Back to Biz: A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

With a decade’s worth of experience working with SMEs and startups, Lua Cooper – Founder & Principal Consultant at Greengage, shares some advice on simple ways to get your business back on track again.

Prepare to get out of your comfort zone – that’s good business practice. Not just because we’re facing a pandemic, but in general. The moment we stop learning and trying new ideas and start getting comfortable standing still, we are allowing ourselves to just survive when really we need to give ourselves the opportunity to thrive. There are core things all businesses and freelancers should be doing – but often overlook. Here are some key pointers to keep you and your business fighting fit:

Make sure people can find you. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how companies assume they are more visible to potential customers than they actually are. One way to do this is to register for your Google My Business page and start taking advantage of all the key features that can help your rank on search, and reach a bigger network. This is a quick, free and an easy win!

Get your business visible on Google. Check out the Google Digital Garage online webinar training designed to help develop new skills. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You’ll learn more about how search engines work, how to build your online presence and how to continue to optimise this together with a profile in Google Maps. Delivered on YouTube by engaging Google trainers who’ll only take 60 minutes of your time – but you’ll come away eager to learn more. It even has an interactive Q&A section. If you don’t love it, I’ll eat my shorts!

Don’t stop learning. Power up your knowledge with free Google Digital Garage courses. The online tutorials offer an exceptional breadth of content from the ‘Fundamentals of digital marketing’ (which offers a certification) to ‘Expand a business to other countries’ created in conjunction with the Department of International Trade).

Explore funding opportunities. Covid-19 has been tough on so many businesses, which is why the government and local authorities are offering support with a range of opportunities to help companies get access to extra funds. In partnership with CrowdFunder and the Mayor of London’s Back to Business match-funding programme, projects or businesses that are in a London Borough could be eligible to receive up to £5,000 in match-funding.

Customer engagement apps. Over the years, we’ve become familiar with companies offering loyalty stamp cards eg, ‘buy 9 coffees, get the 10th coffee free!’, but there are new ways to get customers into your store and stop them carrying around flimsy pieces of paper that they will certainly lose. This is just a small selection – there are many creative options out there.

Look professional with an enticing and attractive website. Gone are the days when building a website has to be technical or expensive. Platforms such as Wix, Unstack and Div offer simple drag and drop builders with surprising ease and efficiency. Moreover, in 2020, 50.48% of traffic on the web in the UK has been on mobile devices. I cannot stress this enough, make sure your website looks good on a mobile. Prioritise this – it shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Get back on track with a complimentary 45 minute consultation for SMEs and startups.

Visit | @GreengageDigital

Lua Cooper holds the autumn issue of My Soho Times, and a complimentary hot drink from B Bakery Bar (coupon inside!)

This article was originally published My Soho Times autumn issue.

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