Considering an Apprentice? – Here’s why you should

Considering an Apprentice? – Here’s why you should

Do you think employing an apprentice is too time-consuming and costly? It might be time to think again following reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy.

Small businesses are now able to benefit from increased funding to take on apprentices.

On the 1st May this year the Government introduced changes to the Apprenticeship Levy to make it less complex. It gives employers more control over designing, choosing and paying for apprenticeship training. It aims to double the number of apprenticeships since 2010.

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5 Tips for Managing Negative Social Media

5 Tips for Managing Negative Social Media

The explosion of social media over the past 10 years has been paramount to the success of many brands, as well as offering a fantastic platform for small businesses to connect with their audience on a local and even global level. However, as these are unmoderated spaces, it’s understandable that you might be nervous about customers leaving negative feedback or having to engage in a difficult conversation, in what is a very public arena.

Sometimes it can be difficult, just as having the conversation in person would be equally as challenging. But it is always better to be part of the conversation and have the opportunity to turn it around. If you can handle it well, you may not only save yourself a customer but also prove your character to a much wider audience.

For an independent or local business, customer reviews are key, and customers are likely to leave them across a variety of social media channels. Dealing with them quickly and efficiently is really important, and you shouldn’t let one or two negative experiences mar what can be a fantastic way of connecting with your customers.

Here are our guidelines for how to manage negative feedback on social media: Read more »

Event Planning Check List – 20 Things to consider

Event Planning Check List – 20 Things to consider

Events are a great way to interactively showcase your brand. From sponsorship of an existing or public event, to hosting a company party or seasonal event, there are opportunities to suit every growing business.

Choose from the quirky options of stunt PR and increasingly popular ‘experiential marketing’ (this encourages consumers to connect by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience) through to the familiar with conferences, seminars and networking.

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Tell me a story: how content marketing can boost your brand

Tell me a story: how content marketing can boost your brand

With thousands of businesses vying for readers’ attention, how do you make your small business stand out and get your brand out there?

As marketing guru Seth Godin points out: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.”

Blatant sales spiel simply won’t cut it anymore. In today’s crowded marketplace, creating engaging, authentic content is vital.

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Why does a small business need to invest in search?

Why does a small business need to invest in search?

You may have heard of the term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but what exactly is it? And how can it help your small business?

It’s all about how well you optimise and improve your website so your business can get found by search engines such as Google. There are rules for effective SEO which determine where your website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP). Typically, browsers will choose from the top 5 results so you need to make sure your business is highly ranked to stand a chance of being clicked on.  A 2015 survey published by Relevance (Google & Bing CTR study) revealed that 75% of users didn’t even bother clicking past the 1st page when searching for services using search engines.

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The Virtual Marketing Manager

The Virtual Marketing Manager

What is a Virtual Marketing Manager?

The word ‘virtual’ conjures up futuristic images of virtual reality concepts on computer screens, however in this case it simply refers to a practical Marketing solution for small business owners.

With the number of freelancers on the rise in the UK, outsourcing key functions of a small business is a very cost effective option for today’s entrepreneurs.  But hiring a Virtual Marketing Manager goes a few steps beyond asking a freelancer to simply refresh a logo.
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