10 ways to build your business post-lockdown

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10 ways to build your business post-lockdown

Have you ever moved a rock in your garden and watched the creatures’ reactions?​

 

They either come swaggering out, shimmying into the sunlight without a care in the world. Or they scuttle around the rock, desperately seeking shelter.

When life as we knew it flipped upside down, we all responded differently. Some of us, even now, are only beginning to take our first tentative steps out of the shadows. But when it comes to our business, what’s the best approach to post-lockdown re-emergence? 

Here at Fox, we’ve come up with 10 ways to strengthen your business in these testing times. So seize this opportunity to evaluate your prospects, redefine your mission, and sharpen your focus. 

 

1 – Plan

Where do you want your business to be in 2 months, 6 months or 2 years? Visualise your goal, and work backwards. Whether you’re scribbling it on a mind map, or you’re colour coding it within an inch of its life, get your plans down on paper. Make it real. Concrete.  Involve your colleagues in the process, and welcome their input.

When we have a plan, we have a target. And with a clear journey ahead, we can grasp the steering wheel with both hands. 

2 – Be visible

Wearing a high-vis and hoping for the best just won’t cut it, I’m afraid. You’ve got to shine, and be heard above the clamorous din of this new normal. Your presence on social media is more important now than ever before. And remember, quality interaction with established connections is equally as important as growing your army of followers. 

If you’re just starting out on your social journey, follow an influencer in your field, and engage with their content. You’ll soon see the likes and comments begin to be reciprocated. 

And when you’re sharing content, keep it upbeat. We’re naturally drawn to those whose glasses are half-full. 

3 – Network 

Let’s face it, before COVID reared its ugly head, many of us hadn’t even heard of Zoom. But now, it’s a staple part of our weekly diet. 

If you haven’t attended a virtual networking meeting, do. It’s the perfect way to keep your business visible. They’re also a great way to build connections with like-minded colleagues from across the country. Each person on the screen is a potential client. You’re not only presenting to them; you’re presenting to their network too. 

And for those of us who are missing the office banter, having the opportunity to listen to an actual human, speak actual, audible words, can be overwhelmingly positive for our own mental wellbeing too. And you can stay in your joggers. So what’s not to love? 

If the virtual world is not for you, you can even try netwalking. (Yes, it’s a thing.) Networking (whilst walking) is the latest craze hitting parks near you. A great opportunity to do business, enjoy the fresh air and get fit. 

Networking is marmite for many. But if you invest in it, you’ll reap the rewards.  

4 – Pivot 

With professional spheres evolving around us at a rate of knots, now is the time to embrace change. 

Do you have any specific skills from a previous role that can be used to strengthen your business? To add income streams, products or services? 

Many moons ago, I used to train the long-term unemployed how to get back into work. These coaching skills have been instrumental in our client support meetings here at Fox. We learnt long ago that when creating graphics for a client, we must first fully appreciate every aspect of their business.  

5 – Be a LinkedIn ALL STAR

Achieving an ‘ALL-STAR’ profile on your LinkedIn page will help to keep your business visible. Loved by the platform’s algorithms, this easily achievable status adds kudos to any profile. Just grow your network, engage with your connections and post regularly. 

Also, consider how professional your profile appears. Why not sharpen up the content, and add further detail to your education and work experience sections? Your LinkedIn ‘About’ bio should inform your connections who you work with, and why. 

When posting, portray the ethos of your business. Align yourself with professionals and companies who uphold similar values. 

6 – Rebrand

Even the sight of the word gives the team here at Fox the tingles. Rebranding is our speciality. 

Use this period of flux to improve your branding and messaging, to ensure your written and visual communication hits the mark. Branding is far more than a quirky logo. Each aspect of the brand needs to be consistent, from typography to tone of voice. 

As we always tell our clients, making an investment in branding can be one of the most lucrative business decisions you’ll ever make. Here at Fox, we work with our Marketing and Branding Strategy Workshop clients to create a killer sentence. A sentence that packs a punch, and perfectly defines the company’s purpose and goals. This then forms the basis of the rebrand moving forward. 

7 – Get feedback 

To further strengthen your business, request recommendations from both previous and existing clients. Doing so suggests that you care deeply about client satisfaction, and your own professional development.

Not only are testimonials the carrot on the stick for potential new customers, they are incredibly motivational to all those within the business, you included. 

To support whoever is writing your testimonials, you can even provide a loose template for them to use. Ask your client to overview: what they needed help with; what you provided for them; whether or not they were satisfied, and if they would recommend you. 

8 – Solve problems 

Words and images must effortlessly combine to form a cure for your clients’ quandaries. 

In this fast-paced world, we all want to know what problem you can solve for us, and how quickly. So however glossy you, your product or your service are, potential customers are only interested in how your business can make their lives easier. So tell the world what your business can do for them. 

9 – Keep moving  

We all know the transformative power of video and animation. 

Disney called moving image the ‘most versatile’ means of communication. And he was right. Used well, video encourages brand interaction, increases organic traffic, and improves sales. 

You’ve only got to look at the phenomenal success of TikTok to see how hungrily consumers are engaging with video content. 

So if you want your business to be noticed and taken seriously, this is the time to invest in professional photography, videography or graphic design. Cut corners, and your business will appear cheap. 

 

10 – Remember – consistency is the key 

Think of your favourite brand. Then think of their social handles, their website, their blogs. What you’ll notice is the consistency across all aspects of their branding. Colours, messages, fonts, photography, tone of voice – they remain consistent. To gain our trust, and to ensure the business remains distinguishable and recognisable. 

If you want to discuss your branding, why not attend one of our dedicated networking events, and get advice from some of Manchester’s brightest business minds?

In a branding pickle? Got a vision but not sure how to bring it to life? Haven’t the foggiest how to use LinkedIn

Then call one of the Fox team today on 01625 468038 for free support and advice.

 

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No. 13 – Assist, Help & Advise

Assist, Help & Advise

Fox Survival for 2020! No.13


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
—Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple


No hard sell, No inappropriate campaigns….

When I sat down 4 weeks ago and planned out this campaign for social media, aimed at helping and supporting people and businesses in the unusual situation, one of the first topics that came up was that those that help and assist each other will be survivors and more solid in the end.

It is better to be there for people than to push and sell at them and also, not to be bitter. As people remember the ones that were not kind.

Fox Tip ‘Treat people as you would like to be treated and help if you can, in whatever shape or form that is.’

#businessbranding #branddevelopment #followthefox #cbi #peopletrustpeople #marketing

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.12 – Advertising – SEO, PPC and Radio

Advertising - SEO, PPC and Radio

Fox Survival for 2020! No.12

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” – Steuart Henderson Britt, consumer behavior specialist.

I just had a little giggle when I found this quote….but it is true, if you do not tell people what you do and how you can help them, solve their problems, support their businesses, how will they know what a fantastic product/service you have or provide.

This week, I am looking into how I can help my business with advertising in various means. I already do soft advertising and am keen to build relationships where we can help each other.

The first question is ‘what is your target audience and where?’
there is no point in spending time and money on something that is not going to give you a ROI.

Interview your suppliers, check them out, ask questions, get quotes – please do not go with the person you have just connected to on social media that you have no idea whether they are just a scam.

I am very careful with who I will work with as my clients expect this of me.

Tip for the day – ‘Invest in yourselves and business to multiply in 18 months’

Stay Safe, Keep Alert and Be Kind To Each Other….

#followthefox #peopletrustpeople #iod #cbi

 

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.11 – Branding on Websites, Digital & Printing.

Branding on Websites, Digital & Printing.

Fox Survival for 2020! No.11

Branding on all platforms, online and offline have to be consistent, not just the logo, the colours, messages, the font/typography, photography and the core essence of the business.

Don’t make the mistake of branding your cow’s rear with many different marks and messages, in the same place, that eventually makes you and your business indistinguishable….

If you would like to here more about branding, we have a #podcast, a #workshop and #networking events such as SUBS #Wilmslow with Ceri James David Bellin and South #Manchester Business Network Simon Edmondson ♦ Award Winning Business Consultant and good old Fox Networking next week, we will be 1, it is our first anniversary.

Tip for the day: stand back from the business and use some time to review your whole communications and reposition for the future successes.

Stay Safe and Keep Moving Forward…We are!

thanks

Kate

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.10 – Repeat messaging and expertise to keep your visibility up and be supportive to others.

Repeat messaging and expertise to keep your visibility up and be supportive to others.

Fox Survival for 2020! No.10

What do you do?

What are your skills?

What are you an expert at?

What pain do you solve for your customers/clients?

How do you do it?

Why should people come to you?

What are the benefits of your business?

each of these questions are a story in itself…..

The businesses that survive this time will be the one’s that continue working ON their businesses….

Tell us about what you have been doing to keep your head above the line please!
Comments below and please like and share, let’s get a discussion going as I am now not watching the news.

#news #what #how #who #communication #marketing #visibility #covid19 #staysafe

 

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.9 – Education and Training

Education and Training

Fox Survival for 2020! No.9

Enhance your business and develop new skills and techniques to help position you and your business in a strong place for the future whatever direction or path you choose to take.

Should you be furloughed, having started a new business in the past year or be an established successful business and person, we never stop learning an ideal time is to look at this now, if you haven’t already done so.

With technology, so many opportunities are available at the moment. Online workshops and training like our LinkedIn and Marketing/Branding training can be accessed online now.

Reading books, listening to video’s, podcast and many more.
I have learnt Zoom and more back end technology for my company also.

Tip : Treat yourself to develop your mind and skills for work and for yourselves.

#training #education #skills #video‘s #podcasts #technology #books #reading #brandstrategy

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.7 – Get Testimonials & Recommendations

Testimonials & Recommendations

Get Testimonials & Recommendations

Fox Survival for 2020! No.7

Fox Survival No.7 – Get Testimonials & Recommendations for your business to help develop and nurture good relationships. 

This is a great time to get in contact with clients and people that you have been working with and supporting, keep communication going and ask for testimonials/recommendations/case studies. 

How to get testimonials and recommendations for your work that will give people confidence in your abilities and services/skills/products.

People like to hear about what you do, and it’s also about stories.

Fox tips – “treat people as you would like to be treated”

How to increase connections on social media

Linkedin and Google My Business have a facility for people to say good things about you and your services/products.

I have commissioned PR/Marketing people in the past to interview my clients, prearranged of course, and then write a case study, these are fantastic, because clients say things to a third party that they probably wouldn’t say to your face. Good things, of course, then these can be used as content with images everywhere in your marketing.

You can see examples at the bottom of my home page on the website.

Take care and be safe!

Kate

Many thanks and Good Luck!

kate@foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk

mobile: 07927 131600

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.6 – Improve Branding & Messaging

Improve Branding & Messaging

Fox Survival for 2020! No.6

Fox Survival No.6 – Improve branding and messaging for your business to ensure that you are getting the right visual and written communication.

This is my speciality, we run workshops exactly on this and I was interviewed about Branding on a podcast about 9 weeks ago, so if you would like more help please let me know.

2 tips today – Invest in your branding to ensure that you look professional and are taken seriously and does your “killer sentence” answer all the questions and make people ask more? 

Fox tips – “treat people as you would like to be treated”

How to improve your branding and messaging for your business!

Branding is not just a logo, it has many levels and has to be consistent at all time, even down to the tone of the communication.

My Killer Sentence is on my website and header for LinkedIn, every time I introduce myself in business I say it, my employees say it and it will probably end up on the back of my business cards when we reprint.

On my website I have a blog all about Marketing and Branding Strategy Workshop which explains in more detail.

Tip : be consistent and professional.

I hope these pointers are helping and if you focus on these 2 alone, and implement across your business you will be stronger in months to come.

Stay Safe, Keep Breathing,

Kate :)

Many thanks and Good Luck!

kate@foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk

mobile: 07927 131600

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.5 – Increase LinkedIn Profile to ‘All Stars’

Improve LinkedIn Profile to 'All Stars'

Fox Survival for 2020! No.5

Fox Survival No.5 – Improve your LinkedIn profile to ‘All Stars’ to help raise your visibility and help your business become more effective in your marketing.

LinkedIn will take you seriously and you get brownie points for completing your profile to a professional level by added in material that can show case you and what you do best.

This is the same with other social media platforms, but I suggest that not to the level of LI. Whilst you are Planning, Evaluating where you are now and where you want to be, read your profile and ask yourselves – is this who I am, are these my skills and would people contact me for the business I would like? if not, have a change around and refocus. This will lead on into No.6 which is about your messaging, communication in words and images, branding and marketing.

Tip for today – reflect, focus and look objectively at what you are doing to enable you and your business to move forward into the new ‘normal’.

Fox tips – “treat people as you would like to be treated”

How to improve LinkedIn profile to 'All Stars'

LinkedIn training is available online with Kate on Zoom, should you like some pointers for free and one to one all things Linkedin training is also available, many of our clients have had this as part of their marketing strategy.

It’s OK to have some head space and starring into space enjoying the detail of plants and nature when you can. This is part of resilience and allowing your mind to rest so that you can be creative in developing your business or yourselves. I hope my daily Survival tips help, stay safe, Kate

Select quality and relevant connections in sectors and areas that maybe related to you and your business. Or even just really positive people.

Lessons are being learnt during this period, people are noticing how others behave and what actions they take in extreme situation. Align yourselves with companies similar and that you have an affinity with, good ethics and attitude.

I hope these points are helping, small sound bites each day to keep you moving forward.

Many thanks and Good Luck!

kate@foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk

mobile: 07927 131600

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.

Fox Survival No.4 – Can you PIVOT?

Can you Pivot

Can you PIVOT? and/or use other SKILLS

Fox Survival for 2020! No.4

Fox Survival No.4 – Can you PIVOT your business and use other SKILLS which you or your business may have that will drive your forward and add extra income streams and products/services to the business to fit into these different times.

Some businesses have adapted quickly and fairly easily to putting their offering online, or changing the products that they make, there are some great examples.

Years ago, I used to train the long term unemployed how to get back into work, to re-skill, I would brainstorm on a flip chart all the skills needed to run a home and family, then change the heading to MD of a company, and check down the list of skills that were mirrored to do the same.

Do you have any specific skills from a former career that you can tap and the same with your staff? it maybe that you need to do a bit of updating or retraining….now is a good time.

Fox tips – “treat people as you would like to be treated”

How to Pivot or use existing skills

Tip : Sit down with a blank piece of paper and scribble down what skills you have or your business has, ask people to chip in who know you or work for you.

Look at different sectors, additional services – identify new opportunities. Keep a totally open mind and keep calm, you may have a light bulb moment….I love those :)

 I hope these posts are helping, now, you can revisit them

Small sound bites each day to keep you moving forward.

Many thanks and Good Luck!

kate@foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk

mobile: 07927 131600

Kate Fox
Kate Fox

“Design adds value & we’re here to help businesses improve & strengthen their market communication & message.”

Established in 2008, FGDM work with a diverse range of businesses to help them improve their market image involving branding, digital, animation/video, websites, direct marketing, exhibitions, marketing material designed to build and bolster brands.