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10 Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Do you have a good business idea?  This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.

2. Is it viable? Before you’ve spent loads of money take the time to think about how viable your idea is. Is it something that people want and would actually pay for? Will it create enough of a profit to make it worth your while? Get a business plan template from a business bank or there are loads of resources online which can also help you.  Make sure you complete it with a good level of information and real hard data.

3. Who is your Target Market and who are your competitors? Be specific as you can, there are lots of benefits to you to know you market.  Be as clear as you can about this as it will help you in your communication, marketing and PR activities which should help you to have a better chance of creating selling opportunities.

4. What will it cost to provide or produce this product/service?  Use a business plan to ensure you have all the information to judge if this is viable or not. A good business plan will cover everything you need to creating a sound business, cutting corners could cost you dearly.  There is also another tool called a SWOT analysis can be used to assess the strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats internally and externally.

5. Do you have the people resources or do you have the necessary skills, expertise and experience necessary to make this idea work?  It might help you to pay close attention to your competitors to help you identify all the resources needed.  So should you go it alone or is time to get someone else involved?

6. Are you being professional?  It is so important to create a good first impression at all stages in the process.  Be professional in your communication and dealings with the bank, investors, potential alliance or supply chain partners and don’t forget  recruitment, as you never know who will be instrumental in helping you and your business succeed.

6. Do you have any suppliers or alliances?  Can these relationships also help you get to your target market – choosing the right supplier is important as your business will be judged on their work.

7. What tools or services will you need to be effective and free up your time?  A website is essential these days as its the most important tool to help you with your marketing, social media, PR creating sales opportunities. There are an amazing array of other web based tools that could be useful in running your business smoothly and cost effectively?

8. Are you competitive? By either offering something your competitors don’t, make sure you spend time on your pricing and promotions. Social Media can also play a significant role in helping to actively promote your business.  You can do it yourself as there is training widely available or employ an expert.

9. What is the customer experience? Often the key to a successful businesses will be ‘repeat’ business, so how can you make sure your product and/or service is the the best it can be.

10. What makes your customers ‘happy’?  If you don’t know you should find out through direct contact or surveys.

Its so easy to get caught up with the ‘proposition’ is for the customer, we forget how important to mention more about who we are, why we are passionate about what we do and how we are differentiate ourselves from the majority of our competitors.  We all know that people buy from people (with some exceptions).  In the services world your main competitive advantage could be as simple as ‘you’ – all your knowledge which could be considered your greatest asset. The combination of your skills, your experiences and your personality that can make all the difference.

My top tip is to briefly describe your story and make sure you really highlight what is special/diffferent about you or your business.  If you need some help contact Sarah Brambleby for a free initial consulation on 07734104421 or email

Need help to strengthen your value proposition?

All too often essential steps are missed when developing a value proposition, which increases the risk of costly mistakes.  Strengthen your proposition by asking vital questions and take the time to make sure you include some competitive/market research.

I feel awful when my client’s admit just how much money they have wasted on their marketing and sales activities.  They didn’t stand a chance of working because they have missed out some of these essential questions:

  1. What product/service/solution you are proposing?
  2. What is different and/or unique about this offering?
  3. How will does this address a client’s pain or pleasure?
  4. Who are your target market (be as specific as possible)?
  5. How will it be priced and packaged?
  6. How does this compare with your key competitors?
  7. What are your routes to market (Direct/Indirect)?
  8. Do you have any evidence that this proposition is attractive and works?

If you need help with your next steps call Sarah Brambleby for a FREE initial telephone consultation on 07734104421.


Do you need help with a new website?

  • Does technology confuse you? 
  • Is your website old & ineffective?
  • Does the social media revolution scare you?

I help clients gather the requirements for the design brief for both the graphic designer and web developer.  Using my expertise to make sure that the website will be effective for the market its being designed for and to best promote the products and / or services, creating the right selling environment.

Website Pre-design Consultation benefits clients by:

  • I act as an advocate for the client, leading them through the process with their chosen suppliers
  • We work through all the options for design, layout, images and website tools available within budget
  • Review the marketing strategy to maximise one of your most important marketing assets
  • Provide support and advice on affordable web solutions
  • Project Management is available working with all the suppliers and to assist with creative discussions throughout the process.

“Sarah provides Navitas Design with creative marketing not only in-house but also for our clients. We have worked on many projects together and I highly recommend Sarah to work with my clients prior to the design brief. This enables them to forward think about how their websites work over and above the visual and social media elements.”

Lorraine Cheney, WordPress Web Developer, Buckingham

Why employ a marketing consultant?

A Marketing consultant can offer an affordable way to take a fresh look at your business, who you are, where you want to go and to check your priorities.  This will help companies to avoid the pitfalls and get a much better perspective on where your business is heading, saving both time and money.

Marketing Consultants are an investment, so you should be sure that you have a business plan that includes a marketing budget. If you do not have a business plan then we can also help see our business planning service. A good marketing consultant will build on your successes, align with your business plan/goals and work to improve a company’s competitive position in the market place. To deliver either an improved existing marketing strategy, or formulate a new strategy.  The consultant will use a process to gather information from multiple internal and external sources including brainstorming ideas and in some cases we can identify areas of waste and create substantial savings.

Sarah Brambleby said “In my experience working with SME’s the competitve edge can simply be improving the company’s digital marketing activites. This requires a professional, easy to navigate and content rich website and have an effective social media strategy with consistent, clear and concise messages across all areas of external communication.”

Don’t get a consultant if you are not serious about the need for change, as consultation will inevitably mean dealing with change and will take time and budget.


Did 2012 deliver success for your business?

How do you know if your business was successful in 2012?  As a small business owner I share the pain with juggling the large number of hats we have to wear, particularly if some of these hats feel uncomfortable because they represent areas that we lack either experience, expertise or we just hate doing them.

I believe its important for small business owners at least once a year to take time out to think strategically, to create a company vision for the next year with clear goals so you can be effective when you act tactically.  Plan the year ahead, set priorities, allocate a budget, even if its very small one and then use this information as a plan to keep you focused and avoid becoming distracted.  It is amazing how many businesses forget to include any success metrics and measure the ROI (return on investment) within the plan.

Call Sarah Brambleby now on 07734104421 for affordable marketing help if your business needs assistance with strategic planning, creating a vision, goal setting or developing your marketing strategy for 2013.

Why do you need a Marketing Strategy?

If you are experiencing feast or famine then a good marketing strategy will focus on how you increase sales by getting and keeping customers. It will help you tailor your messages and put the right mix of marketing activities in place.