Sharp Thinking turns 3
Celebrating working with 15 small businesses across Kent
What a mad but incredibly rewarding 3 years it has been. 2021 was not quite the year that any of us planned. And bizarrely last year was our busiest and most rewarding yet as so many businesses were pivoting and seeking marketing advice during the pandemic.
I want to say an enormous thanks to each and every one of the 15 clients that have entrusted Sharp Thinking with their marketing since setting up. Whether that be developing marketing plans, launching a brand to market or creating and implementing a new marketing strategy for their business. Marketing planning can be quite intangible and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication from the business owner to start seeing and benefitting from the results. But it is always worth it. Hard work and dedication pays off.
Here are some of the highlights across Sharp Thinking in the last 12 months. A period we will all remember for the rest of our lives. A long year trapped in our homes and for so parents we had homeschooling and work to contend with, but somehow with what would have been unthinkable in the past, this has become the norm and we’ve managed it!
Research shows we've vaulted a decade with our use of technology. Have a read of my blog 'Get ready for 2021' to find out the biggest trends you need to be aware of and act upon as a business owner. Last year saw a huge shift in buying behaviour and attitudes impacting every business regardless of the size of your business and the sector you operate in.
Here are our biggest achievements from last year:
Winning new business and annual contracts with 6 new clients
Creating a new brand positioning and launching digital presence for a 180 year old family retail business
Having half a dozen articles published in the trade press giving tips and advice on marketing thanks to PR expertise from Carnsight Communications
Being featured in #Shecan365, Most Inspirational Women In Business book
Reaching 1,000 followers on Instagram
So what was lockdown like as a marketing consultant?
As Sharp Thinking operates from an office at home, I've been able to continue running the business as normal. I have always used trusted freelancers to help during busy times and this was key when homeschooling was full on to ensure my clients received the highest level of service.
We did have to adapt the way we interacted with clients though. I normally like to meet clients, interview members of staff and really get to know the business. Workshops also had to be run on Zoom but I was surprised how well they seemed to work online. Meetings were far more focused and productive and I quickly adapted to the pace and style to ensure my clients received from what they needed from me, with limited contact and time.
How has Sharp Thinking evolved since the pandemic?
Sharp Thinking started coaching and marketing with two clients for the first time. Both at very different stages – one at the start of their business journey, and the latter being a well-established family run business with ambitious growth plans.
Coaching seems to work well for clients that are driven, quick learners and welcome upskilling and lots of hard work and it is something I will look to build upon this year.
What are your tips to small businesses at the moment?
Invest in your website and E-commerce capabilities - it is never too late and is something you can't afford to ignore
Spend every spare minute learning about SEO - these are skills you can learn yourself and you can start to see great results within a year if you persevere with it
Learn as much as you can about your target audience – the more defined the better. Personas are a must
And so to close
Sharp Thinking has to be the best decision I’ve made professionally. I’ve learnt so much and enjoyed every minute. Turning 3 is a big and important milestone. This year I'm determined to streamline and look at ways to be more efficient which will ultimately benefit my clients.
Thanks to everyone that has supported the company over the last few years. It means so much.
And lastly, to all the wonderful and talented people I've had the pleasure of working with and given me so much advice and guidance along the way.
Interested in finding out more about some of the work that Sharp Thinking have led since the pandemic? Read how we launched an online service business and marketing for a care provider during COVID-19.
Are you ready to take your marketing to the next level in 2021? Contact Sharp Thinking now.