Chichester Networking and Events

There are many events and opportunities in Chichester to meet and network with other Chichester businesses, here at Ad Astra we relish every opportunity to get involved and meet local SME’s so we thought we would round up some of the great opportunities available to you in this helpful guide.

Chichester district council works with local businesses to help create many great opportunities to network in the way of events, opportunities and discussion forums; it has never been such a great time to grow your Chichester business!

Here is a roundup of the best Chichester networking opportunities:

Chichester Hour Twitter Group

First Friday – Business Networking Events

Google+ Chichester online Business Network

Scene 4 Women

 

There are many other services and organisations that are committed to helping Chichester businesses, take a moment to browse through the links below as they may be of great help to your business:

Ad Astra Business Development and Marketing

Chichester BID – Chichester Business Improvement District

Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Chichester University Enterprise and Employers

Coastal West Sussex – Development Partnership

Petworth Business Association

Selsey Business Partnership

Sustainable Business Partnership

Unifido Online Development

 

Ad Astra is Chichester’s leading business development agency, we help Chichester businesses network and develop relationships with local SME’s to support one another and grow their businesses.

Ad Astra is Chichester’s online marketing agency of choice.  We build professional websites, write engaging content marketing articles and manage your social media marketing.  To start networking online today, please follow our social media channels where we promote local Chichester businesses and offer free marketing tips and advice:

Google+

Twitter

LinkedIn

 

Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you network with Chichester and West Sussex Businesses.

 

Chichester Business Help

How to start or move your business online – 7 steps

Are you thinking of moving your business online?  Moving your business online can be very beneficial in todays marketplace for reasons such as cost reduction, consumer trend and credibility, if you can be located anywhere and sell your product online why have a costly store front?  A website, content marketing and social media marketing can be all it needs to grow and manage a successful business online.

If you are thinking of moving your business online here are Ad Astra’s top 7 tips to start or move your business online.

Chichester Marketing

Create your business plan

You need a full proof business plan showing what your are going to do.  There are tips online to help you write your business plan or there are business and marketing specialists who can develop and write it for you professionally.

 

Develop your strategy

Planning your strategy will help you understand how you are going to achieve your objectives, make small measurable goals that build the bigger picture to success.  In the same fashion as the business plan, there are tips for planning your marketing strategy online and expert marketing agencies who can help you.

 

Find your USP

The online market is highly competitive, there are probably hundreds of other businesses doing the same as you.  You need to focus your USP to find out what you are going to differently to them, can you deliver better? faster? cheaper?

 

Choose the best domain name

Your domain name can have a huge impact on the way customers and Google SEO perceive you, so it is important to pick the best domain name that you can.  You can buy a domain name in the UK for as little as £1 or as part of a website package.

 

Set up social media pages

Social media pages are the best internet marketing tool to find and build customers online, it creates brand consistency and builds your credibility, the same goes for content marketing and blog writing.  You need to be on the appropriate social media platforms to meet your target and update your pages regularly giving your customers and audience a reason to follow you.  Are your customers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+?  There are companies that manage your social media marketing on your behalf giving you time to focus on what you do best.

 

Get your website right

Your website is very important as it is your online shop front, the first thing that customers see when they visit you online.  Building a website can cost as little as £1 per day and can be responsive to work on all devices, built and designed by professionals so is probably not the expense you might expect!  Remember to optimise your website content with the correct copywriting to reflect your customers search terms.  Here is a helpful guide on copywriting and content marketing.

 

Plan for growth

Decide what your plans are for growth, are you going to increase your market share? expand your product range or offering? partner with another growing business?  Don’t worry if you don’t know your plans for growth as their are business development and marketing specialists who can help.

 

Ad Astra is Chichester’s marketing agency of choice, we have helped many Chichester and West Sussex business to develop, plan and implement their online strategies.  We  design and build professional websites, we have excellent copywriting skills to write engaging content marketing articles and we are social media marketing specialists who plan and implement your social media campaign.  Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you.

 

5 Reasons your business should be online

Online is where it is at.  In this day and age all businesses are online, customers look online first for your business or products, your online presence demonstrates your credibility and an online store front is much easier and cheaper to manage than one on the high-street.  It doesn’t take a business genius to realise that your business needs to be online!

Here are our 5 reasons why your business needs to be online.

 

1. Cost Reduction

Moving your business online is considerably cheaper than a bricks-and-mortar shop front and is again probably a lot cheaper than you may think.  The days of costing £1000’s for a professional website are no longer with marketing agencies such as Ad Astra building websites for as little as £1 per day.

Online-only businesses need less equipment, less floor space and less staff, they need less of everything that costs money and will even save on energy costs.  Moving your business online is cost-effective and is not an unnecessary outgoing, that is an old-fashioned point of view.

 

2. Consumer Trend

Nearly everyone shops online.  The first place that consumers look for products or services is online, so if you are not online then you will not be seen.   Online retail sales figures are increasing each year with last year seeing 21% of all UK retail sales being made online.

 

3. Shopping Convenience

With the consumer trend of shopping online, people now want to shop as and when they wish.  People want to shop online from their own home saving time and money, if you are not online then you are invisible to all of these people wanting to buy your products.  More than half of people surveyed in MyHigh.st’s research said they save time and money shopping online and four in ten people preferred the convenience to regular shopping.

 

4. Smart Deals

A recent survey showed that a third of all smartphone shoppers are using discount codes at the checkouts of online shops.  These discounts offer great incentives enticing consumers to shop online.

 

5. Perfect Location

Moving your business online means that you can run it from anywhere, you don’t need a central high-street location to catch the footfall of passers by, you can be out in the middle of the countryside and still have customers finding your online shop front all day and all night.

 

Understand why you need to be online?

At Ad Astra we have helped many SME businesses develop and manage their online presence, with the help of our Unifido packages we have given them great professional websites and shown what needs to be done to succeed online, for many clients we manage their online presence giving them the time to focus on what they do best, their own business.  Online we build websites, write content marketing pieces and manage social media marketing campaigns.  Ad Astra is Chichester’s online marketing specialists.  Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help your business succeed online.

Online Business

Publishing a Press Release in the Chichester Media

If you are a small business then you will know that the local media is a great way to publicise your business, the problem is, how do you write a press release?  To help all you fellow Chichester businesses out we, the helpful guys at Ad Astra Marketing and Business Development agency, have decided to give you some helpful tips on press releases and mention the key media in Chichester that you should contact!

 

1. Create a story that people will want to hear

Before you start writing think about interesting things you read in the media, because if your story isn’t interesting it won’t be published and if it is then it won’t be read.

  • What is ‘new’ in your story?
  • Are there any interesting features to your business?
  • Will this be interesting to the public or community?
  • Who cares?

If you’re not sure if the story is newsworthy go collect some newspapers and do some research and how to make it a story!

 

2. Write KILLER headlines

People won’t read it if it doesn’t captivate and draw them in, an eye catching headline will immediately create interest.  The same goes for the journalist or editor reading your press release, they won’t read it if it looks boring!

 

3. Get your story in the first line

The first line needs to be captivating, it needs to draw people in from the beginning, the top of your story should be in the first sentence of the press release to immediately create interest to read on.  Your first line should be a summery of your story in 15-20 words.

 

4. Be concise

300 to 400 words is the ideal length for a press release, three or four paragraphs and a couple of quotes.  Keep it short and concise informing the media of the story, they are the ones who will write the full story on it.

 

5. Use quotes rather than information to provide insight

Quotes can add value to your story as they offer real insight from real people, don’t baffle with information just provide clear points of view and how people feel about the story regarding your business.

 

So now you’ve written your press release, you need to send it to the local media.  Where do you start?  This is far from a comprehensive list but it should be a useful guide to get you started on thinking who in Chichester and West Sussex to start contacting.

The Chichester Observer is the most widely distributed local newspaper read by Chichester and the surrounding villages.

The Chichester Herald is a free newspaper covering Chichester and the surrounding villages.

The West Sussex Gazette reports on news across West Sussex.

Hope this article helped!

Writing-for-PR-Tips

Ad Astra is a specialist business development and marketing agency based in Chilgrove, Chichester.  Ad Astra has helped many small businesses develop and reach their markets using both offline and online marketing and pointing them in the right direction of Chichester services available for them.  Our online marketing specialists build professional websites and manage social media marketing campaigns.  Our off-line marketing specialists create engaging content marketing pieces, PR and press releases and are expert copywriters.  Contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you!

5 Creative marketing tips for small businesses

Ad Astra has worked with many small businesses in Chichester and West Sussex to help lift them off the ground and get them noticed.  We decided to write this blog to give those looking for Chichester business help something to think about and hopefully get on your feet!

Chichester Marketing TipsIf you are looking for further Chichester business help such as loans, grants, services, help or advice then one of these articles may help, Help for Chichester business or Chichester Business Help.  If your are looking to network with local Chichester businesses then Twitters Chichester Hour or the Google+ Chichester Business Community are great places to start!

So, back to the topic, here are Ad Astra’s top  5 top creative marketing tips!

 

1. Be Creative

Customers have marketing messages thrown at them all day from many angles, they are bombarded with them in such a way that they only pay attention to just a small number. That is why it is important to be creative with your marketing message, plan your attack in a way that will get you noticed and strike when they will pay attention. Make your message relevant and appealing to them so they listen to you and like what you are saying and what you have to offer.

 

2. Listen To The Customer

Everyone knows the customer is always right, so listen to your customer and hear what they have to say about your product or service. Ask for feedback from your customers, they are the ones using your service so find out how they think you could improve. If your stuck for ideas, ask them which of your products or services are best and you’ll know what to focus on.

 

3. Give out Freebies

“When you have a great tasting product, get it into peoples mouths” – not a traditional marketing plan to give away free products but people are much more likely to purchase something they’ve tried and like than something they’ve never tried. Maybe give free trials and get people to rate your product online or tell their friends!

 

4. Create Exceptional Content

People need a reason to come to your website, they need something to read which makes it worth visiting – the answer is to create exceptional content! Give customers something they want to read and they will come to read it, make it appeal to your target audience with exciting and engaging content and they will come to read it!

 

5. PR is Great

PR is your new best friend. Marketing can be costly but if you do it yourself PR can be free. Write something for the local paper to be seen by the local area, they are probably desperate for something new to write about so give them a story! A competition? A zero to hero story? A product based on the local area?

 

Hope these creative marketing tips inspired you! At Ad Astra we specialise in marketing and business development of Chichester and West Sussex SME businesses.  Our online marketing specialists build websites, create engaging content marketing and manage your social media marketing campaigns.  Offline our specialists write business plans and marketing plans to focus your strategy, they rebrand, produce stunning graphic design and are expert copywriters.  If you are a Chichester Business please contact to find out how Ad Astra can help you.

 

A frosty morning in Chilgrove

The view from the office window here in Chilgrove is one of the reasons we chose the locations for the Ad Astra headquarters, it really makes a difference working in beautiful surroundings.  Throughout the year as the seasons change we get to watch it happen!

Here is the the view from the Ad Astra office window at 8.30am this morning, the temperature is -5.5!!!

Ad Astra office in Chilgrove, Chichester

 

The Importance of Market Research

Knowledge generated from market research is the key component of a great plan.

There are many aspects to consider when starting your business, but market research is perhaps the most important.  Knowing exactly what your customers are looking for will help you to develop your offering, knowing what your competition is doing will give you the edge.

66793716-300x194A plan without facts derived from solid research is a piece of fiction.  Don’t let the rush to get the product to market stop you from undertaking the right market research.  Market Research has aided work in all sectors, clarifying requirements and enabling understanding of clients.

A great way to start your market research is by investigating three key elements of your market:

1) Identify your target market.

Considerations range from age, income, and ethnicity to personality, values and attitude.

2) Know your competition.

Use business directories, internet searches and industry knowledge to get the latest information on your competition.

3) Get to know current and future trends.

Consider technological opportunities or threats and exploring social media outlets.

Tools & Resources

Once you have researched your market, you can create a viability report, research the costs and the revenues required to cover those costs.  Also research if you will have enough customers to make sure it is a viable venture.

According to a Royal Bank survey of small business owners, when asked if they could start their business over again, 59% said they would have done more market research.  So do your market research now to save you time, energy and money in the long run.

For more tips and advice, follow Ad Astra on Twitter.

Ad Astra is a professional Business Planning Agency, for information regarding market research or Business Planning please contact us on 023 92 160960 or send us an enquiry!

The 4 top reasons for business networking

With the establishment of the new Chichester Google+ Business Network it has got us in the Ad Astra office thinking of why all small businesses should be involved in networking either online or in person!

Here is Ad Astra’s top four reasons for business networking!

 

Share Knowledge

They say knowledge is power.  When lots of small businesses share their knowledge with one another they can learn a lot, for example if you want to learn how to improve your google rank then why not ask someone in your network as they are there to share their knowledge in return for your knowledge.

 

Find Opportunities

For small businesses work rarely find its way to you, you need to be out there looking for it.  If you network and meet other small businesses the chances are that sooner or later they will require your service or point you in the direction of their clients needing your service too.  Networking opens doors introduces you to many new opportunities.

 

Make Connections

Networking is a great way to make good business connections.  Build business relations and you will find that your services may be beneficial to another member of the network, if you help them then they will help you. This will again help in finding opportunities as your connections might help direct clients your way.

 

Raise your Profile

If your a small business networking can be a great way to raise your profile.  It gives you the opportunity to tell lots of other businesses that you exist, what you do and why they should use your services.

 

Do you network?  If not then you are missing a lot of opportunities!  Get yourself over to the new Chichester Business Network or connect on Chichester’s Twitter Network!  Follow us on Twitter at @adastrauk or contact us to find out how you can get involved! 02392 160960

networkingwords

New online network for Chichester Businesses

There is a new online network connecting Chichester businesses on social networking site Google Plus!

Google Plus is often overlooked at present because people haven’t quite caught on to it yet, some people haven’t even heard of it, but those who have and have adopted it early know that it is going to be big!  In the same way that Facebook and Twitter took a while for the masses to start logging in daily, the same is happening for Google Plus and it is grower stronger by the day.

We have a Chichester Business group for Facebook, we have a Chichester Hour for Twitter, so why don’t we have a Chichester Google Plus network group?  Well the answer is that we do.

Here it is:

The Google Plus Chichester Business Network

The new network will become the local community message board and meeting place for Chichester businesses on Google Plus.  It will connect businesses from across the city giving them the opportunity to network, share knowledge, find opportunities, make connections and raise their profile with other Chichester businesses.

If you are a Chichester business then follow the link and start networking today!

LinkedIn-Network

Chichester Business Networking

We have worked with many SME’s in the Chichester and West Sussex area so we know you are not alone on your venture. We’ve connected and networked online and in person, so we thought we’d write a quick post on some of the best ways to network in Chichester.

 

First Friday: The Chichester first Friday network is held on the first Friday of every month, it is free and is held at the Nags Head pub in Chichester centre at 1pm.  There is always a friendly crowd and is very informal, so pop down for a chat over a drink!

The Nags Head, St Pancras, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7SJ

 

Chichester Breakfast Club: The Chichester Breakfast club meet to talk and connect over breakfast every other Friday at the Chichester Golf Course in Hunston at 7.30am, breakfast costs £12 and is delicious!

Chichester Golf Course, Hunston Village, PO20 1AX

 

Chichester Hour: Meet online on Twitter for an hour every Tuesday from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. Just search the hashtag #ChichesterHour to get involved.

 

For Twitter groups outside of Chichester across the whole of West Sussex then have a look here. The next blog will be of the network group meetings outside of Chichester across the whole of West Sussex so check back here soon!

 

Ad Astra is a specialist business development and marketing agency providing support to Chichester and West Sussex SME’s.  Please get in touch with Ad Astra to find out how we can help your business succeed in 2015 with a professional business plan, marketing plan, marketing support or implemented online marketing campaign.

Ad Astra Chichester Marketing

 

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