High Wycombe entrepreneur receives #WOW award from Jacqueline Gold CBE

In May, Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing, from Great Kingshill, was recognised by British businesswoman, Jacqueline Gold CBE, for her success as a female entrepreneur, and awarded with a prestigious #WOW badge.

Pinpoint Marketing was one of three winners selected by Jacqueline after she entered ‘Women on Wednesday’ – a competition launched by Jacqueline in 2011 to celebrate the growing number of UK female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

Women on Wednesday (#WOW) takes place every week and is run through Jacqueline’s Twitter page.  When selecting the winners, Jacqueline looks for businesses that are interesting, that have strong brand values and that she thinks have potential to grow and succeed in their industry. She looks for quality products and services, well designed websites and entrepreneurs who demonstrate good business acumen and who have spotted a gap in the market that meets the consumer’s needs.

Pinpoint Marketing’s ethos is to make marketing simple and to add value and support to local, small businesses looking to grow their business through cost effect marketing ideas and campaigns. We have been trading for 11 years and have helped many businesses in this time with strategy, planning, content, social media and much more. We genuinely love helping through our network of associates.

Jacqueline Gold says:Pinpoint Marketing specialises in working with small businesses to provide realistic but effective marketing strategies to help companies grow. Nicole’s passion for providing an easy and simple marketing service and her friendly and personable demeanour sets her apart. I wish her every success in the future.

For me, #WOW is all about inspiring and celebrating female entrepreneurs. My vision is for women in the UK to come together, celebrate their strengths, skills and fantastic businesses, and do all that they can to inspire other women to realise their potential.  

The WOW community is a fantastic network which offers female entrepreneurs the opportunity to share advice, support each other, trade and most importantly celebrate their successes!” 

For more information about Women on Wednesday, please visit the website

How can I improve my Cashflow (and why should I?) Guest blog

How many times have you looked at your accounts and seen a profit, but wondered how that can possibly be right when your bank balance is so low?

Maybe you need to spend more time focusing not just on making a profit but improving your cashflow. Perhaps you need to take money out of the business to fund your lifestyle, or you want to invest for the future, or build up a financial buffer to cover for unforeseen eventualities? Perhaps you need to put systems in place to monitor and improve your cashflow. In the simplest terms you need to speed up getting money in, and slow down paying money out.

So…exactly how do you go about this?

For a start, it may sound obvious, but you need to invoice your clients promptly, for the right amount, and send the invoice to the right person. It’s amazing how many businesses fall at this first hurdle! Make sure that you agree payment terms up front, so that there are no surprises which could lead to disputes and therefore delay payment.  And don’t forget to supply your bank details. Have a system to record invoices and track payments so that you can send gentle reminders when payments don’t arrive when they should.  (Save the heavy-handed tactics for the serious defaulters!)

You may also choose to delay payments out by paying suppliers according to their payment terms, rather than as soon as the invoice arrives. Or consider careful use of a business credit card in order to defer payments as long as is reasonable without damaging your credit rating or reputation.

Don’t waste funds on unnecessary expenses or tie up bank funds in excessive stock balances. Remember that to grow your business you may need to free up funds in order to invest in equipment or staff.  Also, if seeking finance, lenders will look at your cashflow as well as your profit.

Finally, consider using cloud software and banking apps – they will allow you to monitor your funds wherever you are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you’ll always have up-to-date information at your fingertips!

For any questions, on this blog or cashflow, contact Carolyn of Orion Accountancy

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Can anyone be an entrepreneur?

According to the online dictionary I used, the word or concept of “entrepreneur” means “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit” and the synonyms include businessman and businesswoman.

So can anyone be an entrepreneur? Are you one?

As a businesswoman myself, so I guess an entrepreneur (although for some reason I don’t often refer to myself as this! I mainly use the term business owner or small business) I have recently been learning about the world of business to empower and improve myself and I have been getting motivated by listening to podcasts from Karren Brady and Paul McKenna and the subject of being an entrepreneur or entrepreneurialism has come up a lot.

Our brains have a left and a right sides. The left side is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. The left also performs tasks that have to do with logic and the right performs tasks that have do with creativity and the arts.

So are all entrepreneurs creative only?

Is the typical or average entrepreneur reliant on their right side then? A lot of what I heard and read seems that the average entrepreneur is creative on their ideas, visualisation and so on but they don’t do detail. They use others/teams who are more left sided to make things happen like the strategy, the processes and so on. It makes sense to play to ones strengths.

This is of course just an observation and I’m sure there are many business woman and men who can and will be able to manage both. I think I am both in parts, but my predominant side is the left, logical side.

So when I say entrepreneur, who do you think of? Simon Cowell, Lord Sugar and Theo Paphitis? Jo Malone, Karren Brady and Kelly Hoppen? They may well call themselves shop keepers or TV execs or chair woman but essentially they all show and share the entrepreneurialism traits.

Listening to the podcasts I mentioned, other personality traits also seem to be shared by such business people and these include focus and determination, positive, driven and bright. They listen to others and take advice but don’t get put off or knocked back. They are go getters and the business world needs such people with such traits. Interestingly, I don’t think they are very money driven either. Money is the result yes, but not the why or the main reason they do what they do.

Entrepreneurs can work solo but also in teams. They make things happen using their teams, their ambition and their experience. After all we cannot be good at everything even if we are business owners/self employed so why not admit that and use others to help and support us and learn from.

How would you describe yourself? Is entrepreneur an overused word or one that should be used more?

Hope you enjoyed reading this …

10 Marketing mistakes not to make with your business …

I have been in marketing a long time now and I have been self employed for almost 11 years too, so I have had plenty of times and occasions to see simple and common mistakes made time after time. I will just hop up on my soap box and tell you some silly mistakes that I have seen made, and corrected, that once addresses and fixed, can make a difference to you, your business and your customers in a positive way.

  1. Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google my Business) and then leaving them dorment with no regular posts, photos, videos and so on
  2. Having a newsletter sign-up box on your website but never sending an email newsletter out
  3. Creating and printing marketing material that lacks important content eg phone number, special code, url, call to action and so on
  4. Jumping head first into campaigns and starting up ideas but never completing anything or following up. Scattergun approach to marketing as it is known.
  5. Creating and implementing campaigns without knowing the basics of why you are doing this, who you re aiming the messaging at and so on. This is like guesswork and assuming the client will put everything together
  6. Not being organised and working on your marketing randomly or whenever there is time. No consistency or continuity will not lead to results and success
  7. Not following up. If a potential new customer calls you or emails you or submits a form via your website and you do not follow up, this is a real wasted opportunity. It sounds crazy but it has happened. To the customer, it is like you can’t be bothered with them and they will simply go elsewhere to buy
  8. Receiving some good news eg a new project, company anniversary, award win etc and then not telling anyone about it! No press release, no social media post, no radio interview, nothing! It is ok to be proud and shout about your achievements. If you don’t, no one else will
  9. Not going networking. Staying in your home office or office and not getting there amongst suppliers or customers/potential customers can be fatal. Networking can help you grow, train and learn, but it can also get your name/your businesses name out there to those in the room and all their contacts! I recommended you Google #GirardsLawof250
  10. Not having a content plan to showcase all of your products/services across all your marketing channels. To ensure all services are marketed equally and to enable content to be written and recycled for blog, website, minutes, social media, your monthly content plan will contain, for each medium, a template outlining ideas and draft wording.

Whereas these mistakes are not gravely serious, in the grand scheme of things, they are still mistakes that need addressing in order to maintain professionalism and to keep up your brand and personal brand appearance. If you need help in correcting your mistakes or not making them in the first place, get in touch.

 

Why hire a professional when I can film my website video and social media content myself?

GUEST BLOG BY DEBBIE GOBBETT

In the past, hiring a professional video production team to create your website and social media video content has been something you’d have to seriously work into your marketing budget and usually at a very high cost. Filming, editing and video production required specialised equipment and expertise.  Now, with iPhones and GoPros providing pretty great image quality, and with the advances in technology we see happening at a rapid rate, this has made professional videography more affordable than ever. Whilst the saying “you get what you pay for” still applies, businesses today can get a higher quality product for their money.  Online video is gaining momentum every year, and it has entered marketing’s mainstream – it is almost imperative to have video included in your marketing mix – so why have a professional come and film your business story rather than do-it-yourself? 

You are an expert in your field of business – are you an expert in story-telling?

Do you have the time?

There are three basic factors that drive productions costs.  These factors eventually get reflected in dozens of small budget decisions that impact the quality of the final video shown on your website or seen on your social media platforms…

  • Time. The more time that is spent in pre-production, working out your story, planning, scripting, location scouting, shooting, special effects and editing the better the final product will be.  More time, from more people, equals more money.
  • Talent. The greater the talent of the people working on the project, the better it will be.  Your staff team may be extremely talented at selling your business service or product, but this does not necessarily mean they are video content creators!  In online video production, as with most things in life, talented and experienced people tend to cost more.
  • Tools. You can produce a video with your mobile phone.  Or you can use a high-end camera with a professional lighting kit, professional sound equipment and sophisticated post-production graphics and animation.  Sophisticated tools and the top-level professionals who know how to use them add to the cost of your video production.

What is the message you actually want to convey?

If you are wanting to tell your audience of your latest special offers and deals or about an event that’s happening next week, perhaps a FaceBook Live video will do, in which case, haul out the iPhone and get your message out there!

If you are wanting to produce a series of training videos for your sales team, perhaps a more professional approach is needed, even if it is only being watched on your intranet – keeping your brand professional.

If you are wanting to showcase your business, tell your brand story and highlight the benefits of what you do, then more time and pre-production thought is needed to produce a result that you will be happy with and that reflects your brand. The WHY is easy – you want your business to grow, you want your brand to be seen, you want to increase sales. When planning your web video also take into consideration WHAT you want the world to see, HOW your brand is received, and WHERE it’s going to be seen. Depending on the answers to those, you can decide on your budget…

What will it cost you?

Find out the costs and the detail here