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Sharon also runs a range of courses including money management run in the local community, social enterprise and business start-up and growth sessions.

She is an inspirational and motivational speaker and also a great networker and has established the regular BWE Networking exhibition which enables businesses to come and promote their products and services such as RAIN, which is the referral and introducers networks which allows businesses and individuals to refer business to each other.

Sharon loves to give practical tips to businesses and has produced a CD and DVD on the '12 Ms of Marketing' which gives 1 tip a month to focus on for their business. She works with individuals and businesses on a 1-1 offering face to face and phone mentoring.

She is also a qualified counsellor and director of the Family Therapy Centre which offers professional counselling to individuals, couples and families.

All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
30 Aug 2012

Why did you feel there was a gap in the market for your business?

10 years ago, when I started Business with Excellence, there was a gap in market for specialised business support for women in business, particularly women of colour.

At the time I was getting advice from ex-bank managers who did not really understand the challenges I faced.

I researched for a year and could not find the support I needed and realised other people were in the same position, having all these gifts and talents but not knowing where to start. This partly influenced me to set up Business with Excellence.

How can marketing help an organisation gain a leadership position in their sector?

Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. No customers = no money = no business.

Letting the specific customers know about your products and services and delivering what the want on a regular basis will automatically help you gain a leadership position in your sector.

Image by Josephine Bredehoft
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What is one of the most important factors needed to make marketing more effective for a small business owner?

To keep doing it on a regular basis and not see it as a one off event.

How has social media changed traditional marketing activities?

Social media is fantastic. It enables you to communicate to a wider audience and eliminate geographical boundaries.

Customers can communicate with you from any part of the world online.

What traditional elements of marketing are still relevant today?

Networking, networking and more networking!

Building relationships are still crucial in business. 90% of my business comes from networking.

As the saying goes “people buy people”, but also, don’t forget telesales.

I don’t mean bombarding people over the phone with you products and services, but following up your customers by phone or email to find out how they are getting on and asking is there anything else they would like you to do for them.

Why is it important for small business owners to have a content and platform strategy?

This is important as small business owners need to build on the original ideas they have and cement new concepts on top of old ones.

An example of this could be you currently send out a regular newsletter.

A content and platform strategy could be introducing blogging to talk about topics you are passionate about to your customers which would increase the customer relationship and allow for comment.

This would add to their experience relating to your business and push you further up in business. It is also important to communicate the right content to your customers.

What exciting trends are emerging in the marketing world?

There are many exciting trends. I call it business on the go.

No longer do you have to be pinned down to your office.

Online surveys using Survey Monkey to carry our your own market research inexpensively; online focus groups to interact with your customers and Cloud computing to access your files from anywhere to describe a few.

Name an innovate marketing concept that has got you excited recently?

I have been investigating Pinterest which is a content sharing service that allows members to ‘pin’ images and other objects to their pin board.

In simple terms, it is an online notice board which is free. Again this opens your business up to a wider community.

What would be your 3 quick tips to grow your business through marketing?

  1. Network offline and online

  2. Keep up-to-date with you target market by using a range of tools on a regular basis.

  3. Never give up. If it is not working try something else

All the team at NBWN are so grateful for Sharon on the work she does and thankful for the time we spent with her.

You can find out more about her work on her website and on their Facebook page.
You can keep up-to-date with Sharon on Twitter, where she’s @SharonBWE and see her content by subscribing to her YouTube channel.
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