Tag Marketing

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Nina Squire – The Pastel Artist

When the pandemic hit, pastel artist Nina Squire, from Blandford, knew she’d have to change her way of working and fast – suddenly the professional artist of 20 years couldn’t go to the shows she loved so much, meaning less commission work, so she pivoted her business to go online.

She said: “Suddenly everything changed, and I had to quickly learn lots of new technology fast. Luckily, I think we were all learning at that point, so everyone understood if there was a technical issue.”

Nina was accepted as an Associate Artist with Unison Colour, a UK-based handmade pastel producer, during Lockdown One. This led to her workshops being given a global platform. She will soon be travelling to London to represent Unison Colour as part of a series of videos on art techniques for a series of ‘in conversation with’ workshops with Jackson’s Art.

Stuck inside during Lockdown One, Nina started streaming live draw-alongs, where she would draw her favourite views, so that people could join her and draw with her. The idea was so popular that Nina has been able to pivot her business and now has a thriving community of budding artists from across the world.

She said: “It’s been wonderful to see this community develop and watch their amazing art works come to life. It has been brilliant to bring a bit of joy to people’s lives throughout the past year. Lots of people have said how much they enjoy my workshops each week. It’s given people a bit of escapism – it’s a lovely activity to get lost in for a few hours”

With all the new skills she had to learn and needing to suddenly restructure her work and have a shop on her website, Nina reached out to Get Set for Growth East Dorset for help and advice. Through one-to-one mentoring Nina was able to get help and advice about how best to change her website so that she could use it to sell her art courses through.

She said: “It was really helpful, having someone else to listen, bounce ideas off and get advice from has been brilliant. It gives you a different perspective and that’s what you need.”

Whereas before Nina would teach 15 people in a village hall in Wimborne, now she regularly teaches hundreds online from as far away as New Zealand, California and Australia. She also has regulars from Dorset joining in or watching back later. She said: “I think people love the convenience of being able to do art from the comfort of their home at a time that suits them. I love to see everyone’s work in the community group.”

For more information about Nina’s workshops visit thepastelartist.co.uk. For more information, free mentoring, workshops and events, visit getsetforgrowth.com/east-dorset

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Julia Sheppard – Jazz Jurassica

Jazz Jurassica founder Julie Sheppard. Please credit: Julie Sheppard and Jazz Jurassica.

Mentoring through GetSet for Growth helped festival organiser Julie Sheppard to find clarity and see her business from a fresh perspective.

Julie, is the founder of Jazz Jurassica in Lyme Regis. This year’s event was the first music festival in front of a live audience to be put on in the UK following Covid. An incredible feat that Julie puts down to not having big financial investments to pay. Even as she had to cancel 2020’s festival, Julie was thinking about how to make 2021 socially distanced and Covid secure.

Julie worked with mentor Sarah Veakins from the GetSet for Growth East Dorset programme, which offers businesses looking to grow, 12 hours of free 1:1 mentoring and advice, as well as workshops and events. The programme is part of the Dorset Growth Partnership and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Julie said: “I work on my own, and I work well on my own, but actually as the festival got bigger and with Covid to deal with I thought; ‘It is a lot of responsibility for one unpaid volunteer to take on – I could do with a bit of support.’ I think it’s important to have someone to bounce ideas off and provide perspective. Mentoring helped me see through the other end of the telescope – it gave me another perspective.”

This is just one example of over 22,500 businesses that have been assisted by YTKO’s services since 2006.  According to an independent impact assessment commissioned in 2020, YTKO’s support has enabled the creation of 6,574 businesses, over 10,500 sustainable new jobs and an estimated £2.61bn in sales income.  The businesses that have received support in that time, have also been proved to be fitter and better funded with over 76% of new firms surviving more than three years and having raised around £71.3m of growth finance.

For free help to grow your business, visit getsetforgrowth.com/east-dorset  For more information about Jazz Jurassica visit jazzjurassica.co.uk

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Tom Kennedy – The Crop

When Tom Kennedy and his family moved to Bournemouth last year, they didn’t know anyone. Thanks to GetSet for Growth East Dorset Tom was able to meet other business owners and entrepreneurs.

He said the support from the business development service had been invaluable when relocating his business. Tom, 36, owns and runs The Crop, a collective of talented freelancers and creatives who come together, like “The A Team”, to take on a variety of projects. Their projects have included work for Adidas, Nintendo and Bombay Sapphire. Tom originally set up the company in London about four years ago. Last November he moved with his wife and daughter to Pokesdown in Bournemouth.

Tom Kennedy

Tom connected with GetSet East Dorset to find out more about the business community. He said: “Sarah and the team have given me a great grounding in the area and helped me meet people in the business community through their workshops and events. They have given me solid advice and it’s great to be able to talk through ideas face-to-face. They are a great sounding board and a fantastic resource.”

The GetSet for Growth East Dorset programme offers businesses looking to grow, 12 hours of free 1:1 mentoring and advice, as well as workshops and events. The programme is part of the Dorset Growth Partnership and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Tom added that Bournemouth was a great location for creatives. He said: “I see Bournemouth as a really exciting place to be over the next 20 years – it’s going to be really interesting to see how the town develops. There are so many opportunities for people to be out of London but still doing really interesting projects.”

Originally from Bristol, Tom moved to Australia at 11 – as his parents are both Australian. He then returned to the UK for university, before moving back to Sydney for five years. He said his plan had always been to live outside London with his family and they had fallen in love with Dorset.

This is just one example of over 22,500 businesses that have been assisted by YTKO’s services since 2006.  According to an independent impact assessment commissioned in 2020, YTKO’s support has enabled the creation of 6,574 businesses, over 10,500 sustainable new jobs and an estimated £2.61bn in sales income.  The businesses that have received support in that time, have also been proved to be fitter and better funded with over 76% of new firms surviving more than three years and having raised around £71.3m of growth finance.

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Nom Wholefoods – delivering plastic free whole foods in Bristol

Nom Wholefoods is a plastic free wholefoods delivery service, which delivers throughout East Bristol and parts of South Gloucestershire. Founder, Nikki Watten, runs the business out of her home in Fishponds.

Nikki wanted a local solution for sourcing ethically grown food and reducing her plastic use. However, on researching possibilities, she quickly realised that whilst there were some solutions in other parts of Bristol, there was nothing local to her. Therefore, in 2019 she decided to instigate the change she wanted to see and start up her own business, Nom Wholefoods.

Since 2019 Nom Wholefoods has been growing steadily. But as their customer base grows, the space in the house is starting to shrink. Nikki says, ‘’Now we are at the point where it’s time to expand. Many customers have said they would like an actual shop to visit as well as having the option of deliveries and click and collect.’’

Nom Wholefoods

Nikki enrolled on to the North and East Bristol Enterprise Support Programme to help her gain new skills in business. Enrolling in the programme meant that she could access learning resources for growing a business; including 1:1s with business consultants, workshops and an online learning platform. 

Speaking on her experience so far Nikki states; ‘’I’ve joined two workshops so far, both of which were marketing related. I enjoyed them and both have been really useful. The trainer was very knowledgeable and open to all kinds of questions. It was also good to be part of a group and hear about challenges faced by other businesses and how they do things.’’

Armed with the new knowledge on marketing, support on business strategy and more, we’re confident that Nikki is going to achieve all of her business goals. When asked about the support on offer Nikki said, ‘’As most entrepreneurs at the start of their journey, I do everything for the business so don’t usually have time to do proper training and research. It’s been very helpful to get outside perspectives.’’

The help from this government funded support couldn’t have come at a better time. The future for Nom is extremely promising as Nikki tells us, ‘’We will be opening a shop in Staple Hill before the end of the year. We are also in discussion with UWE to deliver to the students at Frenchay and Glenside campus’s next year.’

Learn more about Nom Wholefoods at nomwholefoods.co.uk

If you think an outside perspective on your business could be helpful, if you want to check you don’t have blindspots in your business strategy, or if you just want to be part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, then visit our website to find out more and enrol on our programme. Or get in touch with the team to tell us about your business plans: nebes@ytko.com

North and East Bristol Enterprise Support is fully funded by Bristol City Council and West of England Combined Authority under Universal Business Support. Running until March 2023, the programme is offering workshops in marketing, finance, branding, business planning and strategy and much more, as well as providing free access to e-learning platforms, 1:1 advisor support and networking groups. 

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Charlotte Osborne & Chris Dolan – Prolific 10

“A straight-talking marketing and communications agency and HubSpot Solutions Partner that is committed to helping clients grow their businesses by attracting new customers” is how business partners Charlotte Osborne and Chris Dolan describe their company, Prolific 10, to me when we met via Zoom. 

Chris initially set up the business in 2019 in Brighton and he was joined by Charlotte in September 2020 – the two had worked together previously at a PR agency. Both possess a very different but complementary set of skills, which allows them to offer a full suite of digital and content solutions to their clients. The name of the company comes from Chris’ love of Tottenham Hotspur FC and their “prolific” goal scorer Harry Kane, who wears the number 10 shirt. 

“We always had ambitions to go it alone, but a range of things held us back initially. However, now we are working together, we really appreciate having each other on-hand to discuss ideas, address any issues, and offer support generally,” says Charlotte. 

A key unique selling point for Prolific 10 is that they are an official HubSpot Solutions Partner, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system which allows businesses to bring all aspects of their sales and marketing activity into one place. “This allows us to have an edge on other companies as we take a more integrated approach to marketing and sales campaign activity,” adds Charlotte. 

It was a successful application for an Invest4 grant, assisted by the team at GetSet for Growth Coast to Capital, which enabled Prolific 10 to invest fully into the HubSpot system – a vital tool to attract and service both current and future clients. “The grant provided a fantastic opportunity for us,” stated Chris. “It meant that we could differentiate ourselves in a very crowded market of agencies, whilst giving us the confidence to commit to match-funding to further invest in the business.” 

With the grant recently awarded, Charlotte and Chris are now busy putting their plans into place and helping current clients to onboard the HubSpot system, creating an additional revenue stream alongside their traditional marketing activity.

“We initially heard about the Invest4 grants available through GetSet for Growth Coast to Capital as part of The Business Hothouse on LinkedIn. We got in touch to find out how they could help our business,” says Charlotte. “The team were really helpful and were able to provide tons of information and advice based on their experience.” 

“It was incredibly helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes on our grant application and to support us with the financial planning and documents that were required,” said Charlotte. “We knew that HubSpot was key to our success in helping our clients grow. That’s why we wanted to invest fully in the software and the Invest4 grant helped us to do just that.” 

The pair are very keen to grow their business and are looking to recruit more staff to broaden their service offering even further, but at present they describe themselves as “having their heads down working to develop a firm foundation for the business”. They have seen an increase in people returning to work and more businesses opening after the restraints of lockdown which has brought more enquiries to Prolific10. 

“We’re really looking forward to helping businesses to get their marketing and sales activity working again and thanks to the Invest4 grant, we have the best system to do just that,” states Charlotte. Looking ahead, they are also hoping to build a local community for HubSpot knowledge sharing in Brighton & Hove. 

For more information on Prolific10, click here to visit their website 

Follow them on Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Instagram   

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International Marketing Tips for Manufacturing SMEs

We discussed in a previous blog how UK manufacturers have seen the benefits of lower commodity prices on world markets due to the devalued Pound. With the levels of economic uncertainty likely to continue for the next two years at least, the enthusiasm and optimism of exporting UK manufacturers is largely based on their view that Sterling will remain devalued against major currencies like the Euro and the US Dollar, helping keep their prices competitive in overseas markets.

Below we provide our five top tips to help manufacturers sell more products internationally online, and to capitalise on the current economic conditions.

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Modern marketing for manufacturers – Part 3

This is the third part in our series of blogs for manufacturers where we provide tips on in-bound marketing activities that will help you meet your top priorities, such as:

• Generating more high quality leads
• Controlling marketing costs and proving return on investment
• Staying ahead of your competition

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Modern marketing for manufacturers – Part 2

This is the second part of our blog for manufacturers where we provide tips on in-bound marketing activities that will help you meet your top priorities, such as:

• Generating more high quality leads
• Controlling marketing costs and proving return on investment
• Staying ahead of your competition

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Modern marketing for manufacturers

We continue our series of blogs for manufacturers where we provide tips on marketing activities that will help you meet your top priorities, such as:

• Generating more high quality leads
• Controlling marketing costs and proving return on investment
• Staying ahead of your competition

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How well do manufacturing companies know their customers?

Customer and experience are two words that you don’t often encounter in the manufacturing industry. On the whole, manufacturing is an industry focused on the product – rather than how it is presented to the customer – and to some extent, rightly so. Much of the insight usually found within the boardroom walls of a manufacturing giant are typically applied to product design or R&D.

In our previous blog, we have already identified that a key stage in putting together your marketing strategy is to define the key markets in which your business will operate. This includes the markets, locations and types of customers you will target.

71% of B2B companies are at risk of losing customers by not being fully engaged with the companies they do business with. (Recent research by Gallup)

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