I’ve been doing a reasonable amount of public speaking recently. Both for business at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, SME 2.0 and Tag Tribe events, but also over the past couple of years I’ve had the pleasure of being a best man a couple of times.
Should training be in my marketing plan?
When you run a small business you pretty much have to become a jack of all trades. You are the HR manager, the PR guru, the product expert, the guy in the post room, the sales manager and so on. This is great for variety, but unfortunately you will have to come to terms with the fact that it’s unlikely you’ll be good at everything.
I was presented with a very powerful marketing concept for small companies the other day. It’s not a new fangled phenomenon, or something that will cost you a lot of money, or even a tactic that requires anything more than common sense. I want to term this concept “attitudinal marketing” but I suspect this already refers to some form of market segmentation. Forget it, I’m calling it attitudinal marketing anyway.
7 Simple Steps to Stave off the January Blues!
With the start of the new year and after a god festive break, many of you will be back to work with a case of the January blues. After all, following a couple of weeks of eating, drinking and partying, how could sitting in the office possibly compare?
So what can you do to help ease you and your team back into a productive frame of mind? Remember your people are a key element of your marketing mix, regardless of whether you’re a goods or a services business.
Here are 7 ideas that shouldn’t cost you a fortune.
1. Re-organise the office. A change is as good as a rest as they say, and your staff may find a new lease of life from a refreshed view, a new desk, or a different working space. Of course, this will only have a short term effect but it will help in those first few weeks back.
2. Plants. Get some new plants into your work space to help “improve the atmosphere, reduce stress, and sharpen concentration” Nick Eason, CNN. Read Nick’s article or visit Plant Lady for more info about plants at work.
3. Arrange a new year kick-off party. Get your team together to reinforce the company goals for the next year, set priorities, develop camaraderie and more importantly to have a couple of beers. This shouldn’t be hugely expensive though, after all it’s likely you have just paid for a Christmas party!
4. Introduce some staff rewards. Why not start an employee of the month award, a little hackneyed but people will see the funny side of it and you’ll be surprised how much people actually like to be recognised like this. If you allow your team to vote for the employee of the month, it adds the extra dimension of being congratulated by your colleagues and not just the boss! Maybe the winner could borrow the pool car over the weekend as well?
5. Massage your employees. Not personally, but arrange for a professional to come to your office for a day of massage therapy. What better way to look after your staff in their time of need. Benefits might include reduced stress levels, renewed energy and motivation, and decreased absenteeism. Check out Stress Angels for more ideas.
6. Introduce music to the office. OK, so not everyone will have the same taste in music, but if you can agree some common ground rules, for example no thrash metal or Radio 1, then you might find introducing music will improve the working environment. Research has even found some types of music increase productivity.
7. Last but not least, give everyone an extra half day off. Assuming you aren’t snowed under with work, why not give everyone a surprise half day off. Today, Monday, next Thursday, whenever really, just call it a day after lunch so you can all head off into the sales before all of the bargains are totally snapped up. This one won’t be practical for everyone though unfortunately.
Of course, there are plenty of other ideas you could try and I’m very keen to hear of any experiences you have or have had.
Image courtesy of Steve Weaver