Often the importance of matters such as having appropriate contracts, prominent networking and an understanding of what is required in terms of B2B Marketing are forgotten about in the rush to grab the short term financial advantages of Contracting/ spending more time at a local coffee shop than at an office water cooler. Contracting is easy in the short term – there are enough agencies offering lucrative short term contracts and freelancing has become a viable solution for both the Contractor and the contracting party in recent years. It’s almost become the norm – in the Hospitality industry many employers because of the short term nature of the work and the variable hours involved are pro-actively seeking staff who want to work via what is sometimes known as Zero Hours contracts or other similar arrangements. However the skillsets that are required for such flexible working relationships are often those that are those that are at the bottom rung of what are required to develop a career, albeit a freelancing career in the Industry. The subtleties of upskilling over time and personal and corporate branding (remember you are now trading as a company) are not so obvious at first but are key to moving up to more lucrative working arrangements.
Unless you get over any hang-ups that you may have about self-promotion or find a business partner(s) that you can work with and who has significant skills in this area, then you are doomed to a medium term future no significant fee growth. Work and clients are significantly easier to acquire in the first few years of trading as an independent entity. There is much to learn, often by trial and error though about developing your business proposition. Ask others and your clients what works to catch their attention and what their definition of great service is. What is important too is not the resource that you have at your disposal to market with but what capabilities are available in your organisation or that you can call upon for a reasonable fee.
Anybody can improve their Marketing skills. There are different dynamics to consider – are you are looking to improve viral skills such as promotion via Google Adwords, Youtube, Pintrest, Instagram, Twitter, persuasive and engaging web content, Mailchimp campaigns, etc.? What do others think of your website (presuming they can find it given that other Hotels, Pubs, etc. will be looking for their attention in the same space)?
Many long term fruitful business relationships come from more personalised one to one contact via networking, event attendance and appointment setting. You would be surprised in how much Youtube content, blogging, and books there are on this subject but going to events can be conquered by merely going to a few and watching what goes on the first few times or if you really feel that you need something to break down barriers chose those that offer a glass of wine as part of the evening!
Relationship & Account Management
It has been said too that foot soldiers network, generals know where to gather. Which Trade Bodies are worth becoming more familiar with and which Conferences that people gather at are two variables worth investigating? Previous articles above will provide access to some trade bodies in your sector and you could add to these those that cover the events Industry specifically too. Reaching a committee position or having some tasks assigned after becoming more prominent in such a trade body may not be the worst route either towards developing a prominent position in your industry.
Higher-level business development capabilities, such as brand management, innovation and customer relationship management should be integrated to your thinking and business development strategies from the start. Customer relationship management is often known as Account Management, and it’s something that established businesses put a lot of thought and effort into managing smoothly. Regular meetings with significant customers or their representatives can produce insights into preferences and pathways that no other method can. Again the difficulties foreseen regarding such get togethers can be overcome by looking at them not just as a way of finding industry insights/knowledge but also as a means to share what you know or your observations on the Hospitality Industry too. End to end customer support – initial feedback but also after sales service and genuine concern for the medium term outcome of the service you provide are welcomed by most business customers. In fact given that others often overlook this it maybe a pleasant surprise for them too.
If ultimately stuck for inspiration you can always just keep an active eye on what the competition is up to, and use their schemes as a starting point to evolve your campaigns from. Marketing capability as previously referred to may merely be the sum of many individual marketing activities.
Over time too developing superior management capability as an aim improves your impact through all functions, not just direct customer interface functions such as Marketing and Sales. Setting out with an ethos to actively develop as a better Manager, Leader, and Strategist will sprout results in all aspects of business operation and development.
Are you interested in any of the above, or just want to find out a little more?
Call us now, regarding these services in the London area and how we can help, on 020 8780 2349 or complete the enquiry form and we will call you back.