Archive for the ‘Hints and tips for small businesses’ Category

Books galore

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Yesterday I received a very exciting delivery through the post. A big brown-paper-wrapped parcel that was so heavy, the Postman asked me how many gold ingots were in there (I wish!).

Enclosed was a selection of business books dealing with various aspects of online marketing and trading. Absolutely perfect material for me to get stuck into, covering all sorts of different topics, so will hopefully give me some great ideas for the business and inspiration for ways to improve the Chiggs website.

One of the books specifically deals with blogging- “for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community” reads the blurb, so once I’ve read that one I’m hoping for great(er!) things here at the Chiggs blog! ūüôā

So how did this treasure trove of information come to be resting on my coffee table? The best news of all is that I won the whole package!

A while ago Mumsnet (a parenting website that I have been a member of since 2005 when I was seeking help with potty training Chiglet!) started a business section on the forums in association with Barclays Bank, and together they ran a ‘Barclays on Mumsnet’ Online Business Fortnight. I took part, tweeted a few tweets, and lo and behold a few weeks ago received a message to say that I had won their book giveaway.

I shall report back with book reviews shortly!

New Facebook regs, and a recommendation.

Monday, January 14th, 2013

A new Facebook rule comes in to force tomorrow that will affect business pages. Facebook have always had rules about the content of the overlay writing allowed on the cover photo for business pages, such as 

no price, discounts or purchase information, (eg 22% off)

No¬† contact¬†details- website address, email, mailing address etc should be put¬†in your page ‘About’ section rather than printed on the cover image

You can’t¬†refer to Facebook features – so no putting a big arrow on your cover picture pointing to the¬†‘Like’ button.

The new rule that comes in to force tomorrow (15th January) limits the amount of writing you can put on your cover picture to 20% (or one fifth of the total area).

I’ve been playing with a free picture editor called PicMonkey¬†( www.picmonkey.com )¬†It’s really easy to use (if I can, anyone can!) and makes it very easy to crop photos and add wording. I made a collage for the Chiggs Wheels facebook page cover, and added some text (hopefully adhering to the new regulations!) to a picture of Windsor Castle to use¬†as a cover for¬†the A Royal Baby Blog facebook page¬†and Google+ page . I can recommend¬†Picmonkey for ease of use, and great results. If your Facebook cover page needs changing to keep in line with the new facebook rules, take a look.

Social media makes me go round in circles…

Friday, February 17th, 2012

..aka a facebook page for business. Now, I’m no business guru, but have learned¬†the odd thing (sometimes very odd ūüôā ) over the last 6 years of¬†running my own business, so I’ll be making a few blog posts about anything I come across that may be of help or interest to other small business owners. They’ll be grouped together under a new category- something along the lines of¬† ‘hints and tips for small businesses’ unless I can think of anything snappier!

¬†A business facebook page is really easy to set up- if you go to any other facebook business page, underneath the information, about, likes etc listed on the left hand side is a category ‘create a page’- click on this and follow the instructions through! Make sure you fill in the ‘about’ section, and have a link to your website (if you have one) near the beginning of your paragraph, so visitors to your page can see it at a glance without clicking on the ‘more’ button. The same thing applies to the ‘info’ section, this is a great place to really tell people about yourself and your business. Don’t forget to add photos if you can, they will appear in a row under the name of the page and will make your page pretty.

So far so good- and now for the hard part, attracting ‘likes’. You can just use your personal profile page to ask people to ‘like’ your page- friends and family in particular may well be willing to help out spread the word about your business. When trying to reach a larger audience, however, it’s not really enough just to ask people to like your page- you have to give them a reason (such as discount codes if you sell stuff) or make your page appealing- plenty of (though not too many!) interesting and relevant posts, and interaction with people is a good start. It’s not easy- heck, I’ve had a business page for Chiggs Wheels for yonks and I only have a couple of hundred ‘likers’, but it’s fun to do, and the only cost is in your time- so a great place to begin for start-up businesses who are watching the pennies!

For content¬†I comment about Chiggs Wheels, and anything happening in the business like changes to the Chiggs website or new stockists. I also want to use the page to help Chiggs Wheels stockists, so I have ‘liked’ their facebook business pages, and will share their posts on the Chiggs Wheels page eg if they have sales, discount codes, are attending any events etc.

I also have this blog feeding onto my business facebook page, so that this blog post about facebook for business will automatically appear on my business facebook page, with a link back to the Chiggs blog. A case of social media literally making you go round in circles!

Feel free to come and have a look at the Chiggs Wheels Facebook Page, and leave a comment to say hello!