Helpful resources

Small Business Housekeeping

As a small business, we have felt the impact of Covid-19 on workload and ways of working over recent weeks, and we know we are not alone in this.

With meetings rescheduled, and projects on hold, we have turned our attention to the fact that our time now has to be spent future-proofing, and securing our business.

We have worked with many SME’s over the years on their branding, design and communications, and one of the most significant areas of feedback is the lack of time they have to spend on stepping back and evaluating, when they are so focused on the day-to-day.

So for any business who finds themselves with a little bit more time on their hands, we’ve created a few useful resources around branding, content and social media, to help bring a sense of clarity and positivity to the coming weeks.

Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a biscuit, and have a read through our Five Steps to Excellent Brand Housekeeping…

1. Revisit branding, colour themes, templates

Brands evolve, and sometimes a quick refresh is all that is needed.

Things to consider:

  • Are you happy with your branding?

    Does it communicate where you are as a brand now, as opposed to when you started?

  • Is your logo suitable for all platforms?

    Does it sit well on social media / websites / marketing materials?

  • Can you identify your brand colours?

    Statistics suggest that brand recognition is increased by 80% when colours are used consistently across logos, content, marketing materials, products and packaging.

  • Are all your marketing materials and channels consistent?

    Now is the time to check everything is aligned.

  • Are there elements of your branding that could be updated?

    If so, is it colour / format / font / logo modernisation?

2. Brand leverage

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand”

As former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz points out, customer loyalty goes hand in hand with aligned brand values, so this is a good opportunity to consider the values and mission that drives your company forward.

Not only will it focus you on growth / re-growth, when the time is right, but it is a good reminder of your positioning in the market.

Ultimately, how do you want to be remembered by customers and audiences?

Identify your brand values

  • List all the values that apply to your business (see below for ideas)
  • Now sort and shortlist them to 3-6 values which you feel to sit at the heart of your brand
  • Write a few words about each one – how are these bought to life in everything you do?

Be clear on your vision

Now consider your brand vision. This paints a picture of the future of your brand. If it helps, answer these questions:

  • Why do we exist?
  • What do we offer?
  • Where do we want to be in 5-10 years?

Finally, make sure that customers are clear on your values and vision. Don’t be afraid to bring these to life in the content that you put out, customers want to know more about brands, and the people who make them. The human element is key.

Values examples

Natural | Honest | Respectful | Innovative | Trust | Creative | Flexible | Passionate | Simplicity | Fun | Commercial | Transparency | Connected | Customer-focused | Courageous | Knowledgeable | Warm | Generous | Professional | Operational Excellence | Team-focused | Perfectionists | Sustainable | Conscious | Leaders | Stewardship | Integrity | Responsible | Collaborative | Diversity | Honest | Celebrate | Community

3. Social media content

Creating and planning content can often feel like time consuming work, and it is, but it is much easier when you are working to a plan or schedule. Now is the time to brainstorm ideas:

  • How has your current content performed?

    Check any analytics and work out what content resonates best with your audience.

  • Consider your audience – who is your ideal customer?

    Speak to them through your social media posts.

  • What questions would your ideal customer ask your business?

    Compile a list of FAQ’s and consider content that answers these.

  • What are your customer pain points?

    What problems can you solve, and how can you communicate this?

  • Is it social?

    Don’t forget that social media really works when you consider it as a community. Engage with other local businesses, comment, tag, like, have conversations. The more you engage and share authentically, the more likely it is that others will do the same in return.

To help you with your social media, you can download our free Social Media Housekeeping Ideas sheet HERE

Stuck for content ideas? You can also download our free Social Media Content Planner HERE

4. Connections and engagement

Now is the time to be mindful of our communities and show support like never before.

If business is quieter, why not take some time to engage online with local companies – talk to the people behind the brands. Share content, ideas and consider future collaborations.

Why not…

  • Create local or topical communities, whether online or offline.
  • Foster relationships. Get in touch with past clients to touch base, share contacts who might be able to support each other, networking happens in many different guises these days, and with social media, it’s even easier.
  • Investigate local resources. We’ve seen the creation of a number of brilliant Facebook group communities focused on supporting individuals and businesses during this time. Engage with these groups and offer support where you can, even if in a small way.

5. Take time to learn

It’s easier than ever to tap into training materials. Upskill where you can, read books, listen to new podcasts – it’s never too late to learn. And during a period of relative isolation, it’s important to keep inspired and motivated.

Here are our favourite resources for online learning:

Google Digital Garage

(free online video courses) learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/courses

LinkedIn

(you can upgrade for one month free, for access to a huge number of courses)
linkedin.com/learning

Udemy

(pay as little as £11.99 for a huge range of courses)
udemy.com/courses

Brand stylist Fiona Humberstone

Fiona Humberstone has an excellent array of courses online, to help entrepreneurs and brand owners elevate their brands (20% off with code POSITIVITY) Also check out her free online resources and podcast
thebrand-stylist.com

Social Pip

Social Media Consultant Pippa Akram is a passionate expert on all things social, with a wealth of resources on her blog and social channels. Follow her on instagram for excellent top tips and insights.
socialpip.tumblr.com

 

We hope these resources are helpful. If we can help with anything at all, we are just a call or email away – jo@alchemycreations.co.uk

 

Stay safe and well everyone, from all at Team Alchemy.