…for UK Business Owners who are serious about becoming super-successful




I learnt a long time ago of the importance of
spending the first 90 minutes of my workin...

the Bill to
the Herd
However, when you are in that
position, it effectively means that

I Thought
This Stuff
If you’d asked me before December whether I was good at
following up with my...
t I Knew
At the Convention in September,
Sir Chris Hoy called these things
‘marginal gains’. I don’t care what
name or...

1.4 BILLION Thin
this Year to Grow
Google “growing a business” and you’ll see pages
and pages of sea...
ngs You Could do
w Your Business
to have an AdWords campaign set up and
ready to go live in the event that you get hit
by ...

Thank Crunc
This month’s example of really great marketing
that works isn’t from a big national brand o...
chie it’s Friday
The letter,
complete wit
real Mars Bar
Crunchie Bar
arrived on da
three or four

OVER 50% of
the ...

January 2014 Winner:

Henry Patterson
Not Before Tea
This month’s Entrepreneur of the Month awa...
ith his
Henry w
range of

the press are going to report on
Henry was then given some retail
space in one of S...

Success Story
Roll Call

Another festive season has come and gone and it’s great to see that our member...
Ash says goodbye to his
comfort zone
Speaking in front of people is something
that strikes fear into some of the hardiest ...

Four Auto
Responder Tri
Boost Your Ret

With more and more EC members using Infusionsoft and other CRM syst
i to
Say ant
Assis ntant

Report Card

icks to

tems to put in place long-term
heir marketing funnel,...

If you think you don’t ne
then it’s definitely f

There can’t be many people in or around...
eed this,
for you
Take my own story, for example.
I was a miner then a fire fighter
then I ran a small business in fire
Get ready for the new and improved
14 Days of Love – now called the
Local and Loved Business Awards.
Like to see your busi...

New members
this month…
Congratulations and welcome to the latest group of forward thinking business

A Word from the Experts
Carolyne Wahlen
Gap HR Services
Local Mastermind Member Carolyne formed GAP
HR Servi...
Every month we’ll be asking four experts to share with us a few pearls of wisdom that you can put to
use in your business....

Dealing with
is like tread

When Mastermind Member Carole Aldred n
cash to finance an unmissabl...
h the banks
ding treacle

needed to raise a little extra
portunity, waiting for weeks
Instead she turned to a less
This ju...

A buyer is a buyer,

is a buyer
Many thanks to Inside Track
member Jonathan Coleman
who sent us this email,...

Get your FREE ticket to the Million
Pound Masterplan event 2014
There’s a unique opportunity c...

It ain’t what you
do, it’s the way
that you do it
We all know that if something’s worth...
BGA Directory

There have been a few changes to our BGA
network recently. Here’s a definitive list of
our current BGAs for...

Did you hear the one about
the $2bn sales letter?
The most successful sales
letter of all t...
To show you what I mean, let’s review a
story I wrote for a marketplace that might
be considered a little dry – accountanc...
Ask Nigel
How Do I Answer these Emails?
Ken Fuller

“Many of my incoming emails from potential customers start
‘How much d...
If you’ve got a queston that you’d like answered,
just log on to the members website and ‘Ask Nigel’.

Should I Outsource ...
Your Local M

Topic: Writing your email campaigns for 2014




Thurs 2nd

Central London
Meeting Dates
Topic: Delivering great presentations that sell



Mon 3rd

East Lo...


Oh sh*t – two members in December had the rug metaphorically pulled from under them when the...
Make your notes & action plans here…
Please use this space to map out the things that you’re going to be doing over the ne...
Ec circular january 2014 8.2.14
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Ec circular january 2014 8.2.14

  1. 1. 4 1 0 2 …for UK Business Owners who are serious about becoming super-successful NTH S MO E THI INSID SENDING THE BILL TO THE HERD Page 3 I THOUGHT I KNEW THIS STUFF Page 4 THANK CRUNCHIE IT’S FRIDAY Page 8 EMAIL TRICKS Page 14 UNLOCKING THE WILL TO ACT Page 16 A NEW WAY OF RAISING CASH Page 22 entrepreneurscircle.co.uk TO WIN, MANAGE OR SURVIVE? In a recent Mastermind session, one member was a complete revelation. “I’ve realised that, for the last five years, everything I’ve been doing has just been fiddling around the edges,” she said, “but I now know the things that make a difference and that’s all I spend my time doing.” I recently read a biography of Ronald Reagan. In it, when asked about his reputation for not working as hard or putting in as many hours as other presidents, he is quoted as saying: “There are things that must be done. There are things that can be done. Then there are lots of things that either don’t need to be done or that can’t be done. If you just focus on the first two, you really don’t need long hours.” It strikes me that what Reagan is actually describing there is discernment. In my experience, most people lack the ability to discern what is truly important and what is not. Actually, I’ll take it a stage further – most people are so weak at this that they deal with anything and anyone and everything and everyone at random. It’s proper bonkers. Quote for the month “If you think you can, or you think you can’t you’re probably right” Henry Ford “Who you hang around with matters - a lot” Nigel Botterill Jan 2014 helping businesses grow.'' ''The UK’s largest Membership Organisation dedicated to
  2. 2. TO WIN, MANAGE OR SURVIVE? (CONT) I learnt a long time ago of the importance of spending the first 90 minutes of my working day on the things that are important to me and will make my business more successful. And I’ve said many times before, if you track back the history of my businesses, you’ll find that all our success has, in truth, been built in 90-minute chunks, five days a week. There are hundreds of members in the Entrepreneur’s Circle who know this and who understand it. The majority of them would agree that spending 90 minutes focused on the things that will move the business forward each day is a smart thing to do. Yet there are, in truth, only a few dozen doing this, religiously, every single day. Bonkers. What are you waking up and working on each and every morning? Are you obsessed with the essential success factors and functions that will achieve your big, ballsy 2014 goals or have you spent hours today on the vague and divergent activities, responding to other people’s agendas? Is there clarity or fog? Are you out to win or just manage? Or worse, just survive? As we start a brand new year, many people all across the country will be making resolutions. The majority will be history before January is out. It was actually May, almost 11 years ago when I started my 90-minute habit. If you like, it was a new May resolution, but, well over 10 years on, it’s a habit that is still with me and it’s responsible for almost all of the success I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve in business. Why? Because my daily disciplines have shaped my life. And so it is with you. Whether you consciously map out your day or not, the reality is that it is your habits that shape your destiny. “Some people say I’m very simplistic,” Reagan told his guest, Richard Allen, in the book, ‘Rawhide Down’ (Reagan’s codename with the Secret Service was ‘Rawhide’ and the book focuses a lot on the assassination attempt). things we’re working really hard on with Mastermind this year is helping people to clearly and definitively state their objectives, their targets and their means of measuring success. It ain’t easy. Many business owners don’t have a clue in this regard. In effect, they’re playing what my good friend, Dan Kennedy calls ‘blind archery’. Of course, all this new stuff like social media and new shiny objects and software only compound the problem, but Reagan was right, you know. There is a big difference between being simplistic and keeping things – like running a successful business – simple. In a one-to-one last month, a very high-profile member of the EC, albeit one with only a moderately successful enterprise, was getting so obsessed about the automation of the marketing funnel that they’d completely missed the point that the most sensible and obvious thing to do with the 11 or 12 highly qualified leads they were generating each week was to simply ring them up and embark in the simple act of selling. Simple. Most businesses thrive or suffer based on a very small number of critical factors – they can usually be counted on the fingers of one hand. A ruthless definition of productivity, say, and another of profitability can be used to reject or discard all sorts of ideas, activities, distractions, even people so that focus and focused effort is possible. It’s all pretty simple if you think it through. There’ll be people that you could call today, or send an email to or a piece of direct mail that will result in your cash register ringing. There’s stuff on your to-do list today that’s really, really important and that will play a hugely disproportionate part in determining just how close you come to achieving your goals this year or not and then there’s all the other stuff, the flotsam and the jetsam of modern life. The distractions and detritus of the doomed. So, dear reader, my wish for this New Year for you is that you are conscious throughout – and discerning in the extreme. Deep down you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s up to you to make it so. Have a great month. “But there’s a difference between being simplistic and simple. A lot of things are simple if you think them through. So, keeping that in mind, here is my theory of the Cold War… we win. They lose.” There’s a lot to be said for clarity. Especially since it is an advantage that few seem to have. One of the 02 Nigel.
  3. 3. GENERATING INCOME AT WILL Sending the Bill to the Herd However, when you are in that position, it effectively means that you can generate income at will and a couple of Mastermind members managed to achieve this for themselves just recently. Dominic Jones, who runs Barton Technology renewed his Mastermind membership for the second year in November. “I had the money, and I paid up front,” said Dominic, “but I just had this thought that it would be really good if I could put into practice what I’ve heard Nigel talk about so often. Could I ‘send the bill to the herd?’” What Dominic did was write a fairly short email to 12 of his best customers inviting them to join his own Mastermind group for the bargain price of £3,000. Within two days, five of them had signed up – and paid the money. “It was a great feeling,” said Dominic, “and I realised, for the first time, that I really am in the position now to generate income at will.” When Dominic told his colleagues in the Mastermind group about what he had done, over If you’ve been around the Circle for a little while, you might have heard me use the phrase “sending the bill to the herd”. It’s not offensive in any way but it refers to passing on the cost of anything in your business to your customers – which you can only do when you have a strong relationship with them and you’re offering them something of real value. dinner the night before their Member session, fellow member, James Wilson, was hugely perturbed. “I was really cross with myself that I hadn’t thought of this,” explained James, “so that night, when I got back to my hotel room, I too wrote an email, which I sent out the next morning to some carefully selected customers of my own. Hey presto, I’ve been able to do exactly the same as Dominic.” There’s no doubt that having the ability to generate revenue and cash like this is huge for any business owner and it all stems from how you think and the questions you ask yourself. It doesn’t have to be about funding a place in Mastermind – it could be sorting out a tax bill, buying a new car or paying for an extra member of staff. The truth is, in most businesses, if you’re getting the basics right and doing the right things, then you’ll be forging relationships with your customers, which will enable you to offer something of appropriate value to them and for which, in return, they’ll put money in your account. It is truly a wonderful thing. 03
  4. 4. BIG LESSON OF THE MONTH I Thought This Stuff If you’d asked me before December whether I was good at following up with my customers I would have said, “Yes.” Indeed, if you’d really put me on the spot, I would have said we were at least a nine out of 10 at this. We were very good. Or so I thought… A long story short, but the week before the 2014 Mastermind Group, we were all set to kick off with a big weekend summit for all 50+ members and we had one guy drop out. It was for very good reasons and I completely understood his decision but it did leave me one member short and that’s a reasonable chunk of revenue. Nevertheless, on the Monday afternoon when he told me, I simply shrugged my shoulders, figured that there was nothing I could do about it and carried on my daily business. The following morning, I was midway through my 90 minutes when a thought struck me. I stopped the work I was doing and instead drafted a very hastily written email to members explaining that we’d had this dropout of Mastermind and that there was an opportunity for one person to come into the Group. Within four hours, we had seven applications. I was genuinely stunned. 04 It was only six weeks after we had offered and marketed the 2014 Mastermind programme, so it’s not as if these people hadn’t known about it or hadn’t had the chance to buy recently. And that was the big lesson for me: that people buy when they are ready – not necessarily when you’re doing the selling. What I think this shows is the importance of keeping in touch with and regularly reminding our customers of what we do and how we can help them. It’s arguably the single most important thing for any marketer. It’s certainly getting a place much higher up the agenda in my 90 minutes going forward. Every business has leads sat somewhere that, if reignited or communicated with today could generate a conversation that leads to a sale. But across the country, business owners have dismissed these leads as old, dead or dormant. Worse still, they’ve simply just forgotten about them – like the guy at the NEC who I wrote about in the lead article last month.
  5. 5. t I Knew ff… At the Convention in September, Sir Chris Hoy called these things ‘marginal gains’. I don’t care what name or badge you put on them but my eyes were opened massively by this incident in my business and I’ve resolved not to let it happen again. I hope this note does the same for you. Before you turn the page, just have a think about the short two to threeparagraph email that you could write in 20 minutes and send out today or tomorrow that would bring in some sales that you otherwise wouldn’t get. That’s the power of follow-up. What’s stopping you? 05
  6. 6. CREASER’S BIG COLUMN 1.4 BILLION Thin this Year to Grow Google “growing a business” and you’ll see pages and pages of search results. It would take you a while to read through them, but Mark Creaser saves you the trouble with this neat digest. There is no shortage of people queuing up to tell you how you can grow your business. There are thousands of books, hundreds of events and business coaches in every town vying for your custom. The fact is though, there are only three ways to increase your business. Only three. And you don’t even need to do all three to grow – just get one right and you can’t go wrong. A full 68% of business owners couldn’t answer the following questions. Can you? How many customers have you got? How many people spent money with you last year? What’s your average sale value (before you tell me that it’s different for every sale, remind yourself of what ‘average’ means)? Three Ways To Grow Your Business: How often do your customers buy from you? How many purchases do they make in a lifetime? What’s the gap between one purchase and the next? #1 Get more customers #2 Increase your average sale value #3 Increase how often your customers return to buy again Knowing and understanding your numbers is a great starting point for growing your business and yes, I made the 68% statistic up, but experience suggests that I won’t be far wrong. I know you’re on the edge of your seat, so I’ll spill the beans… I bet you’ve heard these before. I bet that you knew them already, but I’d wager that you haven’t given much thinking time to how you can do them… I’ll go through each of the three magical business growth secrets one by one. 1) Get more customers It is seems obvious – because it is. There’s no mystery here, no secret formula. If you find more customers in 2014 than you had in 2013, you’re odds on for a more successful year. Here are four ways you can get more customers… Make sure that people looking for you can find you. If someone’s looking for what you’ve got, then you need to be sure that they’re able to find you. In most markets, that means showing up in style when a prospect does a Google search for something related to what you do. You need to be on page one. It doesn’t really matter whether you achieve it through SEO or AdWords. If it’s SEO that you’re relying on to bring you new customers, you’d be smart ...there are only three ways to increase your business. Only three. And you don’t even need to do all three to grow – just get one right and you can’t go wrong. 06
  7. 7. ngs You Could do w Your Business to have an AdWords campaign set up and ready to go live in the event that you get hit by Google’s next algorithm change – if you were unaffected by the Panda and Penguin updates over the last couple of years, maybe you won’t be so lucky with Parrot or Panther or Poison Dart Frog. Make sure that people who’ve got a problem you can solve know that you exist This one means spending some time understanding your market. Who are your customers? What is the common problem that they have that you provide a solution for? Where can you find more people who’ve got that problem – even if they’re not looking for a solution right now? How can you promote your business effectively to people who need you? Where do they live? Can you write to them? What do they read? Can you advertise to them? What else do they buy? Can you tie up with another business they’re already buying from? Make sure you’re not losing as many customers as you find Not every business is a ‘pay monthly by direct debit’ business like the Entrepreneur’s Circle, sure, but there are very few businesses that genuinely only transact once with each customer. Whether you typically do business weekly, monthly or just every few years with each customer, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep the customers you’ve already won. It’s almost always cheaper and easier to keep a customer than it is to go out and find a new one. Keeping in touch is key here – it doesn’t matter how happy they were the first time they bought from you if they’ve forgotten who you were and what your number is the next time they need to buy – they’ll be straight back to Google. A regular printed newsletter can play a big part in a long-term keep-in-touch campaign. Make sure you ask your customers for referrals Where are you going to find people who are just like your best customers? Why not ask them? Referral programmes can help to build your business automatically – if you do them well. 2) Increase your average sale value First up – price. Lots of Entrepreneur’s Circle members find that they once were nervous about pushing their prices up. They think they’re going to lose customers and break the whole business. But they cross their fingers and implement a price increase anyway, then wait for the angry backlash. It never comes. Driving up prices is the easiest way to increase the value of your average sale. If you haven’t done it for a while, there’s no better time than next week. Honestly. Up Selling “Do you want fries with that?” is a great upsell question. Offering a bigger, better, higher end alternative to your standard product or service can mean a significant uplift in transaction value. And here’s the thing: if you get the upsell right – and price it appropriately – you’ll make as much profit on the upsell as you do on the whole of the original sale. Nice. What’s in your ‘Platinum Package?’ Cross Selling Rarely confused with cross-dressing, cross selling is all about dreaming up identifying new products and services that you could offer your customers, that are usually related to your core product or service. 3) Increase how often your customers return to buy again miss you” customer reactivation letter often produces eye-watering returns. Make them a limited-time offer that’s exclusively available to past customers. If you’ve got the data, make it as relevant to them as you can by looking at previous purchases – what did they buy, how much did they spend. Use that information to your advantage. Offer a Pay Monthly Package Naked Wines is my favourite example of this. There are lots of places to buy wine so Naked Wines needs to work hard to stay top of mind. They achieve this – and more – with their ‘become an Angel’ programme – and it’s worth spending seven minutes just looking carefully at what they do (after you’ve finished reading the Circular – obvs!). Whatever you’re selling, if you can design a package where your customers pay you every month automatically, you’re on course to increase how often your customers buy from you. Reward Customer Loyalty Customer loyalty programmes work. Look at Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage, Airmiles, even Subway, Starbucks and Costa. You don’t need to give your customers another card but you know how you feel when you see a great offer and then it turns out that it’s only for new customers? That’s the opposite of what you want to achieve here. Make your existing customers feel special. Make them feel valued. Recognise their loyalty. Do a good job of this and you’ll be less likely to lose them AND they’ll come back to you more often. Love you. Reactivate Past Customers Whether or not you’ve done a fantastic job of keeping in touch with your customers, a “we 07
  8. 8. MARKETING LESSONS Thank Crunc This month’s example of really great marketing that works isn’t from a big national brand or a FTSE 100 company. Instead, it’s coming from much nearer to home in the form of Inside Track member, Jacqui Frost who runs The Office Genie, a call answering and VA business. Jacqui sent out the letter that you can see on the opposite page to her existing clients that she knew either received voicemails over the weekend or were open on Saturdays. “We send an email out two days ahead of the letter,” says Jacqui, “and we followed EC recommendations of resending the email to those that haven’t opened it but using a different subject line on the second send.” The letter, complete with real Mars Bar and Crunchie Bar arrived on day three or four. “The results stunned us,” explained Jacqui. “To date, 52% of the people that received the chocolate letter have signed up to our Saturday service and they all contacted us within a week of receiving the letter. Further follow ups have revealed that a number of other recipients are currently considering adding the service to their package. It’s been brilliant. “We would never have considered doing something like this before joining the Entrepreneur’s Circle and I’m so grateful that you encouraged us to think outside the box. Having had such a lot of success with this campaign, we’re now exploring other direct mail pieces and I’m keen to run them more regularly going forward.” 08 Jacqui It’s a great letter for two reasons. Firstly, the chocolate is a real easy way to get people’s attention and make it stand out from the crowd. Jacqui has built on this with a nicely laid out piece, which includes a strong offer and a deadline. The second reason it’s worked so well is because of who it was sent to. Jacqui’s used this to increase the spend from existing customers – people who already know her, trust her and have confidence in her – and it is typically much, much easier to utilise direct mail efficiently to get additional sales from your existing customer base. This might not be as sexy as some of the pieces that have been shown on these pages but we don’t think we’ve ever had a marketing piece before in which over 50% of the recipients have actually signed up for the product – and that’s why it’s showcased here. It’s wonderfully simple – but also wonderfully powerful and in that regard it ought to serve as a very useful prompt for you. Who could you send a couple of fun-sized chocolate bars to with a short, focused message that would generate some additional sales?
  9. 9. chie it’s Friday The letter, h complete wit and real Mars Bar Crunchie Bar y arrived on da three or four OVER 50% of the recipients have actually signed up for the product To date, 5 2% of the peop le that received th chocolate e le have sign tter ed up to our Sa turday service 09
  10. 10. ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH January 2014 Winner: Henry Patterson Not Before Tea This month’s Entrepreneur of the Month award goes to nine-year-old Henry Patterson, whose edible Mud & Worms have captured the imagination of everybody from politicians and senior figures at Sainsbury’s to legendary Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave and Innocent Smoothies founder Jon Wright. Becky We spoke to his mother, Becky to get the full story behind his amazing journey and find out how he plans to be like ‘Alan Sugar but happier’. It all started when I set up my sweet shop, Sherbet Pip, which sells nostalgic sweets. afterwards and he sold them with dental stickers – to keep the parents happy. He really had all bases covered. I recognised that, every time adults talked about sweets, they thought back to when they were children. Plus I always had a secret desire to go into retail (having been in PR prior to this). He decided to call his page on the site ‘Not Before Tea’ – after what his gran says to him when he asks for sweets. While working on my product range, Henry asked me what I was doing for children. I explained that it was a sweet shop for adults who wanted to be children as opposed to products for children. However, I told him to come up with some ideas and, if they were good enough, I’d think about a children’s page. This isn’t the first time Henry has embarked on a business venture. In fact, this is his third. When he was six, he started selling horse manure outside our house after he saw some for sale at a garden centre and realised that we had loads at home. Our neighbours were also doing it so he undercut their price. Then, a little while later, he created a niche market for selling his old toys. For example, he noticed that there wasn’t a farming Power Ranger so he sold his Power Rangers bundled with a tractor. A few days after our talk, he came back with six jars of sweets – one of which was Mud & Worms. I told him that I didn’t think it would sell as it was brown and looked unappealing but he was adamant that kids would love it. And he was right. Packaged with the sweets, he included a pen so that kids could decorate the jars 10 Next he designed a logo – Pip the Mouse – and even wrote a book about it. So, once we had a name, a brand and a product, I did press releases for both businesses, sent them out – and everybody pretty much ignored mine and went straight for Henry’s. Once the word was out, Not Before Tea really captured people’s imagination. The Daily Mail called us for an exclusive interview and the story was picked up by Yahoo News, The BBC, The Independent, The Times and the New York Times. Unfortunately, this is when we started to get our first bits of negative press. People online didn’t believe that it was all Henry’s idea and started to say some really quite nasty things. But, true to form, this didn’t put him off. In fact, Henry got really annoyed and asked to do a live BBC radio interview. He wanted to show people that it was all down to him and was very much his venture. Henry’s someone who naturally knows what to say and covers the key points. For example, at awards ceremonies he might be asked the same question 20 times in a single day but always tells the answer like it’s the first time. He’s very confident but also humble – I think he’s a little shocked to be in the position he’s in but he takes it all in his stride. And he needs to because we’ve been invited to so many awards and events over the past six months. Among them was visit to the Bedford Chamber of Commerce, where Henry was presented with a plaque and given lifetime membership. This was an amazing honour. However, when asked what his best moment in business has been so far, Henry will say the evening in September when he attended The Great British Entrepreneur Awards. In fact, Henry says it was the best day of his entire life! We met lots of politicians and business figures and it was obvious that Henry was in his element. From the moment he arrived, he worked the room like he’d been doing it for years. One of the big highlights was when Sir Steve Redgrave recognised him and asked for a photo. Henry had done so much press for the awards and, being the youngest nominee, had become almost the unofficial face of the event. The night was topped off by him being given a special One to Watch award and being asked to speak. None of the other business owners were asked to say anything so I was a little nervous about what Henry was going to say and how he was going to handle it, especially as it came as a total surprise. He stood up and said that the government is not doing enough to help young entrepreneurs and business people. We’re still waiting to hear what
  11. 11. ith his Henry w sweets range of the press are going to report on this! Henry was then given some retail space in one of Start-up Britain’s PopUp shops – an initiative that gives start-ups the chance to get their products onto the high street. This was a fantastic experience and he got loads of great customer feedback, the type of which you just don’t get online. It was the perfect way to see how his product would sell in a shop – and we sold out of Mud & Worms. Soon after, Henry was invited to pitch to Sainsbury’s alongside nine other startups, chosen from 2,000. To be honest, we weren’t really prepared for the scale of it all and knew we wouldn’t be chosen but, again, we got some great feedback, mostly about our packaging and the door has been left open. Jon Wright, one of the founders of Innocent Smoothies was also there and that was a big thrill for Henry to meet such an inspirational entrepreneur. Something else that came from the meeting was their advice that he should publish his story book so he’s planning to self publish in February. a Doodle Pod, which lets children decorate fabrics. When deciding what to do next, he’s interviewed his grandparents to find out about what they used to do for fun. There’s not a computer in sight and it’s all very traditional. Finally, earlier this month, Henry went to Waterstones to find a hands-on kids book on running a business but couldn’t find any. He looked at me, smiled and said: ‘You know what that means, don’t you.’ So, his second book is already well underway. He’s planned the questions he wants to ask (he’d like to interview Nigel, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Peter Jones) and can’t wait to share his own advice on how young people can go about starting a business. Henry learns a lot from established entrepreneurs and when asked who he wants to be like, he always answers ‘Alan Sugar but happier’. He’s also a big fan of David Walliams and loves anybody who can capture the imagination. I think he’s done just that so far. you! It could be We are always on the hunt for the next Entrepreneur of the Month winner and as ‘the voice of the balls’ says... IT COULD BE YOU! To enter yourself (or to nominate another member) simply send an email to me at nigel@nigelbotterill.com telling me what you have done in your business that makes you worthy of this prestigious prize. It also inspired him to expand the range. He’s currently working on a range of baking products, biscuit tins and something called 011
  12. 12. INSPIRING STORIES Success Story Roll Call Another festive season has come and gone and it’s great to see that our members are ending 2013 with a bang and hitting the ground running as we head into 2014. Our very own success detective and resident copywriter, Mark Toon has compiled the finest success stories from across the EC. To see them all, check out www.nigelbotterill.com/success This month, as well as the latest Success Story Roll Call, we’ve picked out a fantastic four of the best stories to showcase in more detail. Enjoy! Mitch Lloyd – Petra Jewellery Howard Wing – Howard Wing Lee Callender – Mail Magic Mark Rose – Boosh 365 Mike Pattle - thebestofExeter Albert Rockhill – All Colour Envelopes Ltd Marc Wileman – Sublime Science Lorraine Ashover – Minerva John Arko – FinderMonkey Stephen Hargreaves – The Cranleigh Boutique Jamie Reeves – The Best Singing Waiters Ian Redding – Buckingham Ford James Sheard – The Accountancy People Matthew Lord – LDL Imogen Edmunds – Redwing Solutions Marie Cross – First Impression Training New ways of thinking quadruple Ben’s turnover Having joined the EC in May, Ben Wheeler’s focus on building customer relationships, knowing his numbers, and implementation has seen some truly dramatic increases in turnover for his company, Beach Software. Having created a one-man business, Ben knew he needed to take on more staff to grow Beach Software, as it was fundamentally limited by his time constraints. After his first EC meeting, Ben was so struck by what he saw and heard that he joined as a full member that day and ordered his tickets to the Convention the next. Since, Ben has committed to direct mail and email campaigns, as well as exploring the huge potential of telesales and social media. Ben’s new way of thinking has led to huge increases in turnover for Beach, having gone from a £5k a month business to a £20k a month business in just nine months. A commitment to learning and implementing has skyrocketed Beach Software’s income, potential and goals, and is a great example of the power of dedication and ambition. Congratulations, Ben on some super results in a short period of time. Ben Wheeler – Beach Software The personal touch is worth £10,000 to Derek Everyone should know that personalised direct mail is one of the best ways to get your customers’ attention, and an understanding of the importance of relationships has landed Derek contracts worth a cool £10,000. It had been a while since Derek had met face to face with a couple of particular customers, so a lunchtime meeting would be a great opportunity to catch up and talk shop. Rather than sending out bland emails to suggest a business lunch, Derek posted specially designed invitations in large silver envelopes with handwritten addresses ¬– the extra cost and time in doing this was negligible, but the result was brilliant. Derek’s customers appreciated the personal touch and were happy to accept. The good feeling this created carried on into the lunch, and after a productive tête-à-tête, Super Structure Associates walked away with contracts worth £10,000. Derek Mason – Super Structure Associates 12
  13. 13. Ash says goodbye to his comfort zone Speaking in front of people is something that strikes fear into some of the hardiest souls, but embracing such an opportunity and demonstrating the power of following up your leads has lead to a huge upturn in sales for Ash. Ash faced his first speaking event in front of 235 fellow tennis coaches recently and, despite his nerves before the event, he did a great job and created some real interest in his services. Picking up 21 solid leads from his presentation, Ash knew that the only way to turn these prospects into customers was to commit to effective follow-up. A short email campaign later and he had converted over a third of his leads into sales, selling eight coaching packages worth a considerable £545 each. AS SEEN IN THE VAULT Afraid you might have missed out on some great EC content? Maybe you just want to refresh your memory and take another look at some of the most practical tools the EC team have ever produced. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Once again, As Seen in The Vault delves deep into the vast EC archives, has a good root around amongst the shelves and emerges clutching some of the most useful, practical and inspiring nuggets from days gone by. Secrets of Writing KILLER COPY that Really Sells Webinar As if that wasn’t enough, Ash has also been asked to present again next year (for a fee this time) and also managed to pick up a day of consulting work. Ash has combined the confidence to expand his abilities into new areas with a great understanding of the need for efficient follow up – great stuff, well done, Ash. Ash Taylor – Ash Taylor Tennis Quick thinking turns disaster into success There is little more valuable in the business world than the ability to turn a seemingly unavoidable disaster into a resounding success. And Thomas Bower recently sent us a great example of such an occasion. When Thomas was contacted by a customer during a delivery and told a very large order was to be cancelled, he could have insisted on making the delivery anyway. Instead, a bit of creativity and some very quick thinking allowed Thomas to turn a big problem into a profitable opportunity. Delivering a quality product or service is one thing, but to sell, you need the right marketing, and that’s why understanding the difference between good, average and flawed sales copy is fundamental to your role as a business owner. Join Nigel and Mark for this latest webinar as they show you how to use good copy in order to get your phone – and till – ringing! Find it in the ‘Webinar’ section of The Vault Where Did All The Money Go? Webinar The boxes of unwanted food were split into four smaller ‘taster packs’ and delivered to prospective customers in the local area. Within an hour, one prospect had rung enquiring about catering for a buffet and, with a little follow up, Thomas secured two new customers worth an average of £6,000 a year each. We all hit unexpected hurdles in business but it’s worth remembering that it’s how you react to those obstacles that counts. What a fantastic way to turn a £45 buffet into £12,000 worth of new custom – well done, Thomas. Thomas Bower – Thomas the Caterer Join Nigel and special guest Wayne Burgan as they show you how keeping track of the numbers is essential in making your business a success not a statistic! In this webinar you will learn about the importance of bookkeeping and accounting and how vital it is to have a good grasp of your numbers to effectively grow your business. Find it in the ‘Webinar’ section of The Vault 13
  14. 14. EMAIL TRICKS Four Auto Responder Tri Boost Your Ret With more and more EC members using Infusionsoft and other CRM syst auto responder campaigns in order to keep in touch with the people in th I’d share with you four neat little tricks that are having very positive impac Auto Responder Trick 1 Auto Responder Trick 2 Auto Responder Trick 3 Auto Responder Trick 4 With Infusionsoft we can see that some people open up our auto responder emails more than once. Some of them open them as much as six or seven times. This is a definite indicator of interest and the people who open up emails three or more times are the hotter prospects and the ones who get to the top of the list to call. It’s okay to repeat the same email in an auto responder series eight or nine months after it first went out – providing you use a different subject line. Our experience is that this doesn’t give us any issues with unsubscribes and the truth is, people don’t remember that they’ve seen it before. When it’s a worthwhile value-led message, there’s no harm at all in repeating with this kind of frequency. On some of our marketing funnels, we put part 1 of the message in the email and then a ‘click here to continue reading’ link at the bottom which drives people to a website. We will often send the same email twice. The first time early morning on Day 1 and the second time in mid-afternoon on Day 2. What we often see is a 40% plus increase in open rates with not a huge amount of overlap. The truth is people are busy, inboxes move at a swift pace and this has been a really effective way for us to get our message across more frequently. 14 What we’re seeing is that the people who click through to the second part of the message are more valuable prospects – if you think about it, it’s an indication of their interest – and that enables us to narrow our follow-up focus to fewer, higher quality people.
  15. 15. our i to H Say ant t Assis ntant u Acco Report Card icks to turns tems to put in place long-term heir marketing funnel, I thought cts here at Botty Towers. Of course, for these tricks to work you need to have an auto responder campaign in place… you do have one don’t you? Just last month we sold a franchise to someone who first enquired over three years ago. A quick look at Infusion shows me that they have received 187 emails from me between their first lead coming in and their five-figure purchase. Well worth the effort. Once again, it’s time to get up close and personal with one of the EC team. This month, it’s the turn of Assistant Accountant, Lucy Boulton. Lucy works closely with Finance Director, Helen Sharkey and the rest of the team to ensure that all of the EC’s finances are correct and up to date at all times. No pressure, Lucy. Boulton, Lucy from Tipton D.O.B 6.8.1989 What did you do before joining the EC? I spent three years as a trainee accountant working in an accountancy practice (where I got my AAT qualification) on year-end and management accounts for sole-traders and small to medium sized businesses. I then moved to a drinks wholesaler where I ran the whole accounts function, from credit control and wages right up to management accounting and forecast reporting for the Director. What do you enjoy about working here? I love learning new things every day. In the accounts team we’re always trying to see if there’s a better way to achieve something, we bounce ideas off each other and try them out to see if they’re more efficient. I’m a numbers girl but I have a creative side too so listening to new suggestions on how we can better support our members really interests me. Another great thing about working within the EC is definitely attending the events. My first event was the National Entrepreneur’s Convention and I loved connecting with all the people and discovering more about their businesses. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Outside of work I’m a real foodie so I grow lots of vegetables and herbs in our garden and love to cook with home-grown produce. I’ll be making lots of jams and chutneys this year from our fruit trees and vegetable patch. I also like to go for city breaks in the UK for weekends away but when I’m at home I’m usually curled up with a good crime fiction book. 15
  16. 16. UNLOCKING THE WILL TO ACT If you think you don’t ne then it’s definitely f Terry There can’t be many people in or around the EC who haven’t, by now heard about Terry Gormley’s fascinating Unlocking the Will to Act courses. We’ve yet to meet anybody who has been on one that hasn’t changed their behaviour and results – in business and in their daily lives – for the better. Here’s Terry to explain more about the course and why, if you think you don’t need it, you definitely do... No matter how much great content there is, there will always be too many business owners not implementing it. There’s often a block between what they want to do and what they actually do. That’s what the Will to Act is about. It’s about unlocking the secrets to why people aren’t doing the things that will benefit them. For example, in my experience as far as the Circle is concerned, many more people could – and should – be doing their 90 minutes every day. It’s about behavior change at an unconscious level. The thing is, people behave on autopilot without thinking through what they’re doing. They don’t plan, they don’t execute and they procrastinate. Doing this means that their business will remain the same year after year and this leads them to get angry and frustrated because they’re not getting what they want. In short, they’re not in control. I’ve talked to Nigel a lot over the years, often about why people don’t do the things that are good for them and their businesses and we realised that we were both really passionate about helping them. However, it’s difficult to put a label on what I do simply because what applies to one person rarely applies to another. It’s about unlocking what gets the job done for each individual. We want people to look at themselves in a way that they don’t in any other kind of training. Over the years, I’ve worked with drug addicts, sportspeople, people who have stopped drinking and people who have lost weight. These are just effects. We work hard to make them aware of the reasons they’re not doing things that help them to achieve their goals. Some have family blocks, some people are in the wrong businesses but they keep doing the same things every day and expecting different results. The thing is, whatever the industry and whatever background people are from, it works for everybody because we’re all human and all have self-imposed limits. People are worried about being uncomfortable. That’s the secret to everything I address in Unlocking the Will to Act. I teach them how to feel the fear but do it anyway. Throughout the course, people pick all these things up. I create an amazing atmosphere where people feel comfortable and can open up, which enables them to do different things. The bottom line is, if you can change the attitudes and the core elements within people then you can change everything else externally. Nobody recognises the blocks that affect them and most people think they’re alright. During the courses, I use behavioural change techniques and language and pay attention to people’s unconscious movements, how they breathe etc. I then use the tools and resources I’ve built up over 10 years to help them change and clear up the behaviours that have been holding them back. The thing is, you can only help people to change when they’re willing to change.
  17. 17. eed this, for you Take my own story, for example. I was a miner then a fire fighter then I ran a small business in fire safety on my days off. I went on what I thought was an eight-day communications course to help me to sell more stuff and it changed my life, mainly because how you communicate with yourself is just as important as the way in which you communicate with other people. You get what you focus on. Ask most people how they’re doing and they’ll say “not bad” or something similar. But if you understand the mind, you’ll know that it doesn’t pick up negation. What these people are telling themselves is that they are bad every single day. They focus on the negatives in life. My fire safety business was doing okay in its first year – I was turning over around £60k. But I went on this course and when I came back I made £10k in the next four or five days and it was all down to the way I was communicating with my self. Now, over 10 years later, I have the UK’s leading fire safety training company amongst the other things in my portfolio. Here’s the thing that business owners don’t realise: for things to change for them things have to change in them. On this course, people discover advanced thinking and behaviour techniques and the tools that build rapport with others. But they need to address them because people’s lives don’t change unless they change their thinking and their behaviour. Basically, what I’m saying is if you are sat reading this article and you are saying to yourself that you don’t need this course, then my experience tells me it’s definitely for you. For more info on Terry’s coaching courses, call our team on 0121 765 5551. I was wanting to find clarity on what was stopping me from doing the things I knew I should be doing. My business was growing massively but I knew it could do more. The change for me didn’t occur in one single moment on the course, rather my thinking has changed as a result of the Convention and following up with Terry’s course. There are key messages from the Convention that I thought about more while on the course. The conclusion I came to was as a consequence of thinking more about things afterwards. While at the convention, a number of things really resonated with me so I got to thinking about why this was the case. My big take away from the course was that it made me realise that I was messing around at the edges of my business, which was making things five or 10 percent better but what I really wanted to do was make it 10 times better. I soon came to the conclusion that I was getting distracted because what I had planned wasn’t actually challenging enough. I was getting bored. Hazel Edwards, Container Team I’ve had the great pleasure of being mentored by Terry and this has had a dramatic impact on me and our business. Having implemented a lot of the techniques, which we’ve learned though the EC, I realised that there was still a barrier, which was preventing significant growth – and that barrier was my own thinking. There is a huge difference between knowing something and actually doing it. I was that barrier and thinking differently has changed our results. Being a small family business, I lived in fear of making the wrong decisions and the impact they might have on our business and our family and so I placed an artificial impediment to growth. However, learning to act in spite of that fear, as well as getting used to being outside my comfort zone has made all the difference. In fact I now describe it as being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have some words from Terry, which sit at the side of my desk and I see every day: “If you don’t ask for more, then Chloe and Olivia [my granddaughters] will not get more” and “If you let pride get in the way of what’s best for your family then you’re an idiot. David Browne, The Scottish Shutter Company The main thing I took away from the course was a better understanding of why things haven’t worked quite as I’d hoped in my business this year. It helped me to address some issues in my own head that were restricting my business from moving forward. When you’re in the environment that Terry creates, it makes you think differently. For example, there was something called ‘map versus territory’ – which I’d never heard of – that went a long way to explaining why I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing. Basically, I was trying to make it from A to B but using somebody else’s map, not my own. A lot of things were addressed at a personal level too. There was so much to think about but the key thing was working out why I’d been so unhappy throughout much of 2013. To have a business that you’ve been running for three years suddenly go downhill is a big thing, particularly when you don’t know why. Now I do. It made me address issues in a more logical way. It’s let me move beyond issues – some of which had been holding me back since childhood – and see things much more clearly from a business point of view. Paul Cox, Spinless Plates On the first day of the course, all I could say was ‘I don’t know why I’m here but something made me come’. I was interested in seeing where it would lead me. What I got out of it was a lot different to what I envisaged. I was very aware that I had gotten into bad habits – I can procrastinate for England – and I just wanted to understand why I wasn’t doing the things I knew I should’ve been. Terry steers you away from what you think the problem is and gets to the bottom of what it actually is. I think, for many in the room, the problem they needed to overcome turned out to be completely different to the one they thought. For me, it was about clarity. On the first day, I decided that I had three of four separate issues but Terry gets you to realise that they’re not separate at all. They’re all part of the same issue. He gets you to think about your goals, what’s important and how negative behaviours stop you achieving what you want. Every day since, I’ve done my 90 minutes – although not at the same time as before because that wasn’t working. Instead I’ve worked out what’s best for me. Sian Nisbett, Dizzy Ducks Day Nurseries Ltd 17
  18. 18. Get ready for the new and improved 14 Days of Love – now called the Local and Loved Business Awards. Like to see your business crowned one of the most loved in the UK? Loved and Local 2014 is your chance to be recognised for your excellent service and to prove to potential customers out there that you truly are the best in town! It’s also an opportunity for everybody to show their appreciation for the hard work that local businesses do to maintain local pride and help grow local economies. Now in its 5th year, the campaign is designed to raise the profile and awareness of local businesses and prove that community spirit and engagement can make a real positive impact on towns across the country. The campaign sees shoppers in towns across the UK voting to decide which local business will be crowned the best loved in their area, category or even in the whole of the UK. To help support the campaign, thebestof will be promoting it nationally through e-shots and social media and we’ve produced special marketing packs, which will help to get customers involved and give businesses an even better chance of scoring some great PR and building their reputation in their local area. Not only this but to encourage customers to leave a review, thebestof will also be holding a prize draw every day from 1st to 14th February, with each reviewer in with the chance to win a daily cash prize to be spent with a local thebestof member. What now? If you want to enter the awards and get your business recognised as one of the most loved in the UK, then contact your local thebestof of franchisee for a marketing pack, containing banners, postcards, flyers, flags, posters, bunting and artwork to put on your website. Campaign winners will be announced on February 16th.
  19. 19. A WARM WELCOME TO… New members this month… Congratulations and welcome to the latest group of forward thinking business owners that joined the Circle last month. You’ve made a smart decision! Make sure you make the most of your membership by booking on to our upcoming events (both national AND local), delving deep into the super useful content in The Vault on the member’s website and taking those nuggets to implement from the monthly Circulars. It’s great to have you on board as part of the gang. Here are the new members who joined in the last month: Chris Smith Sophie Prowse Charles Holdsworth Hunt Tom Ronan Tim Tandler Felicia Basi Derek West Richard Ingate Craig Jackson Angela Belassie Michael Trewin Chris Hall Martin Johnson Robert Caswell Paul Mooney Michael Wilson Pete Cann Steve Holt Gisa Ellis Darren Platts Cat Swatridge John Wright Suzanne Higham Jon Kemp Ben Lovegrove Jude Deeks Sarah Calder Maria Blanchard Dennis Wilson Kenneth Grannell Sally Wilson John Murray David Sole Mark Powell Tim Baldwin Joe Hinchliffe Martyn Carey Lise Hardiman Richard Curtis Divian Mistry Deborah Kerr Clive Williams Simon Webster Steve Thurgood Peter Amor Mark Egan Serhat Akca Patricia Niland Darren Platts Adam Gray Richard Curtis Anice McNamee Amanda Weller David Shaw Gareth Davies Igor Dalavourok Mark Potter Posy Brewer Richard Kirstein Ian Spiller Louise Deeley Stephen Cantor Lucy Bainbridge Elisa Norton Miklos Varga Derek Boxall Patrick Poku David Rix Cate Adamson Jerry Jariwalla Sarah Rugg Ian Read Paul Keogh John Orr Laura Mussell Olive Segre Gavin Flaxman Vivienne Logan-Reid David Feast Adam Buttery Mariette Jansen Cherie Plaice Ann Prax Lindsey Wright Amy Somerville Nicky Ansty It’s been over three years since we launched the Entrepreneur’s Circle and we’ve learned a lot since then. We’re always on the lookout for ways to make the Circle even more valuable for you, and that’s why we’re going to be making some big changes over the next few weeks and months. We don’t want to spoil the surprise (hence this little tease!) but you’ll be the first to know when we’ve got something to share. Rest assured, we’re working hard to make the EC more useful and more practical than ever, and we can’t wait to tell you what’s coming up!
  20. 20. THE FAB FOUR A Word from the Experts Carolyne Wahlen Gap HR Services Local Mastermind Member Carolyne formed GAP HR Services with the aim of helping employers deal effectively with staff issues. She also has a niche offering for golf clubs and has been a member of the EC since 2010. From zero to hero – Ed Pearson Head of Member Services for the EC They were surprised he wasn’t a lot taller when they finally met this powerhouse of business guruship... Hang on, that’s another article. Ed’s wide and varied background in business mean he’s the perfect guy to take a magnifying glass to history and use his crystal ball to determine a strategy for the year ahead. the reality of zero hours contracts Rediscovering Risk Are you one of those evil employers that the media have been bashing throughout the summer? Remember when you first took that scary step to set up in business? Have you ever looked back and thought about the huge risks that you took? The decisions you made that, looking back, seem a little bonkers? Are you using zero hours contracts to exploit workers? Of course you’re not. However, if you’ve caught even a glimpse of the media during the ‘silly season’ you might be wondering why you’re being treated like you’re sending children up chimneys. Essentially a zero hour contract is simply a contract of employment, much like any other. It provides a written account of the terms and conditions of employment and makes provisions for an on-call arrangement between the employer and employee. There is no obligation for the employer to offer work and nor is the employee required to accept the work offered; they do however have to agree to be ‘available for work as and when required’ and will be paid only for the hours they do work. Use of these contracts is flourishing as they minimise the risk of taking on new staff to meet demand as and when required. However it is worth considering that using zero hour contracts is not good if you are trying to build a team that works well together, and a cohesive team will naturally deliver better results. Zero hours contracts can lead to lower morale and less commitment from staff that see less commitment from you! It is also a double edged sword; while you can be flexible on the hours you offer, there is no obligation for the employee to accept them, so without careful management you might find that you do not have the staff you need. This could mean you need a bigger pool of potential employees in order to ensure you are always properly staffed. 20 Well, in the downturn of the last few years, a skillset of discernment has come to the fore. It’s seen business owners treading extra carefully when deciding where to spend their hard earned money. Nothing too wrong with that of course. But now the economy is on the up again, presenting you with a great opportunity to grow your business. However, consider the following statement: The largest number of insolvencies in any market happen during periods of market growth. You see, one thing that happens is that the businesses that have fought long and hard to remain afloat in a downturn market have done so on a strategy of careful and prudent investment. However, when the marketplace starts to grow, the fearless Johnny-come-lately startups, realising there’re potential profits to be harvested start to risk it all – like you did when you first started up. But they couldn’t possibly thrive could they? Well, the fact is that they do and so must you! Other long-standing competitors who stick with their outdated strategies suddenly start to lose ground as opportunities for growth go to the bolder emerging businesses. Old mentality companies are left to dissolve. So, if you prescribe to the view that the recent stories of low inflation and steady interest rates are the signs of wider recovery, then the time has arrived to shed the old strategies and rediscover risk.
  21. 21. Every month we’ll be asking four experts to share with us a few pearls of wisdom that you can put to use in your business. From the latest software recommendations to the best ways to get yourself and your business in front of the people who matter, you’ll hear it all here from the guys in the know. Dominic Jones Barton Technology Mastermind Member Dominic is the guy that many EC members turn to when they need good tech advice and, speaking from experience, we can honestly say that what Dominic doesn’t know about IT isn’t worth knowing. Data Security –what can you do? Keeping their own and their customers’ information safe should be top of every entrepreneur’s priority list. For example, what would happen if you were suddenly unable to look up a customer’s contact details or access their quotes/reports/information? I’m betting it would severely impact your business. When put in black and white like this you might be asking yourself “who would even consider using a company that could pose such a risk?” Yet every week I see switched on business owners who really care about their customers putting that relationship in jeopardy. Consequently, having some kind of offsite data backup is paramount. With hardware failure, software crashes and viruses to contend with, having only a single copy of your data could be disastrous. So what can you do? Well luckily there are many options available. You could go down the traditional route and make manual copies of your data to a tape drive, USB stick or external hard disk. This option is better than nothing but backup can still be forgotten. It also doesn’t overcome the fact that the drive is typically in the same location as the ‘live’ data, meaning a fire or theft would make it useless. Alternatively, you could use a cloud file synchronisation service like Dropbox, iCloud or Skydrive. These can be cost effective but may not always be compliance suitable due to T&Cs allowing service providers access to data. Phil Wintermantle EC web expert You all know Phil as the EC’s web wizard. What you may not know is that he’s so dedicated to all things online, he hasn’t used a pen since 2007. Create super-converting lead magnets – in 3 minutes How to find out what your prospects want to buy, increase email deliverability and create super converting lead magnets in less than three minutes Let’s talk ‘Feedback loops’, here’s the concept... When a prospect fills in a form on your website, opt’s in for a lead magnet and gives you their name and email in return for something of value then it’s the perfect time to create an opportunity for them to feedback and start a conversation. What you need to do early on in your email autoresponder follow up (ideally in the first email you send them) is have a reason for the prospect to reply to your email. So you just need to ask them a smart question that gets them to respond and give you some key information, this question is: “What’s the number one thing you need help with right now? “ When they respond to you with their cries for help not only are you improving email deliverability because they have replied to you rather than you just broadcasting to them, but it also enables you to fire off a personal and specific conversation about how you can help them right now (this might give you some clues as to what they want to buy and how you can tailor your sales process to want they need!). The other solution, which works well for many, is a cloud backup service whereby an automatic, regular copy of your files is securely made and to which only you have access. Many business owners prefer this approach because it provides a cost effective, flexible and scalable way to keep their data secure. Finally, the third benefit is you’ll start seeing patters as to what people think they need help with which means you can go back to your website or squeeze pages and change what you’re giving away to get people to opt-in in the first place (your lead magnets). So when a pattern emerges because people keep telling you they need help with Facebook ads you can change your lead magnet to offer that instead which will improve your opt-in conversion rates. If you would like a list of recommended providers or more information, email me at dominicj@barttech.co.uk. Clever right – so go do it, will take you three minutes to implement… 21
  22. 22. A NEW WAY OF RAISING CASH Dealing with is like tread When Mastermind Member Carole Aldred n cash to finance an unmissable business opp for a reply from her bank wasn’t an option. I traditional method of finding investment… I first heard about peer to peer lending – more specifically, an organisation called the Funding Circle – through my Mastermind Group. I put the word out that I was looking to expand my business by buying up established magazines. I initially expected it to happen one at a time but instead ended up with four publications approaching me at once. what I wanted the money for and why they should lend to me. I basically had to sell myself. Then needed to set out in detail exactly what I wanted to do with the money. When my application was submitted, they said I would hear back from them in two to three days but their answer actually came back in just 24 hours. Now, this sounds like a lot to take on and I’d obviously need to raise more money than I originally thought but I knew about these publications and could see how profitable they were so it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. Because of this, I knew I needed to act fast. Once your application has been accepted and approved, it is put online on the Funding Circle marketplace where investors then bid to lend you money, depending on the interest you want to pay. People can bid at any percentage and each business has its own criteria regarding the optimum interest rate, usually between 7.5% and 11.5%. This is when I approached the Funding Circle. Mine was calculated to be around 9.5%. The first step was a quick telephone call. They wanted to know my business’s turnover (they’ll lend 25% of this) and we established exactly how much I needed to borrow. Then I made my official application, which took just 20 minutes online. I had to write a summary, in 700 characters, about 22 It’s also worth mentioning at this point that the funding Circle is a great place to invest too because you get better return than most of other places. So, after my application made it onto the marketplace, it was fully funded within an hour. This meant that, I made my application on the Friday and the money was in my account by the following Friday.
  23. 23. h the banks ding treacle needed to raise a little extra portunity, waiting for weeks Instead she turned to a less This just wouldn’t happen with a bank. It was so simple and it was also a great feeling knowing that many fellow entrepreneurs were willing to invest in me. Another advantage is that 20% of the loan is also funded by the UK government, so in actual fact, you only need 80% from fellow business owners. When you gain the funding you need, it works like a traditional loan in that you pay back a set amount each month, depending on what you borrow and at what interest rate. You can also pay it back in full at any time. As I mentioned, the Funding Circle and similar organisations allow you to act quickly. When the magazines came up for sale, I sent an email to my bank at the same time. Within a week the Funding Circle had allowed me to raise the money whereas I’m still waiting for a call back from the bank. When compared with the Funding circle, dealing with the banks is like treading treacle. Carole If anybody in the Circle is looking to raise money in a quick, easy, stress-free way, I’d definitely recommend they contact a peer to peer lender. Just have a chat, check out the rate and, if you’re happy with the terms, go for it. In fact, I can honestly say, if I wanted to do it again, I wouldn’t even bother trying the bank. Most business owners want to move quickly, not wait weeks. When it comes to raising the money your business needs, I really don’t think it can get any easier. It was so straightforward, easy and there was no stress. As somebody else who has raised investment this way pointed out to me, you don’t feel like you’re being grilled as you sometimes do with the banks. And – a massive plus – there’s less chance of them saying no. 23
  24. 24. LIKE A VIRGIN A buyer is a buyer, is a buyer Many thanks to Inside Track member Jonathan Coleman who sent us this email, which his wife, Christine, received in November from As you can see, there’s a brand new cruise ship launching in January and the offer was a one-night stay on-board in Southampton for just £25 per person. As Jonathan himself says “This is really impressive – they’re going to fill that ship and can you imagine the cruise deals that will be available and be sold during those 24 hours? The cost per visitor, which I guess is effectively laundering the bed linen, is teeny-weeny. I bet their conversion rate will be really high.” He’s right. It’s a clever piece of marketing – and I’d expect nothing less from Virgin. Giving stuff away for just a few pounds attracts buyers – which is way more powerful than giving stuff away for free. And that’s why I bet the conversion rates on 15th January will be much higher than any regular type of marketing they do. We’ve recently made some changes to our marketing funnels to bring people in, at very low cost, much earlier in the cycle so that we identify those who are prepared to spend money and we can then focus our marketing efforts on them. This principle applies to pretty much every business: a buyer is a buyer, is a buyer and making it easy for people to buy from you first by putting together really compelling offers like this one can make a big difference to your customer numbers and conversion rates months down the line. 24
  25. 25. THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN Get your FREE ticket to the Million Pound Masterplan event 2014 There’s a unique opportunity coming up for our members to get involved in one of the most unique and prized events that the EC has ever run – absolutely free of charge! The Million Pound Masterplan 2014. Of all the events we’ve ever run, this is the most talked about and requested by EC Members. So we’ve decided to put on another one in 2014. So what makes the Masterplan so groundbreaking? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s involved… Days 1 & 2 Days 3 & 4 Nigel will be onstage sharing his ‘Million Pound Masterplan’ – everything that needs to happen (and the order in which it should happen) to take a business from zero to a million. This is all about making stuff happen. Nigel will be joined by his team of specialists; people who know what they’re talking about. What other event could you go to where you get all the work done at the event with help from seasoned pros? The answer: none. Currently, you can’t buy a ticket to the Masterplan. They’re unavailable for purchase. But there is another way in which you can reserve your place: The Why Now? Events In January, we’ll be running 121 local events all over the UK. They’re called ‘Why Now?’ events and will be revealing the blueprint that will help UK business owners to seize the opportunities coming their way in 2014 and markedly grow their businesses into next year and beyond. And we need your help. The events are all about introducing business owners and entrepreneurs to the Circle and we thought there’s nobody better to do this than you, our members. After all, you’re the people who know all about what we do and who properly understand what we can do for UK business owners. So, in return for inviting a non-member of the Circle to a Why Now? event, we’d like to reward you with a FREE ticket – worth £1,500 – to Masterplan 2014. The first event kicks off on the 6th Jan, and some events have sold out, so if you want to get your hands on a completely FREE Masterplan ticket (usually worth £1,500), you’ll need to act fast. Here’s how it’s going to work: 1) You invite fellow business owners, friends, associates and suppliers to your local Why Now? event. Point them to www.whynow2014.co.uk so they can watch the video and pick their local event. 2) Once they book their ticket, they’ll be asked to give the name of the person who referred them (that’s you). This is how we’ll know that YOU invited them. 3) If one of your invited people joins the EC at the event and remains a member for three months, you’ll be sent a Standard ticket to the Masterplan 2014 event. 4) But there’s more. If you get two people to come along and join the Circle, you’ll be upgraded to a Gold ticket. Get three people along who sign up as members and guess what? You’ll get a VIP ticket to Masterplan. What’s more, we’ve made it really easy to get people along by providing you with three sure-fire email templates to send out. Download the emails and get all the info at www.nigelbotterill.com/whynow. There, you’ll find a video of Nige explaining it all. 25
  26. 26. HAVE YOU GOT BANANARAMA SYNDROME? It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it We all know that if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. And we also know that not doing things properly in your business is utterly crazy. Here Nigel recounts a meeting with somebody who suffers from a very peculiar – but serious – condition. I recently did a 1:1 with a member who runs a successful business. She has been going for four years, is turning over well over half a million pounds but is only making about £40,000 profit. When she came on the phone she told me that she thought she was doing everything that she possibly could, which just didn’t seem congruent with the numbers that she shared with me. When I asked if she did any email marketing, she confirmed that yes, she did all that. When I enquired about her database, she confirmed that her staff did put customer details into a database. When I asked about referrals again, the answer was, “Yes, we do that” and so it went on. However, the minute I started to probe more deeply it immediately became obvious that this particular business owner was an acute sufferer of what I call ‘Bananarama Syndrome’. Those of us of a certain age will remember the second most successful girl band of all time (they lost their crown to the Spice Girls over 10 years ago) who, in the 1980s had a string of top 10 hits. One of the most popular was, ‘It Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It’ and it’s this song from which the clinical condition ‘Bananarama Syndrome’ originates. You see, this particular business owner was not doing any of the things that she thought she was doing properly. Sure, she was having a dabble but dabbling never made anyone supersuccessful in business. You have to do things properly. 26 Her email marketing consisted of just seven emails in the whole of 2013. Seven! I send that many in a week – and so should she (at least on some occasions when she’s got special promotions going on, etc). Her business served over 5,000 customers last year, yet her database has only 700 people on it. Classic Bananarama Syndrome. She hasn’t got a SYSTEM in place to ensure that her staff systematically collect customer contact information. This information genuinely has the potential to become the single most valuable asset in her business – IF she collects it and IF she uses it. On its own it can transform her turnover and her P&L. With regard to referrals – without giving too much away as to the type of business this is, she has a huge opportunity to be handing out cards when people leave her premises inviting them back, with an appropriate discount within the next two to three weeks. It turns out that she has actually done this on one occasion and, “It worked quite well…” but she has never done it again (this is actually called ‘Bonkers Syndrome’ and it is much more serious than Bananarama Syndrome!). I hope my point is coming across really clearly here. It genuinely is not about what you do when it comes to marketing your business but, much more importantly, about the way that you do it. And that’s about having the systems, routines and rigour that is sadly absent in all too many businesses. It really ain’t what you do – but the way that you do it...
  27. 27. BGA Directory There have been a few changes to our BGA network recently. Here’s a definitive list of our current BGAs for your reference... A Andy Willcox - 07792 368366 C Chris Olchawski - 01550 739053 Julia Canham - 01543 406115 Carmanthan/Swansea/Haverfordwest Leicestershire/Staffordshire Julia Bramble - 01395 349201 Cardiff/Swindon/Hereford/Worcester/Wells/ Weston-Super-Mare/Taunton/Truro Chris Richards & Steve Allen - 01235 843272 Exeter/Plymouth K Preston, Lancaster & The Fylde Clare Szurek - 07792 368270 Damian Mark Smyth - 07792 368348 North London/East London/South London/West London/ Central London/Essex/Watford & Hemel Hempstead David Cambridge - 01727 789010 Luton & St Albans Milton Keynes/Bedford L Leona & Vida Barr-Jones - 01462 757327 M Mark Greig & Nick Howes - 02476 419576 Richmond & Kingston Emma Melhuish - 01460 240773 G Gemma Toner - 07792 368257 I Bristol Newcastle/Washington/Glasgow/Edinburgh/Carlisle/ Middlesborough/Barrow/Kendal/Stockton/Sunderland/ Aberdeen/Fife & Dundee Coventry Farnborough/Caversham/Maidenhead P Paul Chapman - 0115 9717061 R Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis - 01865 389934 Nottinghamshire Leamington Spa/Oxford/Shipton Ian George - 01843 347010 Robin Sharpe - 01604 269533 Maidstone & The Medway Towns Northamptonshire Ian Jackson - 0289 0160498 Northern Ireland S Bromsgrove/Reddich/Solihull Sue Benoke - 01425 622441 Harrogate/Leeds/Barnsley/Chester/Sheffield/Doncaster/ Macclesfield/Oldham/Stockport/Wigan/Bolton/Halifax/ Lincoln/Bradford/Huddersfield/Blackburn/Wakefield Bath & West Wilshire Jill Chitty - 01242 639144 Cheltenham & Gloucester Manchester Scarborough/York/Hull Jay Allen - 07792 368318 Jerry Walsingham - 01225 458404 Sam Flynn - 0161 4513016 Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant - 01759 359076 Ian Prowse - 01527 531394 J Bishop’s Stortford/Hitchin Martin Norbury & Chris Waters - 0118 9680869 David Wimblett - 0208 9707447 E Brighton/Worthing/Southampton/Portsmouth/Winchester/ Crawley/East Grinstead/Tunbridge/Croydon/Bromley/ Chichester/Worthing/Weybridge Keith Haynes - 01234 731488 Kidderminster/Wolverhampton/Shrewsbury/Telford/Derby/ Sutton Coldfield/Peterborough/Huntingdon/Cambridge/ Bury St Edmunds/Ipswich/Colchester/Kings Lynn/Norwich D Karl Anscombe - 07792 368309 Bournemouth & Poole T Tim Savage - 01264 839777 V Vanessa Lanham-Day - 01483 426577 Newbury/Basingstoke/Andover South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Jonathan Davies - 0151 2686122 Liverpool 27
  28. 28. I WANT TO TELL YOU A STORY... Did you hear the one about the $2bn sales letter? The most successful sales letter of all time sold $2bn worth of the Wall Street Journal. The letter was a story about two young men returning to a college reunion. It started like this: On a beautiful late spring afternoon, 25 years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both as young college graduates are – were filled with ambitious dreams for the future. If you’re like us, just these few lines will have you desperate to read on. That’s the power of a good story. For 20 years the publication used this marketing piece as a control, testing others against it – yet nothing performed better. So, why are stories so good for marketing? Simple. Because we love them. Here’s Doodle Ads’ David Kyte to explain a little more about how to craft stories in your marketing... First you need to identify your audience and seed problems. Describe the fears that a small business owner has. You’re trying to create feelings that the reader can relate to – for example, not making the pay roll or being able to pay their VAT bill. “Poor management and the lack of financial information are two of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of your business. If your decision making is based on no numbers or those numbers are out of date, then your business is in danger. Once you have highlighted the problem, reveal your solution. We’re not selling at this point, simply describing the solution. Don’t talk about yourself and don’t talk about features. Instead, focus on benefits. Accurate and correct management accounts give you the tools to monitor your cash flow bottlenecks. They will also allow you to ask probing questions. Entrepreneurs know that cash flow is king! You can be really profitable on paper, but unless you get your invoices paid promptly, you will get into serious trouble. Extend the fears. If your invoices aren’t paid promptly, your cash flow could suffer and you’ll find yourself in trouble – fast. Bear in mind that fear and pain sell five times more effectively than aspiration. I can wait for my Ferrari until next week, but I need my bad back fixed TODAY. 28 Describing consequences is a powerful way to develop fear. Try to use graphic words: cripple; defences; robust. And don’t forget, your solution must offer the answer. Late payers and bad debt will cripple your business. Keeping a tight rein on who owes you money, when payments are due and a robust credit control policy will all help build your company’s defences. Do you have too much money tied up in stock? How much are you losing through wastage? Who owes you money? How long are they taking to pay? All these numbers are the lifeblood of your business. People connect better when you mention specific problems. Pick the main one and extend the feelings of fear, lack of control and ignorance. As accountants, we know how important your processes and systems that deliver these vital business metrics are. To build trust your reader needs to know that you understand their problems and that you have the solution; that you have a silver bullet. Your readers don’t want to discover or be taught – they want answers.
  29. 29. To show you what I mean, let’s review a story I wrote for a marketplace that might be considered a little dry – accountancy. When we write scripts we ask who is the target market, what is their problem and how do they feel right now? David Everybody has a story to tell but you need to grasp a few rules and understand the structure that lies beneath the surface. If you are thinking “emotional sales don’t apply to my business,” here’s a fact: No business has ever bought anything. People buy stuff. Below is an example of one of my scripts that tackles each of these questions in turn, with each paragraph followed by the thinking behind it. Once you’ve read the script, try taking a marketing piece you’ve created and ask: • Is the piece about you or your prospect? The important thing we need to understand is that, when we buy, we do so emotionally. In our accountancy case study, for example, you might be thinking “Accountants, emotions, really?” • Does it describe the benefit they’ll receive by using it? • Are you developing emotional triggers? • Are you using colourful words or is your language dull and unemotional? Absolutely! You see, it’s not about the accountant, it’s about the prospect. For more examples of inspiring storytelling, visit www.doodle-ads.co.uk/EC We are all afraid of making mistakes – your job is to prove that you can deliver. We are social beings and we need to be in a crowd where we feel safe. Social proof offers this comfort. Reinforce that level of trust with additional benefits. You’re trying to persuade your audience that they want you on their team. Not only will they make our job easier and cheaper, they’ll deliver the critical numbers you need to make decisions. The next tool you need in your bag is a well thought through business plan – we can help there too. Understand that, as we deal with many local businesses, we have built up a great contact database of local suppliers. When you look for local services, often we can recommend someone to help. One of the first jobs you should consider delegating is your bookkeeping. It is simply a cost centre. If you want to offload this time consuming but vital activity we can run it for you, or find you a bookkeeper to help. Entrepreneurs never have enough time. Spell out that, by choosing your solution, they’ll have more control, better information and more time. This sentence lays out what prospects stand to lose. You can also make it more powerful by describing how their saved money could be spent – cars, holidays, family etc. If you need a friendly ear or want to take your bookkeeping, management accounts, tax advice, business planning or pensions to the next level, pick up the phone. If we can’t help directly, we’ll almost certainly know someone who can.” But the one job that will hit your pocket the most is ensuring that you only ever pay the tax that you should and not a penny more. You can sleep easy knowing that all your usual regulatory paper work is covered: like preparing and filing annual accounts, audits, stock checks and so on. Make it clear that your solution offers so much more than the basics. The goal of this piece is to develop trust, to highlight a problem and persuade the reader that you can solve their problems. Your story needs to finish with a strong call to action. Write your story with a purpose. What do you want the reader to do at the end? By taking the time to get to know you and your business, we identify all your legitimate expenses and then defend your position with the tax man. To take the next step and effectively turn prospects into clients you have to offer a promise and a guarantee and tell them exactly what you are going to deliver. 29
  30. 30. Ask Nigel How Do I Answer these Emails? Ken Fuller “Many of my incoming emails from potential customers start ‘How much does your service cost?’ If, as you say, ‘How much?’ is a buying signal, but you want to avoid giving them a price until they have asked, how do you get to the point of asking intelligent questions and understanding the customer?” Nige says: This question has come about as a direct result of my presentation at the National Event in Basingstoke in November where I talked about the importance of understanding your customer and not giving a price until they have asked for it. This holds true even in the situation you describe. The fact is, the people sending you these emails are interested in buying what you have and the way to respond to them would be something like the following: “Thanks for your enquiry – it’s great to hear from you. There are a number of different levels of service that we can provide and the truth is we have a solution to suit most budgets. Before I can tell you what the price would be, I’d need to understand much more fully exactly what it is that you’re looking for, so if you can give me a call on … or, if you prefer, just hit reply to this email, send me your phone number and a convenient time for us to have a chat.” 30 A response like that moves you onto the next step without really pushing any control on the sales process. I hope that helps.
  31. 31. If you’ve got a queston that you’d like answered, just log on to the members website and ‘Ask Nigel’. Should I Outsource my PPC? Julie Souter “Nigel, I understand that Google AdWords will almost certainly be an effective marketing pillar for me, but I also know enough to understand that to do it properly and well it will require a lot of time – time that I simply don’t have. Is there a way to effectively outsource your AdWords or is it true that ‘nobody will ever care about your business as much as you do …’ and therefore I have to find a way to do it in-house?” Nige says: The key to outsourcing anything is to be an informed client. With regards to AdWords, what that means is that you have to know your way around it. You have to understand how the campaigns work, what the reports mean, how frequently your negative keywords should be updated, how to spot new negative keywords that need adding, what a good CTR is, etc. In that respect you cannot abdicate acquiring some knowledge but it is possible to find the right outsource partners. There are people around who will do a good job. Unfortunately, there are also lots of people out there simply in it to make a quick buck and the fact is they won’t give your AdWords account anything like the amount of time and attention that it needs. On the December Botcast (available for Club members and above), David Brown of the Scottish Shutter Company spoke of how he regularly spends one or two hours A DAY on his AdWords account but that the impact that he’s having on his business more than justifies that time. The reality is you’re unlikely to find many outsource providers – especially those who want to charge you based on a percentage of what you spend (run a mile from them!) giving anything like this amount of attention. So shop carefully, make sure you’re properly informed and ask the right questions. Jo Davies who has run my AdWords accounts for over eight years now has some capacity to take on a small number of new clients during the first quarter and if that is of interest then you should email her at support@entrepreneurscircle.co.uk. 31
  32. 32. Your Local M January Topic: Writing your email campaigns for 2014 Date Area BGA Thurs 2nd Central London Newcastle Harrogate East London Barnsley Wolverhampton Kidderminster West London Leamington Spa Washington Brighton & Worthing Chester Glasgow Milton Keynes Watford & Hemel Hempstead Carmanthan Oxford Southampton & Portsmouth Bradford Edinburgh South London Winchester Ipswich Colchester Cardiff Sheffield Scarborough Bedford Peterborough Huntingdon Richmond & Kingston West London Bishop’s Stortford South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Carlisle Manchester Macclesfield Middlesborough Nottinghampshire Derby South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Bournemouth & Poole Swindon Farnborough Bath & West Wiltshire Liverpool Oldham York Barrow Shrewsbury Telford Maidstone & Medway Hitchin South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Damian Mark Smyth Mon 6th Tues 7th Wed 8th Thurs 9th Fri 10th Mond 13th Tues 14th Wed 15th 32 Date Gemma Toner Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Jay Allen Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Thurs 16th Damian Mark Smyth Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Gemma Toner Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Gemma Toner Fri 17th Keith Haynes Damian Mark Smyth Mon 20th Chris Olchawski Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Tue 21st Gemma Toner Damian Mark Smyth Karl Anscombe Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Andy Willcox Jay Allen Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant Keith Haynes Wed 22nd Clare Szurek Clare Szurek David Wimblett Damian Mark Smyth Leona & Vida Barr-Jones Vanessa Lanham-Day Thurs 23rd Gemma Toner Sam Flynn Jay Allen Fri 24th Gemma Toner Paul Chapman Mon 27th Clare Szurek Vanessa Lanham-Day Sue Benoke Tues 28th Andy Willcox Martin Norbury & Chris Waters Jerry Walsingham Jonathan Davies Wed 29th Jay Allen Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant Gemma Toner Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Ian George Leona & Vida Barr-Jones Vanessa Lanham-Day Thurs 30th Area Bournemouth & Poole Hereford Worcester Luton & St Albans Crawley & East Grinstead Bath & West Wiltshire Wigan Essex Wells Swansea Kendal Tunbridge Kings Lynn Norwich Halifax Stockton Northamptonshire South London Bolton Newbury Sunderland Bristol Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Cambridge Bury St Edmunds Croydon & Bromley Huddersfield Hull Essex Shipton Basingstoke Leicestershire Caversham Leeds Haverfordwest Staffordshire Lincoln Weston-Super-Mare Blackburn North London Northern Ireland Solihull Doncaster Watford & Hemel Hempstead Bromsgrove Chichester & Worthing Stockport Coventry South London Taunton Weybridge Wakefield East London Truro Maidenhead BGA Sue Benoke Andy Willcox Andy Willcox David Cambridge Karl Anscombe Jerry Walsingham Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Andy Willcox Chris Olchawski Gemma Toner Karl Anscombe Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Jay Allen Gemma Toner Robin Sharpe Damina Mark Smyth Jay Allen Tim Savage Gemma Toner Emma Melhuish Jill Chitty Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant Damian Mark Smyth Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Tim Savage Julia Canham Martin Norbury & Chris Waters Jay Allen Chris Olchawski Julia Canham Jay Allen Andy Willcox Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Ian Jackson Ian Prowse Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Ian Prowse Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Mark Greig & Nick Howes Damian Mark Smyth Andy Willcox Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Andy Willcox Martin Norbury & Chris Waters The monthly local meetings are your opportunity to get hands-on, practical help for your business.
  33. 33. Meeting Dates Topic: Delivering great presentations that sell Date Area BGA Mon 3rd Harrogate Bedford Barnsley East London Brighton & Worthing Chester Milton Keynes Central London Bradford South London Cardiff Hereford & Worcester Sheffield Cambridge Bury St. Edmunds Manchester Macclesfield Nottinghamshire Ipswich Colchester Maidstone & The Medway Towns Leamington Spa Bournemouth and Poole Southampton & Portsmouth Oldham Derby Sutton Coldfield West London Oxford Bournemouth and Poole Swindon Carmanthan York Farnborough Winchester Wigan Peterborough Huntingdon Wells Halifax Scarborough Aberdeen Northamptonshire Shrewsbury Telford Richmond & Kingston West London Bishop’s Stortford South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Bolton Fife & Dundee Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Kidderminster Jay Allen Tues 4th Wed 5th Thurs 6th Fri 7th Mon 10th Tues 11th Wed 12th Thurs 13th Fri 14th Mon 17th Tues 18th Date Keith Haynes Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Keith Haynes Wed 19th Damian Mark Smyth Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Andy Willcox Andy Willcox Jay Allen Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Sam Flynn Jay Allen Paul Chapman Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Ian George Thurs 20th Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Sue Benoke Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Fri 21st Damian Mark Smyth Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Mon 24th Sue Benoke Andy Willcox Chris Olchawski Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant Martin Norbury & Chris Waters Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Tues 25th Clare Szurek Clare Szurek Andy Willcox Jay Allen Steve Bentley & jon Olivant Wed 26th Gemma Toner Robin Sharpe Clare Szurek Clare Szurek David Wimblett Damian Mark Smyth Leona & Vida Barr-Jones Vanessa Lanham-Day Jay Allen Thurs 27th February Area Wolverhampton South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Bristol Crawley & East Grinstead Bath & West Liverpool Huddersfield Hull Glasgow Kings Lynn Norwich Luton & St Albans Essex Hitchin South Surrey, Sutton & Epsom Weston-Super-Mare Leicestershire Tunbridge Leeds Edinburgh North London Swansea Solihull Staffordshire Croydon & Bromley Carlisle Lincoln Blackburn Central London Basingstoke Northern Ireland Newcastle Sunderland Bromsgrove Doncaster Watford & Hemel Hempstead Newbury Taunton Caversham Stockport Coventry South London Shipton Truro Chichester & Worthing Wakefield East London Haverfordwest Maidenhead Weybridge BGA Clare Szurek Vanessa Lanham-Day Emma Melhuish Karl Anscombe Jonathan Davies Jay Allen Steve Bentley & Jon Olivant Gemma Toner Clare Szurek Clare Szurek David Cambridge Damian Mark Smyth Leona & Vida Barr-Jones Vanessa Lanham-Day Andy Willcox Julia Canham Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Gemma Toner Damian Mark Smyth Chris Olchawski Ian Prowse Julia Canham Karl Anscombe Gemma Toner Jay Allen Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Tim Savage Ian Jackson Gemma Toner Gemma Toner Ian Prowse Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Tim Savage Andy Willcox Martin Norbury & Chris Waters Jay Allen Mark Greig & Nick Howes Damian Mark Smyth Rob Banfield & Susan Lewis Andy Willcox Karl Anscombe Jay Allen Damian Mark Smyth Chris Olchawskiw Martin Norbury & Chris Waters Karl Anscombe Gemma Toner Jill Chitty Clare Szurek The meetrings are all free to attend for members and timings and venues can be found by contacting the relevant BGA whose number you’ll find on page 27. 33
  34. 34. THE FINAL WORD Whoa! Backup Oh sh*t – two members in December had the rug metaphorically pulled from under them when their websites, on which they depend for huge amounts of leads, enquiries, etc were suddenly no longer available. In one case their web designer had gone AWOL and, unbeknown to them, not paid his hosting bills so, after apparently many warnings (to the web designer – not the business owner), the hosting company pulled the plug and the business owner had no way of getting his website back up again. The only thing he could do was rebuild it and re-launch it on another domain. It took two weeks and cost him an estimated £50,000 in lost business. The other one was slightly less serious but involved corrupted files and, again an uncooperative web developer. Both these individuals did not have ownership of their own domains and neither did they have a back-up of the code on their website. These two simple steps are your insurance policy against you also having that genuine nightmare scenario impacting and affecting you. If you own the domain name (and I mean are actually the registered owner – not just paying your web guy to have it for you) AND YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE HTML CODE FOR YOUR WEBSITE SAFELY BACKED-UP IN A FILE THAT YOU HAVE ACCESS TO, ON YOUR SERVERS, then, even if the worst happens and you get let down by the developer or the hosting company somewhere you’ll be able to get backup reasonably quickly. But if you don’t own the domain and you have no backup then you really are screwed. It’s a simple thing. Think of it as an insurance policy, almost. Of course, it will be easy for you to ignore these words of wisdom and think, subconsciously at least, that “it won’t happen to me – my guy’s great…” All I can tell you is that the two gentlemen I’ve spoken about also thought that, but boy oh boy are they regretting it now, and that’s the final word. Protect your website. Own the domain and back up the code. Now. 34
  35. 35. Make your notes & action plans here… Please use this space to map out the things that you’re going to be doing over the next four – five weeks to move your business forward. Hope it helps … 35