers. For me that’s either a team of people for a day or 2 customers for 2 hours each.
Now you can tell me what your maximum earning potential is on your current pricing structure. Happy?
No? Then it’s time to increase your prices!
Do not despair though, I see many who need to increase prices and are nervous to do it, you don’t want to be in the position where you pay everyone but yourself, or worse close your business in 12 months’ time because funds dried up.
When you know your numbers and have decided to put the prices up, remember you don’t have a mindset of “I can fleece this lot!” you are thinking “How can I ensure I do my best for my customers and make a profit?” It’s important to remember this because most clients feel very uncomfortable discussing price increases with customers. (On my site you will find an abundance of advice on communication and difficult conversations, often the big issues is the conversation in your head!)
When you realise you need to increase your prices depending on how often your clients buy you need to start communicating the price increases – but don’t talk about the price, talk about the benefits they get.
When I do this process with clients, we often workout a diagram that displays the levels of products and services available and what they are cost the business, the profit margin and thus you know the optimum level you want the majority of your customers to be working with you.
The sales mountain is a good way of picturing this too. It helps your low-priced customers, or those interested that have not bought yet, start to move through your sales funnel in a way that honours what that customer is thinking. Remember in all my sales and marketing courses I teach you the psychology of the sale – by understanding how people think you can use that in your marketing and pricing communication.
When discussing pricing with customers you need to plan phrases to use (not a script), such as;
“You’ve been working with us at our historical rate of £350 for 3 years now, as you can appreciate prices have increased dramatically in that time, we aim to keep the costs to a minimum and we’ve 3 ways we can do this (giving customers options – but not too many that they can’t process them and give up – enables them to see the benefits you are offering them);
(Giving the hardest to stomach offer first is essential for the way we think.)
3 options is plenty. Enough to not feel backed into a corner. You always ensure you make this about “How do I / We ensure we are able to maintain and offer more to you our loyal customers?” Make it all about the benefits they get.
This is why you never sneak higher prices onto your customers in my view. How does that say, “we value you?” or “you matter to us?”
For my clients we usually work to the quarter and start to have conversations with customers on the upcoming increases. Don’t make the conversation about an ultimatum because again if people feel backed into a corner, they are likely to run. Make it about an opportunity to get more from you. The lead time you need will depend on how often you work with your customers.
You need to consider how you communicate with your customers and what would gently drip drip drip the information to them, so it feels natural and okay to accept.
As with all aspects of sustainable business growth it’s about excellent communication and one thing that will damage that is confidence.
It’s why in every coaching session I assess my client’s mindset and confidence levels. It’s an entire article on its own to discuss mindset and confidence so;
Remember – eggs, flour and butter make a cake costing £4 and an hour of your time but can be charged anywhere between £5 and £5000! (Actually, the most expensive cake so far this year was sold for $850,000! (https://www.bakingo.com/blog/most-expensive-cakes-in-the-world/#:~:text=Masami%20Miyamoto’s%20Diamond%20Chocolate%20Cake%20%E2%80%93%20%24850%2C000)
So, remember this is a process that needs a strategy and action plan with a clear goal, ensuring you;
Lastly remember if someone says “No, thank you” as unpleasant and soul destroying as that can feel, losing the low paying customers, makes room for the ones that will value you.
I will let you in on a secret in my own business growth, in 2009 I was charging £35 for an hour’s coaching. I can remember working with my coach and being petrified to rise my prices to £75 per hour! And now I confidently charge £250 an hour and I’m happy to increase that next year too.
As always you aren’t alone in this process, through the Insiders, my books, courses and coaching I can help ensure this goes smoothly and help you increase profit. Let me know what you need so I can help.
Customer service can make or break a business. It can influence a potential customer’s perception of the business before they even speak to a representative at the company. A bad customer service reputation can be costly for a company. Reports highlight that 14% of start-ups in the UK fail due to ignoring customers.
To avoid being included within that statistic, here are a few ways that businesses can deliver an excellent service for their customers and continue operating.
How To Deliver An Excellent Service
With careful planning and the determination to do well, companies can deliver excellent customer service. Some of the ways can be minor changes to their current routine. For instance, being more personal in emails, giving clear advice, providing them with all the information they have asked for, and more.
Delivering outstanding service to a customer does not have to be financially costly for companies. All it takes is a few careful planning and the right strategies to provide an excellent service. These are some ways your company can deliver an excellent service to your customers.
Solid Business Process
The business process is a vital component of a business. It is the company’s plan to ensure that everything runs smoothly, with work being delivered to high standards and mistakes kept to a minimum. With this plan, employees can provide a consistent service which ensures that the company operates efficiently. This efficient way of working can help employees respond to customers quickly and effectively, answering any queries and resolving any issues they might have.
Listen To Customers
Answering queries and resolving issues for customers are simple ways to keep customers happy and wanting to continue investing in the company. Listening to what customers have to say about the service, product, and overall experience working with the company can be valuable for business.
The feedback provided by customers can be beneficial for the company and how it performs. It can highlight any areas that could do with improvement, what didn’t work well and what did. With this information, business leaders can introduce changes and alter how the company operates. Some of these changes could help make a noticeable improvement in the company.
The changes made will not go unnoticed by customers. They will see that the company has taken their feedback to heart and updated how the business operates to perform better and deliver an excellent service to customers. Seeing this will have a positive and lasting impact on customers. They will likely feel valued and heard by the company. It increases the possibility of them returning to the company in the future.
Consider The Delivery
From the moment a customer interacts with the business to after receiving their goods, it needs to be a positive experience. If your company sells a physical product that customers purchase, the delivery of the product must also be a positive experience for customers.
Customers want to be informed about when they should expect the delivery of a product. Before they place an order, they want to know the estimated date and time of arrival. Should there be any changes, such as delays or arriving sooner than expected, they want to be made aware of any developments.
With vehicle tracking, your company can closely monitor the delivery process of a customer’s order. Investing in vehicle tracking is simple. For example, businesses like iCompario offer vehicle tracking for companies. It allows companies to track each vehicle, from its location to driver activity and driving performance. Knowing the vehicle’s location, companies can inform customers about an estimated arrival time for the products they have ordered.
An additional benefit of vehicle tracking is monitoring how your delivery drivers drive. The driving performance of your delivery drivers can impact your business. If they get into accidents due to bad driving or when using the company’s vehicles unauthorised, it can all reflect poorly on the business. Using vehicle tracking can help your business ensure that each driver delivers the products to customers safely and responsibly.
Offer Personalised Services
No customer wants to feel like a number. They want to feel like a human whose voices and opinions are heard and valued. Delivering personalised service to customers is a simple way to achieve this. If a customer has encountered an issue with the service or product they have received, they want to resolve the problem swiftly. Speaking with multiple contacts in a company to fix one issue can be frustrating for some. It can cause them to view the company in a negative light. This issue can easily be avoided by providing personalised services to each customer.
Why A Positive Reputation Is Important
As you can see, delivering excellent customer service will not set the company back financially. Instead, it can help prevent the company from losing customers and gaining a poor reputation. Here are a few reasons why a positive reputation is important in business.
Free Marketing Tool
Online reviews are powerful. Potential customers use online reviews to make informed decisions about whether to invest in a company. Customers post reviews online about their experience with a company, both positive and negative. A company that is highly rated with countless dazzling reviews will likely attract the attention of potential customers. If potential customers see a business with low ratings and negative reviews, they are less likely to work with them.
From a business perspective, having positive online reviews can be a free marketing tool that is effective. With 89% of SMEs in the UK using their online reviews as a marketing tool, it shows the benefits your company could reap should you do the same.
Advantage Over Competitors
Boasting a positive reputation can help your company build its competitive advantage. Most industries are bubbling with competition, so, understandably, businesses want to stand out amongst the rest. If your company has a positive reputation for delivering excellent customer service and a quality product or service, it could help attract customers to your business.
Attract New Employees And Investors
Growing a company is an exciting time for a business. To achieve this, they need to ensure that they have the proper support to help them. This includes new team members to help with the workload and investors to help with funding the growth.
It is not just customers that can leave reviews about a company. Former employees also have the power to post reviews about what it is like to work for a company. These reviews can provide a glimpse to potential employees about what they can expect should they choose to work for the company.
Companies with high turnover rates and numerous negative reviews can turn potential candidates and investors away. This can make it challenging for companies to grow. Ensuring that most, if not all, reviews online posted by employees are positive can help a company attract new employees and investors when the time comes to expand.
The Bottom Line
Customer service is an essential part of the business. The power it holds to influence the company’s success is mighty. It is understandable that any business will want to deliver an excellent service. Fortunately, building a positive image around a company can be possible with careful planning and the right strategies implemented.
If you are looking to improve your company’s reputation, consider implementing some of the strategies mentioned to reap the benefits of a positive status.
All Insiders can write for the BWN blog free of charge. To learn more click here.
I will never forget watching the Tuscan Grand prix in 2020 and questioning “What does it say on Lewis’s Tee?”
One of the greatest racing drivers of all time, Lewis Hamilton wore a T shirt that clearly read “ARREST THE COPS WHO KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR” and on the back it showed her face and said, “Say her name”. Instantly millions like me, searched out who was Breonna Taylor?
Now her, like others have become a name synonymous with wanting justice in a developed country that still makes these awful mistakes that cost lives and leave millions in fear for their own safety.
Would a middle-class white woman like myself know about Breonna without Lewis speaking up for her?
I doubt it, and I aim to be worldly and get my knowledge from many sources, but I think this may have passed me by since it had already been 6 months and nothing had happened to the 3 police officers in question in this case.
Lewis Hamilton instantly received a back lash and the official body for Formula one racing said at the time that while they wouldn’t punish his behaviour (You know, wearing a t shirt), they would have stricter guidelines.
In the workplace wearing a tee that shows your views can be a great way of reminding people about our changing mindsets and attitudes – and ever increasing need to appreciate, honour and learn about other people, but it could just as easily get you into trouble if it is deemed offensive or not in keeping with the companies culture and brand.
But what if you want to speak up but aren’t sure how?
I am someone who will speak up for those that are fearful to do so. I wrote a book about the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and to this day the biggest is still our fear of what other people will think of us and how that will reflect on us and our results in life. (This then impacts on our actions and thus our results in our personal and professional life, thus deal with what you think, and you change the quality of your actions and thus your results – cool right?)
Ask yourself how you feel about wearing a tee like the awesome creations from The Spark Company?
If people are fearful of posting their own views on social media, it can take a lot of strength to speak up and say “Hey this is me” even if it’s just in a Tee.
Your view on the humble tee could tell you a lot about yourself and how you see yourself in the world.
I’ve helped lots of people over the years accept and fall in love with who they are. Coming out to family (if they want to) and honouring what matters to them. I asked some of these wonderful people how they felt about the slogan tee and heard “Now I’d wear that with bells on (not sure the bells come with the tee!) but ask me to speak up in my clothing choices before I came out and I’m not sure I’d have had the confidence.”
I love the idea that fashion can display our confidence levels. When you have internal confidence, it doesn’t matter what anyone says or think because you are strong and true to who you are and accept not everyone will like that.
I’ve spent over 18 years teaching people how to honour who they really are, boost their confidence and speak up for what matters to them.*
With over 7 billion people on this planet, to assume every social media user will agree with you is ridiculous, but it doesn’t stop people from curtailing their views.
This is not about disrespecting others’ views, but it is about learning to see and respect who others are. So, I say “Bring on the Tee!” because learning to love honour and respect yourself is one thing. Learning to see others the way they want to be seen even if it doesn’t match what you believe, is a truly beautiful thing.
Now that Tee really is something amazing!
And if you struggle to honour other people, get in touch and I can share some amazing ideas from psychology, philosophy and coaching that can mean people with very different opinions on anything can work together beautifully.
A difference of opinion is an opportunity to learn…. can I get that on a Tee?
Author: Mandie Holgate, Founder of The Business Womans Network is a global speaker, author and coach winning awards around the world supporting small business, women in business, resilience and happiness in the work place. Her books are highly acclaimed and featured as Top 10 Books for business and success. To learn more, connect and chat on social media (as Mandie likes to do with everyone she meets – yes she is that social!) click here.
Savvy business owners don’t just look after themselves, they donate to charity, ask third sector organisations how they can help, think of the business owners around them and want to genuinely make our communities and society better. I know that may seem a bit of a tall Super human hero attitude, but whenever I speak to business owners, they genuinely want to make a difference.
Alas many overthink sales and marketing and end up doing way too much because they’ve not sussed what really matters. Here in 2022 we need to bring the good stuff to people who are really struggling with this big weird world we find ourselves in – so sparkly, life is perfect marketing is not what we want. We want people that are transparent and honest. Fun and bold. Real and ready to listen.
Imagine my surprise when I end up on eBay and spend over 30 minutes reading one description of an ancient old caravan! Back in those days (last Saturday) the bids for that caravan were up to £830. This is a 1980’s caravan that to be polite has seen better days. How is it worth £830…..well actually as of 5am on the 12th of April it has bids to the tune of £2100!
I’m not a slow reader (well Mrs Grimstone didn’t think I’d get anywhere with my English – ha 2 best selling books so what did my 80’s English teacher know!) but I’ve been spell bound by @CaravanMan80 writings and updates. (Yes the poor man “who doesn’t do social media” has caved and got a Twitter handle.
I’ve laughed until I may cry at some of the updates because his family sounds as normal as mine – I too have a sister that will get rid of anything that doesn’t fit this seasons style only to be wanting it back in 5 years because “Oh that looks far nice than I’d imagined!”
He also has been honest about his own mental health fun and games and handles trolls and unkindness with brilliance and wit, the man is a born writing comedic genius – but what do I know, I write non fiction about the mind!
But what’s the point of this mans updates that can be a few words long or answering the most pointless question? (And as business owners, we’ve all at some stage thought “Er, didn’t you just read my website to get my telephone number and next to that said telephone number is the answer to the question you are now asking me?” )
The point is that after sadly losing his Dad, he has been a dutiful son (well to be fair, I think he just wants a quiet life with his tortoise but his siblings aren’t likely to let that happen until his has got rid of the caravan) and agreed to help his Mum get the caravan off of the drive. All those memories. The holidays. Sat there.
He had aimed to “raise a few quid” for British Heart Foundation. That’s when I was really hooked!
People struggle to think innovatively in business and often the most innovative answers are when you are honest, transparent and just your true self. CaravanMan80 may just want to raise a few quid, but at £2100, he has not only done that, he has got a lot of people popping over to BHF to leave a little donation too! And that is monumental!
BHF aim is to “Fund around £100 million of research each year into all heart and circulatory diseases and the things that cause them. Heart diseases. Stroke. Vascular dementia. Diabetes. They’re all connected, and they’re all under our microscope” and their vision “Is a world free from the fear of heart and circulatory diseases. A world without heartbreak.”
Fear and heart failure is something I know all too well. I can not tell you and hope you never experience the moment when a cardiac doctor tells you that your 47 year old husband is “Not a candidate for surgery and the situation is rather hopeless.” I refused to believe that and found Harefield Hospital and Mr Bhudia, as his secretary Chrissie (Yes we became on first name pet name terms!) said “Mrs Holgate, when everyone else says there is nothing that can be done, that’s when Mr Bhuddhia is there”. That wasn’t some Super hero tag line, Chrissie was spot on and after some very complicated open heart surgery and some state of the art “can only be done by 5 doctors in the world” scary AF days where he wasn’t bothering to breathe or restart his own heart, he has a normal functioning heart! That’s the miracle of BHF work right there!
That is what Caravanman 80 is really doing. Raising awareness that Dad’s die in arm chairs because people don’t know the signs of heart failure (Yes Caravanman80, that was 1 of the moments I cried, because I was checking to see if my husband was breathing for over a year.) That when you are open and real, you can make a difference in the world. Not some tagline from a super hero movie, real life.
Caravanman80 has to write a book. Has to have his own blog – I’d be his Number one fan – can we get T-shirts printed?
He’s likely to be dragged out of his quiet life with his tortoise into writing amazing works that make us feel connected, make us laugh and raise some money for British Heart Foundation who save lives like my husband. He may want to keep some of those royalties, he has plans for a holiday or a super yacht.
The bidding closes in less than 4 hours. I’m supposed to be up early off to celebrate my sons 21st birthday. It can wait until after 9.03:52 BST right?
If you’ve got £5 laying around, we know how hard things are for millions right now, so don’t feel any guilt if you can’t, just share Caravanman80’s tweets or this blog and enjoy your day.
Thanks for reading and Caravanman80 when the book comes out can we promote that for you too?
Here’s a pic of Caravanman80’s Dad (just because)…(I’m not sharing GILF of his Mum, just no. Go to the orignal eBay post for that here.)
And here is what it is all about. When my husband was out of ICU his surgeon took the time to tell me everything they’d done to save his life. To take his heart from 15% to 55% (which is classed as healthy – few have a 100% heart function.) That’s the work of BHF so give them a shout out using this link – https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-helphttps://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help and if you do something big or small for charity, thank you.
As a business owner you can’t help but question how you will sustainably grow your business without putting your prices up as the cost of living goes up again and again.
I really feel for the public sector who don’t’ even have the option of pushing themselves harder to increase their income.
So with that in mind we asked our confidential mastermind group about their plans for making more money without having to work 24 hours a day. (Usually we wouldn’t share details of conversations on the Insiders because it’s a confidential place to talk business, life as a business owner and gain new business but we thought with their permission we would make an exception for this important subject) and we were interested to learn how many Insiders had created automated passive incomes and side hustles (not a term I’m keen on, makes me sound like a cowgirl!)
It’s a big passion of mine to create automated incomes and I’ve helped a lot of clients achieve this too, so that they can earn money while they are busy doing something else.
I love opening my bank account and discovering I’ve made money without doing anything – for me I have courses, books, affiliations, Hemp (random I know) and blog donations as my automated income. I thought it would be great to hear from our Insiders and shamelessly promote them and share what they’ve found to help them make more money and thus not have to put their prices up impacting on their customers too.
As Robyn Banks put it (no that’s not her job!) we have fingers in many pies, and it’s good to hear.
Robyn is the owner of Data protection specialists Adavista but when her and her husband are not running that business, they are making celebration cakes, hosting and building websites and helping Lions International with all their data protection needs.
Helen Watson’s day job is as a counsellor specialising psychotherapies, CBT and EMDR, not surprising that due to the pandemic and very real fears around the world Helen has never been so busy, with 2 busy practices in Maldon and Colchester, Helen also rents out rooms to therapists and small businesses in the area.
Helen told about her passion for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic “For me, I value the power of essential oils to support clients as part of a holistic approach to mental wellbeing, we also use some of the NYRO products like hand washes, hand sanitiser etc at both Colchester and Maldon consulting rooms.
We try and use products in the business that are ethical and eco-friendly because that’s important to us – and the blue bottles are just one of the ways we of do that plus potential to earn a little extra. (Though I’ve stopped offering hands-on treatments myself, there’s also ranges for beauty and massage therapists to use in their treatments so can be worth joining for various therapists.) To learn more about Helen and her businesses click here.
Jill Roberson is passionate about small businesses appreciating the value of being a green eco friendly company and often shares advice to the Insiders on how to achieve this. Her side hustle as a Tropic Skincare Ambassador not only brings in an income it also helps her team.
Jill told us “It’s very important to me that I work with ethical companies. Tropic freshly make their products in their own cosmetic kitchens near Croydon, using only plant and mineral based ingredients. It’s really important to me that they’re a carbon negative company and that every product helps provide primary education to children in remote parts of the world.” Check out Jills’ eco approach to skincare here. Jill even offers online pamper sessions for you and your friends – now that’s clever thinking!
For Karen Boughton the day job is all about VA services. Helping busy business owners find additional time and takin gall the jobs they hate, Karen said that she joined Tropic not to set up another business but because of the discounts she gets. Well saving money is another way you can keep more profit, right?
Clearly Tropic Skincare is a popular option for the side hustle since Claire Martine is an ambassador too.
“I have been a Leader with them for a year and a half, joined as an ambassador only 3 years ago.
I love all the decisions behind the brand that support its ethos to create a healthier, greener, more empowered world. Teamed with the proven efficacy of the products, I was happy to stand alongside a brand that not only promoted clean and natural products to my friends and customers with real models, but it’s wonderful to support so many charities effecting change and people’s lives globally. To be able to guide and inspire others in their Tropic journey is just the best
No targets, no minimum earning must, no pressure. The vibe is very supportive and high morale. I did it as my full-time venture until I completed my master’s degree, I now have a part time role alongside this.” We’ve seen this first-hand with Lisa Hardy often bringing other Tropic ambassadors to our events so that they could grow their businesses. It had no benefit to Lisa but it’s about spreading the business love right?
For Daliah Hopcroft, when Dahlia’s is not teaching people how to love telesales or phoning on behalf of business owners who hate it is a Forever Living consultant. Daliah told us “I first discovered Forever when I was unwell with an infection on my leg and a friend suggested using Propolis cream and I was blown away with the results and I’ve used them on myself and my family ever since. Their products harness the amazing benefits of Aloe Vera to improve health and wellness. They also have an award sinning skincare that I’m in love with too.
Tracey Fordham meanwhile may be known for her absolutely incredible Victorian inspired cake creations but her passion for holidays is now bringing in money too. “I’ve travelled around the world, and love helping people get the very best holiday on whatever size budget they have. It’s been really tough through the pandemic but rewarding to know that our customers were well protected. Working with Not Just Travel has been an amazing experience for me. I feel like I’m holiday with my clients every day!” Click here to check out some beautiful holidays.
Sally Anderson Wai maybe a journalist of many years with a good few years working at the BBC, but when Sally is not writing copy, blogs or social media content for clients Sally also owns a dog walking, day care and holiday cat feeding services in North Essex.
“I adore animals and it means I can spend my spare time loving other people’s pets. It’s a great job and I often get inspiration for my PR and copywriting clients when I’ doing it too!”
Helen Tovey is a life coach that specialises in helping people with body confidence “It was a natural addition for me to join Synergy and build a team – the products are award winning, and my customers tell me they feel it helps with their immune system, boosting energy levels and many other benefits. I know we talk on the Insiders about legal ways to promote products like these and it’s great to share so many stories from customers. It’s lovely to help others be physically well and love the bodies they are in!” Check out Helen’s day job here.
Paul Boorman is the owner of White Label Detroit Pizza – it may sound bizarre, but they specialise in moorish pizzas that are as good (no better) than takeaway, but you cook them at home. Paul sells raw Pizza across Essex, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk (and they are growing fast – well who wants to wait 2 hours for a takeaway to turn up?) but when Paul is not making Pizza, he is a consultant to the leisure and tourism industry and delivers fine dining in your own home. It doesn’t come cheap but since Paul is one of the top chefs in the UK, it’s an experience you never forget. Try not to saliva over your tech as you look at these pics of Pauls food! You can see if WLDP deliver to your area here. We think Paul would travel anywhere to give you the gourmet chef experience as long as you are playing for the fuel/flight/boat to get him there. Learn more here.
If these ideas have whetted your appetite for a side hustle join us on the Insiders to learn more and discuss what you could do to boost your income.
We are a friendly group of business owners of all sizes and industries coming together to support each other through tough times and exciting ones, challenges and growth. No subject is off limit the only rules I insist on are;
1. Don’t mention a business/product/service if you have not personally used it.
2. Don’t share links to your site/social media/landing page unless you are looking for confidential feedback and advice on how to make them work better. This we actively encourage and Insiders are always happy to share ideas and advice.
3. Don’t DM Insiders with advice and ideas, keep it in the confidential Facebook page then everyone benefits from your knowledge and can come to you for advice, and you gain new business. We see conversations from 2018 pop up with new comments as people use the FB group as a source of information and ideas for their business.
If you would like to join us, we’d love that, please feel free to share this article with your friends and social media world and let’s keep talking on the Insiders. As the Founder of The Business Womans Network and a coach I’ve helped over 10,000 businesses to grow. They range from pre-start up through to very large global business. Your business is my passion, it always has been, and it always will be so the more you get involved in the Insiders the more I and those amazing business owners can help you too.
It’s why all Insiders can sell my courses and keep 50% of the profit too. It’s another way to bring in an income with very little effort and when you work so hard in the day job, it’s good to get a helping hand right?
And just for the record, we actively encourage our members to put their prices up when it’s right to do so and over on the Insiders we help you work out how to put your prices up and ensure people are happy to pay them. Use the magnifying glass on the confidential mastermind group to access the advice on that.