North GC Business Expo on 26 August 2015

INVISIBLE GIANT GROWS IN GOLD COAST’S NORTH

Monday, August 10th, 2015 – Publicity Genie

What happens when the fastest growing region in Australia is virtually invisible with no retail hub, business centre or industrial park?

The locals decide to create a Business Expo as a ’Go To event’ for the 5000 small businesses in the region to develop business relationships and support the growth.

Local computer repair business owner, Paula Brand of Living with IT founded the idea of the expo on Wednesday 26th August, for local businesses to come together to help each other grow and learn.
Small businesses are the backbone of Australian industry and the majority of North GC is no exception, with the majority being home based or run from small shopping centres.

With one in three small business failing in their first two years of trade, Ms Brandwants to help like minded business owners to avoid the hurdles and errors that many businesses face on a daily basis.
“Small business owners strive to get financial freedom and be their own boss to fit their lifestyle or family requirements” said Ms Brand, “they are lifelong learning entrepreneurs that have to be ‘Jack of all Trades’ but have no central business hub in this area”.

After the inaugural event, it is expected that the expo will be run annually to give Northern Gold Coast businesses an opportunity to create long lasting relationships to build on the growth happening around them.
The North GC Business Expo will be attended by Local, State and Federal Government Representatives in the region, includes fifteen of the Gold Coast’s finest business speakers, 50 businesses showcasing their products and services in the trade display and a networking opportunity with like-minded business owners at a networking lunch.

  • 15 Highly experienced Local Grown Speakers
  • 50 Trade Displays
  • Networking Lunch for 300 businesses
  • Attended by Local, State and Federal Government Representatives in the region
  • Wednesday 26 August 2015
  • Upper Coomera Community Centre – 90 Reserve Road, Upper Coomera
  • Tickets are $45 and include a networking lunch
North GC Business Expo on 26 August 2015

6 Tips to Exhibiting at a Trade Show

#1 Have a clear concise message and stick to it

When someone walks past your booth you need to let them know very quickly, who you are and what you do. Invest in pop-up banners that say exactly that and nothing more, the results will be outstanding when its a clear message that you convey

#2 Be available to talk

Motivate your staff to steer clear of hiding behind ipads and laptops at the conference, they are there promote your brand, and nothing is more engaging than having a chat. The investment to purchase the space on the floor plus all the other associated costs mean that you need people working hard to promote your brand and services and get the most out of the opportunity.

#3 Have a game plan

Do you have a new product that you wish to promote or a new approach to the way you do things? Write them down and make sure all parties present know what you want them to talk about to customers. A really great way to achieve this is have 3 key points you want your potential customers to walk away with after they talk to you. It will keep your team on point and concise with the delegates precious time.

#4 Talk to other exhibitors

While the delegates are listening to the latest discussion on how you’re not using social media correctly, go and talk to the other exhibitors. Chat to your competitors and find out what they have coming up, chat to your neighbours and find out if they could be interested in the services or products that you provide. There’s opportunities everywhere and assuming you are at the right conference, this should be a gold mine for you.

#5 Leave the selling for the office and network while you can

Dont try and close deals while you are there, thats best for the office. Delegates and exhibitors want to be at a conference to learn. They dont want to be sold to. Exchange business cards and have a chat about how the day went and what they learnt. Build rapport and then set up a meeting once they are in the working frame of mind.

#6 Have fun

The most important part! Enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and learn about how your industry is evolving. Relax and dont worry about what is waiting for you back at the office. The less you stress and the more fun you have, the more approachable you will be to the attendees.

6 Ways to Market Your Small Business for Less Than $100

  1. Research your market

Cost: $0

The more time you can invest in identifying not only your target markets but the characteristics that would describe your ideal buyer types, the more you will be able to:

  • Focus marketing efforts with laser-like precision
  • Hone your marketing messages to attract and engage likely buyers.

And all-stars teams don’t just study up on their own game plan, they check out what competitors are doing so that they can look for opportunities to beat them. Going head to head with a competitor in areas where they are stronger or more well-established is usually going to result in a loss. On the other hand, if you spend time analyzing the competitive field to look for their areas of weakness or gaps in the marketplace, you can discover opportunities where your business will have the best chance to grow.

  1. Turn email into your heavy hitter

Cost: From $20 to 50 per month (up to 5,000 contacts) via email marketing platforms such as Constant Contact or Campaigner

Email marketing comes in high on our list of recommendations for small businesses and startups, because it works. Regardless of industry or organizational size, marketers across the board point to email marketing as the tactic that produces their highest return on marketing dollars invested. ExactTarget.com’s 50 Email Marketing Tips and Stats for 2014 reported that marketers received an average return of investment of $44.25 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

Not only is it effective, it’s also desired. In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. The marketing gurus at MarketingProfs.com shared data from a Message Systems study that found for nearly one-third of all consumers, email is the communication channel they prefer when it comes to marketing.

  1. Add speed to your line up

Cost: $9 per month (or less)

The faster you can engage, intrigue and convert your audience members, the better. Most consumers start their search for a business, product or service online. What’s more, in many cases online research has replaced the traditional buying cycle to the extent that by the time a buyer contacts a sales person for information, they are already completely through the buying journey (or nearly so).

To ensure that prospects who arrive at your website can quickly and easily access the information most likely to convert them from browser to buyer, you’ll need to be sure that your website can automatically detect what type of device they are using. Creating a semi-customized mobile version of your website on a site like Duda can be done in just a few moments, for a few dollars a month. It’s an investment that is likely to pay off over and over again in increased engagement and conversions.

  1. Optimize for crowd appeal

Cost: $0

Although many small-business owners claim that word of mouth is their best marketing, it probably shouldn’t be. When it comes to making big purchases, 81 percent of consumers go online before heading out to a store and may spend from two to three months gathering the information they need to make a decision, according to GE Capital Retail Bank’s second annual Major Purchase Shopper Study.

Even when it comes to low-ticket items or the type of small businesses a consumer is likely to buy on a daily basis, the Internet, accessed via desktop, tablet or mobile, is often the starting point that leads to a buying decision. In fact, when it comes to mobile searches, more than half (55 percent) resulted in conversions within one hour, according to a Mobile Search Moments report, (which is also another great argument for investing in mobile-friendly web design).

Whether your products or services would be classified as big ticket or extremely affordable, the conclusion is the same: small-business owners and entrepreneurs that do keyword research and build out their web sites in accordance with best practices in search engine optimization (SEO) will be rewarded by search engines with more favorable SERP (search engine result placement) in organic search results. In other words, they will get more website traffic because their business listings will be placed directly in the path of prospective buyers who are researching products or services, or who are looking for a business online.

  1. Be strategically social

Cost: $41-71 per month (depending on what’s left of your $100 budget!)

If you invest that $41 in sponsored posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can put your brand, products or services in front of thousands of members of your target audience each month. Even a small investment in social marketing can produce hundreds of new followers on social networks as well as increased web traffic, brand awareness and hopefully bottom line profits that can be traced back to initial engagement on social media.

Because of their popularity with consumers (Facebook) and with business buyers (LinkedIn), social platforms have done small-business marketers a big favor. Not only do they allow you to set a limit on the amount spent to sponsor a post or page, they have also built tools which allow you to drill down into demographics in order to put these ads and posts directly on the feeds of individuals who meet your ideal buyer type criteria.

  1. Strengthen your team

Cost: $0

The idea of establishing informal partnerships with other businesses for the purposes of cross-promoting or marketing cooperatively can be extremely beneficial, in particular for entrepreneurs, startups and small-business owners who have yet to build out large contact databases. Sharing contacts and working with other business owners whose target markets overlap with yours could help you build brand awareness — and grow your organization — much quicker than you would be able to do on your own.

 

The 10 Most Annoying Things Customers Say

  1. “It’s cheaper at another store”

Then shop there. I don’t set prices, so please don’t try to haggle like this is a flea market.

9 “Your light isn’t on”

Yes I’m aware, but I’ll help you anyway.

8 “They did it for me last time”

Who are “they”, because it certainly wasn’t me.

7.“Are there more in the back?”

No. The “back” isn’t a magical place that produces whatever we demand

6.“You don’t have what I need”.

This is usually in response to “did you find everything?” and includes some long story about what they do need, followed by an awkward response as the cashier pretends to care. Next time, just smile and say yes.

5. “Are you open?”

Do you see me helping anyone? No? Then yes I am “open,” as weird as that sounds.

4.“You look like you need something to do”.

Winner, winner! You’re the 1,000th customer to say this to me today!

3.“You look bored”.

Because I am. Now let me ring your items up so you can be on your way.

2. “Wake up time to work”.

You might as well be asleep while standing around for hours and making awkward small-talk, yawn.

1. “It must be FREE”..Oh, because it didn’t scan? Insert fake laugh here…

How to Network Effectively in a CROWDED NOISY Room – 3 Simple Tips

The 1st step is to approach the event with a targeted resolve. This means to already have who you would like to meet in mind when walking through the door. This is important for the reason that you don’t want to waste time especially in a crowded room where certain closeness aspects aren’t available. Make sure that you very carefully avoid shouting in people’s ears when trying to be heard while carrying out this step. You simply must accomplish this 1st step completely and properly, if you don’t then you could be giving the wrong impression or even causing ear damage.

The 2nd step is to shake firmly and have a brief introduction already prepared. This should be brief and clear enough to get your point across and exchange cards when needed. Make sure you avoid not making a warm and professional impression and likewise appearing overwhelmed by the rapid and noisy activity in the room.

The 3rd step is to “get in” and “get out” quickly but effectively when interacting. If the event were less crowded and noisy you could be a bit more detailed and intimate with your conversations but you will have to adjust to this environment. This can be very important since you are still “working” and want to make this time useful and productive. Be careful to avoid the error of choosing quantity over quality when finding who to talk to and how long. Use your good judgement.

5 killer hacks for networking effectively at old-fashioned, in-person events:

  1. Commit Yourself to Helping Others.

Before you go to any networking event, I want you to summon your most positive, can-do, helpful attitude, and I want you to not even think about getting clients, customers, or a new job. For some people, this may seem completely counter-intuitive. After all, isn’t the whole point of networking to get more business or to further your career?

The truth is, if you go into an in-person networking event just thinking about yourself, people will sniff you out in a heartbeat. You’ll stand out more than Bugs Bunny dressed up as a girl.

Conversely, if you commit yourself to helping others in any way possible – be it a restaurant recommendation, or a tech tip, or a book suggestion – you will be more human and people will want to help you in return.

Here’s the “hack” part – after your event, email at least 1 or 2 people you met at the event with a tip, advice, resource, or some other way to help, based on what you learned about them. This one little step will go a long way.

  1. Make An Introduction.

I love introducing people. If you introduce two people and they hit it off, they will always be grateful to you. Trust me on this – my parents first met on a blind date.

And people who you have introduced to someone else are more likely to return the favor. This works even with people you just met at an in-person networking event.

  1. Connect with People Over their Families.

You know that saying, “the easiest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”?  Well, I believe the easiest way to a networking partner’s heart is through their immediate family members.

At most networking events, people talk about work-related or industry-related subjects. That’s what everyone else does, but you don’t need to do that. You can really distinguish yourself by talking about a person’s spouse or family, if you get the right opportunity.

If you just met someone and start asking about a person’s family without the proper opening, they’re probably just going to think you’re a weirdo. But if you do get an opening, then asking about a person’s family and looking for opportunities to help their children or spouse is an excellent hack for getting to know them a lot better.

  1. If You Are Shy or Introverted, Focus on Others.

I get asked a lot about what advice I have for people who really hate networking because they are shy or introverted. If you are really shy and don’t like meeting new people, then the best advice I can give you is that the best conversationalists often don’t talk much at all. 

People love talking about themselves, and if you ask a lot of questions and take a lot of interest in them, you don’t have to be a good conversationalist. Most people will enjoy the opportunity to speak about themselves to a captive audience.  And they will enjoy speaking with you.

  1. Use the 80/20 Rule for Following Up.

If you were to measure the amount of time most people spend on networking activities aimed at meeting new people vs. the amount of time they spend following up with the people they already know, you’d be shocked at how imbalanced it is.

People spend too much time trying to meet new people and too little time following up with and nurturing relationships with people they already know.

In fact, your efforts should be the other way around: use the 80/20 rule (aka the Pareto Principle) to further and develop relationships with your existing network.

This in turn will lead to meeting new people because people who you already know are more likely to be a gateway for you to their friends and connections.

After all, you have already spent time and energy getting to know people in your network and they have already (presumably) grown to know, like and trust you.

So be sure to spend time and energy networking with people who are in your network al

67 Contacts Per Year for Each Customer? Are you Crazy??

Here are the 5 best ways to contact your customers

Keep YOU and your Business TOP OF MIND.

good communication

 Email–Email marketing can be done via e-newsletters which can be sent weekly, or every 2 weeks. You can also send broadcast emails that are sporadic, concise announcements which inform the customer about one special thing. Auto-responders,which are specific email marketing messages that are written in advance and automatically go out to subscribers on certain days, can also be set up in an email marketing system.

Direct Mail–Letters, postcards, menus, and flyers are all forms of direct mail which can be targeted geographically by zip code to your target customers or mailed to your existing customer base.

SMS Text/Mobile–With your customers’ permission you can contact them using text messages on their mobile phone. A good way to use this is to announce coupons, specials, or appointment reminders or openings.

Social Media–Social media marketing puts your rolodex on steroids. Using social media allows you to communicate with you entire database at one time depending on the method used.Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all great social media networking sites and a solid way to expand your prospects beyond your existing customers. Be sure that you understand the culture of each site before diving in to the conversations.

Event Marketing–A great way to invite people to a grand opening, workshop, or holiday party is to send aninvitation using use eventbrite.com to conduct an event marketing campaign. These services allow users to create tickets, contact or name tag lists, and generate automatic reminder email messages to invited guests and registered attendees.

14 April Lunch

NORTHERN GOLD COAST NETWORKING LUNCH SERIES – APRIL

LEARN – CONNECT – EAT

SPEAKER:Dr Stephen Parr

S.E.O Uncovered!

Search Engine Optimisation for Small Business

Dr Stephen Parr will give you the secrets that every business must know to legally steal

floods of Google Traffic from your competitors.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Coomera Tavern

Delicious 2 course lunch, cash bar

Bring plenty of business cards and flyers and SPECIALS for the trade table

$35 per person

 

TO BOOK: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/24677


CALL PAULA for all enquiries and questions 0475 411 793

Join us a facebook.com/northgclunchseries

The coffee catch up:

5 Things to know, including who gets the bill
“We must catch up for coffee” is often the parting phrase at the end of networking events. I know this first hand, I’ve heard those exact words uttered thousands of times between thousands of people.
How many of those flippant coffee invitations actually transpire into a latte or a flat white?
I understand life gets busy, but I also believe we need to be a little more truthful when we suggest a coffee catch up. Simply saying, “I look forward to next time we meet” is a perfectly acceptable parting statement. It’s better than offering an experience that you have no intention of participating in.
So no more empty promises! Stand by your invitation and connect with those who you really do want to share a latte with. With that in mind here are some tips to help:
Why meet?
If it is you who suggests the meeting, then state why you would like to catch up. Be open and frank if you plan to discuss something specific. If it is just to get to know someone or catch up on things then say that too.
1. Who books?
If it is you who suggests the caffeinated catch up then it should be you who arranges it, so don’t offer unless you are prepared to follow through. You can always ask rather than invite by saying, “We have a lot to talk about, should we catch up for coffee sometime?” Then you can gauge the response and, if positive, say “great, I’ll organise it”. Easy!
2. Who pays?
You invite, you pay. That is usually how it should be for a simple coffee. I say ‘usually’ because I am amazed by how many times the rule is broken — and often without so much as a thank you! If you invite you get the bill, or at least offer to pay and be prepared to insist on paying past the first counter-offer. If you have been invited by someone and then decide to have a three course meal, then you cannot expect the other person to pay, so you need to offer your share.
Learn to say thank you in a gracious manner if it is their turn to pay. Rather than start the “oh no, let me pay” banter, just say thanks and be truly grateful.
3. What next?
If you have been invited to coffee and wish to continue the business relationship then offer to arrange (and pay for) the next coffee. Put a date in your diary sooner rather than later, even if that date is a month or two in advance. Believe me, the date will arrive before you know it!
4. How long?
One hour is the standard time for a meeting, coffee meeting or something similar, so try to stay within this out of respect for the other person’s schedule. If you need to discuss business then aim to have your conversation finished 15 minutes prior to the end of the hour, allowing time for a general chat afterwards.
I can recall a number of times coming away from a coffee meeting feeling a little flatter than my flat white because of poor etiquette, being purely sold to, or a lack of understanding about why we were meeting in the first place. On the flip side, I have shared many a flat white with inspiring, polite, energising people where connections were made and business was done in the most wonderful way. Flat white, one sugar thanks….

Northern Gold Coast Business Networking Lunch

NetworkingLunch

Come along to a Northern Gold Coast Business Networking Lunch that is built on connections, learning and eating good food.

A series of lunches designed for guests to CONNECT – LEARN – EAT once a month
Ideal for sole traders, small and medium sized business owners and staff.
Walk away with new business contacts and a spring in your step and a belly full of food. Take the time to get creative about your business, 2 hours a month is time and money well spent.

Overview

You are invited to the Northern Gold Coast Business Networking Lunch Series.
Why not invite one of your closest or most valued businesses along to benefit as well.
The lunch series is a business growth platform that will motivate you, educate you and join you with other like minded business owners for any business great or small.
The lunch series is designed to help support our business community by providing a low cost monthly event that is derived from tapping into the resources within the Northern Gold Coast community and beyond.

Description

There is no membership to attend the lunches
There is no commitment or structure where you HAVE to network in a rigid way
Book and pay for your seat for just $35.00 per person
Each event includes: main course, dessert and tea and coffee and a cash only bar.
Bring plenty of business cards and flyers for the display tables as you enter the lunch

General Information

Where like minded business owners meet to share & support each other, receive referrals, learn valuable business information and relax over a nice lunch.
The atmosphere will be motivational and contemporary not staid and boring. You will walk away with renewed passion for your business!

Want a platform that connects your business with other local businesses and consumers?

One minute power speaking spots at each lunch– for all the sponsorship benefits – Email: paula.brand@livingwithit.com.au.
One Lunch sponsor – we want to cherish our lunch sponsors and are open to how they wish to promote their business at the lunch. Email paula.brand@livingwithit.com.au for the details.
Donate a prize – another GREAT way to promote your business. Simply provide a prize letter with all the details and your business card. Notify Paula Brand that you have one for the lunch at paula.brand@livingwithit.com.au or facebook.com/calllivingwithit

ABOUT THE EVENT ORGANISER

Paula Brand (Director) has worked in the IT industry to promote the first computer games development Diploma in Australia. She has run the Queensland Women in IT Association and ran the Queensland IT Awards for Excellence and the National Digital Media Awards for a number of years. Paula also worked as a public relations manager for the 4th largest IT services company in Australia.
Paula is an experienced business owner having run a $3 million tyre import business in New Zealand. She has a management background in the training and not for profit and charity industries. Her specialisation is to build industry sectors and has done so for the pharmaceutical manufacturing, restaurant and catering and the IT sectors over the past 20 years.