What did we talk about?

What did we talk about?

I like thinking about new things, I like coffee and I like meeting people. So I thought it would be interesting to combine all three and run some free consultancy sessions in a coffee shop. 

Sharing my idea with the good people at Kin+Ilk, I was kindly offered a space, and they even dived into help promote “Consultant in a Coffee Shop.” Basically me with a cappuccino and an eagerness to help people in the space of a half hour one-to-one session.

The big day arrived today and all set, my first “customer” arrived. It was a total pleasure to listen to and offer advice to help with her specific marketing issue. This was one I’ve had plenty of experience of in recent months. It was about how to choose a name for your business, and as this is someone setting-up a new enterprise the timing isn’t appropriate to tell you who she is.

The name of your business is hugely important. Choosing the right one is becoming ever more complex especially when you factor the need to secure the appropriate URLs and Social Media platforms. In terms of advice I suggested the following:

  • Decide if your business model is based around you (a bit like me and Jackson Concepts) or the service(s) you’ll be providing. This will help guide the type of name you develop.
  • When setting-up a new business, be confident you have defined the brand values for the business. Just looking at these can help give you inspiration for the name.
  • Think about the businesses you’ll be targeting, you want your name to give the right impression. An attention grabbing name is great provided it grabs the right attention for the right reasons
  • Start listing and keep listing names. Sometimes, you’ll find the name quickly other times it can take longer. This isn’t an exact science. 
  • Share your potential names with your closest family and fiends. Their feedback and suggestions will help.
  • You can try combining words to create a name - not always easy, and if it needs explaining could cause confusion with your customers.
  • All the simple names are gone. Well there may be some left out there, but it could take a long time to find a short one word name with all the sites available!
  • Ultimately the more you understand what your business is about and its values the simpler it becomes to find the right name for it.

We only had 30 minutes, however my first customer was delighted with the advice and guidance to help her find the perfect name for her new business.

My second customer was Cindy Williams, a businesswoman with a wide range of business interests, including being The Alpha Group Regional Director for Cardiff and Swansea. During our conversation, I could see that Cindy has a real passion and talent for building relationships and her marketing challenge was in complete contrast to my first customer. 

At it’s simplest Cindy was interested to find ways to develop the Alpha Group, and further strengthen its appeal to businesspeople.

Well sometimes the simplest solutions can be the best and my advice was:

  • Think of the questions you want to ask.
  • Then, as this is a small group, approach the members individually and ask them for their thoughts and input.

Whilst this sounds like simple advice, fundamentally you can’t underestimate the value and importance of the views and opinions of your customers. 

In this instance, knowing the value Cindy places on developing the relationships she has with the business people she works with, I could see that an email questionnaire would be inappropriate. When asking for customer feedback I always ask:

  • Why are the questions being asked?
  • How will the information be used?
  • How many people will/need to be asked?
  • What is the most appropriate way to ask the questions?

It’s always important to remember that, no matter how you ask questions, you are always counting on the goodwill of your customers to take part and respond. 

I’ll look forward to finding out how Cindy progresses with her group and her other business interests.

Meanwhile, for me it was interesting and energising to be a Consultant in a Coffee Shop, and a real pleasure to be able to offer advice that was well received by my very first customers.  So I’m already looking forward to doing it again, same time, same place next week, and of course I'll share my experience with you!