Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mitigating risk of Holidays

The summer for many businesses can be seen as a nightmare of juggling staffing with the increased demands of expenditure. For small business this can prove a bigger headache than medium and large who have the staff size to cover holidays and can work on a rota system to handle the time off. For sole traders or small business this may simply not be an option.

Some tips which may help:

Know your customer behaviour

Knowing your customer demand pattern is key to assessing peaks and troughs in your business. If you have a naturally quiet period then using this time as your main holiday may be a better plan, however if you have other responsibilities such as a family the summer and school holidays may be the only time you can have a family get away. By first understanding your customer behaviour you may be able to work with clients to change there demand which would allow a slower fulfillment, meaning you can take a well deserved break. The issue with taking any time off and closing down your business is that you will not get paid, unlike a salaried position where you have holiday entitlement. Depending on your cash flow accepting a holiday may not be possible is one of the harsh realities of being a business person.


Working less is an effective way to have fun days out with the family or friends. With technology accessible all over the UK you can stay connected and don't have to venture too far. This will ensure overall control is not lost and should anything untoward occur you are able to hurry back to address the issue. Many people are quick to leave the country for foreign holidays forgetting the wealth of entertainment on their doorstep, not to mention the cost saving that may be necessary during this prolonged recession.

Rely on friends or family

Trust no one, is sound advice if you want to work 24 hours a day but there comes a time when you will need to trust somebody. Having a friend or family cover may mean not all services are available but it will at least allow you a break knowing that they will do their upmost to keep your business ticking over.

Hire the professionals

There are agencies which will help, many offering staff and management to help run the business in your absence. Rather than rely on individuals by outsourcing your cover needs to an agency you can hold them to account and demand the expertise that may not be readily available in your local recruitment pool. There is always a premium to be paid for this type of service but may be worth the cost to ensure piece of mind

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Promotional Branding and Giveaways

Businesses can use a wide array of advertising techniques to gain leverage in their chosen market, from TV, press, Internet and other techniques. Building an affinity with your brand is difficult depending on the niche industry you operate in, why would customers feel any loyalty to you after coming across your advert? 

Perhaps a good solution here is to not only advertise your business but offer something to your customers, during the 90's there was a surge in the number of personalised products offered to customers, remember the drawer full of branded goods you had, pens, notepads, glasses, t-shirts and much more?

Well the boom in personalised goods may have subsided as big corporates move towards a more internet savvy marketing strategy but the technique of producing personalised goods for free giveaways has not ceased. In fact it provides a great way to introduce many customers to your brand. A message that they may even promote by wearing or using your product. This cheap way of producing huge coverage in marketing may seem like an expensive way to market but when you consider the price comparison to other forms of advertising you may be surprised:

100 T-shirts giveaway - £650
Local radio Advert 1 Month - £350
Local Press Advert - £400
Local Tv Advert - £1000
Niche Internet Advertising Campaign - £500 pcm
Niche Social media Advertising Campaign - £500 pcm

When you consider the life-cycle of a t-shirt you can see that the advert will be working for longer than 1 month and the goodwill and buzz created from a giveaway may even attract you free local press and radio advertising, not to mention the potential for virility of social media advertising of the giveaway. In today's marketing you need to fire across many different areas, not concentrate solely on one aspect, this type of promotional giveaway can cover those different areas needed and people love free stuff.

Uniforms and Work-wear

Even small traders, tradesmen and crafters can now get good quality designed work-wear to ensure that they are walking adverts for their business. With a huge selection of different items, from T-Shirts and Hoodies to Vests and Tabards there is something to suit every type of industry.

Why not check out Dunbar T-shirt Shop a custom garment and gift company which can offer you both professional uniform printing and promotional items.