The final three workshops as part of the Ladders Enterprise Support programme focused on implementing marketing, promotional and networking strategies with introductions to key industry guest speakers throughout. The workshops were led by Lee Casey, Enterprise Mentor and self-confessed marketing geek who can be frequently heard muttering throughout the workshops, “Don’t forget it’s all about the market research and the analytics”!

Week 10 – Marketing & Promotional Strategies:

Based at Campus North, the workshop started with an overview of the Marketing Mix, an integral part of any structured marketing plan. Understanding your customer can help target more effectively and acknowledging the platforms that are being utilised can be a time saver for any new business.

Nicola Little, Director at Sparkle Communications joined us for this session and shared some wonderful sparkly nuggets of wisdom on how to effectively communicate business messages across the most appropriate digital channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.  Nicola talked about how to communicate with confidence and the tools needed to connect with clients and customers, keeping communication channels relevant and timely for your business. An engaging discussion followed with Nicola giving some great hints and tips and leaving a lasting impression with her sparkly enthusiasm for all things digital! As Nicola encouraged, give it a try and “#godigital”.

Websand’s Saul Gowens popped in too (literally from across the corridor) from his base at Campus North and continued the digital discussion aptly! Websand is a company providing a marketing automation platform for businesses to have the ability to target their emails more effectively and increase customer engagement rates. This in turn leads to more enquiries and a better chance of turning these into sales. Email marketing has come a long way since its inception and using it strategically as part of a bigger marketing plan can have significant advantages.

Week 11  – Branding:

Creating a visual identity for any business is crucial to a strong marketing strategy as the logo and branding can make such a difference to how people perceive that person and their company. It ideally needs to be memorable and leave a lasting, positive impression. Sourcing specialist guidance on creating a logo for your brand can be invaluable. Hollie Ellis, a freelance graphic designer, specialises in helping small businesses with their branding, logo design and design for print. She has tried and tested ways of working with new clients to achieve the ‘look’ they want over the past few years. Hollie talked to the group about her own journey into self-employment too and how she hasn’t looked back since making the leap in 2013. Hollie talked through how she produces a style sheet for every client so that they have not just their logo but also the font and the colour palette to utilise for their marketing platforms. As Lee and Hollie agreed, “Brand consistency is key!”

The opportunity arose for feedback as the groups were developing their own brand identity. Fandangle Films had already cleverly come up with their own image and subsequently designed their own logo, however Hollie recommended they could add to this further through some simple pops of colour and adding the name of their business for maximum impact.

Week 12 – Building Networks:

Networking for a new business can be a considerable asset in helping to establish professional contacts. Networking is known to help foster trust and cultivate new relationships, ultimately helping create business leads, generate sales and encouraging growth of a business by opening doors that perhaps wouldn’t have ordinarily opened!  Networking can take many forms from breakfast meetings, to specifically targeted industry events, to one to one introductions and as a business owner it’s deciding which are relevant to your business.

On hand to offer advice was Paul Lancaster of Plan Digital UK and winner of ‘Collaborator of the Year award at the Dynamo North East’s Dynamites 16 event. Not known as the North East’s ‘SuperConnector’ for nothing! Paul talked about his own career path and how establishing connections within the Northern tech community had got him to this stage of influence today within the wider Newcastle and North East business hub. His insight into how making small networking efforts in the beginning can reap larger valuable rewards in the longer term was great to hear, and also how its good to put yourself into situations slightly outside your comfort zone. Paul inspired with his plans for Newcastle Start Up Week in May, bringing together industry guest speakers over a city wide 5 day event to encourage the regions entrepreneurs and help new businesses with great advise, guidance and ultimately networking opportunities.

It has been a privilege to be joined by such fantastic business elites throughout this first cohort of Enterprise Support. Thank you to our guest speakers, attendees and hosts for a wonderful, inspiring 12 weeks of entrepreneurial insight. But it doesn’t end here…

If you are interested in booking onto the next series of workshops please see here or book immediately below. Places are free but limited.

Workshop: Dates: Times: Workshop Summary: To Book
Enterprise Support Package – Week Beginning: 5th April  
Workshop 1 5th April 10am – 4pm Generating & Expanding your Business Vision: career coach. Book HERE.
Workshop 2 10thApril 10am – 4pm Cost & Pricing Strategies
Funding A Start Up Business
Market Research – Library Tour
Book HERE.
Workshop 3 12thApril 10am – 4pm Keeping afloat – Financially Sound?
Building Networks
Book HERE.
Workshop 4 19thApril 10am – 4pm Marketing & Promotional Strategies
The Importance of Branding
Book HERE.
One-to-One appointments will be available with the Ladders Enterprise Advisor throughout the Enterprise Support Package.