Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hutt Valley Business Expo 2013

The Hutt Valley Business Expo is something I look forward to each year. Every year the business expo is held at the horticultural hall. Businesses, charities, community organisations, medical organisations, even local councils and government organisations can run a stall where they promote their goods and services, make new networks, and inform people what is going or what is new in the business world and community. And there are plenty of business seminars. 

 For everyone who comes, there are opportunities to enter draws for prizes, make new contacts, networks, find the service they need, whether it’s for business, the home, travel or personal health, or get extra business training. Stallholders can range from accountants and legal experts to gyms and survival kits. This year I found Les Mills, Totally Pink (where you can stop for an espresso break from all the stalls), the Hutt City Council, and a new, upcoming outfit called the Hutt Valley Hub. It is going to be a hub for work-at-homers, sole traders, community workers, or anyone who wants to join.

This year had a new twist – you are given a passport for collecting stamps from each stall. At the end you put your passport into a draw for prizes. What sort of prizes? It depends on whether you collected under fifty stamps or over. Now, that is a great incentive to go around as many stalls as you can, and pause at some that you might otherwise pass over. And a few stalls had spin the wheel, throw the dart, or have a lucky dip for prizes – which means everyone who goes is guaranteed a prize of some sort. Which makes it all the more fun to go! But still take a big stack of your business cards because you will still need them for draws at every stall – and maybe make some new contacts.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Low-cost Advertising: The Compelling Elevator Pitch

The topic for the June meeting of the Microfocus group was ‘Advertising on a Shoestring’. But instead of the usual round table of brainstorming, suggestions and personal experiences, Rob McTague treated us to a powerpoint presentation on the Compelling Elevator Pitch – a 10-30 second mini commercial that sells you and your business. I’ve googled and links, advice and suggestions on the compelling elevator pitch are everywhere.

Rob gave us three strategies for applying your compelling elevator pitch:
1.    Networking.
You’re at, say, a business function and someone asks what you do. You might say “I sell real estate.”


How about you do it like this: “I work for XXX real estate company. And if I don’t sell your home in 29 days, I do it for free!”

And what do they say now? “Wow! How do you do that?”

And you might say, “That’s the guarantee of our company because we take such pride in selling homes fast!" 

That’s the guarantee of your company, and you’ve turned it into a compelling elevator pitch. But it doesn’t have to be the guarantee. It could be simply what you do that you take to a compelling elevation:

“I’m a masseur and people say my fingers have a magic touch.”

“I’m an accountant and I’m very popular with business people who hate doing their tax returns.”

“I’m a beautician and people say I make them look ten years younger!”

That’s the 10-second pitch and the person is interested. So what’s the next step? They might ask for more details, in which case you have another compelling elevator pitch. All down pat of course, so you have it at the ready whenever anyone asks. Or they ask for your business card. But what happens to most business cards? They end up in the rubbish bin. And that brings us to:

2.    Business Cards
Most business cards just give your name, your occupation and your contact details, and have nice little graphics to make them eye-catching. They don’t sell you, so they end up in the rubbish bin. So what do you do? You rework your business card so it has a compelling elevator pitch. But it has to be a very short one as business cards are very small, and it could be something like ‘No results – No fee’, ‘Want to Know How to Make $10,000 in 7 days?’ or ‘Feel Chicken about the Dentist?’

Your business card can also have links to where you promote your other compelling elevator pitches. It could be the link to your web page. Your blog. YouTube, where you have posted a video of your compelling elevator pitch.

3.    Landing Page
This is, of course, the first point of call where you promote your business. And the first thing people must see on your landing page is what is most relevant. So it is here that you have your compelling elevator pitch. The compelling elevator pitch must start with the heading, and then the sub heading. Then you might have special offers, guarantees, anything that elevates the pitch. Then finally, the Call to Action, such as filling in the Offer Box on the right hand side of the page or the Query Box where you fill in your query and post it off.

Right, so how do you get started with your compelling elevator pitch? Rob was telling us about one outfit called Leader Publishing Worldwide at From as little as $97.00 a month you have access to all their e-learning business courses and resources, including writing compelling elevator pitches, headline banks, elevator pitch templates and libraries, and quick start programs. There are even membership grants, of which Rob had two. 

Whether or not we sign up, we certainly came away with elevated ideas for our own compelling elevator pitches.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hutt Valley Business Expo 2013 is coming!

Bookings are underway for Hutt Valley Business Expo 2013. Here are the details from Chamber of Commerce:

Hutt Valley Business Expo 2013
The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and GoFi8ure are proudly sponsoring the Hutt Valley Business Expo 2013 and we would like to invite all business owners who are looking to increase their business to book into this great opportunity.
Whether you want to target a different audience, grow your business, promote business awareness or simply look at other forms of marketing, the Hutt Valley Business Expo will give you the chance to work your business to its full potential.

Expo stands are limited so make sure you secure yours NOW!

Date: Wednesday 11 Spetember, 9am-5pm
Venue: Horticultural Hall, 32 Laings Road, Lower Hutt
More info: click here
RSVP: or on 939 9821

Even if you're not booking a stall, do go along if you can. The Hutt Valley Business Expo is a very exciting, enjoyable way to find new networks, suppliers, the latest business developments and trends in the Hutt Valley, and some whole new businesses that you probably never knew existed. And take plenty of business cards so you can enter the draws. You could win a bottle of wine, a free business consultation, or some pampering!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

LinkedIn - what are the benefits for business?

The topic for the May Microfocus meeting was LinkedIn. Was LinkedIn worth linking into? Would it have benefits for your business? Was it a good way to socialise on the Internet? Or was it a waste of time and encouraged spam? I myself was not able to attend the meeting at the time, but I did pass on some of my own thoughts. My first encounter with LinkedIn was one of regret – I responded to an invite and ended up with a lot of spam messages from LinkedIn, as did many people on my mailing list. Since then it has been a bit more positive – I have found some of my old clients on LinkedIn and even reunited with an old friend. And by a strange coincidence, LinkedIn sent me a message saying they were celebrating their tenth anniversary. I passed that detail on to Microfocus as I thought it might add something to the discussion that I would not be able to attend. Well, if LinkedIn is ten years old, it must have something going for it.

The feedback I received back from the discussion revealed that Microfocus had come to the conclusion that LinkedIn can work for you. However, LinkedIn is like a Facebook page – you need to devote time and energy to keep your LinkedIn active. And if you have a busy schedule this can be difficult. But if you can devote time and energy to LinkedIn, what would the benefits be? Our group coordinator is going to try it over the next few weeks to see what benefits she gets. I shall be looking forward to her feedback. 

In the meantime, the benefits of LinkedIn that came up in the meeting were similar to those of Facebook. They include Internet socialising, sharing information on blogs and forums, joining interest groups, and reuniting with people you have lost contact with, as I did. In terms of business benefits, LinkedIn is just like Facebook. It is an avenue for making yourself and your business visible on the Internet. You can connect with people who work in the same industry as you, and you can also make contact with potential customers. People can find you directly or through your connections. LinkedIn can help you make yourself visible by replying to other people’s comments/forums, and learn from others by joining groups in your field and typing in your own updates of what you have been up to recently.

But, as with Facebook, your LinkedIn page is not private. It is open to everyone, so you do not want personal content there.

So LinkedIn is just like Facebook and has the same type of benefits as Facebook. So how does it differ from Facebook? Does LinkedIn have any advantages over Facebook or will Facebook work just fine? If you have a Facebook, is there any point in having a LinkedIn and vice versa? These are questions I am left asking after reading this feedback, but I have no answers. Except one – having a separate LinkedIn and Facebook can be an excellent way to separate business and personal visibility on the Internet. So you can have a business LinkedIn and a personal Facebook.

What are your thoughts on LinkedIn?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Recharge Yourself

This is one of the pearls of wisdom that come in the email sometimes. I want to share it with you too.

How to Recharge Yourself

Here are 20 simple ways to wind down and recharge:-

·         Turn off the phone, computer, iPad or TV whenever you can
·         Get into nature as often as possible
·         Get away from noise – take the time to find some silence
·         Be kind to yourself – don’t push yourself to go faster or do more but do encourage yourself to do just the opposite
·         Try to avoid having appointments for a while
·         Give sleep a priority – don’t make it just an afterthought
·         Move – make exercise easy, fun and a daily thing
·         Eat healthily, drink lots of water and avoid too much coffee or alcohol
·         Avoid stressful situations for a while – look after you
·         Don’t multi task – work on doing only one thing at a time
·         Just have some fun
·         Laugh often
·         Take time to breathe deeply and slowly – and don’t rush it
·         Sit or lie on the grass when you can
·         Smile
·         Be grateful for things – think about what you’re grateful for
·         Spend time with people you enjoy or with your pets
·         Read for pleasure
·         Stretch
·         Don’t feel guilty when you’re doing nothing – properly recharging your batteries is 100% essential to keep well and to be able to give out to others.