Communication

Why FSC?

Business Momentum can provide highly cost effective training in FSC® Chain of Custody, allowing you to achieve rapid implementation of practical and simple systems in order to meet the requirements of the FSC Chain of Custody standard. The process is quick and easy, using ready-made templates to set up the system, hence minimising costs. Only those organisations that have FSC chain of custody certification can legally use FSC labelling on their products.

Why FSC?
Increasingly, printers are being asked by their clients to secure responsibly sourced materials and, more specifically, paper and timber which is Forest Stewardship Council® certified. Whilst anyone can claim to purchase FSC certified paper, only those printers that operate within an FSC certified chain of custody can actually verify this to their customers.

FSC certification helps small and medium sized print businesses to:
  • take the first step for an environmental accreditation
  • win business
  • to comply with tender criteria and legislation for the environment. It is now becoming more and more essential for business to achieve the FSC Chain of Custody standard

Paul Stokes, of Business Momentum, is also a director of The Group Scheme, the UK's fastest growing FSC Chain of Custody group scheme for the Paper, Publishing and Print sectors. Membership of The Group Scheme is open to print related businesses with 15 or fewer employees. Fees for membership of the group scheme are available on request.

Who are FSC?
FSC is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. It was founded in 1993 in response to public concern about deforestation and demand for a trustworthy wood-labelling scheme. There are national working groups in more than 50 countries including the UK. FSC UK is a registered charity. It is supported by NGOs including WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust.
FSC is not responsible for the content of any training offered by Business Momentum
Where companies fall outside the Group Scheme criteria above, Business Momentum can prepare them for compliance with the standard, and can arrange for assessment via an FSC accredited certification body.

To download our membership information pack, click here.
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Marketing for small printers

(If you don’t already do it)

Many of the small print businesses that I know rebranded at the end of 2011. Some of them have spun out a marketing programme from their rebrand, but many have not, perhaps only running a limited “Anniversary” campaign after their first year as an independent printer. Some have done nothing at all, and have recently been noticing the effect of this lack of marketing activity.

It turns out that the one thing that some of you actually miss from the franchise days, is having a BDM! Now we all know that the value of individual BDMs varied enormously over the years. Some were greatly appreciated, and some, not so much. The better ones were good at encouraging franchisees to see the value of marketing their businesses, and to get on and do something about it. Everyone has experience of how the important, but non-urgent task of promoting our businesses can be a near impossible discipline to maintain on a regular basis. The ‘urgent’ has a nasty way of overpowering the ‘important’.

I have been asked by a couple former franchisees to provide some BDM style marketing support. The travel costs involved in supporting businesses that are not local to me would be prohibitive, so I have devised a remote support programme, which includes.
  • One-to-one on line collaboration with the business owner to produce a marketing plan.
  • Extracting customer data from PrintSmith.
  • Setting up templates, and managing data for Mailchimp (or similar) emailing programmes.
  • Compiling ’Lapsed’, and more importantly, ‘Lapsing’ data from PrintSmith.
  • Analysing the success of marketing activities.
…and more.
Are you conducting structured, regular marketing activity? Can I help?

Contact me
[email protected] for a quick chat about your requirements.
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Contemplating a rebrand?

Contemplating a rebrand? - Some things to ponder…

The new brand should advance customer perception of your business in line with the businesses next stage of development.

Identify core business offering and efficiency areas
What are the most profitable or successful aspect of your business? Is there a product or service that takes up a disproportionate amount of your time? Can you use the rebranding (and possible repositioning) of your business to improve this?

Plan any repositioning of the business
What direction do you want to take the business in? Is there a service that you don’t offer, that could be making you money? Could rebranding be used to also launch additional services such as web design or cross-media? Would you have the expertise for this in-house, or could part of the new service be sub contracted until you do? From a marketing point of view, launch any new service two to three months after the rebrand would make sense (it could be pre-announced in the the rebrand).

List admin tasks
Inform suppliers, banks, telecoms, insurers etc.

Include all employees in the plan
Vital. Particularly important that all your team ‘buy in’ to your plan. Include the whole team in discussions. Give ownership of certain aspects to individuals or groups of your staff. Keep them informed.

List Marketing tasks/make a plan
Plan
and budget for the re-launch. Plan post launch continuity. Making a splash with a re-launch is relatively easy. Continuing to build awareness of your new brand locally is an entirely different matter. Three months after the launch (when it’s old news) you need to continually find innovative ways of bringing your business to peoples attention - on a regular basis.

Design new logo
Not as easy as it sounds - The new logo will be something you should not change for at least three years. Is it a good idea for it to be reminiscent of the old one? - Or is a complete break desirable? There quite a few design tricks that can be used - I know of one company that changed it’s logo from a stylised ‘E’ to an ‘M’, simply by rotating it!

Assess signage requirements
Premises: It’s easy to overspend on signage. Carefully consider the benefits depending on location etc.
Vehicles: If you have a van I think the options here are either a plain van or a vehicle wrap, depending on whether you deliver on behalf of customers. If you don’t have a van don’t bother. Sign written cars just look tacky!
Sometimes a minimal approach can be just as effective as an extravaganza!

Plan web presence
Link your web activities. Plan a scaleable website. Can you support a blog in the long term? Will it help your bottom line? Is yours the kind of business that would benefit from using Twitter or Facebook? If so, who would keep it up to date?

Business Momentum has already assisted several businesses with rebranding. If you have any questions about what we can do for your business, please use the contact us page. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
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Customers sometimes have the wrong idea 1:

“Using paper destroys forests”

Not true!

EUROPEAN FORESTS HAVE GROWN BY OVER 30% SINCE 1950 AND ARE INCREASING BY 1.5 MILLION FOOTBALL PITCHES EVERY YEAR - AN AREA FOUR TIMES THE SIZE OF LONDON!  CEPI, Forest fact Sheet, July 2008

‘90% of deforestation is caused by unsustainable agricultural practices.’ Underlying causes of deforestation, World Rainforest Movement; UN FAO

‘The paper industry is a relatively small user of wood. Of the wood extracted from the world's forests, 53% is used for energy production, 28% is used by sawmills and only around 11% is used directly by the paper industry.’ FAO Statistics 2007

Deforestation is generally occurring in the tropics but for a variety of reasons. The main cause of deforestation is either for agriculture or for domestic fuel requirements which between them account for almost half of the trees cut down worldwide. 
Paper and the Environment, ATS Consulting, August 2007

‘The single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is conversion to crop land and pasture, mainly for subsistence.’ replantingtherainforests.org, April 2009

There have been, and continue to be in some tropical countries, issues over land rights and natural forest conversion to industrial plantations which are cause for concern to the paper industry, NGOs and consumers alike.
In northern Europe, where almost all ancient forests are protected, paper comes from managed semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled. Even in countries where natural forests are used, like Russia and Canada, logging accounts for only a tiny share of the annual tree growth.
‘94% of the paper we use is made in Europe.’ CEPI trade statistics 2007

One of the many unique things about paper is that its main raw material is renewable and recyclable, providing a natural habitat for wildlife. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has stated that ‘Forestry practice in Europe is developing in a way that can be considered good for biodiversity.’  EEA, The European Environment, State and Outlook 2005, page 191 of report

‘In Europe, forests are growing and now cover 44% of the land area. 98% of all European forests are covered by a management plan or equivalents.’  MCPFE, Europe's Forests 2007

So the next time a customer starts talking about the "Paperless Office" for environmental reasons - you have the answer!
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The Numbers Game/2

Selling to busy professionals is tough in any industry, but especially for small print businesses. Do you find it difficult to attract the attention of new customers? Unless you differentiate yourself from the competition and inspire new prospects from the first point of contact it will be an uphill slog. Most of your competitors will also have a compelling, customer focussed and cost effective story to tell, so how will you engage the attention of prospects ahead of your competition? Delivering engaging and thought provoking pitches and proposals is routine for attracting new customers, but waffling about your kit list and the so-called advantages of dealing with your company can be predictable and disappointing for your prospect to hear.

It’s not about you!
Understanding and practising the “It’s not about you, it’s about them” philosophy has assisted professional sales people to develop relationships with prospects where others have failed.

What can you do differently? By using the correct processes any salesperson with a quality product can succeed. It may be just a matter of using a more customer focussed philosophy.

  • Inspire and influence. A mixture of passion and expertise is inspirational. Displaying a real interest in your customers growth plans and issues will assist you in building a successful business relationship.
  • Pay attention. Changing suppliers carries a risk for any purchaser. Can you identify that risk and resolve any issues surrounding it?
  • Add value. Your worth to the customer will be determined by their perception of what they get for their money.
  • Volunteer creatively. Enter into discussions about your customers marketing plans. Volunteer ideas to promote their business, even ones that don’t involve you own products and services!
  • Use a reality check. Does what you have to say pass the “So what” test? Otherwise you’ll be wasting their time, as well as your own.
  • Follow the process. Always be attentive to the details. Follow up calls, delivering on time, gratitude. All the thing you know you should never forget.

The stresses of running a business can sometime make us forget the basics. It’s too easy to spend time worrying about sales figures, when more time spent thinking about customers’ concerns would probably lead to greater success. If you can focus more on the customers needs this will differentiate you from your competitors in a way that will be relatively difficult for them to emulate.

Clearly, there is no quick fix for sales success. It takes hard work, persistence and the ability to handle rejection. Success can, however, be made a little easier by remembering that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
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"Why oh why do they believe someone else?"

I was with Bob, a business owner the other day and he asked:

"Paul, Why is it that when I suggest and idea to my staff, they don't act on it – then you or someone else tells them the same thing and they act as though it's the first time they've heard it?"

"Bob" I said. "Have you ever heard the saying that a prophet isn't recognised in their own land" Well; it's true!
1. When the boss tells his or her people that a certain way of achieving more is brilliant – some of the people think that the boss has a hidden agenda.
2. When someone from outside the business explains the same ideas they usually come at the problem from a different perspective.
3. The person from outside the business may be (or should be) skilled at presentations.
4. People believe authority figures.

You see; part of the problem lies within the inaccuracy of the old expression which glibly states: You have to be heard to be believed

When the reality is: You have to be believed to be heard

So can you be more effective in communicating new ideas to your staff?

1. If the idea came from a book – give everyone a copy of it. That's what I did with a book I was so taken with about business organisation. It was called "The E-Myth Revisited" the author is Michael E. Gerber. And, I so loved the ideas that I bought all the members of my team a copy and we used some Gerber's ideas to help re-organise , and improve the efficiency of our business.
2. If the idea came from a TV or radio programme – play the programme at a team meeting.
3. If you have yearly meetings – get a professional speaker to present their (and your) ideas at that meeting.
4. Get recommendations from others who've used the ideas.

Two of the key factors in persuasion are authority and social proof. If you can use those, perhaps you can get your people to believe.
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