If you are an event supplier in the UK, chances are you recently found yourself with A LOT of time on your hands. With no new work coming in, suddenly you find yourself having a lot of free time and almost nothing to do to pass the time. You should take advantage of this extra time to improve your event supplier business.
When there is a downtime in the event industry, it can seriously hurt event supplier businesses the most. At a time when events in the UK are simply not an option, you may start to feel like you are losing control of your business and finances.
However, instead of worrying about the inability to supply your services to events, you should be thinking about ways you can utilise this free time to your advantage. There are quite a few things you could be doing right now, to improve your event supplier business, that have very little to do with selling products/services.
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Here are some ideas on how you can improve your event supplier business, so that you can get straight to work when the time comes:
1. Assess your business and set goals.
The first step to business success, and probably the most overlooked, is to assess your business and set some achievable goals. Even if you had a strong business plan when you first set out, it is common for business owners to get sucked in to the noise of the business and forget about the big picture.
When you encounter downtime in your event supplier business, it might be a good idea to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. Assessing your business from time to time is a great way to refocus, rethink the way you do business, and shift your energy to the things that matter.
Having a clear vision for your event supplier business, broken down into smaller, specific goals will give you something to work towards, and create a sense of gratification each time you check something off the list. This sense of achievement will motivate you to work harder towards your end goal, and eventually help you make your vision a reality.
However, setting goals is not as simple as you might think. There is a number of key things you need to consider when setting goals for your business, to ensure you get it right from the start. According to Pentins Business Advisers, there are 7 things you should consider, before you start setting goals.
2. Bring your business into the digital age.
As Steve Jobs so rightly said, “if your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.”
We are living in a data-driven society and how you collect, store and use data to reach more customers, or keep in touch with existing ones, can make or break your business. There’s endless amounts of information out there, and you need to teach yourself how to utilise this data to personalise your customer experience.
Being online is an integral part of every successful business. Most event supplier businesses depend on referrals to get work at events in the UK, and neglect building an online presence for their business. Hundreds of event supplier businesses tend to promote their business via social media, without having a website, and this can seriously affect your online presence, and make you look less credible to potential customers. And if you already have a website but haven’t updated anything since you first pressed ‘publish’, GO BACK AND UPDATE IT.
Let’s get this straight: Having social media pages does NOT mean you are online. If your business is not online, it simply won’t survive this economic climate.
By bringing your event supplier business into the digital age, you allow your business to be adaptable and easily accessible. This is the best way to meet the expectations of the modern-day audience, used to having access to everything at the click of a button. Consider if there is any way to offer your products or services online, productise your knowledge into an online paid course, host live sessions on social media, the possibilities are endless.
If you haven’t done so yet, create a user-friendly website, where existing and potential customers can browse through your products, place orders etc. If you cannot offer delivery, make it easy for them to pre-order, so you can get straight to work once you are back in business.
Suggested Reading: The Digital Transformation Playbook by David L. Rogers.
There are definitely a lot to think about, and a lot of different ways you can bring your business into the digital world. The first step is to teach yourself more about how your business can embrace this digital transformation. This David L. Rogers book, is a great place to start.
3. Improve your product.
Let’s face it: there is ALWAYS room for improvement. The economy is constantly changing, the technology is evolving more and more each day, and the consumer world is becoming more demanding than ever.
A 10s Google Search presents consumers with hundreds of choices for the exact same product. The only way for your product or service to be selected out of the numerous options, is to make sure it stands out. This means enhanced product features, detailed descriptions of what the consumer should expect, but most of all, improved quality.
Improving your product or service is all about making important, meaningful changes. Don’t just change the colour of a product to match your competitor’s because people seem to like it. Instead, observe how your audience responds to YOUR product, test various changes, or even ask existing customers directly for feedback! Who better to suggest improvements than someone who has already bought from you?
The key thing to remember when you attempt to improve a product or service is that you aim to enhance the overall customer experience. Make sure the changes are well thought out, deliberate and have a purpose.
4. Check out the competition.
It’s simple. The more you know about your competition, the more you can understand what your audience is looking for, and adjust accordingly. Checking out the competition is the best way for you to find out what makes your audience tick. What is it about your competitor that makes people buy into their product?
More often than not, your competitor’s success has very little to do with their product being superior*, and a lot to do with how they collect and use data. There’s something about their marketing and they way they present themselves that works well for them. Your job is to identify their strategy, and see if there is any way to make it work for you. Look at their marketing campaigns, online presence, how they communicate with their audience and what image they present. Then find a creative way to take this information and apply it to your business. You need to be really careful however, not to confuse getting inspiration, with copying exactly what your competitor does.
The events industry is a very competitive market. To make sure you stand out from the crowd, you need to do your research. You can easily access information about event suppliers in the UK by visiting business listing sites like yell.com and sites specifically targeting event suppliers in the UK, such as an event vendor directory. Event vendor directories can be very helpful as you can easily access hundreds of vendors, read customer reviews and get acquainted with the competition.
*If you believe your competitor’s product is indeed superior to yours, then I would urge to go back and check out Section 3 one more time.
5. Stay In Touch With Your Customers
It is a well known fact that it is 5 x more expensive to sell to a new customer, than it is to keep an existing one. If for any reason you are no longer able to get new work from events in the UK, the best thing you can do to improve your event supplier business is to stay in touch with your existing customers.
Be proactive in sharing useful and relevant information with your customers, whether thats via email, or n social media. It is important to let your customers know how you have adjusted your business to be able to operate remotely, all the measures you are taking to protect your staff and clients, as well as how your services may be affected during this time.
Make sure all the information you share with your customers is also easily accessible on your website, on Google and your social media business pages. Things like opening times, delivery delays, service changes and product shortages should also be included.
Keeping your customers informed is something you should prioritise and see as an investment, rather than a chore on your to-do list. Your customers will not only appreciate all your hard work on keeping them informed, but also your effort to ensure your products or services remain available where possible. Ensuring customer satisfaction will lead to more orders/bookings from existing customers, as well as referrals that will drum up new business in the future.
Ready to grow your event supplier business?
Now that you have an idea of some simple ways you can improve your event supplier business from home, the only thing left is to get started! And if you feel stuck or unmotivated to put in the work right now, that’s okay too. Take some time off, recharge your batteries (mentally and physically) and get right back to work.