YostratO: Small business – Big ideas

Like every business, YostratO will embark on a journey. Realistically, that journey will include both challenges and success. Like many business owners based in Buckinghamshire (and beyond) I find myself striving for the holy grail of ‘balance’ between sales activity and ensuring my business has an effective operational backbone supporting it. The nature of our work is to provide companies with marketing, IT and business services that help to simplify their success – so how do we apply these principles to our own business?

I don’t have the holy grail to hand, but I can share my top three personal learnings in April.

1: Take every opportunity to validate your pitch.

HolyGrail 768x432Within my head, my pitch is perfect and would win me business every time. In reality, it hasn’t worked like that. I’ve certainly had success, but I’ve also had the look of glazed eyes and a disconnect. My learning has been not to panic. Instead, I’ve found myself creating variations of my master pitch, simplifying it in some cases and making it as relevant as possible to the person I’m talking to. For example, retail store owners understand ‘marketing’ but what does it actually mean? Instead, talking about amplifying an in-store promotion using sponsored Facebook posts and an offer coupon helps them to start seeing its potential. Secondly, I’ve learned that getting them to talk and recognise their challenges is a far quicker way to focus them on how I can help them. The more they talk about their challenges, the more they recognise that the challenges still exist. From my perspective, this is great, as helps to build the foundations of a relationship, and I’m the person they can turn to for help.

image credit: http://lazysundaymag.com/



grammarly review1

For people who need to concentrate hard when they write or worry about missing a spelling mistake, Grammarly is a fantastic app. It offers a free option and carries out more than 250 grammar checks, proofreads and detects plagiarism, and finally, provides users with a list of possible errors for correction. I’ve found it far more effective than Microsoft Office checks.




3: Invest some time to find the free option, there usually is one.


Invest some time to look for a free option. Building a website requires access to affordable quality sources of stock images, illustrations, and graphics. There is no shortage of companies offering these; there are more than you could ever want. However, they are expensive, especially if you are delivering a project to a client that is on a tight budget. There is always an alternative, though; with some time and research, I found that there are sites that are free from copyright restrictions, that are licenced under the Creative Commons public domain, or that offer images at no cost. The quality and selection are fantastic; you just need to dig a little harder to find what you want. This concept is true not for only stock images but also useful software apps. I’ve found myself considering a £25 per month solution, then, with more time and further research, I’ve found another solution for £5 or even for free. What I’m saying isn’t rocket science, but a certain amount of patience and discipline is needed to get the best results. A top tip is to search for the terms “best of” or “top list of.” I have included my three favourite free stock image sites for you in the links above.