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Chamber members offer expert advice in a series of webinars

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 05 May 2020

Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to come together and support each other. That’s why we’ve decided to host a series of webinars to help our members stay connected and informed during Covid-19.

Over the last two weeks, some of our members in Marketing and Finance have been offering insights and advice to help local businesses with some of the challenges they may be facing at this uncertain time.

Here’s a rundown of the hints and tips shared by our members in the last two weeks.

Is blogging still relevant?

On 24th April, we launched the first of our ‘Marketing Fridays’ webinar series. Jeremy Knight, CEO of Equinet Media, led an insightful discussion around the question: To blog… or not to blog?

In this new age of online content, businesses find themselves grappling with this question more than ever. Will my blogs be seen? Are they still a valuable investment of my time? In his engaging webinar, Jeremy explained why blogging still matters.

“Blogging remains the number one way to drive traffic, and each blog you write is another opportunity to get found.”

Jeremy went on to share his top tips for creating successful blog posts. These included developing buyer personas so you can create content that resonates with your target audience and creating a content calendar to help you with planning.

He also provided handy tips on how to write engaging headlines and emphasised the importance of using subheadings, bullets and numbering, as well as external and internal links in your blog posts. Finally, Jeremy advises us to always be human - avoid corporate speak, ‘preachy’ language - and let your personality shine through.

The marketing ‘musts’ to survive Covid-19

In the second of our ‘Marketing Fridays’ series, last week Katey Horne, MD at Your Marketing Needs presented practical tips on the essential marketing elements businesses should be doing to ensure they survive Covid-19.

Katey has produced a 'Marketing Survival Guide' for businesses, offering guidance on everything you need to do to stay at the forefront of customers' minds.

Crucially, Katey's first top tip is to continue with your core activities, including social media, newsletters and more. However, she suggests reviewing it and adapting it if necessary to ensure it's still appropriate.

Katey also reminds us that presence on social media at this time is key, and she suggests spending ten minutes a day to find and share relevant content or updates to remind people you're still there. She also points out that now is a good time to review your online listings and LinkedIn profile to ensure you're getting the most out of them.

"Now is a great time to Google yourself. Work out what listings you're on. Make a list and then periodically go through and update them. Put your niche and your value statement in there, update the details of your products and services. Really try and maximise each of those listings."

Prepare your cashflow forecast for your CBILS

Also last week, Tara Aldwin, Director of Foxley Kingham Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers hosted a webinar on how to prepare a simple cash flow forecast.

Cash flow forecasts are required for funding applications such as for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Bounce-back loans. But as Tara pointed out, first and foremost, it’s a useful planning tool to help businesses monitor cash availability, which is particularly important during difficult times.

As Tara explains, a cashflow is not a profit and loss statement, but a forecast of when cash will flow in to and out from the business. It includes all income and outgoings - even those not normally found in a profit and loss.

Tara shared with us a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create and use a cash flow forecast. If you missed the webinar, Foxley Kingham have shared a free template on their website that you can download here. Or your bank may supply one for you.

Tara rounded off with this important tip:

“Remember a cash flow forecast is an estimate. None of us know what is going to happen, all you can do is use your best-educated guess. So my best advice is to keep it under review and keep going back to it and use your knowledge of how things are going to update it as you go along.”

Upcoming webinars

Don’t miss out on our upcoming webinars. To register for any of the following, please click the relevant links to secure your place.

Wake Your Body Up

Tuesday 5th May 1pm

Darren Kerr from PostureFit will be hosting our first Health and Wellbeing webinar. Darren will be teaching us about movement repatterning and sharing tips on how to move more and prevent pain associated with sitting for long periods.

Register here

Live Update with Chamber CEO

Thursday 7th May 1.30pm

Justin Richardson will be hosting his fortnightly update on the current business climate.

Register here

Get better value from your online marketing budget

Friday 15th May 10am

Digital marketing agency Receptional will be sharing the tactics businesses should be adopting to get more from their online marketing and how to shape their marketing investment so they can get ready for growth.

Register here

Want to host a webinar?

If you have expertise in areas such as HR, Finance, Legal or Marketing, that you would be willing to share with our members on behalf of the Chamber, then we would love for you to get involved. If you’d like to put yourself forward for one of our upcoming webinar spots, please get in touch.

For up-to-date business advice on coronavirus, please visit the British Chambers of Commerce Covid-19 Business Guidance Hub.

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