Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

A list of disabled business awards to apply for

disabled business awards There are lots of awards celebrating the achievements of people who have taken the plunge. They are many and varied, and cover everything from starting up to lifetime achievements.

The awards season is upon us and there are lots of ceremonies taking place. disabled entrepreneurs are promoting their businesses by achieving award success.

The Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs

This highly prestigious business award is being sponsored by Sir Stelios Haji Ioannou of Easy Jet fame who is known globally for being a serial entrepreneur.

The purpose of this award is a genuine desire on the part of Stelios to help support disabled people in business and with £50,000 it is well worth applying for.

RADAR People of the Year Awards 2008

For over 40 years RADAR’s People of the Year awards have recognised the tremendous work of both individuals and organisations striving for equality for disabled people.
The People of the Year Awards celebrate these contributions, and included is a Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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Get Networking Working – The benefits to a disabled entrepreneur

disabled people networkingWhen I set up my first business I knew the importance of networking but knew very little else! My inexperience and lack of knowledge, coupled with my disability made my attempts hit and miss, heavy on the miss!

I found networking events really difficult initially and my sight loss did not help. I would now go as far as to say that I am better at it than many of my sighted counterparts these days. I have learned ways to make it work for me and I would like to share them.

Obviously, I don’t have all the answers and different disabilities pose different challenges but a disability need not always be a barrier and can sometimes be turned into an advantage.

Firstly, if you don’t like networking you are probably in good company. It is worth remembering that few people are natural networkers, like anything it requires some preparation and experience .

Before you begin any kind of networking it is important to understand that networking is more about giving than receiving and it is all about building relationships. Once you realise that networking is not all about direct selling it seems instantly a lot less painful.

I used to think that if I didn’t leave a networking event with someone prepared to book my services then my time had been wasted and I had failed. Once I understood the principle of using networking events, and generally meeting people, as an opportunity to begin to build a relationship with a potential client then the pressure immediately disappeared and I began to create real opportunities for my business.

Here are my top ten tips on getting networking working:

1. You Are Your Business

Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust. Because networking is all about building relationships, people are often buying into you rather than into your business. You are likely to be the person they deal with so you need to think carefully how you present yourself and you should consider what potential clients expectations are.

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Buying advertising, Buyers beware! Guide for disabled entrepreneurs

Business contractWorking with entrepreneurs, it never ceases to amaze me how many of them get taken for a ride when it comes to advertising. Like all businesses, when it comes to advertising companies there are the good, bad and downright ugly! The problem is that there are no regulative bodies governing advertisers. Nowadays anyone can set up as an advertising company, ranging from a local magazine to an internet marketing agency, but what do you really know about them?

Most entrepreneurs’ first point of contact with an advertiser comes via the telephone. Here you will be given all sorts of promises, from the number of readers their publication gets, or how high they can get you up on Google search results or the number of leads your advert will generate. But, can you really believe their businesses claims? How do you know if they are telling the truth? The answer is you can’t and you don’t! There is only one way to be sure that you’re not handing your money over to a crook and that is to do your own research!

The first thing you need to do is request a copy of the thing they want you to advertise in, whether it be a brochure, magazine, calendar, menu or whatever crazy thing they have come up with. If they don’t have one or it’s, “brand new” then be very wary. Personally if they were a new company, I would not use them.

The next thing to do is have a look for an advert which is similar to your business, but not in direct competition e.g. if I was a plumber I would look for an electrician’s advert. I would then contact the electrician and say to him that I was thinking about advertising in the magazine and does he get much business from it? I have used this method time and time again and have had numerous responses from “We get loads of business from it, our customers always mention the magazine” to “Oh my God, don’t use them, we are taking them to court!”. See why this method can be useful?

One thing is constant; I always get a friendly response and have even got business from the conversation. As long as you are not in direct competition with them I find people are willing to help and have even recommended other advertising companies they use.

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