Monday, 8 December 2014

Get a Growth Voucher for strategic advice

Enperprise Nation
The Growth Vouchers programme delivers support for up to 20,000 small businesses in England, focussing on small businesses who have never sought business advice before. Businesses looking for advice apply to the programme online and they are randomly assigned to an online questionnaire or face-to-face business advice assessment.

Some businesses will be randomly chosen to get a voucher for up to £2,000 to help pay for business support in one of the specialist areas. You’ll have to match the amount with your own funds.

You can then find a Growth Voucher adviser eg Nick Booker of Attract Marketing,  to work with on the Enterprise Nation Marketplace; you then pay for the services in full and request 50% back from the government.  You download a claim form to claim a subsidy for business advice as awarded in your Growth Voucher offer.

The Growth Vouchers programme is available to small businesses in England who are actively selling goods and/or services, have a turnover no greater than £45m, own 75% or more of their business, and have 250 employees or less.

Click here to find out more

Thursday, 4 December 2014

On Line Reviews TripAdvisor et al

impact of good reviews
Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos via Flickr Creative Commons
Online reviews are having a huge impact on service businesses says an article in the latest edition of the excellent Attractions Handbook. Although few attraction operators  have embraced them to the degree seen in the hotel and restaurant sectors, the opportunity is there to increase business by encouraging and managing reviews across all areas of leisure, including attractions.

A study by economists at the University of California, Berkeley found a variance of just half a star rating can determine whether a service business grows and thrives or goes bust. Researchers focused on restaurant reviews on and found that the difference between 3 and 3.5 stars increased the chance of a business reaching capacity at peak times from 13 per cent to as much as 34 per cent.

Further reinforcement of the impact comes from a TripAdvisor study which found that properties with 11 reviews or more on the website see a 28 per cent rise in user engagement when compared to those with 10 or fewer.  

Dealing well with complaints relating to online reviews is also important, according to a report from PhoCusWright the travel research and analysis company. They found that 84 per cent of TripAdvisor users said an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of a hotel or restaurant.

In the attractions industry, monitoring reviews can act as a feedback loop for complaints, while managing them helps to neutralise the impact of bad reviews which have been shared by consumers. As more attractions build hotels, spas and restaurants, managing these reviews also becomes an important part of the reputation management of the operation.

Source: Attractions Handbook