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7 Ways to Get Your Business Posts Seen on Facebook

7 Ways to Get Your Business Posts Seen on Facebook

7 Ways to Get Your Business Posts Seen on Facebook

Facebook’s new algorithm means that it’s more difficult to get your business posts to appear on timelines, but by following these seven suggestions, you can still successfully use this platform for your marketing needs, and get your business posts seen on Facebook. To download a PDF version of this A4 infographic, click here.

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To download a PDF version, click here.

Press Release – The Power of Social Media! Charity Wins Free Stand At Yorkshire Business Market

               

A Harrogate charity which promotes employer supported volunteering across the district will be displaying its services at a major business conference next month. (Monday, April 30)

Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service was one of scores of organisations to enter a social media competition to win a free stand at the Yorkshire Business Market.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Yorkshire Business Market is one the biggest networking events for businesses across Yorkshire with keynote speakers, seminars and plenty of networking opportunities.

The Yorkshire Business Market is being staged at Pavilions of Harrogate, on Monday, April 30, and organisers are confident it will be as successful as last year’s sell out event that attracted more than 1,000 visitors.

The opportunity to appear at the event could not come at a better time for the charity, which has just launched a new “local fund” initiative. Run in  partnership with Harrogate Borough Council and Two Ridings Community Foundation, it aims to put businesses in contact with the voluntary and community sectors.

Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service Chief Executive Karen Weaver said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to part in this year’s Yorkshire Business Market. As a small, local charity, our resources don’t normally stretch to being an exhibitor.

“We need to raise awareness of the Local Fund to professional advisors, and also engage with businesses to find out more about how they can get involved, as it’s not just about making donations.

“We want to develop more employer supported volunteering across the District, as there is so much potential for mutual benefits for businesses and charities.

“Being at the Business Market will give us the opportunity to meet a wide range of business representatives, and gain valuable insights into the ways in which the Local Fund can build successful relationships with businesses on behalf of the local voluntary and community sector.”

Yorkshire Business Market Chairman Mark Lancaster said: “We are thrilled for Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service in winning our competition. It is a fantastic organisation which has been in existence for more than five decades.

“The competition proved to be a huge hit, and thanks to the power of social media, it has helped to promote The Yorkshire Business Market far and wide.”

The focus of this year’s event is Alternative Business Funding and the headline partner is Hornbeam Park Developments.

Further information about this year’s Yorkshire Business Market, including exhibiting and partnership opportunities, please visit: https://yorkshirebusinessmarket.co.uk/

For Further Information, please contact:

Mark Lancaster, Yorkshire Business Market, on 07946 380089

Brian Dunsby, Yorkshire Business Market, on 01423 879208

David Simister, Different PR, on 07870 550 760

Why Every SME Needs a Business Mentor

For the 2013 Sage Business Index, 11,000 small and medium-sized businesses in 17 countries were surveyed about mentorship. While 93% of those questioned accepted that having a business mentor would help their business prosper, only 28% actually hired one. In the UK, the result was even lower at 22%. When you look at the benefits that mentors bring to Startups and SMEs, it’s somewhat surprising that less than a quarter of UK businesses go down the mentoring route. If you think it’s difficult to calculate the ROI, here are just a few of the reasons that should convince you hiring an experienced external advisor will be money well spent.

It’s all about goals

A business mentor will work with you to tailor a strategic and practical business concept with achievable long- and short-term goals. These goals would be reviewed and updated periodically. Any blockers to success would be identified and (hopefully) eradicated. Your mentor will suggest proven marketing strategies, such as raising your organisation’s profile at events like the Yorkshire Business Market.

No one knows it all

You might have come up with the hottest new product or service on the market, but that doesn’t automatically make you an expert at running a successful business. You need to know about finance, sales and marketing, IT, HR and compliance. Hopefully you’re competent in some areas, and the business mentor will fill in the gaps, provided you’ve done your research and chosen the right advisor.

Objective eyes

Your mentor will take an in-depth look at your business, then tell you what you’re doing right, and more significantly, what you’re doing wrong. It’s easy to miss things when you’re immersed in a project, especially one where you’re emotionally invested. A mentor will be quick to spot anything that needs attention.

It’s not what you know…

If you’ve done your homework and chosen a mentor with a varied and well-rounded background, the networking opportunities alone should bring a justifiable ROI. An external advisor can connect you with individuals and organisations from a wide range of sectors, creating opportunities for new leads and better supplier options.

Confidence boost

Even the cleverest entrepreneurs can feel a bit lost at times, and although not a life coach, a good mentor should be able to motivate you and boost your confidence when it’s waning. Empathy is a necessary asset for a good business mentor.

A second opinion never hurts

Big decisions about finance or expanding your business can always benefit from outside advice. Chewing things over with colleagues can help, but a second opinion from someone outside the business who’s ‘bought the t-shirt’ can pay dividends. A worthwhile business mentor is one who spots an error in judgement, then stops it from happening.

Growth

If you’ve chosen the right mentor, growth won’t be limited to your business. You’ll also grow from the leadership and management skills passed on from your advisor. These will help you develop into a more effective CEO.

How to pick your mentor

You probably won’t go for the first mentor you see; interview several before you decide. Consider the following when choosing an external advisor:

  • Look for skills and experience that are relevant to your needs.
  • A good mentor is one who practices active listening.
  • Your overall business philosophies should be similar.
  • Do you have a rapport? The mentor in question could have an excellent resume, but if you don’t hit it off, the process will be less successful.
  • Remember that the ideal mentor for you now may not be the right person several years down the line. You may end up using several mentors long term.

Hopefully now you know the benefits of hiring a mentor, you’re ready to take the next step. The Yorkshire Business Market provides the perfect opportunity, as experienced mentor Julian Horrocks is offering FREE 40-minute ‘Meet the Mentor’ sessions. YBM takes place on Monday, 30th April 2018, at the Pavilions of Harrogate. Pre-booking is essential for Julian’s sessions, which you can do by clicking below.
Reserve a mentoring slot

Press Release – Yorkshire Business Market Announces Headline Partner For 2018

One of Harrogate’s leading commercial property developers has been announced as the headline partner for next month’s Yorkshire Business Market.

Hornbeam Park Developments Limited has thrown its weight behind the annual celebration of business and entrepreneurship, being held at Pavilions of Harrogate, on Monday, April 30.

Expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates, the focus of this year’s event – which has already seen more than 60 exhibitors including hotels, accountancy firms and digital marketing agencies booking stands –  is “Alternative Business Funding”.

In addition to scores of firms and organisations showcasing their unique services, the event, now in its fourteenth year, will feature keynote speakers, seminars and plenty of networking opportunities.

Yorkshire Business Market Chairman Mark Lancaster said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Hornbeam Park Developments Limited has come on board as our headline partner.

“The Harrogate District is home to some fantastic businesses and business leaders, and Chris Bentley, who heads Hornbeam Park Developments, is no exception.

“His business park, the former home of ICI Fibres, boasts an abundance of fast-growing, home-grown talent – professional practices, innovative manufacturers, high technology companies, social enterprises, the headquarters of a national hotel chain and a range of leisure and restaurant facilities, all within an exciting and vibrant community.

“These in turn provide employment opportunities for hundreds of local people and in turn significantly boost the local economy.”

Mr Bentley, Managing Director of Hornbeam Park Developments, said: “The Yorkshire Business Market is the Harrogate district’s premier business event, and we are delighted to be this year’s main partner.

“As passionate believers in assisting our tenants to grow their businesses, we also whole heartedly support this year’s theme.

“Despite the current turbulent climate, Harrogate is a superb location for business, and for the last 14 years the Yorkshire Business Market has flown the flag for businesses across the Harrogate District.”

Mr Lancaster added: “Last year’s business market was a sell out, attracting more than 100 exhibitors and more than 1,000 visitors from across the region. It is a one-day business-to-business networking opportunity, with great displays and topical seminars.”

Further information about this year’s Yorkshire Business Market, including exhibiting and partnership opportunities, please visit: https://yorkshirebusinessmarket.co.uk/

For Further Information, please contact:

Mark Lancaster, Yorkshire Business Market, on 07946 380089

Brian Dunsby, Yorkshire Business Market, on 01423 879208

David Simister, Different PR, on 07870 550 760

Headline Act! Pictured from left are: Brian Dunsby OBE, Yorkshire Business Market Organiser; Chris Bentley, Manging Director Hornbeam Park Developments Ltd; Chris Robbins from Robbins Associates and Mark Lancaster, Yorkshire Business Market Chairman.

Relationship Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint

Tortoise and hare illustrating relationship marketing

There’s so much buzz about relationship marketing, and if you’re not familiar with the strategy, it may sound irrelevant for your business, or too time consuming. The latter is true in the short-term: you will have to devote time to building relationships, however you’ll end up saving time when your customers keep renewing without you having to do any hard work. It’s about building trust and it should pay dividends if done well.

Determine your target market

Hopefully this is something you’ve already done. If not, relationship marketing isn’t going to work. You’ll find it far easier to hone sales and marketing campaigns towards specific groups or audiences. Trying to appeal to everyone is wasting resources. Look at your current customer base and see what they have in common. Then create a typical customer profile. If you’re unsure, conduct some market research at a business event or set up a focus group. You can use the profile to target audiences on social media and for email campaigns.

Key questions and active listening

Think about how you’d act on a first date. You’d (hopefully) ask key questions to find out about the other person, but more importantly, you’d actively listen and make a mental note of the responses. It’s similar with relationship marketing. While you shouldn’t get too personal, it’s useful to find out your customers’ interests and what motivates them. Rather than steering the conversation around your products and services, find out about their organisation’s general goals and challenges. Chances are the customer will end up steering the conversation towards how you can help them, without you having to. All this data will help you nurture the relationship. And remember to leave your ‘super sales’ persona behind. Be authentic and natural.

It’s better to give than to receive

If you’re not into relationship marketing, your customers may cringe when you contact them, as they know you’re only getting in touch to try and sell them something. You may find them avoiding your calls, and if you’re bombarding them with sales emails, they may opt out from your mailing list, which is the last thing you want. With relationship marketing, it’s never about the hard sell; in fact, forget about selling altogether (yes, I’m serious). It’s about giving. And we’re not talking free lunches (although that can be a nice way to get to know your customer). It’s more about how you can assist businesses with any goals. This might take the form of advice, free resources, or putting them in touch with one of your suppliers. Customers will then see you as someone who has their best interests at heart – not someone who just wants to make a quick sale. If you know your product or service isn’t the optimum choice to meet a customer’s needs, rather than pushing it on them anyway, be up front and recommend a competitor. That’s not utter madness; it’s a way of getting people to trust you and your judgement. It will also make it more likely they recommend you to others. Forcing a sale will only bring negative feedback. Remember, relationship marketing is about the long haul.

Connecting

Once your relationship is established, engage regularly with your customers. You may not have the resources to schedule frequent visits, so why not make time for Skype chats? It’s more personal than an email and gives the opportunity for a more relaxed conversation. Another important way of connecting with customers is on social media. Follow your customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Engaging with their posts will:

  • Help build the relationship
  • Keep you in their thoughts
  • Expand your reach to other potential customers

Being active on social media is always a positive marketing strategy, particularly if you offer free tips and information, rather than trying to sell. Have you noticed how few businesses use LinkedIn for overt sales posts? Even on Facebook and Twitter companies are realising that it’s better to share expertise to build trust, which in turn generates enquiries. Useful information such as case studies, white papers, eBooks, tips, troubleshooting guides, blogs, infographics, etc., should bring in more solid leads than continuously posting about your products / services.

Keep your promises

Establishing an in-depth connection is about trust. This means you must keep your promises, however inconsequential they seem to you. By not ringing a customer at an agreed time, you’re inferring you place little importance on their business. Your goal should be to ensure that your customers always feel highly valued, and that you’ve always got time for them.

Relationship marketing is not about the short term. It’s about building a foundation of knowledge and trust. Your customers will be far more likely to keep coming back, plus they’ll be inclined to recommend you to others.

An excellent place to start your foray into relationship marketing would be a business event such as our Yorkshire Business Market. Our event takes place at the Harrogate Pavilions, on Monday, 30th April.

Find out more about Yorkshire Business Market

Press Release – Yorkshire Business Market Returns To Harrogate For Fourteenth Successful Year

The annual Yorkshire Business Market is making its highly anticipated return to Harrogate this spring with a theme dedicated to “Growing and Financing Your Business”.

Being staged at Pavilions of Harrogate, on Monday, April 30, organisers are confident it will be as successful as last year’s sell out event that attracted more than 1,000 visitors.

In addition to scores of firms and organisations showcasing their unique services, the event, now in its fourteenth year, will feature key note speakers, seminars and plenty of networking opportunities.

To date, more than 40 firms have registered as exhibitors, including hotels, accountancy firms and digital marketing agencies.

Yorkshire Business Market chairman Mark Lancaster (pictured above) said: “The Yorkshire Business Market is regarded as the premier business showcase event in the Harrogate District’s business calendar and we are delighted to be bringing it back for its fourteenth year.

“The blend of networking, exhibition and presentations is a winning combination that sees this event consistently growing in popularity.

“Last year’s business market was a sell out, attracting more than 100 exhibitors and more than 1,000 visitors from across the region. It is a one-day business-to-business networking opportunity, with great displays and topical seminars.

“2017 was the first time we had a theme that focused on Business Start Ups, and we included dedicated space and a seminar programme aimed directly at their needs and those of our partners.

“We have spent time over the last couple of months to ascertain what Yorkshire Businesses are talking about and business finance and growth was very high on the list.”

Mr Lancaster added: “Over the coming weeks we’ll be announcing the headline sponsors, confirmed exhibitors, seminar speakers as well as this year’s guest of honour who will officially open the day.

“The Harrogate District is home to a wealth of diverse businesses – many small and medium sized.

“The Yorkshire Business Market is the ideal venue for them to showcase their products, to meet existing and potential new clients, as well as meeting colleagues from other industries and sectors.”

Further information about this year’s Yorkshire Business Market, including exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: https://yorkshirebusinessmarket.co.uk/

For Further Information, please contact:

Mark Lancaster, Yorkshire Business Market, on 01423 879208

David Simister, Different PR, on 07870 550 760

Top Alternatives for SME Funding

SME funding Yorkshire Business Market

At one time, unless you were independently wealthy or had generous relatives, getting funding for your business meant going cap in hand to the bank. Provided your business plan met the bank’s stringent criteria, and you had sufficient collateral, a loan was agreed. The problem with many startup companies is that they either don’t fit the bank’s perception of a good risk, or they don’t wish to go down that route. In the modern marketplace, there are several alternatives for SME funding that an independent financial advisor could talk you through.

1.        D.I.Y or Bootstrapping

According to a 2016 report by The Company Warehouse, 56% of new businesses in the UK went down the bootstrap route, i.e., were completely self-funded. This contrasts with the number of startups who sought out a bank’s help – under 7%. Using your own money or borrowing from relatives can have advantages:

  • Attractive repayment periods and fees
  • More independence to run the business as you see fit, without corporate investors and banks breathing down your neck

Of course, not everyone can adopt the bootstrap approach.

2.        Venture capital or business angels

Venture capital (from a company or fund) is usually a significant investment in exchange for a share in the business. A business angel, on the other hand, is an individual with the funds to invest seed money into businesses, usually in exchange for equity or convertible debt. If you’re seeking a smaller amount of startup funding, then consider finding an angel investor on sites such as UK Business Angels Association. The advantage of using capitalists and angels is that they should bring valuable knowledge, skills, and experience to help with your business.

3.        Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, or peer to peer finance, is where many people invest small amounts in new or existing businesses in exchange for equity. Platforms such as Crowdcube let users know about new investment opportunities and make it straightforward to sign up. You set the investment goal and the end date for the campaign, then sit back and wait, and (hopefully) watch the money flood in.

4.        Partnership

If you’ve examined and rejected all other forms of SME funding, it might be worth considering a partnership. This could be someone who shares the responsibilities and day-to-day running of the business, or a silent partner. Both have their pros and cons. It helps to lighten the load having an involved partner, however if you aren’t well matched, it can cause more headaches. A silent partner would not interfere in how you run things, but they wouldn’t be available to offer hands-on help, should you need it.

While the most popular funding approach for Yorkshire SMEs might be the bootstrap approach, this becomes more difficult to maintain as your business grows and you want to develop new projects. Fortunately, there are other alternatives for startups and existing businesses.

The theme for the 2018 Yorkshire Business Market is Growing and Financing Your Business. The event is being held on Monday, 30th April at the Pavilions of Harrogate, and is open to all businesses across Yorkshire.

[button link=”https://yorkshirebusinessmarket.co.uk/” type=”big” newwindow=”yes”] LEARN MORE[/button]

 

Disclaimer

The Yorkshire Business Market is not a financial advisor, therefore we accept no liability if companies pursue any of the above funding alternatives. Always seek independent expert financial advice before entering into any financial agreement.

 

 

Why Yorkshire Businesses Should Take a Stand

When organisations in Yorkshire feel the need to tighten spending, the marketing department is often the first to feel the pinch. And to the uninformed, exhibiting at trade shows is seen as a needless expense with a poor ROI, whereas in fact, there are numerous statistics to show just the opposite is true. We’ve selected our top reasons why it makes financial sense to exhibit at a business expo in 2018.

1. New Leads

This is the most obvious benefit of taking a stand at a business event or conference. According to a 2015 survey by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 81% of attendees have buying power. Being able to see your products first-hand and speak to a knowledgeable representative increases the chances of securing that lead. Face-to-face marketing is a powerful tool that instils trust in potential customers.

2. Brand awareness

As well as generating leads, brand awareness is another reason why exhibiting at a Yorkshire business event should be a priority. If people aren’t aware of who you are and what you do, enquiries will be few and far between. Introducing your brand to loads of potential customers through an exhibition is a great way to get noticed – especially as the Press will be there (and if they’re not, find another trade show).

3. New suppliers

Take the opportunity to negotiate attractive terms with other Yorkshire suppliers. Being a fellow exhibitor over the course of a day or more can help build relationships, so use it to your company’s advantage. And with any luck, you may find the reverse is true, and they like what you have to offer.

4. Great marketing tool

Get these most of this marketing event by spreading the word of where you are through social media. Brand your own hashtag and share it over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Photos are a must, but strongly consider creating brief, upbeat videos, as a way of connecting with more people. Facebook Live is a great way to live stream what you’re up to. Spreading the word over the internet can bring people to your stand, plus it can bring leads from companies who don’t attend the event.

5. Quicker to convert leads

In The Cost effectiveness of Exhibition Participation: Part II, CEIR found that it took one fewer call to convert an exhibition lead, compared to a typical business sale. That’s significant when you consider how many calls your sales team make over the course of a day. In addition, a survey by McGraw-Hill Research found that follow-up visits were needed less often. All this extra time allows your sales team to generate new leads.

6. Show off your expertise

One of the best ways to grab the attention of new customers is to share your knowledge and expertise through a seminar or workshop. Pick a topic that solves a common problem, focussing on how to save time and money. Relationship marketing is built on developing the trust of potential customers, discerning their needs, then solving their problems. And don’t forget to check out some of the other seminars. You might pick up some useful knowledge (and see how you stack up against the competition).

7. Train your sales team

If you have a fresh recruit to your sales team, help them polish their skills by putting them on your stand. It’s one thing making sales calls or booking one-to-one appointments, but a business expo is another thing entirely.

  • How do they avoid looking bored, nervous or desperate?
  • How do they know whom to approach?
  • Will attendees realise they don’t know the products as well as they should?
  • When is it okay to check their phone? (We’ve all seen that too often.)

Once they master the trade show, they can transfer these skills to their day-to-day sales responsibilities.

8. Market research

With large numbers of attendees coming to see what’s on offer, it’s the perfect opportunity to conduct some market research. If you have a new product or service in development, you can fine tune the details by asking people for their opinions. You can create free online surveys using Google Forms, and offer participants a carrot to incentivise them. You could offer them a gift voucher or run a competition. Market research gleaned this way can pay dividends.

If the idea of a sprawling business expo isn’t appealing, events like the Yorkshire Business Market may be more your style. The manageable size allows visitors and exhibitors to see more products and services at an in-depth level, and to make more meaningful connections.

OBE for YBM Organiser, Brian L Dunsby

OBE for YBM Organiser, Brian L Dunsby

We are very proud to announce that the founder and organiser of the Yorkshire Business Market, Brian Dunsby, has been awarded the OBE for services to business and the communities in Harrogate in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Brian said this was a “marvellous surprise and a welcome recognition of the achievements of the Perlex Team, especially his wife Beryl,  Maggie Hall (Office Administrator) and Chris Muir (Database Administrator).  We have been very well supported by Harrogate Chamber’s Management Group and Past Presidents’ Group, especially Mark Lancaster.  Also more recently supported by the Yorkshire Business Market, Harrogate Christmas Market and Harrogate Line Supporters’ Groups, who are all volunteers helping to promote the economy of Harrogate and attract more visitors.”

Brian Dunsby is a successful entrepreneur who has been managing and helping small businesses, trade associations and professional Institutes for almost 40 years and was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2008. The OBE is for his voluntary work since 2002 when Brian was appointed Hon Sec & Chief Executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce. He created the first Harrogate Business Market in 2005, which has since grown to become the annual Yorkshire Business Market with over 100 Exhibitors and 1,000 visitors.

In 2012 Brian and Beryl created a new Harrogate Christmas Market that now attracts about 200 Traders and nearly 60,000 visitors to shop in the Town Centre.  In 2013 and 2017, this event won the Hospitality & Tourism Best Achievement Award and in 2015 it won the Harrogate Advertiser Business Award in the Tourism Category.  Brian has also worked tirelessly as the Transport Spokesman for Harrogate Chamber to improve the rail connectivity to and from Harrogate and was recognised by Railfuture UK in 2015 as Best Campaigner and for the Best Campaign.

We are sure Brian will continue to support Harrogate’s businesses and communities for some time to come and hope you will join us in offering him our sincere congratulations on his many achievements.

 

YBM 2017: Best Stand winners

Winners of the Best Stand awards at YBM, the best business networking event in Yorkshire.

As well as competing to win new business, all exhibitors were aiming to win the Best Stand titles and prizes.

The competition was judged by Jean MacQuarrie, editor of the Harrogate Advertiser series, who toured the stands in the morning shortly after YBM opened.

This year, her judging was based on the way exhibitors interacted with visitors. Jean took this approach so that the focus was taken away from the biggest and brightest stands and created a level playing field for every company exhibiting. It didn’t matter if you were a starter business on a tiny budget or a nationwide brand with thousands to spend: it was the way you reacted to your visitors which was key to the final decision.

As ever, the competition was at a high level, but in the end the winners were chosen on their ability draw in the visitor and interact with them. In the opinion of the judge, our two winners did this very well and that’s what set them apart.

However the naughty step was being swept in readiness for those committing the deadly sins of the exhibitor: sitting at the back of your stand, being on your phone and (horror of horrors) munching on a sandwich! You have been warned… the judge sees everything.

Working Wardrobe stood out for the high levels of attention given to each visitor to their stand and use of the personal approach first and product second. They were awarded the prize for Best Large Stand.

Wild & Co Chartered Accounts only had a small stand but they caught the visitor’s eye with a simple numbers game and leader board which really held the attention, allowing the team to spend quality time with each visitor. They were awarded Best Small Stand.

Harrogate in Bloom were Highly Comended by the judge, as their enthusiasm seem to “grow” on visitors to their stand.

Prizes were supplied by Bettys – a wonderful hamper of goodies, along with a certificate marking the achievement.