How to Find a New Business Agency

It is important to keep a good stream of customers and clients. It is very easy to get complacent when you have enough clients – but if one of those clients disappeared would your business feel the effect? Or worse would it crumble?? Working with a New Business Agency can help you win clients and grow your business. There is no denying that new business / lead generation can be time consuming, hard work and expensive but overall it can be worthwhile and cost effective.

Many Creative and Marketing Agencies work with New Business Agencies; it is an effective way to get your work in front of companies you want to work with. I wrote this article after to speaking to the Directors of Creative Agencies and other Business Development Managers. This article is for small Creative and Marketing Agencies new to new business and looking to work with a New Business Agency for the first time.

I think it fair to say in the world of new business you do get what you pay for. You can get a telesales person to call thousands of companies and pay a minimal fee, or you can choose an agency that approach new business intelligently. The second will be costly but can you afford not to?

New Business Agencies specialise in finding you clients in order to grow your business. Although agencies work in different ways, the long and short of it is that, they will phone companies on your behalf with the view of setting up a meeting between you and the potential client. Sounds simple enough, but the new business process is more than simply cold calling.

Before you jump in at the deep end there are a few factors to bear in mind when choosing a New Business Agency. They are all different and will all have diverse ideas about the way new business should be conducted. Here are a few questions to ask your new business agency before you work with them?

Question 1 -Results or Numbers?

If a New Business Agency promises to target 500 companies a week and guarantees you five meetings, be aware. This can be a potential time waster for some agencies. If a New Business Manager is pressured to get you in front of x amount of clients, they will. Whether the meeting is worthwhile or not, is not their problem they just have to reach their targets.

If the person handling your new business account is a really good sales person with a hard sales technique they may be able to force a potential client to have a meeting with you whether they have work, or you are suitable. These are good sales people, but they may not be producing qualified leads.

For example, if you are a design agency who specialises in content managed websites for small businesses, you do not want to end up at a meeting to rebrand Kellogs. Yes, this would be a fantastic opportunity, but in competition with top branding agencies do you stand a chance? If you only work for big brands similarly you may not want to show up to a meeting to discuss a £300 website.

A good New Business Manager should be keen and results driven but also able to evaluate a qualified lead. By giving too many targets you are ultimately pushing them into a corner to produce meetings. You do not want to attend any old meeting. A perfect meeting is a potential client who is looking for an agency for a particular project or looking to change their roster of agencies. A good meeting is also a simple credentials meeting with one of your wish list companies, who you plan to impress with solid ideas.

Rather than an agency driven by numbers, consider an agency driven by results. Unfortunately, but realistically, new business is not always about getting work now. It is about creating a pipeline and raising your profile. If your Account Handler has a good conversation with a Decision Maker about a suitable project which will be commissioned later that year, this is better than a credentials meeting. You can then keep in regular contact with the decision maker until that project comes up. By the time you have the meeting you will be talking about a particular project rather than running through a portfolio.

Look at the pipeline as much as the amount of meetings.

Question 2 – How Targeted is their New Business Approach?
Are you trying to reach as many companies as possible to offer your services to? For some businesses this may work but I doubt if this works for many. A New Business Agency which suggests a highly targeted approach will more than likely receive better results. For example a design agency looking to build up a client list does not want to target ‘any’ business with “we do design” it really is not going to stand out, and it simply becomes a game of chance.

A web design agency who mainly works with restaurants producing content managed websites could contact other restaurants with a similar offer. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to restaurants, always look to expand your market but do it with careful consideration. If you work with restaurants you could then aim at hotels, pubs, bars and clubs. Of course, you can always expand your market but showing a potential client experience in your field is going to be beneficial. (My next article will go further into this subject).

Look at the size of the business – if you have only ever worked with SMEs build this up gently don’t suddenly aim for Coke. Look at the location of businesses, do you have the time and money to travel from London to Glasgow for a meeting or do you need to stay local. A good New Business Agency will create a database tailored to your business capabilities. In order to tailor a database it is advisable to initially work with your New Business Agency, they should be able to give advice to you. But you need to know which direction you are heading with your business, and where you sit, and would like to sit in the market place.

Although this may sound as if I am stating the obvious, a few of the new business managers I spoke to told me stories of how their clients took little interest in the strategy and simply left to them to get meetings with no direction. These clients then refused to leave London to attend meetings and refused any project under £5000 (although they had never completed a project for this much money).

Question 3 – How do they find the Decision Maker?
When your New Business Agency is going to send your information to the company, how are they going to find the right person? There is plenty of information available on the internet these days on Marketing Directors of companies. Although it would be wonderful to gain a meeting with someone so high up in the company how likely is this?

The Marketing Director of Nike is not generally going to interview agencies for a microsite. In most cases it would be a waste of time and money trying to reach them on the phone to set up a meeting. Aim lower. Nike is a huge corporation and it will take patience and careful research to find the person in charge of commissioning microsites and it won’t be the Marketing Director.

Especially in recent years more and more new roles are appearing in companies, new media managers, advertising managers, mobile managers, interactive managers, account directors, creative directors – who are you looking to work with? Aim for less companies as research can be time consuming, but ensure your representative is talking to the right person. Letters simply addressed to the Marketing Director are hard to follow up with a phone call. Find out how and who your New Business Manager will be trying to contact.

Question 4 – Who else is the agency working with?

It is great to work with an agency that has skills in selling what you are offering, even better to get a New Business Manager with these exact skills. But if your New Business Manager is working with three Mobile Marketing Agencies is your account being kept separate? What is your agencies ethics of sharing potential clients?

Your new business account should be, if at all possible, separate to any other companies. You do not want to paying for someone else’s new business. It can be all too easy for a New Business Manager to find details of a company looking to rebrand all their marketing collateral… and keep two design agencies happy.

Question 5 – Who is your Account Handler?

Always ask to meet the person handling your account. It is your business, and they are representing you, be sure you like the way they come across. Your New Business Manager should not really read from a script and should be confident and knowledgeable enough to hold an in-depth conversation. If you are a New Media Agency does your New Business Manager know their augmented reality from their rfId barcodes, and how far can they carry on with this conversation?

In order to find common ground with a potential client it is good to know about their business before having a conversation with them. This means your New Business Manager has to be knowledgeable about the sectors they are targeting.

New Business Mangers should be versatile. They should be good researchers, communicators and able to pick up information quickly. Providing a New Business Manager has had experience in marketing or creative agencies they will understand the processes and jargon and can generally adapt to other industries that have specialist interests. Someone on the other hand, who has no background in design, marketing or creative industries in general will probably find it harder to learn everything from scratch and find out about niche markets.

If your New Business Manager has built a relationship with a Decision Maker it could be an idea to take them along to the meeting as a part of your company. Does your New Business Agency allow this? In an ideal world your Account Handler should feel they are a part of your team.

It is important for you to go to meetings prepared and know what is expected from you at the meeting. It is down to you to give your New Business Manager all the information they need. You know your market and it never does any harm to keep them updated with your knowledge of industry events. When you launch a new project let your New Business Manager know, keep them involved.

Question 6 – How do you prepare to work with an New Business Agency?

Be prepared to be involved. Most New Business Managers spoken to for this article said, “The closer they have worked with clients the more likely they are to achieve results.” Do not expect a New Business Agency to start work and come back to you a week later with lots of new work – it rarely happens like that. If your New Business Agency is starting conversations with the right people make sure you have the supporting materials. Many potential clients will ask for an email with links to your projects, PDFs, show reels or brochures – it is down to you to provide these. When attending the meetings, that you have essentially paid a lot of money to get, make sure you are prepared for the presentation. Your New Business Agency can only take you so far. Remember that if you run your business you should really be the best person to undertake your new business as you know your business inside out, your capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. If you cannot get yourself a £500,000 contract don’t expect a new business agency to. Be realistic

Many creative agencies I spoke to had worked with at least a couple of New Business Agencies before finding the one they felt they could work with, hence the reason for this article. There are obviously many questions to ask before undertaking the expense of a New Business Agency but I hope this article covers a few! Please see more advice on handling your own new business on my website http://www.kerinewman.com.

Are Employee Personal Electronic Devices Dangerous to Small Business Security?

Can my employees using their own endpoint devices endanger the cyber security of your business? ”

Good Morning:

A lot of small business owners are starting to allow this and the answer, of course, is YES, your business computer system will possibly be more vulnerable. In fact, how can it not be? But that doesn’t mean that it should never happen. So let’s cover a few things to help you can decide if it is safe for your small business.

Inside some businesses it will work fine.

This is a business decision that you need to make with thoughtful deliberation as well as valid information. What is good for some businesses will be dangerous for others. Some call it the BYOD transition and it opens up all kinds of potential small business security issues.

For one thing, you need to always check to make sure that your employee’s device has anti-virus protection. No exceptions. You simply must determine that it can handle any possible security concerns, especially if you have company network with company data installed on it. Consider all data to be sensitive and therefore a valid company security issue.

Keep in mind that this will involve regular software updates, and you will find it difficult to track this over a wide variety of devices.

Never, ever, consider not installing a Fail-Safe on your machines in case the device is lost or stolen. This will wipe the data from the device to prevent unauthorized use of your company material.

But it is possible that it might be appropriate to consider a BYOD policy for your office equipment. Under the right conditions, it can be a real bonus for your business.

QUESTIONS TO HELP DECIDE IF A NEW ENDPOINT DEVICES POLICY IS DANGEROUS TO CYBER-SECURITY.

Here are a few questions for you to go through in order to decide. I encourage you to get competent advice from a trusted source, from someone who really understands the issues involved. Your software provider could be one source. You don’t want to buy things you don’t need but it can be a real disaster to miss a bet here.

First of all, I would question if your employees are really tech-savy. Don’t just ask them but find out for sure. This can make the process easy but a miss here can spell nightmare. Also, will they have reliable equipment as well as understand how to update and maintain it from a security standpoint. The difference here will make the transition either easy or wildly chaotic.

Secondly, is how sensitive is your company data? Some companies would find one slip-up here to be catastrophic, while another will ease through it. If you have a medical, financial,or legal office, I would be very wary. Having a serious data breach here could lead to all kinds of problems and is too big a gamble. So think this through.

Thirdly, how many employees would be able to choose their own devices? If only a few employees are interested in this change in policy, the problems in it may not be worth the hassle. Remember that cyber security is the paramount concern. Not just happy employees (although that is of vital importance!).

Next would the question of how quickly is the business growing? If you are expanding quickly, the benefits might be huge. It could reduce your already serious technology costs a great deal. And new hires could have reduced work stations. This might also reduce on-site workers which will leave you increased office space.

The next question is one to ponder seriously and slowly. It depends a lot on what kind of office staff you have. If your people are serious about business and possess the business focus necessary, it might work out fine.

When you walk around the office, do you see a lot of surfing? Do they play games while working? If so, you know what will happen with their own devices. Your company data might have to compete for space with Donkey Kong.

I am just saying that if they have a hard time focusing on your business priorities, giving them access to their own devices might be counterproductive.

These are serious things to consider and get some good advice.

Thank you for coming.

Jim

Searching For the Perfect Business

Ah! The perfect deal! How we all fantasize about finding it. No doubt you have heard a story similar to the one about the guy who finds the barely used 1957 Corvette stashed in the back of someone’s garage. It has sat there unused for years. The owner just wants to get rid of it and agrees to let it go for a song.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it is rare that this ever occurs at auctions and estate sales, and it is even rarer that it occurs in the world of deal-making or business acquisitions.

But still, even in today’s tough economic climate where lenders are tightening their purse strings and our government is conjuring up ways to implement new taxes, I continue to get buyers calling me and giving me a 60 minute exposition on the business acquisition they wish I would help them acquire. But alas, imagine their woe when after my patient listening and patient rebuttal, they are fated to discover that what they are looking for is in fact, a perfect deal, and thus does not exist.

On the surface I understand and recognize they want to make sure they get the best value for their dollar they can possibly achieve. But the reality of the situation is there is no such thing as a perfect deal.

First, let me explain what I am talking about when I say the “perfect deal.” In the world of business acquisitions, the perfect deal would be the buyer finding the convenience store that has the right size building; located at the best spot in town; has updated pumps and credit cards systems; the roof, air conditioning and cooling units are fairly new; has a profitable foodservice program with minimal competition; has a high volume of fuel gallon sales; and has consistently high inside sales (but with not a lot of cigarette sales). In addition, the seller is very motivated and is willing to sell the store below the current market value of a c-store.

Have I got your attention? This would be pretty close to the perfect deal. Everybody has different criteria, but this will give you a general idea as to what I am talking about. Are these kinds of deals out there? Absolutely. Are they plentiful? No.

The reality is that almost all deals will “have some warts on them.” There is generally going to be something that is just not right about the deal. Maybe it has a great location, but the assets are a bit run down. Perhaps it does a great business inside and out, but the size of the building is too small for expansion in the future. Maybe it has a branded obligation that cannot be changed and the buyer is not interested in becoming part of the new brand. There are many different things that will come into play when looking at acquiring a convenience store.

My point is, there are a lot of great opportunities in the world of business acquisitions, but you first have to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect deal. Once this realization has been met, then the search becomes realistic, and you can find a really good convenience store or group of stores that are available to be acquired with most of the criteria you are looking for at a fair price.

Just this week I was presented with a group of eight convenience stores that an owner wanted to sell. Is it the perfect deal? No. Three of the stores are leased properties and five of the stores are owned in fee. But they are all profitable and have a great upside. Upside is the part of any deal that a buyer should be seeking. What is the upside of this acquisition? The buyer knows he will have to invest money to acquire these stores; however, based on his expertise and knowledge in the operation of c-stores, it is also known that by adding certain items and maybe changing the floor plan and a few other things, he can raise the sales too. This means there is plenty of upside for him in this transaction and that the new profits generated from changes made are going to be his.

All of the hard work has already been done. By this I mean it is a lot easier to take an existing business and build it to a new level than it is to build a business from scratch and not know if or when you are going to make a profit. You see, when you buy an existing business, you have a cash flow from the very first day you take over the operations.

So put on your deal-making hat and take off your rose-colored glasses, and you will see there are many opportunities available for those hardworking owners of c-stores who are looking to expand and find some very good (but not perfect) deals In today’s marketplace.

Is Becoming an Affiliate Marketer The Profitable Method to Owning a Web-Based Business?

Thousands, maybe even millions of people make money each and every single day by marketing other peoples products and services. However, it’s not quite as effortless as you may have heard. When the internet was nevertheless young it was fairly simple to select a product, acquire a domain and slap up some search phrases that were relevant to what you were attempting to sell. Write a couple very good articles and “BAM” you’ve got a winning blueprint to having fast results in affiliate marketing. Nevertheless, occasions have changed. Now it really is a little more tough to earn say $10 each day per internet site that markets affiliate products. The theory was that should you had 100 internet sites, each undertaking on average of $10 per day that you simply could pull down $10,000 a day. This was the ideal, but now with Web 2.0 being the new internet, social media and marketing have taken a new hold on the old model.

So How Do You Start an Efficient Affiliate Marketing Business inside the Web 2.0 World?

Thanks to that cute tiny black and white Google algorithm update in 2012 (Penguin) numerous of those the old article based affiliate marketing models have fallen off the map. The excellent old days of mass article submissions could be at an finish. This type of super-spun article content is about as excellent as dead.

And so if your desire to make it big in affiliate marketing as of late, the most effective way will be to start your new venture using a single web site. Understand the basics of constructing CSS templates or static HTML pages. Experiment with WordPress. These are all acceptable platforms to run your affiliate marketing business with. It may seem pointless to start back from zero in case you have some marketing expertise underneath your belt, but it is a great refresher. After your up and operating let’s take a look at some well-liked keywords and phrases that you simply can begin to promote your affiliate products behind. Common search phrases are essential – without them you will be “pissing into the wind”.

Affiliate Marketing is a good start: Internet Marketing 101 Course

If you can learn to successfully market other peoples products and services you can successfully industry your personal. Newcomers discover it swift and easy to throw up an affiliate link and get a cut of sales. Within this way they don’t need to bother with clients, returns, merchant accounts and all of the headaches that include getting the product provider. The excellent news is that if you have selected to be an affiliate marketer, all the data you need to begin is accessible online for free. Don’t go out and acquire a truck-load of courses, eBooks and software. You are going to finish up thousands of dollars inside the hole and even worse – you are going to have wasted your time! A single day spent truly marketing will teach you more than a week of reading about marketing.

A few of the very best tools you’ll be able to afford are free and can definitely boost your affiliate marketing sales. Make certain that they are something that you will use time and time once more. The thrill of purchasing a new product is really a matter of brain chemistry and not often a logical decision. It may turn into an addiction, and one that eats away at your tough earned cash. A single tool that’s worth more than gold and rubies combined is an autoresponder. You can pick one up for about $5 a month and they allow you to to develop a list. This list is your ‘go to’ plan if you require some rapid funds rapidly.

WordPress is really a blog platform, and perhaps probably the most well-known one at that. It has lots of nicely created plug-ins to use that can make your job easier and function a lot more effective.

Study tools can also be paid for – you may also use Google Keyword Suggestion Tool (type it into Google) for free.

Now’s the time to grasp the concept that search engines want to provide their guests with info relevant to what they are searching for. And so affiliate marketers must concentrate on providing useful details that seek to serve such searchers by providing solutions to their issues. In the info age, you’ll need to serve to survive. Serve greatest to thrive.