Get engaged and get business

Caroline Williams, Chief Executive, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

With not enough hours in the day, why should a business take the time and effort to increase their profile and engage locally, even if their main customer base is outside Norfolk?

There is much in the press about business confidence and how the lack of it can hinder the economy. I personally get a really positive feeling when I read about businesses that are recruiting, have a new contract or are involved in their local community.  I feel it is all our responsibility to realise the impact that good news stories have, not only on other businesses, but on our staff.  The more visible we can individually be the better for our local economy.

There is no doubt that is does take resource to celebrate success but the positive impact on your business will make it worthwhile.  Potential customers will become aware of you, current customers will feel smug that they are dealing with you, it will be easier to recruit new staff and your existing staff will love it!

There are many ways of achieving impact. Entering awards it one method which can seem pretentious but by looking at what your business has achieved, will both identify gaps, as well as help you celebrate success.  Although there can only be one winner the whole exercise can be very beneficial to the business.  You will only have to read the EDP Business Award 2013 shortlist supplement to appreciate the profile these businesses will have achieved from entering. 

At our B2B Exhibition on 17 October you can hear from 12 local ‘big thinking’ businesses who by being willing to share their stories, will increase their own profile.

Adding your good news stories or blogs to not only your own website but to third party websites and publications is also a great way to help increase your profile and make us all feed more positive. The EDP is always looking for good business stories for their publications and EDP24 website.  As is the Norfolk Chamber, good news stories added to our website are tweeted out to our 3000+ twitter followers and the best are include in our bi-monthly magazine.

Finally, get involved in your local community.  Your local school, charity and community all need your business help and expertise.  By getting involved you will not only increase your visibility but will be making a real difference to someone’s life.  It is also a great way to develop your staff and make them feel positive about your company at the same time. Norwich for Jobs for instance is a campaign to help halve Norwich’s youth unemployment.  Pledging your support, which does not commit you to anything further, strengthens the whole campaign and identifies you as a business that cares about young people.  It is not enough just to care, to really make a difference you need to be seen to care.

We all have a responsibility to make ourselves more visible. Confidence really does mean better business.

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