Winning your first Client is very important and we have covered it in one of the first blog posts. However, many businesses run by non-British entrepreneurs tend to focus on a single market â€“ in most cases on their own nationals. However, with UK population at 64.3 millions and only 9.1 million of them from ethnic minorities, this leaves us with more than 55 millions to target.
Who wouldnâ€™t want more customers? Equally more customers mean more profit. Today, I would like to share with you some of key tips on how to win British customers.
Every business needs a website â€“ no matter how simple or posh. â€śIf youâ€™re not online, youâ€™re not in businessâ€ť. These days you donâ€™t have to have a dedicated website, all singing and dancing website â€“ running a good Facebook page can act as a main website. Simply redirect your web address to your Facebook page.
However, itâ€™s important to remember that the website should be well written. That means no spelling or grammatical mistakes, a good use of English language. No dodgy Google Translate jobs. For a few pounds using likes of Fiver.com, you can get someone to write a content of your website or do a proper translation.
Most domain providers also offer a matching email addresses to your web address. Donâ€™t hesitate and get it â€“ itâ€™s far more professional to have an email like email@example.com then firstname.lastname@example.org or even better then email@example.com (for those non-Polish readers, buziaczek.pl means kiss.pl).
You may recall a recent Barclays Bankâ€™ campaign that encourages youngsters to have professional email addresses rather trolleydolley78@ or xx.princess.xx@, so why should you have unprofessional email address?
An e-mail set up on free portals such as Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail shows that youâ€™re not fully committed and youâ€™re not serious about your business. Surely, this is how you would like to be perceived?!
Mr Kowalski is a gold handed man in plumbing, painting and etc.â€¦ – it makes sense to someone who is Polish and understand the phrase â€śgold handed manâ€ť, however someone who in non-Polish wonâ€™t understand it. Therefore, itâ€™s important to avoid direct translations.
Believe or not, Royal Mail still delivers more than 15 billion letters around the UK each day. Days of hand written letters might have gone now, however Brits still like to send letters to businesses. Therefore, itâ€™s important that your website displays a postal address. You probably want to avoid PO Boxes, however you can get a virtual office address, where the post will be redirected to your home or alternative address. This way you can have a nice office in Central London, without even being based there.
Most of us own at least one mobile phone, if not more than one. However, as the name suggest theyâ€™re mobile – yes, there are benefits to it as we can be called outside of working hours, we can be attending a job at Clientâ€™s site and they can still get hold of us. However, there are also cons to it â€“ Brits simply donâ€™t trust businesses that are run by people with just a mobile phone number as you might be in business today but not tomorrow. Therefore, get yourself a local landline phone. Having said that, you can get a landline phone number that is re-diverted to your mobile â€“ for example Vodafone Business or a cheap VOIP system.
If you would like to appeal to British consumers, avoid having two languages on the same leaflet â€“ you should have a dedicated flyer / promotional presentation in each language.
A mistake made often by non-British business owners is to change their names to meet requirements of the local market. Itâ€™s okay to shorten it from Tomasz to Tom or from Bartosz / Bartlomiej to Bart but donâ€™t change from Ewelina to Evie.
Each one of us have a different name and often there are different variations of spelling it, therefore donâ€™t feel like you must change your name.
If youâ€™re selling imported goods, ensure youâ€™ve localised translation â€“ itâ€™s a legal requirement for a product sold in the UK to have a description in English. Same rules apply to instructions / manual.
On this note, refer to point 1 and ensure your product description and manual is well written and in proper English, not then one used on Google Translate.
Check also if there are any local requirements around how the information needs to be displayed, what order, format, colours, structure etc.
â€ś(Tak, sluchamâ€¦) Yes, I am listeningâ€¦.â€ť is often a way someone from Poland might greet you when you call them. Do you think this is a good way to answer a call, especially from someone who is non-Polish speaker!? Defiantly, not.
Answer your calls in your business name, â€śSample, Sample speakingâ€ť or â€śGood morning / afternoon, Sampleâ€ť. Where Sample, insert your company name.
Brits like to run a background checks on companies â€“ therefore itâ€™s important to be part of local organisations such as Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses. Also, if there is a body overseeing your trade or there is a professional platform that you can join such as Good Garage Scheme or Check a Trader then do it. Itâ€™s going to be worth it.
Testimonials from your customers speak more about your business then what you can â€“ therefore encourage them to write reviews on Facebook, Google, FreeIndex, TripAdvisor, professional platforms like those listed above or get them to email you a short quote and share it yourself.
Firstly, what is USP!? It stands for unique selling point / proposition. In other what words, what makes you different from all other companies out there. How do you stand out from your rivals? Itâ€™s important to define it and have it ready, as you never know when someone might ask you for it.
Itâ€™s not necessarily all about being the cheapest, the biggest or the most competitive but maybe, itâ€™s the way you source your products, the after service you provide or even the way you go about sharing your profits.
We hope you find these tips handy – if you have another one, feel free to share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.