Rhubarb Fool offers some top commercial tips for 2014 Part III
Don't hide your lantern behind a bushel. Share your successes
It's easy to tell yourself that a job well done is simply a job done as it should have been done and thereafter move on with a quite air of contentment and satisfaction. But you can't rely on others to shout your having done a job well from the roof tops.
So make sure that you publicise your commercial successes; however, insignificant these might appear to you. Taken on a new member of staff? Success. Submitted a pitch? Success. Won a pitch? Major success. As attractive as modesty is as a personal quality, you'll find that it's a far less
valuable commercial quality.
Social media offers a great medium for sharing your successes. So if you haven't embraced a Facebook page,
Twitter account, LinkedIn profile and Instagram account, then make these tools part of your commercial armoury in 2014. It may be that different elements of social media have different values to your business. But viewed holistically it's vital that social media becomes a central part of your marketing plan.
Bit of a technophobe? Please don't be put off. Engaging with social media certainly doesn't have to be a complex process. If you have even a small staff team, the chances are that there will be somebody within this who already has a personal account and will offer you ready assistance in taking that first step to set up your business's own account. Social media offers a quick, cost-free way of connecting with your customers, creating and promoting brand awareness and, in some cases, establishing new business.
Though we will never shy from promoting social media as a great commercial tool, never forget that it is not without its limitations. There's no replacement for the face-to-face contact between you and your customers and good old-fashioned networking. Early morning breakfast meetings and 60 second business pitches
in front of a room full of strangers might not be the most comfortable means of promoting your business, but sometimes leaving your comfort zone can stimulate collaboration, recommendation and the establishing of pathways to new business. Regardless of the power of social media, there remains a host of different networking groups that cater for all industries. Some of these are offered in formal settings, but there are plenty of less formal networking opportunities available.
Stay one step ahead of the game
The more you engage with your business and your industry (by reading, listening and communicating), the better placed you'll be to start defining the direction that your business takes. So subscribe to newsletters, participate in talks and attend seminars. You'll stay fresh by keeping abreast of all the innovations in your sector. If you're the first to know about the advances and new developments you can start sharing your knowledge (and promoting your opinions) by the all important means of social media.