Opening the door to new business opportunities
Opportunities are like sunrises, if you wait too long, you miss them
Imagine a business meeting – a franchise opportunity with Italian coffee and snacks in the United Kingdom – the place for cups of tea and cake and quaint tea shops – you might have thought this would never work! But if the original franchisees of Costa Coffee in the UK had thought the same this would not have been the overwhelming success that the Whitbread chain is today and those who took a chance would not be reaping the benefits of guaranteed income and financial reward. From acquisition by Whitbread in 1995 the company has excelled to open its 1000th store in 2009 and by 2010 had overtaken Starbucks with over 40% market share. An entrepreneur from the South East has in fact built a business of 13 outlets with a turnover of more than £4million throughout the group! The success of individual franchises has been high that Whitbread have currently suspended this option with only the opportunity for corporate franchises in the meantime so for those who hesitated it may be too late and they have “missed the boat” adding weight to the argument that when you find a great opportunity you need to grab it wholeheartedly with both hands!
When you find an opportunity that appeals to you, if you don’t take the time to find out more and understand the potential then you could just end up regretting not taking that chance. There is never any commitment in enquiring – for example, I-Credo is an online reputation management system which helps any business establish and maintain a positive reputation online. With a surge in online review sites and the importance of how clients portray your business within these forums, I –credo offers the opportunity to manage this type of feedback to best promote your business – if you were interested in becoming a partner to offer this type of service to your clients then the first step would be to enquire and find out how it could work for you! Understanding the system, the benefits and the long term evolution your own business opportunity can give you a clear picture of whether this is a route you could follow – you could book a demonstration but there is no commitment in enquiring. Imagine if the franchisees from Costa Coffee had not picked up the phone to make an initial enquiry!
Furthermore imagine the benefits of becoming a partner to a venture that is set up and ready to go! Many entrepreneurs have great ideas and plans for their ideas but when it comes to the delivery it can be difficult to find the routes to market, the resources and to produce all the supporting materials that end users may need. When it comes to taking on a partnership as a reseller for i-credo you don’t have to think about any of these things as the hard work has already been completed and ready for you to take on – the support and marketing materials are already to hand and the system is tested and established making this a great decision for a determined, ambitious business professional with a drive to achieve.
We all have decisions in life we look back upon and consider if we could have chosen a different path, don’t let this opportunity to become an i-credo partner pass you by. If you have an interest reputation management, perhaps you are an agency or work in public relations, or you are an individual on the lookout for business opportunities with great potential than i-credo could be the answer! Your future may only be a step away – pick up the phone to Ramesh – Business Development Manager – or email today – to find out more about the options for a great partnership that could offer you opportunities for ongoing success and excitement!
The Rise and Rise of professional networking
In the early days of social media, when My Space ruled the roost, having an online profile was reserved for the teen and tween generation – talking about the latest music and socialising was the order of the day. As social networking has evolved it has become evident to professionals throughout the world that there is the opportunity to connect, communicate, share and network with like-minded people without the need for travel and in a cost effective manner.
Looking back a few years, conferences and exhibitions were THE place to make business connections – take the pet industry for example , a £2.7billion industry in the UK alone – for manufacturers and suppliers to meet contacts and build relationships with others in the industry PetIndex was THE show to visit. With significant investments in attendance and ensuring all company representatives were present; this would represent a big focus for any pet business. However in 2012 the event was cancelled due to declining attendance yet the pet industry is still on an exponential rise – so why is this the case?
In May 2003 a little known website called LinkedIn was founded – defined as the leading online network of professionals and companies. Over the space of the next 11 years the site grows from nothing to reaching 225 million members and growing at a rate of 2 members every second! Far from the starting point of just basic profiles, LinkedIn today offers members the ability to network and connect with like-minded professionals, search for jobs, research prospective companies and self-promote to head-hunters. Companies can post promotional information on their own pages, from business updates through to industry news, in addition to job listings and it is increasing being used for recruitment. For companies such as the pet suppliers we have mentioned there are also increasing numbers of groups which members can follow, participate and promote within. For example, groups such as Pet Professionals or Animal Health Marketing Professionals. These groups are not just restricted to the local market but worldwide offering truly international routes to reach new suppliers, distributors and contacts. Imagine the potential for new brands to introduce their product portfolio to 5000 other key industry people with minimal cost and effort. Sadly the downfall of the face to face network event appears an inevitable consequence of such effective communication methods but for businesses this is an exciting and evolving way to grow and develop a brand.
As with any other element of your business presence online, if you are looking to network, recruit or promote through any professional network your company profile must reflect your brand, your values and an overall highly professional image. Building an outstanding online reputation will help promote and fast track your business and sites like LinkedIn offer both the opportunity to create and establish yourself as an authority in your field – but you need to start with the basics! With options for personal profiles and business profiles, the ability to publish and endorse and be endorsed, your profiles can soon build to really promote your expertise – and all terms are fully searchable by search engines meaning a well written SEO friendly profile is always recommended.
If you are new to professional networking and would like advice and guidance on building an online profile why not consult a specialist who can help ensure you have the very best online reputation. Ramesh is a Business Development Manager who will work with you to build and maintain your online presence with up to date guidance on networking and online marketing.
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The power of the hashtag!
#worldcup #breakingnews #placestoeatinlondon
Only a few years ago you would be forgiven for only knowing the “hashtag” as the key you pressed after entering a series of numbers on your phone when calling a customer helpline but since the rise and rise of social networks the importance of hashtags to businesses has evolved significantly.
When we consider the popularity of social networks today it is difficult to consider a marketing plan where social media marketing is not a key component! Through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the more visual networks of Instagram and Pinterest , Reputations are built, established, promoted and in some cases damaged and lost based purely on your network presence and interaction from source and the end user.
Let us look at the figures!
Facebook is used daily by over 665 million people, during early 2014 revenue from advertising was on the increase and continues to see daily interaction rates via mobile channels growing*. When we think about Twitter it is incredible to imagine that some statistics have demonstrated that 21% of the population of the world have an account with over 288 million active monthly users ** Google + is widely considered the “upcoming” network with huge potential to influence search engine presence through authoritative blogging and posting and a current growth rate of around 33%, if you are serious about making your online presence known, this is a network to consider investing your time and efforts in developing. ***. For businesses looking to build and develop a professional reputation the recommended social network is LinkedIn, although growth is nowhere near the rate of other networks the niche market means there is greater targeting potential and with over 200 million users, this is still an area for businesses to maintain a professional presence.
Now consider traditional “Above the line” and “below the line” marketing – For one printed page advert in a glossy magazine or perhaps a daily newspaper you could be looking in the region of a multiple thousand pound spend without targeting and an unknown exposure. And of course the premium advertising slots on television – mid way through the X Factor or similar – although your brand or product would be in front of a significant audience the impact on your marketing budget would be immense and how do you measure the return on investment?
When we look at all this background, it is clearly apparent – promotion and marketing through social media should feature in the marketing strategy of every business serious about their online presence. Simple attention to content, building loyalty with your users and keeping abreast of trends can increase your presence in so many cost effective ways. For example – any business with a savvy strategy will jump on the World Cup bandwagon – a simple post wishing the team good luck or a related promotion tagged with #WC2014 will put your post before the eyes of anyone searching on those terms!
Of course, this can lead to potential risks. Your online presence is essentially public property – clients, end users and even competitors can post on your sites and interact with your accounts – but how you manage your accounts and interactions can make huge inroads into establishing your brand reputation.
Take the DKNY brand (#DKNY)– a photographer in the USA realised that the brand were using photos he had taken in a display without permission – via social medial he spread a post throughout the networks in a rapid time asking for a donation to the local YMCA in place of compensation. DKNY immediately responded with a sincere apology and a $25,000 donation to the YMCA. Followed by an acknowledgement from the photographer that the mistake was honest, this quick and well planned response from DKNY diffused a potential social media crisis and restored brand trust. ****
For any business, management of your online reputation is essential and in the case of social media, and review sites it can be difficult to know the best way to respond to negatively and best utilise your resources. If you need guidance and professional assistance in building and maintaining your online profile and reputation, working with a Business Development Manager will help ensure you are always ahead of the game. For professional and strategic online reputation management contact Ramesh Summan at i-Credo.com, his extensive online experience and expertise will help your company maintain a reputation your clients will be proud to be associated with.
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*Guardian Social media statistics April 2014
** Kissmetrics May 2014 / *** Google media April 2014/***BBC media news
There is no such thing as bad publicity ….Or is there?
When it comes to the internet and the power of the search engine there is no longer any anonymity in the world. “Keyboard crusaders” can make or break a business that is under scrutiny and the reputation of a product, brand or individual is heavily reliant on a positive portrayal throughout cyberspace.
For the majority of consumers today the first port of call when looking for information on just about any topic is to type the words or phrase into a search engine. Within seconds you have at your fingertips an array of official websites, forums, reviews and resellers – information is readily available and easily accessible not only from your PC but your smart phone or tablet while you are sat on a train or on a tea break at work. Just as how we access information is changing, the same is true for the type of information we want. Whether you are searching for somewhere for a special meal out or a holiday abroad, chances are you will bypass the official site to find real reviews of real places you are considering visiting.
As consumers become more technologically savvy , with that comes an understanding that how a company market a product, service or brand to the end user can be streets apart from the real life consumer experience – hence the popularity of sites such as Trip Advisor or Urban Spoon. When looking for a holiday cottage for a week in Cornwall – no company wants to tell you they rank at the lowest possible rating on Trip Advisor but with 2000+ reviews resulting in a 5 star rating you would be reassured with confidence that you are booking somewhere that will really meet expectations. Great reviews mean great business. It’s not rocket science! But it is also not easy to achieve!
Consider the recent case of sickly sweet but incredibly moreish Lotus Biskoff spread – a Belgian product made of crushed biscuits in a spread which can be used on cakes, toast, desserts or just about anything. This product has received no paid advertising or marketing support in the UK but was subject to a review thread on popular Mum’s site “Mumsnet” described as addictive and highly rated by members of the site. Within a matter of weeks Sainsbury’s sales rocketed by over 529% while Waitrose could not restock fast enough! A very clear demonstration of the power of positive reviews!
As a business, management of your online reputation is essential – knowing who is talking about you and your products or services, what they are saying and how to react is the key to building a successful and positive online presence. Of course, this is not an easy task to undertake but why not enlist the help of a professional Business Development Manager to help work with you to gain control of your online reputation. Ramesh Summan at i-Credo.com is able to help build your profile and help reduce damage from any negative reviews through responsive management and strategic communications.
When considering your online strategy and reputation just remember the old proverb from Oscar Wilde
“ The only thing worse than being talked about it not being talked about”