I have been very lucky to be a part of the Women’s Inspire movement for the past couple of years now. I joined it when I felt frankly, very uninspired and floundering! Making friends within the group – with such incredible women has been such a great source of support and not unsurprisingly inspiration too.
I have watched in the dedicated Women’s Inspire Facebook forum the growth of businesses and women overcoming all sorts of issues and problems. The problems have ranged from unsupportive partners to problem with suppliers. With well over 6,000 women and a few men in the group now, you can draw from a huge wealth of experience and knowledge.
I have been very lucky to build the friendships I have through WIN. Everyone who is in the group is not only in it for themselves, they want to support and create opportunity for others too. Most of the active posters have met each other in real life now. Either at conferences or networking events arranged by WIN or just by having a cuppa one afternoon at their leisure.
I would say most of the people in the group over the years are Sole Traders or SME’s. These businesses have grown or changed direction over time with the support of ladies in the group, sometimes just having someone listen is enough.
Now moving forward we all want to make the most out of our business in 2017. Social Media obviously has its place in a business’s marketing but having a face to face relationship and rapport is still essential too.
I am of course a major supporter of social media but it’s an absolute must that you still make time to actually face your customer and have that personal interaction with them. If your social media is so time consuming that you feel you are always doing it, then one of the following three things need to change:
No matter what you do, you do need to have a plan! What I mean by that is, ultimately everything you do has to have a use, something planned or hoped for needs to come out of it. You need to understand what your business’s Mission is and create a road map to reach your end goal.
If you want to have a florist business grow sufficiently enough by the end of 2017 to have staff you obviously need to generate sufficient work to cover the cost of hiring staff and yourself. To do this you need to find leads with corporate business owners, create presentations, offer discounts, etc. This all takes planning of course but you can incorporate your social media planning and curation as part of all of this and plan ahead.
The vital last part to this would be to measure! If you don’t measure the success or otherwise of what you are doing that there is no way to know if you need to improve or not. By measuring each area you are working with, it also demonstrates which area is more successful for your business. Maybe you are doing Facebook Ads, Flyers, Stands and Newspaper ads. Unless you measure the success of each of these you could well be spending hundreds if not thousands of Euros on something that isn’t working for you.
Have you sorted out your marketing strategy for 2017? Do you have targets or goals for your business monthly, quarterly or annually? It’s not an absolute must of course, but it does give you something to strive for.
One thing I do want to stress though! Likes and Followers are great of course, but they need to be genuinely earned. Having customers who actually want your content and to build a community is more important than having tonnes of followers who never look at your page from one month to the next. In fact, the next time you are looking at your personal groups and accounts, unfollow groups and pages you haven’t looked at for the passed six months. You are actually doing the page your leaving more good by unfollowing.