Kimberley Davis has had a really varied and interesting career. She is now the founder of Sarsaparilla Marketing, a small business marketing agency that focuses on how you make money with your marketing. You may recognise her from The Apprentice in 2009 where Lord Sugar really made her think about what she does and the type of marketing services that she wants to offer.
Kim shares lots of great marketing stories and there are loads of great tips and insights to help you with marketing your business. Make sure you check out the show as there are some real gems in there.
In 2010 at the Women Unlimited Conference one of our keynote speakers was an amazingly inspiring woman, Liz Warom, the founder of Temple Spa. During her presentation she gaves us loads of nuggets that we could take away into our own business. I know this video is long (38 minutes), but I promise you it is worth every moment of your time to watch. It will give you inspiration, ideas and a bit of a push to really help you decide what to focus on in your own business. Below are some show notes, but they really do Liz’s presentation no justice.
Also, later today we will be putting up the sales page for the Thrive 2013 conference which promises to be our best yet. Make sure you check it out as it really is an absolutely amazing day that will keep you motivated for many weeks after.
Liz Warom, the Founder of Temple Spa
Liz Warom is the founder and owner of Temple Spa – the company produces skin care, hair care and toiletries ranges for retail sales. They also offer Spa services in hotels nationwide and have a team of 500 franchises offering “Spa to Go” direct sales.
Liz started her career at 18 years old when she took up direct sales with Jafra cosmetics to supplement her income as a dental nurse. She discovered that she was good at selling cosmetics and by the time she was 20 she had recruited 2,000 consultants into Jafra. The company was owned by Gillette who pulled Liz out of direct sales and eventually promoted her to be national sales director.
She went onto a new job with a cosmetic/skincare manufacturer. At the interview she gave the impression that she knew Anita Roddick (although she had only seen her from afar at a business lunch)– she got the job as the manufacturer was impressed with her contacts! Once she had the job she learned that she had a target of £2 million turnover to achieve from The Body Shop. She achieved this, and then eventually went to work for them managing the Colourings brand.
Her husband Mark also joined the business and they took the British brand global. They improved turnover from £3 million to £124 million in 4 years.
Creating the Virgin Vie brand
Whilst working for the Body Shop, Liz and Mark had an idea for a new brand called Vie. It was created with “grown up” (i.e women over 30) Body Shop customers in mind. When she talked to people about the possible new range she was told that she couldn’t do it – the task then become a challenge!
Moving from a well paid secure job was scary. Liz decided that they needed a power brand to work with to launch the range. They thought of Richard Branson and Virgin and within a fortnight she had managed to get in front of Branson and was presenting the concept. The brand became Virgin Vie and was launched within 18 months of that meeting and took £10 million in the first year of trading.
Developing the brand was a lot of fun, but very hard work. She didn’t enjoy the financial/business end of things such as raising finance, meeting ‘suits’ etc and realised that she was more of a people/product/brand person. They called time on the business but it was a great testing ground for their next business venture.
Launching Temple Spa
Liz says “Without an enemy, your present becomes permanent”. So unless something negative happens, you will stay in the same situation. She moved on and started a company at home called Temple Spa with her husband. Didn’t want partners or venture capitalist – wanted to be sole owners. Initially, they did everything with the business themselves. The company now trades in 9 countries and has a mulit-million turnover.
They had name of the brand, ranges and lots of other ideas within 10 minutes of their initial brainstorming. They also had a business plan but didn’t follow it! They had a strong sense of what they wanted to do. As they had created brands for other companies it was important that their own brand embodied them. After 3 years perfecting the brand they eventually launched in Harrods, Selfridges and spa within a hotel.
Temple Spa have celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2011. Figures show business is up 100% year on year. How have they managed such healthy figures during a recession
Tips for running a business successfully during a recession
Recession – the word exposes any weakness in your business but it also exposes excellence. Excellence is recession proof. It focuses mind on choice – consumers will choose the excellent business rather than the mediocre one.
Be excellent –Look at you; look at your business and do a health check. Is your business excellent? Make sure your team focuses on what they do well and what they can be outstanding at. There is a real opportunity to shine.
Make a personal stand for excellence – be disciplined!
Tighten belt where it wouldn’t be noticed – loosen it where it would. Temple Spa incentivise franchisee sales and also provide small ‘extras’ in parcels such as chocolates and other unexpected surprises. Costs more but allows them to build relationships with their consumers and encourage repeat sales.
Don’t assume that people won’t pay for your product – they will if it’s good. People buy from you and if they like you they will buy.
Watch your words – be positive. Don’t be negative as by law of attraction negative things may happen
Don’t be mediocre – it will bring your company and business down. Look at what you do and deliver on what your marketing promises
Quality control – check on your business messages. Make sure you match up what you say and what you do. Be realistic – relations hop on how you earn.
Ensure you have charm in your business. Answer phone correctly, talk to your customers, be seamless. Do we sound fabulous and professional? Details make the difference.
Don’t waste time thinking – whilst important it doesn’t put money in the bank. Make sure you’re doing the things that earn money.
Examine and understand why you do what you do. Be a customer again. See what you look like to the outside world. Examine what you do and how it looks.
Shake out inherited values and actions. Re-invent yourself/your business.
Liz’s final piece of advice is to dream bigger. Be courageous. A bible saying is “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. Liz feels it better to believe for a lot and get half then believe for a little and get nothing.
This week on Women Unlimited TV we have the wonderful Joanna Penn from www.thecreativepenn.com. Joanna is a writer, author-preuner, trainer and speaker, and was one of the highlights at last year’s Women Unlimited Thrive 2012 Conference (our next one is on March 8th, 2013… so make sure you save the date!)
Joanna has run three fantastic workshops for Women Unlimited on how to write a non-fiction book, how to market your book and how to create multimedia products. Joanna and I are putting together a free video series for early November on “The 10 steps to creating a multimedia product” and you can register for the early notification list here.
Her blog, The Creative Penn regularly features in the Top 10 lists of blogs for writers. She is a true inspiration and in this interview we’ll be looking at how she started her business and kept it growing to the success it is today.
Joanna was an IT Business Consultant for 13 years. She wasn’t happy in this corporate and uncreative career so she started to research how to change her life. This research culminated with Joanna writing a career change book “How to love your job or find a new one”. In the process of writing this book she started to change her own career and realised she wanted to be an author.
Changing your career to something you’re passionate about isn’t always a short journey. Joanna has worked on the business for 3 years on top of working at her day job in IT. Her business/financial planning skills meant she knew how much money she needed to make before she could leave her day job.
She has found that being commercial is about being scalable – make sure you create products that can be easily scaled up to increase your sales and profits.
How to create a strong following
Creating an audience takes time and requires you to show up regularly. Joanna blogs every 2-3 days, releases a Podcast ever week. She has a strong social media presence with over 31,000 twitter followers and has had over 100,000 views on her You Tube channel which also has over 150 videos.
Her advice on how to build an audience is to develop good habits. And like any good habit you need to do it regularly for it to make a difference. Ensure you are focusing on your niche audience, be honest and share your personal journey as this will help you connect with your audience and create an authentic feeling.
Balancing personal story with business story
Authenticity must be within your personal brand. What do you want to portray to the world? What personal details do you want to give away? Decide on your boundaries and share within reason. Always make whatever you share a positive experience for your audience.
Business Challenges of launching a blog and products
The Creative Penn started with no traffic at all. Joanna went on a blogging course and learnt about the importance of blog headlines and SEO. Organic Google search traffic started to grow after a few months of consistent posting.
Twitter and podcasts are also big traffic drivers. Joanna started networking, following blogs, asking people if she could interview them for podcasts. This led to more followers via click-throughs and the backlinks create also improved search results. It’s a snowball process and traffic/sales gradually get bigger over time.
Joanna launched her first product in her first year of trading but it didn’t sell. She didn’t have an audience and hadn’t built up her image as an expert in the field sufficiently. You have to be around for a while to be taken seriously.
She also shares that the actual product itself was too big and wide-ranging. She now sells smaller modular courses and has chunked information/topics down to where people are in their own journey.
Networking both online and offline
Joanna is an introvert but a great networker! She’s very careful about how she manages her energy, making sure that she builds recovery time in. We have an interesting discussion about the nature of extroverts and introverts.
She is a very successful networker and has built strong relationships with authors and other bloggers. She approaches people by offering to help/be useful… for example, ‘can I interview you about your book/success/help you organise an event?’
Her advice is to get people’s attention and give them a reason to want to talk to you.
How to reach out to other bloggers
Joanna suggests promoting other people 80% of the time, via Twitter and social media. Once you’ve done this for a while, ask them for an interview and then start generating a relationship. Help them, then try and meet them – you can use Skype to talk to international contacts.
I had a great time interviewing my good friend Rasheed Ogunlaru, who has just published a new book called Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business. It looks at how you can build a business that you love, with customers that you love and is based on your own passions and skills. The book encourages you to coach yourself, so that you can build a business that is authentic to your passions and values.
Rasheed Ogunlaru is a Life and Business Coach with a passion for helping people find their purpose in life. He runs an inspirational monthly workshop at the British Library Business & IP Centre called Your Life, Your Business. You can find out more about Rasheed and his programmes on his website www.rasaru.com .
The business landscape has changed over the last ten years and we’ve moved away from the traditional model of what a business is. People are no longer starting a business just to make money – they also want to have an impact and make a difference.
Soul Trader takes the reader on a journey through 7 steps using the following principles:
1. Clarity: Who are you? Where are you now and where do you want to be in the future? What values are important to you? Answering these questions will help to discover your passion and what drives you.
2. Customers: Who are they and what do they want/need?
3. Courage: an important part in any business owners’ life – without courage we wouldn’t being on the journey of business. Learn how to tap into it
4. Co-operation: Building relationships and a business network are all important in today’s business environment. Use these relationships to help build your business and your network
5. Conversation: Lean how to be completely yourself and tell your own story both in person and your website/business literature. This will help you to connect, create and convert leads
6. Creativity: Understanding when you work best will give you a framework and help improve your performance and get a better work/life balance.
7. Compassion: Not only to your customers needs but to your own. Make sure you look after yourself so that you can connect from the heart.
Find your passion, who/what you are about and what skills you have. Regularly stop and ask yourself if you following your passion and honouring what you really want to do.
Business dynamics are changing. Relationships are now of the utmost importance as the right ones will help to drive and grow your business.
Money isn’t always important – being creative is. Money will follow if you follow your passion.
The importance of Clarity
Clarity is the starting point on the journey, so how do you go about achieving it?
Rasheed suggests writing 6-10 individual words that are important to your life, business and relationships. When you take the time and space to think, cutting out internal and external “noise” the things that are important to you will rise in your conscious and to your attention.
To make sure your mind stays clear, spend 10 minutes each week reviewing your business. Check in on your journey and your business plan to help keep your objectives clear and see that you’re still heading in the right direction.
Clarity provides drive. If you build a business that truly reflects who you are it can be very powerful. People/customers buy from people/businesses they connect with and care about, and this clarity helps your business to be transformation and not just transactional.
Different kinds of courage are required when starting a business. There are different challenges so i’s important to have clarity about where your business is heading so that you can tackle them. If you lack courage, use compassionate skills on yourself to enable you to take on challenges and continue your journey.
As business dynamics change more people than ever are running a business following their passions. However, these people aren’t always the best at monetising their business. Rasheed suggests thinking about the following:
How much money do you need to make?
How much money do you want to make?
Link money to what you do and relate it to your business offering. With more money you can offer more services and be better enabled to serve your customer
Recognise your own worth. You need to so that others can value you
Be clear on your money values and that they are authentic to your business and personal values
You and your business are unique
Your Business Story is unique – if you’re not using it you’re losing out. It invites people in as they buy on your personality.
The business world has been hijacked. People are now exchanging passions and values. Forget the word business – just do what you love and serve other people.
There is no right or wrong path – just listen to your values. They will help you attract the right people from suppliers to investors and customers.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Rasheed and you can find out more about him and his wonderful book Soul Trader at www.rasaru.com/soul-trader .
Let us know in the comments below if anything that Rasheed said struck a cord with you.
Pricing is one of the most difficult things to figure out when you are running your business, but I also think that many of us are under the definitely false impression that if we charge less for our services that we will get more clients and make more money.
When I was running my web design business I would find that if I took on a project at a discounted rate, it would mean that I didn’t have time to find clients at a higher rate and also, people who pay less, still want the same level of service – so it is a false economy to fill up your time working with people who aren’t really able to afford you.
My big epiphany was when I realised that I was marketing to the wrong audience. One of the keys to creating a successful business is to be selling your products and services to those who can afford it. By creating enough value in your business and your offering and targeting the right customer base you can transform your business, to one that is thriving and profitable.
In the video below I share the 5 signs that you are too cheap and would really like you to think about whether you can take away any ideas or inspiration for your own business.
5 Signs that you are not charging enough!
1. You’re too busy
If you are working loads and not rolling in dough, then odds are you are not charging enough. If people value what you have to offer, they will be willing to pay a decent amount to work with you or buy your product. If they aren’t willing to, then perhaps it’s worth looking at how you can increase the value.
2. People tell you that you are not charging enough
Recently I had about 5 people come up to me after our business club and tell me that we weren’t charging enough for the value that they received out of the club. One person said that she almost didn’t come because she wasn’t sure that there would be enough value. If people are telling you that you are not charging enough – believe them! Look at what is going on in your marketplace and who is charging what and figure out how you can move up the pricing ladder.
3. You give your time away for free
So many women fall into this trap. We feel such a strong desire to help people out that we forget our own needs and offer to help for free. DON’T DO IT! By spending time giving away your free services or products, you are devaluing what you have to offer and you will be using the time that you are spending with them and not helping people that are willing to pay. That is not to say, that free can’t be a great marketing tool, but to be effective, it needs to be leveraged, meaning that it is helping out loads of people, not just one person.
4. You only have 1 price point
Have three different types of offering around the same product. A basic, middle and premium option. Think about the different types of value that you can offer. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll always want to give as much value as you can – but the problem is, that often, people only want one element of that. You’ll be amazed at how many people will go for the premium option and it is guaranteed to bring in more revenue into your business.
5. You allow yourself to be negotiated down
Move away from financial discussions and offer a value exchange instead. If someone wants to pay you less, then you give them less value. You know the value of what you have to offer, don’t let others take that away from you. Find a way to give them an additional piece of added value that will not cost you time or money to deliver.