Wed Jun 14 2017
Scaling your business can be fun, especially if you mix up online and offline efforts.
Networking online, identifying influencers for your brand and reaching out to customers using exciting content on social channels are all potentially efficient and scalable ways to extend your reach. These online activities are particularly good if you’re a small enterprise on a limited budget because they don’t have to cost much or drain resource.
But growing your business by having face-to-face meetings, attending industry events and exhibiting or selling at festivals can be effective too. Done well they're sociable platforms for making connections, increasing your profile and brand recognition, reaching wider audiences, and generating leads and sales.
Choose the right event or festival and you can show potential customers what you do, find out about industry developments, tap into expert knowledge and reach wider audiences with your products.
There’s no shortage of industry events and festival opportunities on offer for SMEs, but having a strategy to select the right ones and using them to best effect is essential when it comes to making the most of your resources.
Whether it’s a small networking event, a larger trade show or a vendor pitch at a consumer festival, many of the ingredients for success are the same. Combining the online and offline worlds, for example, can greatly maximise the value of your attendance – if done correctly.
“Me and my team offer dedicated support before, during and after BBST, just as we offer one-to-one dedicated education and support for major roll-outs outside of festivals” - Brian
- putting your food menu up high in large letters so people at the back of the queues can peruse it while they’re waiting
- making it very obvious that you accept contactless payments – a big draw for festival-goers with no cash.
- making sure your staff are fully briefed on the messages you want to put across and the experience you want to give your potential customers and consumers.
Finally, it’s important to understand that any progress you make from an industry event, such as new contacts or pitching to your peers, might not generate immediate results.
But what it can give you is a vital insight into how people perceive your business. You never know, the next person approaching your stand could one day transform your company’s fortunes. And at festivals, each day’s takings will tell you instantly how successful you’ve been, but the positive ripple effect could be massive, opening you up to audiences you’d never have been able to reach otherwise.
Don’t let the pace you’ve gathered, and interest you’ve sparked, die away after the event – ride that wave, diversify your business and reach as many people as you can.