Tag Archives: Small Business

The Importance of Good Branding

21 Feb

When we think of “branding” we think that a brand is the design, sign, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you / your product or service.  It will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s that which is brought to mind when a company name / product is mentioned or thought of and likewise It’s what you will use to identify your services / products uniquely.

However, your brand is not just the logo on the bottom of your email, it is your full on image and consequentially how you are perceived by others and the message that your business spreads.

So, to make life easier for yourself (and your target audience) it is essential that you keep the brand simple and clear. This is paramount, whoever you are; a sole trader, a singer, an event organiser, a web designer or even an accountant. The consistency of a brand is what delivers your key messaging, allows buyers to warm to you and encourages loyalty. By keeping your branding consistent you are building up trust with your target audience.

The main piece of advice Rocoja would give you is keep your brand colours the same throughout all marketing; you want someone to see a flyer or poster advertising your band, shop or business and recognise that it is your business as it is consistent. This should even carry through to your logo.

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The same goes for a visitor to your website following your link through to a social media platform, the brand, message, colours and logo need to follow through from your website to your social media presence.

A good brand should not over promise (don’t over complicate it) and should match the business it is representing. For example, if you are an accountant don’t have a cartoon style dog as your logo as this will confuse your ‘professional’ message that you want your target audience to see. Likewise, a singer /performer should really steer clear of “slang terms” and imagery as these go in and out of fashion extremely quickly.

Good branding not only needs to be relevant to your business but it needs to be relevant to your target audience too, if you sell bargain handbags at the market then an over the top foil business card with embossed writing will not fit with what you do; the same if you are a top class singer, you wouldn’t want a boring grey business card that just lists your information. A good brand will relate to you and your business, while being attractive to your target audience.

Get this right in the first place and your message will be carried out for you, thanks to your target audience trusting your branding.

The potential from the right image is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

Small Business – Know your worth!

27 Oct

As small business owners, we all know the dream probably began with the tiniest spark – This spark is something you’ve carefully kindled into a flame; which we hope one day will be the roaring fire fuelling your future.

No one starts up a business with the intent of giving free hand-outs. But then again we all know that sometimes, this is exactly what happens.

Business Card

Perhaps it was easy to do the occasional favour for a friend back in the beginning, during those first steps when it was important to test the waters or when assessing the success of your ideas meant bringing them to life on a smaller scale; but as time moves on and the ideas grow, expand and become real – your time is much more precious.

The business is not just a small spark any more, it’s a lifestyle choice you live…..

It’s critical at this point, to put a value on your time, effort and skills.

Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day and neither was your empire. Equally, without support and carefully developed partnerships, the Romans would have fallen at the first hurdle.

In our digital world of instant contact, internet reviews and expedited delivery across the globe it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that you make the step from ‘start-up’ to becoming a fully-fledged business. Much of that transition depends on the confidence you have in yourself and in your finished product.

Working with other small businesses can bring a sense of connection and support and establishing partnerships early on in the lifetime of a business can be incredibly rewarding.  It can seem like a good idea, once given the chance to offer your services to another business, to offer a heavily discounted rate; thereby, almost certainly guaranteeing a glowing review and endorsement of your product or service. However, just as quickly – the credibility of your work can come under the microscope. Questions can arise about shortcoming in your own sense of worth and the worth of the business.

Instead, offering your services at a price you would expect to pay for them, will ensure that there is a mutual understanding and respect. There aren’t many honest, hard-working business owners who don’t understand the difficulty of becoming and being a successful entity and therefore will accept your terms and pricing for the value that they stand for.

Remembering the ethos of being a good business owner is important when it comes to putting a price on what you do and what you hope your business will grow into.

At a certain point, these are no longer favours for a friend, and you aren’t in training any more; you are a BUSINESS providing a quality service / product & need to behave that way.

Respect for growing small-businesses is rich in our everyday lives, not just from others who have started and are starting out just as you are, but also from those consumers who are making informed choices about the people they seek out. Confidence in your product is always going to be your first tool in marketing and to undersell, even to another business can be detrimental to your business health.

Seek out other business possibilities, work out where you can both benefit from the support of one another.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

                          

Troll or concerned citizen?

24 Aug

I am sincerely hopeful I never have to revisit this subject again.

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Having to deal with “professionals” who feel trolling behaviour is not only warranted but is totally defensible if they have a “greater good” at the end of a murky tunnel, has been horrible.

In my opinion, naming someone as a perpetrator of a crime, participant in an indiscretion etc – before any evidence has been gathered, before even speaking to a that person is NEVER warranted. Especially if you are NOT a govt body investigating an issue.

Indeed, that person being named may not even be involved in whatever storm you are whipping up & here-in lies the problem.

Trolling on a “professional level” is a slippery slope to Vigilantly-ville, one which not only can ruin careers / lives, but can lead to physical harm.

Personally, with what has taken place recently, the issue for me is so much bigger than my chagrin. The issue is that self appointed guardians online have not followed the professional protocol they are vehemently spouting as a defence for their actions.

In fact, as a twisted way to justify the behaviour – I was told in so many words to “suck it up” as my personal feelings & business which may be harmed by this whirlwind of unsubstantiated gumpf are inconsequential if their trolling gets a wider message of “Don’t mess with us” out there.

Anyone who knows me – both in a professional & personal capacity, knows my blog is aimed at small business owners. It’s to explain that everyone online is a consumer. Their experience online will without doubt be affected by how they see a business / professional person behave. They also know I do what I do (marketing etc) for the people I help, as a passion not as a profitable business. I do it as I believe in connecting people. Hence the charity work also.

I just wish other professionals had contacted me prior to this past week’s shenanigans

So in a last ditch attempt at restoring some morals & ethics to a bunch of behaviour – I am listing some definitions of trolling.

I am hopeful the professionals may recognise the means does NOT justify the (very doubtful) end.

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
(urbandictionary.com)
Someone who leaves an intentionally annoying message on the internet, in order to get attention or cause trouble.
(CambridgeDictionary.org)
One who hides under the bridges of topics, eagerly waiting to pounce on meek or unexpecting individuals and shower them with opposing opinions or ideas (generally derogatorily)
(Yahoo.co.uk)
Do I believe all those who have been so vocal online are trolls in the worst sense? NO
But it’s so difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff when its relentless & so damaging.
My concern is, run with the crowd & you get caught up with the crowd.
There are better ways to make yourself heard – more professional ways.
In all seriousness. YOU are out there – every time you post. Make sure the YOU that is seen, is professional and trustworthy.

The potential for good from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

                          

Social Media Impact

10 Aug Social media, Small Business, Facebook, Twitter, London

Social media is probably one of the greatest revolutions ever in communication, and as such it has a great impact in how businesses are advertised and even run.

Social media, Small Business, Facebook, Twitter, London

By means of creating, sharing and exchanging information, ideas, images and videos, people have the opportunity to be part of a massive virtual community.

Regarding the business world, this immediacy and efficiency when dealing with information are helping (and will carry on helping in the future) monitoring trends, doing market studies, advertising and growing opportunities.

Benefits of social media go from simply sharing some piece of information socially to opening up new career opportunities or building up a solid reputation.

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow users to pass any information they want to the appropriate audience.

Used in business environments, getting the location, gender, age and other features of the networks’ users, companies can easily know which audience to target as well as finding new possible clients.

In addition to seeking people to help businesses grow and sending information directly to them, social media is a great to tool when it comes to feedback.

Any new product that is shown and advertised through social media and then shared by users will receive the opinion of many of those users; after the product has been tried.

This information can then be used by the company to improve.

Social media has been able to reach a level of advertising and passing of information that no other media ever could until now.

Information is passed directly from person to person without needing intermediaries; not only this but also the fact that social network users’ preferences and personal information make it much easier for companies to show their products to the right people.

Be it from a laptop or thanks to a mobile app, social networks like Facebook,Twitter or Pinterest as well as many others that may not be as popular yet, help build up a good relationship with customers and the three of them effectively serve both parties: business and customer

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Linkedin for your Small Business

25 Jun

Linked

Linkedin has long been seen as the grown-up alternative to Facebook for professionals to link up, mainly for recruitment & social purposes.

It’s been nice to have an online place to go and connect without the drama of peoples private lives or the semi-embarrassment of having to fawn over cute kitten pictures or complement people’s cooking skills.

However, is it really any use to a small business owner?

Here’s my top tips for you, as I believe it can be a great asset – if used correctly.

1.Only post good quality content on your company Linkedin site.

Good content should be highly targeted and should be relevant to your business and that of your followers.

2. Join groups and be active in them.

Make sure you join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your target market. Engage in conversation and listen to what the audience is talking about, take the opportunity to pitch in with advice.

3. Make your Company page interesting.

The page should be updated regularly, so the brand is active and appears to be an operating business. Post updates, Quote on other people’s updates.

4. Avoid hard selling

People don’t want to be sold to now, they want to be interacted with, valued and listened to. So try your best to be knowledgeable on LinkedIn about your product / business arena.

Overall Linkedin IS more professional but the basics still apply. Don’t “Wing it” Don’t “Automate it” & Don’t Pay for Followers/Friends /Fans Likes” ever ever ever….. All of these things smack of deception & who wants to be involved with a small business that practices deceit right at the very beginning of a business relationship?

The potential from LinkedIn is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

3) Quick Tips for your Social Media campaigns

19 Mar

You need a good Social Media strategy nowadays.

Social media business

With Consultants like us, creating great content for our clients; small businesses are now, more than ever needing to ensure their Social Media is relevant & engaging;

And while I will still maintain, employing a professional is a much better (& safer) option, here is some help for all you “go it aloners” out there.

 

1)         Pick Your platforms carefully – not every business needs to be on every social media platform.Logos

Some businesses should be on visually rich sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, while others  are more suited to the text only “quick-info” style of Twitter. You MUST understand your audience, do some research, have a look at what they are interacting with, before making the plunge, as a badly managed Social Media account can be detrimental to how prospective clients / customers perceive you.

 

2)        Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! aka – Avoid the hard sell!

The main thing I try to explain to my small businesses is that Social Media is not about selling.  Your followers & friends will not thank you for appearing in their timeline extolling the virtues of your business, time after time & they will “switch -off”. I know we are all proud of our business & want to shout it from the rooftops BUT your Twitter / Facebook is probably not the best place to do that over & over again. A little bit of self-promo is ok once in a while, but try to make your overall strategy about enhancing your followers experience, encouraging them to share out the information you are bringing to them. remember although you see a screen when you post your content, the recipients are human & want to be spoken to as such.

3)         Dont think its a free for all online!

This is by no means a “free” marketing tool. In fact Social media is expensive! Just ask those people or companies who have been sued or have been ruined because Tweets sent were deemed to be offensive. Some famous examples of a Social Media storm have included – Courtney Love , Marlon Wayans , US HighSchool & these cases. Be careful what you post, make sure you are being truthful.

Social Media

Some other great blogs around this subject are here:-

Is Bigger always Better?       Social Media – DIY?       The 4 Platforms I love!

Social media language.        Should I Auto It?

 

Or contact us for some advice

www.Rocoja.co.uk

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming event – Celebrity Charity Football Match, Ashford

16 Mar

Thank you for the mention to WhatsOnWhere

Upcoming event – Celebrity Charity Football Match, Ashford.

Theres a CELEB FC Event in Kent this weekend – Sunday 22nd March.

CELEBRITY TEAM EXPECTED 

Charity Football Kent

Rob Lamarr – Channel 5 Supercasino – Celeb FC Goalie

DJ Pied Piper – UK Garage Legend – Celeb FC “Player/Manager”

Andy Taylor – Singdate

Mr Rootsy – X Factor

Darren Taylor – Striker / Sponsor

Mark Anthony – Radio DJ

Johny Pach – TV Presenter

Shameek Farrell – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

Danny Page (Pagey) – Radio DJ

J_Milz – Urban Music MC

Danny Legend – UKG Producer

Josh S – Model

J-Rock – BigBrovaz

Carl Owen – Model / Actor

Simon Osborn – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

Leo The Lion – The Streets / The Voice

Gareth Graham – Ex Semi-Pro Footballer

MC Kie – UK Garage Legend

This is a charity benefit match in aid of the new sports pavilion at Charing FC, all funds raised will be going towards the completion!!

Events on the day to include;
** CROSS BAR CHALLENGE**
** RAFFLE WITH A TOP PRIZE OF A WEEKEND BREAK IN CORNWALL**
**BBQ**
**GILLINGHAM FC CHEERLEADERS**
**BOUNCY CASTLE**
**FACE PAINTING**

And much much more!!

Tickets are £2 for an adult, £1 for children or £5 for 2 adults and 2 children!

GATES OPEN AT 1PM

**Celeb FC players don’t get paid to participate, They are all volunteers, as are the admin & support team, because of this some members of the squad might not be available, and cancel at short notice.

Please contact us, if you would like some assistance from Celeb FC.

 

Stumble Upon   Celeb FC Facebook Twitter Celeb FC  Google Plus Celeb FC

Info@CelebFC.co.uk

Social Media for Small Business – Why Wait?

15 Dec

The Importance Of Social Media In Business 

As a business, no matter the size or industry, you have to consider one thing very seriously: where do you get your customers from?

social-circle

Chances are in most cases, and certainly in the more traditional or manual based industries such as plumbers, builders or mechanics, your customers come from repeat business and referrals.  So if you have one happy customer who then refers one friend to your business that is a real bonus. Now consider this the: the 500 million people on Facebook have an average of 336 ‘Friends’ to share content with.  If that same customer goes on to their Facebook page and recommends you, ‘Likes’ your business page and shares it with their ‘Friends’ you have effectively been given a personal recommendation to 336 new potential warm leads without spending any money and without lifting a finger!  Next thing to think about is that your customer in question will on average check his or her Facebook page on their Smart phone around 14 times a day.  This gives you the incredible benefit of being able to remain at the forefront of their mind next time they require your services or a friend requests a recommendation.

Putting The ‘Social’ In Social Media Comes In. 

When you create a social media account you are not there to sell your services.  Alison Evans from F.E.W. Waterproofing says: “You have to provide information and…be prepared to share your knowledge. It’s a different mindset for small business…you must make yourself the authority figure of your field”.  

So yes you can throw in the occasional deal or offer within your posts, but generally you are there to build and develop a relationship with your current and potential customers whilst simultaneously building a database of people who know about you and may need your business.  So update your business pages with easy, fun and relevant content such as:

  • Blogs or news articles relevant to the local area or your business
  • Infographics
  • New technology or techniques in your field of expertise
  • Tips and tricks
  • Photos of you ‘on the job’
  • Videos of you to help create the feeling that you are the ‘go to’ authority in your industry
  • The occasional offer in return for a subscription to your email database

Update your social media accounts every day, or at the very least every other day, so that at least once during those 14 visits your customer will see your post and be reminded of you and the fantastic job you did, even if it is only subconsciously!  blog-writting

Creating an interesting, relevant ‘guru-like’ status is easier and quicker to do on social media than it is on a website or in person, and by adding in the local news or interesting blogs and infographic posts too you are opening up your relevancy, interest and customer potential far more than by simply posting your website link and price list every day.

The Social Media Platforms For Business 

The key social media platforms to use for business are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube (due to the current surge in popularity of videos on social media at the moment) and your own website blog.  You can occasionally run paid ads on Facebook, but don’t waste your time paying for ‘Likes’ as you get far more return from ‘organic’ Likers such as the ones from your customer and their friends than strangers who happened to see your advert and clicked Like.  For example, that stranger may live on the other side of the world and so by default they are no ‘use’ to you as a business and you have therefore wasted your advertising spend.

If the concept of using social media every day is daunting to you, or else you are far too busy to put the necessary time in to build your followers, fans and likes, then contact a company like Rocoja; Any social media management company, aimed at looking after small businesses  should be able to give you an appraisal of your existing online presence & an overview of what they can do & how. This should be a free service…..

The main issue for many small, fledgling or even well established businesses who attempt to use social media is that they set up basic websites and social media platforms filled only with poor content and then (unsurprisingly) get little or no return.

Having someone to help you, who knows the “arena” is invaluable.

So don’t worry, it takes a little while to build your online persona, but once you have the right help on board, you will wonder why you waited so long!

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

contactus

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Stay Safe – Email Invoices

3 Nov

Rocoja Limited has just had the email below sent through –

Email Virus

It is appearing as an invoice from TM Group Billing with a subject of  “A new invoice has been created”.

Attached to the email, is what looks at first glance to be a Document (word doc).

This is another email scam, aiming for a click on the document as the originators of these viruses are being a little more clever now, by using what look like business email addresses and associated subjects that may entice a user to read the email and open the attachment.

A shift has recently happened, which has seen a high proportion of these scam emails, being targeted at small businesses, with the hope of getting a better response.

Practically all of these also have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email logins.
Many of them are also designed to steal the Facebook and other social network log in details of small businesses, along with Website log ins & FTP files  (if you manage your own site).

The companies & employees who are mentioned in the emails are normally completely  innocent and have been picked at random.

Never get involved in any way, even if your “good” heart tells you to let the company involved know what’s happened; the best advice is – dont.

With regards to the aforementioned  TM Group “new invoice” email; on hovering over the attachment, it appears to be a genuine word doc attached, however it is most definitely corrupted and contains a horrible virus.

Overall – all I can say is – Be very careful with email attachments.

The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it.

Also – as great as Virus protection programs are; don’t just rely on the “Real-Time” scanning available with many of them – If you absolutely have to check the attachment – do this..

Save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and THEN scan it with your antivirus.

Many antivirus’s do not automatically detect macro-viruses in real-time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings.

Also be aware that there are a lot of dodgy word docs spreading that WILL infect you with no action from you if you are still using an outdated version of word. This is a good reason to update your office programs to a recent version and stop using office 2003 and 2007.

Many small business owners use older versions of office programs, because  they are convenient, have the functions and settings we are used to and may have never seen a need to update to the latest super-duper version.

BUT the risks in using older version are now seriously starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.

I strongly urge you to update your office suite to the latest version and stop putting yourself at risk!

For any more help / advice  or Small Business Tips & Trick

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk 

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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Colours in Business

16 Oct

logo's

 

 

 

The colours you use in your business, not only reflect your personality, they can affect how people perceive your business.

Colours influence our emotions & behaviour, so its critical to understand their relationships to business, so we can affect productivity & demand.

Afterall, we all want your shoppers/customers to spend more with you than your competitors, so the right colour choices are paramount.

Lets look at a few here:-

Green

Green

This colour is great for inspiring feelings of serenity; it’s an easy colour to look at & provides an air of trust.

It’s also associated with wealth, health & longevity.

 

 

Black

Black

This is used most often to promote luxury items, giving a feeling of power & strength.

Although often seen as a colour of intelligence, to much black can feel morbid & morose. So use it wisely.

 

 

YellowYellow

Seen as optimistic & cheerful, Yellow is a great impact / statement colour.

This is great for window displays etc as it promotes a feeling of being happy to impulse.

However it’s not a great colour for large spaces, so avoid painting your premises yellow.

 

pink

Pink

A calming colour, which is really attractive to the younger market, particularly women.

Great colour of choice for a service based business or one which uses lots of conversation, such as mediators etc.

 

 

GreyGrey

Immediately symbolises practicality & stability. However it can draw out feelings of depression & nothingness.

Often used to appeal to “older” markets, it can be seen as non-committal & bland.

 

 

BlueBlue

Creating a sense of security & professionalism this is a well used colour for financial businesses.

It’s also the most commonly “liked” colour – Hence why social media companies use this colour as a base.

 

 

RedRed

This colour feels forceful & dangerous & appeals to fast paced thinking, it creates a sense of urgency & is used

a lot to promote impulse buying.

 

 

Purple

Purple

Associated with respect, loyalty & luxury, purple is often used for problem-solving businesses.

It represents creativity & passion, along with knowledge & tenacity.

 

 

This is  only a quick guide, so don’t forget that these colours can be mixed together & used in varying degrees to utilise a little or a lot of what they represent.

One of the best things you as a business can do, is research your market before making a choice on your branding colours.

Take a look at these

Facebook & Twitter – The colour they use is perfect for encouraging people to interact.

Twitter-icon

Facebook-icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

McDonald’s – The colours they use are cheerful, optimistic & aimed at impulse buying. (Remember Red  is aimed at creating a sense of urgency).

download downlocad

 

 

 

 

 

Please contact us if you are considering a new/improved/changed Logo.

We provide a bespoke branding & logo service & will contact you within 24 hours.

 

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

Please join Rocoja on any of the social media platforms below

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