Author Archives: Elaine Nester

Motivation – it’s whatever turns you on

As a business owner are you driven by achievement, the lust for power and authority or the need to have good relationships? According to David McClelland* these are the 3 main drives and we each possess a combination of them all. A predominance of one of the characteristics over the others determines how we behave at work. Can you recognise yourself in any of these?

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Minimum wage and the plight of the poor employer!

What is the value of one hour of a person’s time? (This is a question of economics, not of philosophy by the way – we all know that time is invaluable and it’s all we really have :-)) Is my time more valuable than that of a trainee because I have more experience? Or does it depend on what each of us is doing in that hour? Can I accomplish more in an hour than the shop assistant down the road, or the doctor in his surgery, or the accountant in his office? Sometimes maybe I can and other times not. It all depends on what I am doing for whom and the value that is placed on that work.

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Why do we buy? And how can we use that knowledge to sell?

3 reasons why I love the Vision Express TV ad:

1. The theme is heart-warming and emotional

2. The soundtrack takes me back to when I was a teenager

3. There’s a cute baby in it

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How far can you reach?

It was once said that, unless you create the perfect mousetrap, nobody will beat a path to your door. As I’ve heard the patter of mousey feet and the gnawing of little teeth at night recently, I would certainly beat a path to find that product myself. But domestic issues aside, unless people know what your business is all about, they will fail to trade with you. It’s that simple. We all buy brands we know about and trust; we buy from people and companies we have heard about. And these days, there are so many ways in which your message can be seen and heard.

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5 things I did on Sunday morning

Hello – hope you had a good weekend? I thought I’d share the first half hour of my Sunday with you – just by way of illustrating how work and home life has become integrated – and I don’t mind a bit 🙂

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Learn from the lessons we’ve learned

There’s nothing quite like first hand experience to teach you lessons in business, and in life. You wouldn’t attempt to teach someone to drive unless you had driven for a number of years and were fairly confident behind a wheel would you? And yet every day, business people put their trust in consultants who acquired their knowledge at university, or their experience in an unrelated trade, and expect to achieve good results. It was mainly for this reason that we decided to prove our ability and credentials in the food sector about 5 years ago. We had already been in business for 20 years at that point but we wanted to give ourselves a real point of difference.

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Alpha Design & Marketing, Branding, Graphic Design
5 of the best things about 2013 at Alpha (and aims for 2014)

Best things about 2013:

1.Growth Accelerator – we are registered to provide this subsidised service to our clients

2. Existing clients – thanks for staying with us – glad we could offer Growth Accelerator services to some of you too

3. New clients – too many to list here but you know who you are – great to have you on board

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What will you do with the next 8736 hours?

Just look at that lovely 2014 diary – stretching ahead all clean and ready for you. 168 hours in each week to do with as you wish. 8736 hours until you reach Christmas Eve next year. Or don’t you see it like that? Is the diary already blocked out with meetings, obligations, things to juggle, family to care for – do you feel stressed just thinking about it? Well stop right now and give yourself time to breathe. It is YOUR life after all. Provided we are lucky enough to remain alive and in reasonable health during 2014 we have endless choices.

I, for one, aim to avoid wasting many of those hours, days, weeks and months I have before me. Some waste is inevitable, even necessary unless we live like automatons and, as we don’t live in isolation, we are affected by the needs of others. But it’s a good time as the year draws to an end to reflect on the past 12 months and plan what we would like to repeat and what we would like to change in the new year ahead. I read a great blog yesterday that suggested how we might do this.

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You Cant Win Them All

Two new enquiries so far this week; both from interesting food related businesses. We love the food sector and it accounts for around 80% of our work these days. By tailoring our marketing messages, and the media we use to distribute our messages, we can make sure that when an enquiry comes in, it’s likely to be of interest. This sounds obvious but so many businesses take a shot gun approach and waste time dealing with enquiries that don’t really suit them. As the lead progresses this will become apparent and the potential client will either move on to a more suitable supplier or (which is often worse) they will place an order and become the client from hell.

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Alpha Design & Marketing blog writing, branding, marketing
Looking After Your Brand

Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned business person, looking after your brand is one of the most important jobs there is when it comes to protecting your business. Your brand represents the company and everything it stands for. You should treat it like a model employee who you just couldn’t do without. Make sure it gets the attention it deserves and is never put in any awkward positions where it can’t work for you.

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