Welcome to the Hertford Blog.
It’s something you read about, hear on the radio, and watch on the news, and each time you do you shake your head and ask ‘will it happen to me?’
I’m talking about redundancy. The word that triggers worry and heartache in thousands of workers every day. Unfortunately we live in a time where jobs are hard to come by and major employers are cutting back and losing people. Many who are made redundant make the decision to go it alone, set up their own business – and why not? You would be your own boss, make your own decisions and have the potential to earn a large income. It sounds so promising and tempting, but how do you go into business? What’s the best way to go about it? Read on and see The Best Of Hertford’s tips on going into business in Hertford and East Herts:
• Decide on your business, perhaps it’s something you did in employment, or a passion or hobby. Then decide if it’s a viable business, there might be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap?
• Really study your target customer, and then stick to it! Don’t be tempted to aim for everyone, you will end spreading yourself too thin and the quality in your service will inevitably fail.
• Have a business plan, this is so important. Work out where you want to be in 6 months, 12 months, 24 months. Then plan how to get there.
• Get a web presence. This is key to any business, and it doesn’t just mean a website. These days successful businesses utilise Facebook, Twitter and blogging to their advantage. It’s not just for kids! There are hundreds of thousands of people on Facebook and Twitter within a few miles of Hertford, find them and engage with them. Don’t shout at them but interact and offer advice, they will remember you for it and come to use you when they need to.
• Get listed on free directories such as Freeindex and Brownbook. They help your presence on Google and also it’s free advertising.
• Don’t always aim to be the cheapest, think twice before cutting costs because you may turn into a busy fool.
• Join local business networking groups. If you’re a business to business, business then there are loads of networking groups that meet in and around Hertford regularly each month. They not full of cufflinks and big egos, but full of people just like yourself. Networking is friendly and it works. As long as you don’t turn up viewing everybody as pound signs and are willing to be patient and helpful, then networking is great. It’s not all early mornings either Viva Business Networking are lunchtimes, as are WIBN (Women In Business Networking) The Best Of Hertford runs evening networking and there are 2 morning groups both in Ware on opposing Tuesdays 4 Networking and Ware To Do Business.
• Offer value over price. Sometimes the time saving factors in your service will be worth more to the customer than a drop in price.
• Get a call answering service for your office line. I didn’t for the first 10 months of The Best Of Hertford and missed probably 10 calls a month, could you afford to do this? Personally I use Jam Answering Service, it’s easy to set up and costs just £1 per call on their pay-as-you-go service, they are excellent.
• Be yourself, people buy people. If you’re funny let it shine through, if you’re a good listener then sit back and listen, future customers will be drawn to this.
• Read business books by successful people.
• And THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of information I can give.......always offer a 110% service. Never let people down, and make the customer feel valued. It’s small things that make the big difference.
Well I hope that those few tips will help you in getting set up in business. It’s now over a year for me and I’ve had a very steep learning curve, if you want to chat to me about going into business I’ m happy to offer a local perspective on what to do and what not to do. Similarly I attend most of the networking groups mentioned above, so if you want some company, drop me an email or give me a call and I’ll be happy to introduce you to the local business community.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi there, my name's Victoria and as owner of thebestof Hertford and Ware it's my job to find and promote the best information, events and businesses that Hertford and Ware have to offer!