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Are business events worth your time and money?

How do you find the best business events to suit you?

We may be living in a digital age, but there have never been more opportunities to meet fellow business owners face-to-face.

While online communication helps to save time, there is no substitute for getting to know contacts in person – especially if you are hoping they will become customers.

From networking groups to seminars and presentations, there is so much choice when it comes to business events in Yorkshire and beyond that it can be hard to select the right ones.

Anyone who has been to business events will know there is nothing more frustrating than coming away with the feeling that you have wasted your time, and have lost money, because it wasn’t the right fit for you. So how can you ensure you get the best from your investment?

While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for a successful business event, there are a few key areas to look for when choosing the best events for you.

 

Value

The cost of events can be anything from free to hundreds or even thousands of pounds – but this doesn’t tell you the value. A free event may not leave you out of pocket, but it may be a waste of time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Instead of the cost, focus on the value offered. Is it a good investment for your business? Will it drive you towards your business goals? Are you paying a premium for something you don’t really need? Make sure you do your research before committing time or money.

 

Success

A track record of success is one of the best ways to choose the right business events for you. While new events can be appealing and often have lower prices, be aware that they have no way to prove they can deliver what they promise. How will you feel if you don’t get the number of contacts or leads that you expect?

Established events, by contrast, can give you a little more confidence. While there are no guarantees, organisers of long-standing events usually know their market and how to attract the right types of business to help everyone present to achieve their aims.

If in doubt, one of the best ways to choose is to ask previous exhibitors or participants how successful the event was for them. Any reputable event will have testimonials from previous participants to prove its results.

 

Return

Always keep in mind that a return on your investment of time or money is not necessarily immediate. If you have spent a few hundred pounds on a stand at a business event, you are unlikely to walk out with signed contracts for more than the amount you have invested.

The return may come over the following days, weeks or months. When you follow up the contacts you have made and start building up your network, you are slowly recouping that investment.

Judge your return from an event over a longer period and you’ll get a more accurate picture of its success. If it’s a monthly networking group, analyse how much business you are doing as a result in the weeks between meetings. Equally, an annual exhibition may lead to new customers or valuable contracts three, six or nine months later – how much could your business benefit before the next event takes place?

 

Yorkshire Business Market has a track record of success in all of these areas – 2017 will be the 13th annual event. Its prices are low compared to similar events elsewhere, yet it is one of the longest-established business-to-business events in the region. If you’re looking at the return you’re likely to get, you only have to speak to any of the businesses who have returned to exhibit year after year and who see YBM as a key date in their business calendar.

If you decide to exhibit at YBM, or sign up to any other events, don’t forget that success will largely depend on your own approach too. Go in expecting too much and you are likely to be disappointed, while a cautious or negative attitude will come across to your potential customers and may put them off.

Do your homework before any event: decide what you want to achieve and how you will reach your targets. You may want to gather as many business cards as possible, or you may just want one or two good quality leads to follow up afterwards. Alternatively, it may just be about raising your profile and ensuring you are the first name people think of when they need the products or services you offer.

On the day, go in with a positive attitude and a willingness to embrace the opportunities you find.

 

If you think Yorkshire Business Market might be the right event to help you grow your business and achieve your aims, there is still time to book – but hurry, because space is selling quickly. Click here to find out more.

Why accountants are worth their fee – and more!

Do you need an accountant in Yorkshire? Visit YBM to find one!

In those first challenging months of a new business, money is often the first thing on your mind.

Outgoings can be high before income starts to rise, so every penny really does count.

In that situation, many new business owners try to minimise their spending – and with very good reason. Cash flow is one of the most important aspects of business management and it is never more tricky than in those first few months.

Indeed, many businesses fail before they really get going, and struggling to balance the books is one of the most common causes.

While caution with spending is often advisable, there is one area where paying for expert support may be particularly beneficial: accountancy. While it may be possible to manage the business accounts yourself, there are three main reasons why new business owners decide to invest in financial advice:

Time

Consider how many hours per month you will need to spend working on your accounts, calculating your tax obligations and so on, and how much you could earn in that time doing what you do best.

Then think about how long it would take an accountant – who does this all day, every day – to complete the same work on your accounts. It may be half the time you need, or perhaps even less. Is

Support

These days, an accountant is much more than the person you see once a year to find out how much tax you owe. Many of the best accountants offer full support throughout the year, including helping you to develop a comprehensive business plan and stick to it.

Modern accountants encourage you to keep in touch with them regularly to monitor your progress and spot minor problems before they become much more serious. This kind of help enables you to take action sooner and keep your business on track, as well as monitoring positive progress and making informed decisions for the future.

 

Do you need an accountant?

Of course, any decision about using an accountant is down to you and whether you feel it’s right for your business. However, if you want to find a good accountant, you may want to try the aisles at this year’s Yorkshire Business Market.

Our exhibitors include several established local accountancy firms who are always happy to speak to new business owners about their needs. You may also find experienced accountants who are just starting out on their own in the Micro Business zone in the Aire Room, offering great value and bags of enthusiasm.

Make sure you keep an eye out for them when you’re touring the aisles of Pavilions of Harrogate at Yorkshire Business Market on Monday 24th April.

Business goals for 2017

Yorkshire Business Market

As business owners know, the new year is not just a time for personal resolutions. It’s a great opportunity to plan for growth and development in the business too.

If you are setting business goals for the year ahead this January, these are 10 top tips to ensure you get the most from your hard work.

1. Quantify: In order to be achievable, your goals need to be specific. Deciding you want to increase your turnover is a common goal, but you need to decide by how much in order to assess your success. Whether it is 10%, 25%, 50% or even more, setting a quantifiable goal will help you to keep yourself on track and measure your progress in a meaningful way.

2. Think big – but keep goals small: While it’s important to have a grand plan for your business, you need to break your aims down into manageable targets. Deciding to double your income or the number of employees might be your ultimate goal, but how will you do that? Think about what you will do when you arrive in the office tomorrow – what will be your first step?

3. Think differently: Business goals aren’t just about finance. There are many ways you can grow your business, and even if your ultimate goal is financial you will need to develop many different aspects in order to contribute to this. Whether it is building your network of contacts, improving your SEO or developing your social media engagement, there are lots of tactics you will need to employ as part of your overall strategy.

4. Write it down: You may have all your ideas in your head, but research shows that a written plan is far more likely to lead to success. As well as writing down your ultimate goal, list the ways in which you will achieve it – and that includes everything from big targets down to the day-to-day steps you’ll take to move you towards success. Don’t be afraid to revisit this plan frequently and change it if you need to – but don’t change your goal, just improve your tactics.

5. Stay on track: It’s very easy to get distracted from your ultimate aims when opportunities come up in your business. The temptation is to take up everything that crosses your path, especially when you’re first starting out. However, some opportunities can lead you off the path to your ultimate goal, forcing you to spend time on things which aren’t contributing to your aims. Whenever an opportunity arises, stop to consider whether it will take you towards your goal or away from it.

6. Get help: The best business owners know where their skills lie, and also know the areas where they need the support of an expert. Whether it’s a knowledgeable accountant, someone to manage your social media, or a business coach to keep you on track, make sure you find the right experts to drive you towards your aims. Events like YBM (Monday 24th April at Pavilions of Harrogate) are a great way to find business people who might offer the sort of help you need.

7. Plan ahead: Very few businesses can grow without someone getting out there and meeting people. From weekly networking meetings to large annual conferences, there are lots of events designed to help you grow your network of contacts. Do some research now and register for the ones that will be best for you. If they’re free to attend, even better – all you have to commit is an hour or two of your time, and you never know what you might get from it.

8. Network with a goal in mind: Whatever event you go to, decide what you want to achieve before you arrive. If it’s an exhibition like YBM, you might want to find support for an aspect of your business. At a general networking event, it’s often better to aim for quality than quantity. If you only speak to a couple of people but they become strong contacts, that’s far better than meeting 10 people you will never speak to again.

9. Invest: Many new business owners make the mistake of trying not to spend any money before they’re making a huge profit. While wasting money is also a risk, the best approach is somewhere in the middle – invest wisely without spending more money than you can hope to see back. Recognise opportunities that will bring a return on your investment and make a sensible commitment. At YBM, for example, stands for start-up businesses are just £250+VAT, and for that money you can promote yourself on a level platform with much more established businesses and recognised brands. You’ll be promoted as part of a big event and you will get to meet hundreds of potential customers in one day. Imagine how long it would take, and how much it would cost, to achieve that kind of result on your own, and decide to invest if you think it could benefit your business.

10. Enjoy it!: Whatever you do, remember to have fun while you do it. One of the best things about running your own business is that you are in control. You can choose how you run it and what you do – and you shouldn’t feel like your business is running your life. Enjoy being your own boss and all the interesting and inspiring things that come with it.

If attending events or raising your profile are part of your 2017 business plan, why not consider YBM? You can register to attend for free by clicking here. Alternatively, book your exhibition space here – act now before the event sells out!

Get the best for your business at YBM

Since 2005, Yorkshire Business Market has been a highlight of the calendar for business owners and managers from across Yorkshire. Originally founded as Harrogate Business Market, its aim was to boost trade and encourage those working in the Harrogate district to work together.

Going from strength to strength

However, it quickly became clear that its appeal was not limited by geographical boundaries, and visitors were coming from much further afield.  A change of name reflected the growing reach of the event, and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.

These days, Yorkshire Business Market continues to take place every spring at Pavilions of Harrogate. Its aims and purpose remain the same: to encourage local businesses to collaborate and use each other, for the benefit of everyone involved.

Much more than a one day event

However, YBM is now much more than a one-day event. The contacts made around the aisles lead to long-term projects and partnerships, so YBM has also expanded to be a year-round business organisation.

It brings together the best of Yorkshire’s businesses, across all sectors, to offer advice, support, top tips and much more. Whether you’re just starting out in business and need to know how to get things up and running, you’re taking on your first employee, or you’re looking for new premises as your business expands, YBM is the place to get the best business advice in Yorkshire.

Year round help and support

Thanks to our new website, there’s no need to wait for our business market in April – find the help and support you need on the YBM blog straight away. Then, with your business growing and developing like never before, come and spread the good news at Yorkshire Business Market on Monday 24th April 2017.

Press Release – Business event launched with new start-up focus

The 13th annual Yorkshire Business Market has been launched – and organisers are using the event to boost North Yorkshire’s entrepreneurial fortunes.

Research shows that the county has a much higher than average rate of start-up businesses, as local people seek to establish and grow their own businesses across a wide range of sectors.

In 2017, YBM will aim to support this trend by focusing on the needs of new and developing businesses. A chairman has been appointed to lead the event, which takes place at Pavilions of Harrogate on Monday, April 24, and a new website has been launched.

New chairman Mark Lancaster, who has been involved in YBM for many years through his own business, Colour It In, said: “The statistics for new business creation in North Yorkshire are really impressive.

“We’ve worked with new and growing businesses for many years, so we’re aware of the challenges they face and the help many of them need. Our aim at YBM 2017 is to bring everything together in one place, on one day, to help them become established and grow quickly and easily.”

To meet the needs of growing businesses, YBM 2017 will have a new programme of Micro Seminars. Each 15 minute slot will offer visitors the chance to pick up practical advice about an aspect of business management, from effective social media to human resources.

Meanwhile, the exhibition space will have options for businesses of all sizes, including large stands with space for screens and displays as well as the popular micro-stand package exclusively for new, one- and two-man businesses in their first year of trading.

“The combination of new and established businesses has always proved popular,” added Mark. “Visitors like to have the choice between brands they know they can trust, and newer business people offering bargain rates as they begin to establish themselves.

“The attraction of YBM is still its outstanding value: exhibitors pay among the lowest rates for an event like this, and can make hundreds of valuable contacts in one day, ready to follow up once they get back to the office.”

For more information, visit www.yorkshirebusinessmarket.co.uk

New YBM Website goes live!

The first part of the new website has gone live – make sure you bookmark it!

We will shortly be adding more details of the 2017 Yorkshire Business Market, online stand enquiries, details of seminars and meetings etc.

Countdown to YBM

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