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.8 – What pain do you or your business solve?

What pain do you solve

What pain do you or your business solve?

Fox Survival for 2020! No.8

Fox Survival No.8 – What Pain Do You Or Your Business Solve?

Helping business prepare for the future in their marketing and business strategy is essential at this time. Business communication is key, in words and images….

So, what pain do your clients have that your business solves or helps them with? if you can identify this, you are half way there.

It is not about you or your services/products, it is about what they do to solve other peoples problems and to make their lives easier. It is not the benefits, but they help.

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

How to think it through!

For example –

‘I help businesses get noticed, taken seriously and by raising their game!’

How do I do this?’

‘by using Design, Brand and Marketing Strategies.’

What is the end result?

‘they increase their turnover and get ahead of their competitiors.’

so, what pain do you solve?

I cover this on my workshop and those that got it are doing well, it is not easy to do and can need some time to work on it.

If you are settling up a new company…do this now! or phone me :)

I hope these are helping and Stay Safe guys, see you soon, 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.

Fox Survival No.3 – Increase Virtual Networking

Increase Virtual Networking

Increase Virtual Networking

Fox Survival for 2020! No.3

Fox Survival No.3 – Increase Virtual Networking to maintain and develop your business and keep in contact with old, new and interesting people, often there is a gust speaker and these tend to be free at the moment. This is the time to keep yourself and your business visible, by being seen and heard on these events you have the opportunity to meet people you would not usually have the opportunity to meet.

See if you can get a headset or mic and try a green screen behind your chair, I have had fun with that and people cannot see your living room. You can have your branding or images behind and even a video! If this is outside your comfort zone, I can assure you that everyone has been in the same boat and for fear of not being professional, I learnt last week that people have forgotten what shoes are.

Tip for the Ladies, put your lippy on and for the Gents, have a shave, unless it’s a design feature :)

 

How to increase virtual networking?

So, build up your connections, this takes time, so it can be done alongside the planning and evaluating, one sure thing is that digital marketing is definitely here and if you have not been developing this, now is the time.

What you can do is put a post online saying that you are interested in visiting virtual Free networks or even paid, as a visitor you can usually attend at least once before deciding if this is the right place for you and your business. 

We know many and can help or just say what you are needing help with and in which areas, the beauty of virtual is that you are not limited to area or country. I deal time to make new connections and see colleagues.

How are you getting on with the Planning, Evaluating and Implementing from No.1 post? this can be hard, and takes time, I am happy to bounce off ideas if that would help, sometimes it works have a 3rd party and I think outside the box, just let me know if a virtual coffee and chat is an idea.

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 for 2020! No.2

increase connections on social media

Increase Connections on Social Media

Fox Survival for 2020! No.2

Fox Survival NO.2 is all about connections and people, whilst planning, evaluating and starting to implement, help raise your visibility with your connections online.

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.

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

 

How to increase connections on social media

From a social media view point, you need a high number of connections to be recognised and to gain any form of traction. So, build up your connections, this takes time, so it can be done alongside the planning and evaluating, one sure thing is that digital marketing is definitely here and if you have not been developing this, now is the time.

An easy way to increase the followers you have on your social media channels, is to follow key influence’s in your industry, and like and comment on the content that they publish. You will often see their audience starting to reciprocate the content that you put out.

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 for 2020!

Fox Survival tips no.1

Fox Survival for 2020!

Fox survival for 2020! How to plan, evaluate and implement for your business at this time.

Today is a new start for many businesses, they have coped, sorted, and now know what their deal is and where they stand.

I talked online to some 2 weeks ago about getting to this point and have been asked to share some of my wisdom, so I have put together a survival kit and will be posting daily on this.

‘How to market yourself amidst such tragedy? Such a fine balance. Please share some of your wisdom’ one connection asked me recently.

I found this quote ‘Out of constraints comes creativity, out of chaos comes growth. Out of fears comes love!’ by Sue-Ann Bubacz

So….let’s begin!

Plan, evaluate and implement! I have known Managing Directors sitting on beaches in mid August doing this, they come back from their annual holidays, phone me and say…come in for a meeting, just bring your brain.

Sit down with a piece of paper and start putting ideas down, think of where you want to be in 2 years, then six months and then 2 months. scribble a mind map, dump everything down, silly or not, keep visualizing where you want to be and work backwards, this is an ongoing process and nothing is wrong.

I have planned a sequence of these actions for the next few weeks, please get in touch if you would like a chat or further help, free consultation and virtual support.

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.

What sort of marketing do you do? someone asked recently….

Header Logo

I am a designer with a business background and have developed different ways of marketing. I look at the whole company and it’s strategy and bring in specific experts depending on the companies requirements. 

I do some soft social media for a few clients but for a stronger campaign outsource to specialist providers especially if hard core lead generation is needed. 

I enjoy marketing and project managing with several clients on a retainer basis where I become part of their company, team and successful development. This has enabled me to get involved with video, animation and unusual direct marketing and 3D printing.

“Effective & professional ways of communicating to your targeted market across media including sales literature, print, digital and web. 

Planning your strategy and finding exciting ways to engage with your audience, being different and keeping up with digital marketing on social media, incorporating animation and video also. 

Creative concepts and communication – let us take the weight off you and fully project manage your design and marketing activity across many platforms.”

Happy to have a chat to see if we can help. For example we recently quoted for a Marine company in the UK to do all their exhibition stands globally, marketing material and email/social media/website nearer the time.

The beauty of what we offer is that we are not tied into any other company so our clients come first and experience the ‘why not effect’ and we go that extra mile….hope that helps….

One question for you… What are you looking for? what help would you like? and what are you trying to achieve?

 

Networking Event 27th Feb 2020

Fox Networking – Thursday 27th February

We started with snow, then everyone arrived and I, Kate finally did the 10 minute presentation with a display of all 4 animations, first time shown all together. I received a round of applause and then talked about connecting H2H and Know, Like and Trust, following on about things you did not know about me, things you should and the qualities of my clients, how we match up and fit together.

This is a fairly relaxed group where we are able to talk around the room about our businesses and something unusual for the month.

Fox Networking Event

We had a varied selection of people and businesses including a marketing company, Business directory, business support/Zero, financial advisor, Video company and Video Director, Audi cars, websites company, design, branding and stress/loss specialist who can help men and women cope and understand Menopause – Health and Wellbeing in the workplace. 

Next month Will Kintish is treating us to a talk about ‘The Power of the Question”- March 18th @10.30am.

Fox Networking started in May 2019. The main reasoning behind it was that we had a super new studio with lots of creative space, I was not able to network with more than a handful of people due to migraines and noise level, many people in the building did not really know what each other did, and it was a good way to meet our neighbours. I found the original message below!

Now we talk about Columbian Coffee and Cream Cakes, comments like…. relaxed, no pressure, structured yet informal, warm welcome and well looked after are a few of the comments received.

Fox Networking

This event has now taken on a life of its own, we are not in competition with other events, as it is by invitation only, hence we don’t use Eventbrite, we now have a good mix from all different sectors and not always the usual ones found at events. We select by people and this gives a different feel. The first 6 months were free, but now we are charging a small cost to cover some of our costs, these do not even cover my time. 

So why do I do it, well, many reasons, but it does give me total flexibility and am able to select different venues with other like-minded people, I just want to be a little bonkers and I do have 13 years of International Food & Beverage, senior management experience in 4/5* hotels, soooo it must be the veins….and we like decent coffee…it just smells so welcoming.

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.

Brand Strategy Workshop

Brand Strategy Workshop

Brand Strategy Workshop

We recently launched our inaugural Brand Strategy Workshop, 5 business people attended at our studio in Cheshire, the comments/reviews blew us away and can be seen below with the content details and information.

We are planning to runs these regularly, concentrating on small numbers and quality so that candidates get the best interaction and support. Apart from the wealth of knowledge and content – the added extra gold dust, is the interact and input from each other, at one point I sat back for a few minutes watching it take off, we also have a good mix of personalities, experience and sectors. 

The main feedback and notes to myself were that we need more time as the candidates wanted to bounce off ideas off each other whilst they had an audience and sounding board, also I will take out some bits for future workshops, in my eagerness to communicate more, I must remember ‘less is more’. 

In a previous career I was trained very highly as a trainer and have a wealth of experience to draw on, it is great for me to use my skills in the Design and Marketing arena and look forward to many more, also a Part 2 may well be on the books for a more in-depth Marketing Strategy.

Brand Strategy Workshop

What's involved in a brand strategy workshop 

In today’s market, there are so many buzz words and brand headings that people/businesses are getting confused and dizzy about what they are doing with their businesses.Getting back to basics – 

What does your company do?
Who are your target audience?
What is the essence of your service/product/company – USP’s
What pain does your offering solve?

Brand strategy benefits

Triple your business and get ahead of your competitors by being noticed visually and with good communication!

 

We will cover – The ‘WWWWWH’

  • Brand essence
  • How a Brand is developed and used inc. colours/typography etc
  • Brand Identity – Vision and Voice
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand Strategy
  • Communication
  • Target Market
  • Marketing strategy

This will be done in an interactive format with input and tasks relevant to their businesses and sectors.

Beforehand – Kate will have a scheduled discussion to find out what the participants would like to achieve and benefit from the workshop.

There will be limited places – max. 6.
Duration – 4 hours including breaks, drinks and snacks/sandwiches/fruit

Time – 10.00am – 2pm

Cost – £300.00 plus VAT

Please contact Kate Fox on studio@foxgraphicsdesign.co.uk or 07927 131600 to see if this is the correct event for you, limited numbers.

Brand strategy workshop reviews

‘Fabulous workshop Kate: professionally run, with excellent content that we all found extremely useful for our future branding & message!

I attended Fox Graphic’s “Design, Brand & Marketing Strategy” Workshop today. Professional presentation and interactive sessions, and all of us learnt the importance of getting your brand message right in 3 simple steps. Highly recommended.’

Kathryn Spencer

‘I attended one of Kate’s branding workshop and it was superb. Very interactive and engaging. I learnt a lot more about how important to get your branding content out there more effectively. Also examining marketing strategies and creating a killer sentence to gain more business! It was one of the best workshops I have ever attended. Thankyou Kate.

Of course lots of fruit and snacks were on offer. Thankyou Kate.’

Kerry Burgess – Cheshire Marketing  

Helping businesses grow & achieve increased revenue by targeted leaflet distribution & social media.

Brand Strategy Workshop

‘This week I attended the inaugural branding workshop by Fox Graphics at their Macclesfield office it was a brilliant session great group of people brain storming all helping each other with our businesses. I would highly recommend Kate, she is fantastic at what she does and has the experience to guide you whether you are a new start up or existing business that’s needs a refresh or simply just want to spend time with like-minded people and get some inspiration!

Excellent, very inspirational

Thank you for your help and support’

Jacqueline Eyre

‘Thank you for your workshop today it exceeded all my expectations’

‘from my point of view I found the workshop very educational and insightful in terms of overall brand strategy. Your interactive approach also meant that we were all able to focus on our own individual bossiness as-well giving each other supporting feedback. An excellent workshop indeed.’

John Galloway  – Co Founder Speed Of Sight / BNI Graphene President

“Just a quick note to say how much I really enjoyed today’s workshop. The real value came from the interplay between you as our “expert” Facilitator / Workshop Leader and ALL the delegates attending!! You were able to expertly guide us through a complex business process  – as we in turn helped each other out during the workshop with very constructive suggestions regarding our many individual business challenges? I would not hesitate to recommend Fox Graphics Design & Marketing to support SME businesses (and bigger?) to understand what they really need to do to significantly grow their business and profitability. As always Kate your inputs are expert, wise and fun!! (plus you kept us all well fed and watered throughout the day!!)”

John Place MBA FCIPD

 

Fox icon

Brand Strategy Workshop

Treat your business to a branding MOT.

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.