Fri 21st, Apr

With all the excitement over the announcement of the General Election in June, you could be forgiven for forgetting that we have another important election coming up, and soon!

Just next month, Thursday May 4, the Liverpool City Region will vote for our first Metro Mayor.

So, that’s two of the most momentous votes in a generation taking place within five weeks of each other.

And with new power comes new hope and new opportunity, and there can be no better time to make our case for significant infrastructure investment into the city region so we can give our economy a turbo boost.

Period of calm

Businesses like certainty and they prefer a settled economic and political landscape.

And while the run-up to both ballots creates some temporary uncertainty, the outcome may just provide a period of political and economic calm - something we have badly needed since the financial crash almost a decade ago.

This General Election is without doubt a one issue vote. Whatever the outcome, the government of the day will have a clear mandate from the people.

New opportunities

Business confidence in the Liverpool City Region is at an all-time high. Bold, strategic, and steadfast leadership will be required to ensure it continues.  The new Metro-Mayor will need to be ready to hit the ground running to establish strong links with the newly elected government, with a clear and compelling case for investment into the city region and the wider Northern Powerhouse at the ready. A Crossrail for the North must be top of that list.

Strong leadership

Earlier this year, Sir Howard Bernstein stepped down as chief executive of Manchester City Council after almost two decades of dynamic and transformational leadership.

He put aside partisan politics and forged strong links with both Labour and Conservative Governments and Manchester has reaped the rewards of that. We need our new Metro Mayor to have the same impact.

Both elections have the potential to have a profound effect on our regions economy for years to come so, whoever you vote for, make your choice an informed one.

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As we enter a new tax year, I find it disconcerting to see that the cost of doing business is rising.

Fri 07th, Apr

As we enter a new tax year, I find it disconcerting to see that the cost of doing business is rising. 

At a time when the need for business creation and growth has never been more urgent, we make starting and running a venture ever more expensive and complex.

The only bright spots seem to be the reduction in corporation tax and the u-turn on the rise to National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed.

Everywhere else we look, costs are rising. Companies of all sizes will now see the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy, Immigration Skills Charge, a new National Living Wage and pensions auto-enrolment.

Added to that you have a significant rise in input costs caused by the weaker pound.

It’s a simple equation. When the costs of doing business rise something has got to give.  Either firms will pass on those extra costs for customers, or they will be reluctant to hire staff. Hardly a great recipe for growing an economy.

I have, for a long time, urged for a review of the business rates system. It is fundamentally flawed and imposing pressure on businesses every day.  

But any hope of a review is some way off, and those small firms are hurting now.

The Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative, will require almost all companies to file tax returns online four times a year – which means another investment of both time and finances for business owners.

Is it any wonder this month has been designated Stress Awareness Month!

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We see every day among our chamber members and in our fledgling Spark-Up entrepreneurs, how the spirit of enterprise is alive and well in our city region.

In sectors such as a visitor economy and creative & digital we are continuing to see growth, innovation and collaboration. Our last Quarterly Economic Survey shows business confidence in the city region is at an all time high. 

Now is the time to support businesses to grow and scale. Give entrepreneurs the right help and encouragement and in return they will turbo-charge our economy and make us all more prosperous.

Jenny Stewart

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Fri 31st, Mar

Getting specifics out of a politician, particularly during an election campaign, can be tricky and hustings events can quickly descend into soundbite bingo.

This week Liverpool & Sefton Chambers, in partnership with think tank Centre for Cities, hosted just such an event as part of the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayoral election campaign.

The five candidates, in alphabetical order - Tony Caldeira (Conservative), Carl Cashman (Lib Dem), Tom Crone (Green Party), Tabitha Morton (Women’s Equality), and Steve Rotheram (Labour) - all took part in a lively discussion at the chamber here in the city centre.

Genuine passion

There’s an old saying that politicians ‘campaign in poetry and govern in prose’ and, as you would expect, there was no shortage of abstract concepts and snappy soundbites.

However, to give credit to the candidates, there was plenty of meat in there, too. I think they all spoke from the heart and all are standing with a genuine commitment to public service. I saw no political careerists on the panel.

I spoke at the beginning of the session and I talked about how this election means we have the makings of a revolution here in the Liverpool city region.

Connectivity is key

And I was heartened to see that the discussion was at its liveliest when the panel addressed what I think is one of the single most important issues for our city region - connectivity.

We want inward investment, we want a well-educated, highly-skilled workforce doing high-value, good paying jobs, we want our port to be a world leader in global shipping once again.

But we cannot achieve those things if people cannot get from one part of our region to another quickly and with the minimum of fuss or we cannot move goods from the port swiftly to other parts of the country.

Carl Cashman told how a friend travelled from Southport to Prescot to help him with his campaign.

“It took him longer to make that journey than it would have done for him to fly from Liverpool to Spain,” he said.

Yes, it really can be that bad.

Tony Caldeira talked about his efforts in lobbying Government to put the infrastructure in place to allow both HS2 and HS3, or Northern Powerhouse Rail, to go ahead.

Steve Rotheram painted a stark picture of how for every £1 spent on rail infrastructure in the North, London and the South East receives £6.

“London has Crossrail and what we need is Crossrail for the North,” he added.

Tom Crone said the money spent on HS2 and HS3 would be better utilised on making lots of smaller improvements to the local transport network.

And Tabitha Morton pointed out, quite correctly, that it was more often women performing the lower-skilled, lower-paid jobs in our region who were more dependent on public transport than any other group.

This fed into her wider point that too many of the big decisions were being made by “groups of white men behind closed doors”.

A clear message

There is a good deal of confusion among the business community and the wider city region population about what the City Region Mayor will be and how he or she will work with the existing local authority leaders.

Our event went some way to offering clarity on this. The candidates need to work harder between now and election day in May to outline to people how the role will directly affect their lives.

This, as one of the candidates pointed out, could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region. We must make the most of it.

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Fri 24th, Mar

This week, I went on record on behalf of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce to urge the RMT Union to withdraw its intention to strike on Grand National day.

I understand some of the very real concerns raised about the proposed introduction of driver-only operated trains on Merseyrail. I also fully respect the right of workers to take action on issues about which they feel strongly.

But, on the biggest day of the year for Liverpool's visitor economy when we have a global TV audience of 600m people, the timing could not be worse.

Clearly there are fundamental and entrenched positions on both sides of this dispute – but it seems to me that those could be best resolved through sensible and considered negotiation.

Using the biggest day of Liverpool’s sporting and social calendar as a negotiating tactic is disappointing, to say the least.

The Grand National offers a massive annual boost to hundreds of businesses across the entire region.

This action by the RMT will not only inconvenience residents and visitors but sends totally the wrong message at a time when we are working hard to market ourselves in an international arena.

And this does open up a wider discussion around Liverpool's global identity.

We present Liverpool as a forward-thinking city, a place on the up, a location that understands and utilises technology and digital advancements to do business better - somewhere that is prime for inward investment.

But in fact, in terms of productivity, there is a lot of work to be done. The UK lags behind Germany by 35% and output in the North West is further behind again.

The North-South divide shows no sign of shrinking, there are undeniable challenges around improving productivity in the North – and it is time business leaders rose to those challenges.

The rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ – freelancers, short-term workers and independent contractors lured by the idea of more flexible working – is threatening the retention of talent within our workplaces. But what can we do about it?

Simple measures can make a huge difference.

Let’s look at upskilling, life-long learning, financial incentivisation. Lets alter our working practices, lose the colloquial minsdet and accept change. Lets scale-up, create jobs and win clients.

Let’s really think of the bigger picture and start looking out instead of in. Only then can we really, really begin to compete.

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Posted by Kurt B Potter

Growth Executive for Grant Thornton

Wed 22nd, Mar

Do you need to look externally to raise finance for your business to grow?

Angel investment is an important source of early-stage finance for ambitious founders looking to build scalable businesses. But what should you look for in an angel investor and what makes them tick?

More than money Raising investment from a business angel provides so much more than just access to growth finance. The right angel investor will be a trusted business partner, a mentor, an advocate and can bring valuable connections to fast track your business’ growth. “The main thing a business owner should look for in an angel investor is someone who supports you and can bring value to your vision, not someone who wants to rewrite your vision” says Michael Blakey, serial angel investor and UK Angel Investor of the year 2015/16. “Don’t be tempted to just think about the short term funding need, you need an investor that is in it for the journey, is used to dealing with pivots, and can support with further finance as the business grows.”

Additionally, be aware that angel investors very rarely invest alone. Over 80% of angel investments closed by Grant Thornton clients involved an angel syndicate. This is consistent with national data on the angel market, presented in the UKBAA Nation of Angels report, which found approximately 7 out of 10 angel investors invest through syndicates in the UK.

Ensure impact

We see so many founders fail to make the most from an opportunity to impress investors. Demand far surpasses supply when it comes to seeking investment, and thorough preparation, research and practice is the difference between standing out and blending into the crowd.

Chris Michael is founder of Swytch, which has created an app that allows multiple phone numbers to be used from a single device. Swytch secured investment from investors James Hilton, CEO of M&C Saatchi Mobile, and serial entrepreneur Neil Hutchinson. However, Chris found he had a lot to learn when pitching to angels.

“We attended lots of events in preparation for meeting investors to learn how to pitch and understand what should and shouldn’t be in a slide deck,” he says. But the biggest way to make an impact? “Personalise your pitch”, says angel investor Michael Blakey. “I get hundreds of approaches from entrepreneurs seeking investment every month and I get so frustrated when emails are addressed “Dear Sir”. It isn’t hard to put my name or personalise a slide deck so I don’t feel I’m getting the same presentation everyone gets.”

Pitching to an investor is essentially a sales process, and it is really the only time your investor will ever be on the receiving end of how you conduct yourself professionally. “We will assume that how you communicate with us is how you will conduct yourself with customers”, says Michael. It is crucial to demonstrate you are professional and competent. Content is key There are many ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to pitching for finance.

When seeking funding for Swytch, Chris found that, as well as wanting to understand his vision and route to growth, angels he met with were most interested in the people behind the business. “You need to talk about your team. They want to know who is running your company and have confidence you can achieve your forecasts” Chris says.

I don’t want to know how great a product is, I want to understand the market opportunity and the commercial terms of the deal for me. A common mistake we see during pitch events is business owners confusing the investment pitch with a product pitch. An investor does not need to understand every detail about your product/service, but they do want to know how you will make money, who your customers are and what is in it for them.

“I back entrepreneurs who understand how I want to make money”, says Michael. “I don’t want to know how great a product is, I want to understand the market opportunity and the commercial terms of the deal for me.” And don’t even think about using the word “conservative” when presenting your financials!

During his early meetings, Chris learnt first-hand the importance of giving investors information on the addressable market for his business. “You do get feedback from investors and it’s important to listen. I learnt that investors will not believe that there is no one else trying to do the same thing as you. So we needed to be clearer about who we were aiming for and how we were going to reach them.”

Even if you have a breakthrough innovation that no-one else has invented yet, your competition is that consumers continue to use an alternative solution, or they continue to do nothing about the problem you are trying to solve. What’s in it for them? So why do business angels invest?

It is true that there are some investors who invest philanthropically, having made their fortunes and want to give back to the economy or make a social impact. But it is important to understand that the majority of angel investors invest to make money. Yes, they want to be involved in interesting projects and bring value to small businesses, but ultimately they are looking for a financial return.

Entrepreneurs that recognise this and place importance on demonstrating how they can deliver that for investors will go far when pitching for finance. And Michael? “I like the rollercoaster of investing in exciting, growing businesses. There are easier ways I could make money, but they would be a lot less fun!”

Grant Thornton are running a Funding Clinic on Wednesday, 05 April 2017 08:30 - 11:00 at Grant Thornton, Royal Liver Building, Liverpool L3 1PS

This event is free of charge.

For more information contact Kurt B Potter, Growth Executive for Grant Thornton. T +44 (0)20 7728 2826 E kurt.b.potter@uk.gt.com

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Fri 17th, Mar

We’ve all met the natural entrepreneurs - the Richard Bransons of this world who start wheeling and dealing before they are old enough to even buy a drink.

However, for most people starting a business can be a daunting leap into the unknown - they need nurturing and encouragement and a belief they are supported.

Through the chamber’s Spark Up accelerator programme we have seen first-hand the transformational effect the right environment can have on an initially nervous and unsure would-be entrepreneur.

In times of austerity, with rafts of people still at the sharp end of spending cuts, the Government have a responsibility to support those taking matters into their own hands – many of whom have been left with little or no other option.

It is why Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget provoked such a reaction from the business community last week.

Proposing to raise National Insurance contributions for self-employed people as well as cutting dividend tax-free allowances may have seemed, on paper, like sound fiscal ideas - but it sent out a terrible message and I can’t help but wonder if The Chancellor had said it out loud before pitching it to the nation?

I’m incredibly proud to operate in Liverpool – it is a city bursting with great business ideas and bold, bright, enterprising people. And in times of economic uncertainty we need entrepreneurs and risk-takers more than ever. Sole traders have the capacity to prosper and create businesses that offer employment and that process is the real engine for growth in our society.

Liverpool accountant and Liverpool Chamber member Peter Taaffe said this week: “I can’t remember the last time a Budget stirred quite so much emotion.”

It’s an apt comment because starting and nurturing your own business is a very emotional journey. When people get past their initial enthusiasm the everyday worries kick in - will I be able to pay my mortgage, support my family, just make ends meet?

But you know, some good could come from the past week. One of the positive things to come from the Budget was a promise to review the business rates system, which is fundamentally broken and needs to be fixed.

Maybe the controversy over the now-scrapped NI rises will spark a wider debate on how we value entrepreneurship in our society.

We need to take a look at business and employment taxation to ensure the system is competitive and equitable - and encourages the entrepreneurial dynamism this city and this country so badly needs.

Jenny Stewart

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Fri 10th, Mar

This week has been a critical week for the Chamber – National Apprenticeships Week, International Women’s Day and of course, Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first and final Spring Budget.

And let’s talk about that, shall we?

Liverpool & Sefton Chambers, along with British Chambers of Commerce has long been lobbying for business rates reform.

In his Budget, Mr Hammond announced a raft of measures to help businesses fearful of an imminent rise in business rates. This is certainly welcome news.

For a long time now the Chamber has called for a review of the system, which is as I see it, fundamentally broken.

The announced cap for small businesses - coupled with the proposed discount on business rate bills for pub landlords - is at least some sign that Government are beginning to take the issue seriously and feels like the first time in a long time we have had any real sign of change to the system.

The £300m fund set to be made available to councils to allow them to provide discretional relief on a case-by-case basis is further heartening – though counteracted by the rise in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed, which feels out of touch, to say the least.

It was refreshing to hear The Chancellor admit challenges around productivity in the UK, which lags behind other comparable nations. I welcome any motion to improving the UK’s productivity but am determined to see more investment in the North.

It is extraordinary that some days it can take two hours to travel between Liverpool and Manchester - two cities just 35 miles apart.

The £90m that was announced to improve ‘pinch points’ on roads in the North is not a lot of money at all and simply won’t be enough to solve what is an inherent problem that has long been stifling our economic growth.

And on a day that celebrates strong and enterprising women, it was interesting to hear the Chancellors commitment to supporting women and improving gender equality. The £5m ringfenced for ‘returnships’ for women hardly feels adequate.

The elephant in the room though, was the Chancellors evasion of the B-word and the absence of international trade and export.

It is fair to say that the budget was, perhaps more than ever, light on detail. We can only wait and see what will come over the following days and weeks.

 

Jenny

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The Federation of Small Businesses published a report (Tied Up 2016) recently exploring the cost of disputes to UK small businesses.

Posted by Joseph Mulrooney

Joseph Mulrooney is a panel member of Mediatelegal. Mediatelegal is a panel of expert mediators, accredited to deal with civil disputes, commercial disputes, and workplace disputes. Established in 2016, and based in Liverpool, we offer a national service but aim to make Merseyside a leading region in the use of mediation. www.mediatelegal.co.uk

  • T: 0151 363 3972
  • E: help@mediatelegal.co.uk
Thu 23rd, Feb

The Federation of Small Businesses published a report (Tied Up 2016) recently exploring the cost of disputes to UK small businesses. In the report the FSB recognises the important role of mediation in reducing the impact of disputes.

The report finds that disputes cost smaller firms in England and Wales a staggering £11.6 billion each year. The report found that there were at least 3.4 million commercial disputes involving small businesses in England and Wales between 2010 – 2015, and 70% of small businesses had at least 1 commercial dispute between 2010-2015, with the average disputed amount equalling £18,000.00.

72% of commercial disputes for smaller businesses relate to late or non-payment of fees – this amounts to 2.4 million smaller businesses experiencing such a dispute.  The report also found that the most commonly reported source of a dispute was the customer or client (57%). Suppliers were the second most common source at 21%. Interestingly, disputes with competitors or internal disputes accounted for just 2% each.

Why does all of the above matter? Smaller businesses don’t often have the capacity or resources to deal with disputes. The impact can be devastating and might include key commercial relationships being lost, cash flow difficulties, or insolvency.

How can you best deal with customer disputes?

The best way to avoid a dispute with a customer is to agree exactly what it is the customer wants from you in advance, to then provide detailed information on how you will meet those needs, and to then deliver that service.

  1. Agree customer expectations
  2. Provide detailed instructions on how you will deliver on those expectations
  3. A clear and concise contract, signed by the customer.
  4. Provide your service in keeping with 1-3 above

As anyone in business will know though, you can never 100% remove all possibility of a customer dispute. People are people, information can be misinterpreted, and emotions can’t be written down in a contact. Disputes will happen despite your best efforts, but if you follow the above advice you should see your business benefit from more satisfied customers and less angry emails, telephone calls, or social media reviews.

What Else Can Be Done?

Let’s be clear, if a customer submits a complaint or brings a dispute against your company, the absolute worst thing you can do is to ignore it. It is unlikely to go away and the customer will not only be unhappy with the initial service, but will also have a valid complaint about the way in which the original complaint has been handled. All of a sudden you will be dealing with two issues rather than one.

What you should do is engage with the customer, discover the cause of their dissatisfaction, compare it with points 1-4 above, and provide a reasoned response, in writing wherever possible. The customer might not agree with your conclusion, but you have given them the opportunity to explain their position, and explained yours in turn.

Of course, a customer might continue with their dispute. Depending on your sector this might involve a complaint to a governing body – an Ombudsman for example. If this happens, and you have followed our advice above, you should have a good audit trail to support your case.

If there is no governing body, or if the customer chooses to ignore this route, you might find yourself receiving a letter of claim from a solicitor, perhaps alleging professional negligence. At this point it is essential that you don’t ignore the dispute. If you do, you could find yourself in court with no legal advice, or receiving a County Court Judgment against you/your company. Seek legal advice straightaway!

Free Mediation Clause

At Mediatelegal we offer businesses a free clause. This can be inserted into your company’s customer contract, and requires the customer to agree to attend mediation before they can commence court proceedings against you.

Returning to the above scenario where you have received a solicitor’s letter; you can respond by notifying the solicitor of this clause and advising that you want to use mediation to try to resolve the dispute without going to court.

What Is Mediation & Why Should You Use It?

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). It is an informal way to resolve disputes quickly, confidentially, and inexpensively.  As the FSB report states, “many businesses see it as offering a value-for-money way of resolving disputes’.

Unlike court, mediation won’t see a verdict imposed on you by a judge, instead you and the customer are encouraged to communicate and work together to find an agreeable solution to the dispute. The mediator uses his/her skills to help you both with this process. For more information on the mediation process visit our website.

According to the CEDR 2016 Mediation Audit, 86% of disputes are resolved by mediation either on the day of the mediation or shortly afterwards.

A further benefit of using mediation to resolve disputes is that it can restore relationships which were previously damaged. Because both sides work together to discuss the dispute and also the solution, they are both being heard by one another and working together.

A recent report by the World Bank (Doing Business 2017) found that in the UK it takes 437 days from starting a case in court to enforcing a judgment at the conclusion. That’s a long time for a company to have to deal with a legal dispute – it will be expensive, time consuming, and very stressful. The report also found that legal fees will likely amount to almost 44% of the value of the dispute.

Let’s have a quick look at an example:

Earlier we told you that the average dispute value for small businesses in the UK was £18,000.00. Using the World Bank data, not only would it cost roughly £7920.00 in legal fees per party, but it would also take up to 437 days for a legal dispute to be taken through the courts.

To resolve the dispute using mediation would take up to 1 day. The mediation fee would be just £500.00 per party. 

What Next?

Hopefully this article has made interesting reading for you; maybe it’s even been useful for your business? If it has, please share it with your contacts – i would hope they will appreciate it.

If you would like more information regarding mediation or would like to discuss using our free mediation clause please feel free to get in touch either via our website at www.mediatelegal.co.uk.

—————————

Joseph Mulrooney is a panel member of Mediatelegal.

Mediatelegal is a panel of expert mediators, accredited to deal with civil disputes, commercial disputes, and workplace disputes. Established in 2016, and based in Liverpool, we offer a national service but aim to make Merseyside a leading region in the use of mediation.

If you would like more information regarding mediation or would like to discuss using our free mediation clause please feel free to get in touch via our website.

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TimScottHR is bringing Street Wisdom to Liverpool City Centre.

Posted by TimScott HR

Mon 20th, Feb

Haven’t heard of Street Wisdom?

Street Wisdom workshops are designed to give you time and space to think about a particular problem or issue you are facing, whether it’s at work, at home or in any aspect of your life. Using the urban environment to help you think, you can ask your question and use the answers you discover to move forwards in life. Why wait for escape to exotic destinations when inspiration can be found on your own doorstep? Street Wisdom shows you how. This event is free: the only thing you pay is attention!

Street Wisdom is a three-hour workshop that’s free to take part in – you don’t pay fees, you pay attention. It’s been staged in 27 countries and counting.

How does it work?

Simple.  Tune Up. Quest. Share.

1.       First, your Street Wisdom faciliator Tim Scott helps you and your group tune up your senses so you can pick up much more information from the urban environment that you would normally.

2.       Then you’re off on a journey by yourself – your street quest – where you ask a question and see what answers present themselves.

3.       Finally, you gather together again to share what happened and, more often than not, wonder at how magical an ordinary street can become when you’re really aware of those hidden messages, chance meetings and unexpected discoveries.

In just three hours of walking and wandering, participants have resolved problems that have dogged them for years, found new business ideas, changed careers, discovered new directions, and learned how to deal differently with living, learning and loving

All you need is a question… and your walking shoes!

TimScottHR is delighted to be bringing Street Wisdom to the streets of Liverpool.  The event can be run for businesses and teams.  Tim will happily talk to you about it – but first come along and enjoy the experience for yourself.  See you there! 

Book now for 22nd March:

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Why you can learn from Trump’s election campaign victory

Posted by Textlocal.com

Tue 24th, Jan

From real estate developer to the 45th president of the United States – why you can learn from Trump’s election campaign victory.

Shocked? Seen it all before? Whoever you supported in the monumental election campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there’s one marketing ploy that played a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the results. And that was…

The power of mobile marketing and communications

In every television appearance, you’d always see: Text “TRUMP” to 88022 in the shot.

Of course, there’s nothing particularly innovative about using SMS keywords and a short number as a marketing ploy. We see it all the time outside bars, restaurants and even in the reception at the dentist. But to do it on such a grand scale and garner the results that it did, magnifies the significance and power of text messaging.

By sending out messages to remind people to go out and vote, he’s instantly and psychologically urged the public to get off their backsides and do it.

We’ve all heard of the phrase; curiosity killed the cat. The text “TRUMP” campaign was a potent example of this. Most of his stands and adverts didn’t even say what you were opting in for. You just had to text in to find out.

How can businesses learn from Mr. Trump?

Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, at the end of the day, he’s a businessman. He knows how to communicate with his audience and get results. In this case, it was a text messaging campaign.

He wanted to communicate directly with his voters. SMS not only feels more personal, but it boasts a 98% open rate – blowing any other marketing channel out of the water. Forget about waiting to broadcast key speeches at certain times, this method hits his subscribers instantly in their homes and on the go.

The same applies to your business too. Loyal customers are engaged with brands, so it’s essential that you’re actively reaching out to them.

The stats:

  • There are 33.67 million mobile users in the UK that have opted in to receive text messages from brands and businesses in 2016. This is set to rise to 48.65 million by 2020
  • 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes
  • On average, 32% of your audience will respond to a text message
  • Smartphones will overtake desktops and tablets by the end of 2017 – accounting for more than 60% of all e-commerce visits

Depending on the nature of your business, there are many different elements of mobile marketing and communications to consider.

If you’re looking to optimise your sales in the build up to Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales – sending out a series of promotional text messages, vouchers (with a QR code) and virtual loyalty cards via SMS could entice your customer base to visit your store or go online.

Or with winter approaching, schools can communicate via text message to inform parents of any closures. Health organisations and car garages could even send out a simple reminder of an appointment or MOT. All of these examples are cost-effective and instant.

Need data?

Just take text “TRUMP” as a key example on how to quickly and efficiently build a customer database which you can market to or communicate with.

You may be thinking, ‘well he was on television in front of millions of people worldwide, so of course it was going to work’. True, but there are also ways for businesses (regardless of size) to implement this strategy on a smaller, low-cost scale.

Textlocal.com offers you an easy and free platform to create short numbers and keywords (such as “TRUMP”). Depending on your industry, create a relevant word and showcase the details in your shop windows, on the side of your company van, in your reception and even on your social media platforms.

Again, depending on your industry, you could entice people with tempting offers or keep it a secret like Mr Trump did.

Key lessons

SMS is the most cost-effective way of engaging with your customers, and whilst you aren't reaching out to them, your competitors are.

So, if you’re going to take away anything from Donald Trump’s election victory, take away his text messaging triumph and start implementing it into your business today.

Try the Textlocal online platform for free and receive 10 free credits to help send your first campaign. 

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