We’ve all come back from holidays nice and refreshed. There were family trips to Brighton, Yoga Festivals and shed painting, as just a few of the activities, and of course lots of lovely family time and relaxing.
We’ve all come back from holidays nice and refreshed. There were family trips to Brighton, Yoga Festivals and shed painting, as just a few of the activities, and of course lots of lovely family time and relaxing.
Thanks to everyone who came to see us at the events we’ve been at this month – we’ve been very busy sharing knowledge and talking about how to find more sales – firstly at our Boost your sales workshop for the Black Country Business Festival, then the workshops for Socially Shared Women in Business Conference,where the theme for the day seemed to be giving and helping, we were in our element and at Milk 1 Sugar networking at The Sun in Romsley!
This month…. We’ve settled in to our new office in Branston Court, there were a few laughs along the way, with moving furniture and the Cre8 ladies thinking they were Wonder Woman at times but we got there and we love our new bigger space. Our lovely new team member Jackie has settled in nicely too 🙂
Exciting news, we’re moving offices again! We’ll still be at Branston Court but in a bigger office in the courtyard area, to accommodate our growing team. We’ve been thinking about new PC’s, pictures, plants and of course people! And on that note, we’d love to introduce you to our newest Account Manager, Jackie Elcock.
This month…. Julia and Tracy are really excited to have been selected as volunteer Mentors working with young women for The Girls Network helping them to reach their goals and aspirations. It won’t be long now until mentees are met and the journey begins! It’s very exciting to be giving back after all the help we’ve received over the years, there’s no better reward than helping others to achieve the success they deserve.
it’s a happy start to the new year for us and we hope it is the same for you…. we didn’t slow down at all during December, it was so busy and we’re grateful to everyone we worked with and those who asked us to quote for work for this coming year. We’ve already set our intentions for this year and put some strategies in place to help us achieve these goals, including some further recruitment, exhibitions and events, and of course getting on the phone to speak with people! We’d love to hear about your plans.
Well, this is our final newsletter of 2017 and what an amazing year it’s been 🙂 The highlights for us have been moving to Branston Court, taking part in the e-spark programme which has really helped us to grow. We have been accepted as mentors to work with The Girls Network an amazing organisation who provide one to one mentoring to girls in the least-advantaged communities across the country, and not forgetting our new member of the Cre8 family Julia Field.
Julia and Tracy attended the Enterprise Nation, Festival of female entrepreneurs in October and what a great day it was! Rob Law of Trunki (yes they let men in) who was turned down by Dragon’s Den, Mel Bound, founder of This mums runs and Carolyn Radford CEO of Watford FC were just a few of the businesses who shared the highs, lows and lessons learnt of running successful businesses.
We’ve been down to the South Gloucestershire Business Show where one of our lovely clients Xor Systems was exhibiting. Great to see you guys! It was great catching up with Si Ellis from Ellis James, meeting Andy Houghton of Design Photography and hearing from Lex Beckett of Squashed Robot All fantastic businesses, with lots of useful and inspiring ideas. Thank you #SGBS2017 for a great day 🙂
The 1st of September marked our move into offices at Branston Court in the Jewellery Quarter. Almost 30 years ago we met, working at a gold bullion company in this area, so it’s good to be back! We’ve met some lovely people from the workspace already, many who’ve been here for years, so it must be good. We’d like to say a big thank you to Darryl for looking after us before and during our move.
Tracy attended an amazing event at Birmingham’s Hippodrome where, Sir Matthew Bourne compared theatre life to business life. There will be more events like these coming up, they are well worth attending. Well of course, we have to mention our holidays, Tracy having visited Crete with all of her family, and having an amazing time.
We’ve spent the month learning as always, attending a fabulous workshop run by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, all about people development. Some of the gems we took away were, how to work with millennials, that the gap year will no longer be for those leaving college, we love the idea of this 🙂 and that people born after 2007 will on average live until they’re a 104!
It’s always great when we bring on board new clients, and this has been a busy month. We were introduced to Mrs Mills Makes Cakes recently, and have incorporated her wonderful chocolate brownies into our sales process, sending new clients a big batch to say thank you for working with us. It’s so important to have a good process for both converting and valuing clients, what better way to say thank you than with chocolate!
Over the years we have spoken to many of our clients about following up prospects, how best to convert a new lead, and the 7 points of contact it can take to make a sale. As a result our new packages now incorporate this integrated approach to lead generation. So our clients are now hearing “We can do this for you” instead of “You need to do this”.
As well as eating Easter eggs we’ve been working hard on improving our service to clients, looking at how we generate leads and what we can do to further increase the value we add. As a result we’re offering new and improved packages, give us a call if you’d like to know more.
We enjoyed exhibiting over at Three Counties Showground in Malvern, courtesy of Hereford & Worcester Chamber. During the day, a great networking breakfast included a talk from Lord Digby Jones, who talked about the difference we can all make in business, and we made lots of great new contacts. An inspiring and worthwhile day all round.
Sorry to anyone who received our news last month addressed to someone else! As you can see we do make mistakes, apologies. We don’t know if you noticed but we blogged last month about using CRM’s to stay in touch with people and then sent out incorrect news! Eeek, sometimes you have to laugh at yourself and realise that you can’t always get it right!
We’ve started our e-spark journey – Yay! A programme to support us to grow, it’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to learning. Speaking of which, they hold regular monthly free workshops that are open to other businesses. Take a look at Eventbrite and you’re sure to find something to help you there.
It’s all systems GO at Cre8, as we march into 2017 all ready to make this the best year yet! We know it’s going to be a GREAT year for so many of us; from speaking with different people and groups there is an optimism around that’s certainly got us buzzing.
Some of you may know that we don’t send Christmas cards as we like to make a charitable donation instead, so this news is sent with our very best wishes for you to have a wonderful Christmas time and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for reading this year, we appreciate each and every one of you
We recently became members of Enterprise Nation and are reaping the rewards already! Tracy attended their Scale up 2016 event on the 3rd of November, where she met fellow business owners and was inspired by talks from the likes of Tim Robinson, founder of Doddle and James Eder, founder ofstudentbeans.com. James shared this video, a lighthearted look at leadershipWATCH HERE and we thought we’d share it with you too. Here’s to business growth and being amazing leaders and here’s some more information that Enterprise Nation have shared that may be useful for you too. Five great lessons for scaling up your business
We’ve been out and about to a few business networking and information events this month, hearing some interesting stuff, meeting great people and listening to some very inspiring business stories. So here’s a brief round-up of some of the things we heard about, that may help you too….
It’s an exciting time here at Cre8 as we take on more new clients, renew relationships with existing ones, and head towards awards night with The Black Country Chamber inNovember! We’re really happy to be finalists in the Small Business of the Year category, and we’ll keep you posted on the results. It would be lovely to see you if you’d like to come along to awards night, take a look here
As you can see we’ve had some new pictures taken, in the lovely outdoor setting of St Paul’s Square. We love Emma Lambert’s work, and were impressed with the experience and the results, so thank you to Emma. Thank you to everyone who responded to our office search request last month, lots of you came back with some fab suggestions, which we are still exploring! If anyone has any more please let us know. We’ve been to see some lovely places, and will be making our decision soon.
It’s all change – our offices in St Pauls Square are shortly to be developed into apartments so we’ve started looking for a new base. Exciting times ahead, it feels like the right time for change as we’ve been growing and developing and planning and are ready to take some giant leaps…..we’re looking for somewhere lively, cool and happy, so if you know of anywhere do let us know.
Have you ever heard the saying that success is sometimes just around the corner and that you never know how close you are? Have you ever been ready to give up on something because it doesn’t quite seem to be right, or working, and then a breakthrough has arrived? Edison had it right; recently we were tempted to give up a particular offering, then at the very moment we were ready to do so, many people started expressing interest in this area of our business! So keep going…
Our clients, and us, have been discussing, how to start, and how long to keep doing, sales and marketing campaigns….it’s raised some good questions, and reminded us of what we like to call “the marketing wheel”, whereby your marketing is actually a wheel, and if it has a gap in it, the activities don’t work as well as they could, if at all. Does this ring any bells?
This crude illustration is an example and can include many more activities, the idea being if you take one away, the rest just don’t work quite as effectively. How does your marketing wheel look?
Cre8 are really proud to be supporting and working with The Rotary Club of Halesowen and Rowley Regis currently, supporting with email and twitter updates to encourage run registrations for TheBlack Country Run https://www.theblackcountryrun.com/ on the 3rd July; if you haven’t registered,have a go! We will be 🙂 We are also helping to organise this year’s Black Country Fayre being held in Halesowen on Saturday 9th July; this is a huge example of teamwork lovely people all coming together to help organise a community event to share a love of all things Black Country. Thank you to everyone who’s helped so far, if you’d like any more information please get in touch.
The Cre8 ladies have been on tour, taking a well-earned break in Cornwall at a lovely spa for a couple of days. It’s sometimes good to recharge the batteries isn’t it? We’re always stretching our comfort zones, and sometimes it’s good to just relax and be.
We’ve signed up more clients for our mindset based sales training and have been comparing sales training to training top athletes. It’s quite the norm in athletics for example, for top athletes to have both a coach and a mindset coach, the idea being that it’s fine having the ability but you’ve got to believe in yourself too. Well, sales is very similar – you can have all of the sales techniques in the world but if you’re feeling a lack of confidence or don’t really feel happy or believe you can achieve what you set out to, you’re always going to be up against it and it will be a struggle.
Already this year in new business we’ve welcomed two new clients and 3 contracts with existing customers; it’s great to be doing a good mix of repeat and new business and proves that keeping in touch and building relationships is key to generating sales. We love our customers and know it’s this passion coupled with the wonderful support we have from our network of contacts that helps us to grow, and grow in so many ways. Thank you to everyone who’s done business with us thus far.
Having delivered some training recently, we’ve been thinking about goals and achieving and wondering just how long it takes to make a change, be it personal or business.
You join a gym, let’s say you’re a size 16 when you join. Just by simply signing on the dotted line, this alone will not render you a size 10 overnight. And the same goes with any training, be it sales or personal development, of which we offer both!
It’s been as busy as ever during December with us delivering sales training, telemarketing, and working on some sales planning and strategy for new clients. We’re always talking about being authentic and genuine to be successful in sales, and we like to walk our talk, so we hope you feel you’ve got to know us.
As a result of our consistent approach, we’ve really had a fantastic year, working with some amazing people.
We visited the NEC and the Advanced Engineering Show, showing our faces and building relationships, meeting new people, as part of our new business generation activity.
It was interesting to see the range of organisations both attending and exhibiting, we met some lovely people and made some good connections.
You can always keep abreast of what’s on at the NEC and cherry pick a couple of events to attend, doing some research in advance.
As we celebrated 5 years of business for Cre8 on the 4th October, it was only fitting that bubbles should be drunk, so an inspiring planning morning was followed with a lovely lunch and prosecco in St Paul’s Square.
After 5 years we’re feeling incredibly grateful for everyone’s business, and their support and friendship. So cheers, here’s to all of you, friends and colleagues alike; thank you for being part of our journey and here’s to many more years.
We’ve been busy busy busy, running some new sales campaigns and being interviewed on the radio!
Yes, Julia is pictured below at Coventry’s Talk Radio station, having been interviewed by Mark Sephton for the Talk Business Show. A newbie to radio, Julia said it was a real pleasure to meet Mark and share information with the listeners about Cre8’s business journey and some sales and marketing tips.
We’ve been enjoying our holidays, with trips to Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, Devon and France!
From cream teas to croissants, a fine time has been had enjoying being with family and switching off a little. It’s an exciting time for Cre8 with lots of growth and a new Business Coach on board to help us with that, but we still enjoy our own free time, a valuable way of recharging and renewing.
When you’re marketing your business, visibility is crucial, so opportunities to speak and share your knowledge are key.
Sitting on the Q&A panel of a recent Sales and Marketing event, which we discuss in more detail below, was a fantastic experience for Cre8. As we are passionate about helping business owners it was great to share our knowledge and expertise with so many people, new faces and old. It was also very useful listening to the other panellists who gave some great tips on topics such as public speaking, LinkedIn, using webinars, and getting onto radio……watch this space!
On a recent morning of planning for Cre8, our first port of the call was the great outdoors.What better way to clear our minds in readiness for some creative thinking, than a lovely walk down at Cannon Hill Park.
We’re putting together the finishing touches on our own marketing campaigns and are exhibiting soon with Headz Up Business, so we need some marketing collateral for both our marketing coaching programme and LinkedIn Leads Campaigns.
It’s been a very busy time as lots of businesses prepare their marketing budgets for the new financial year and look to get on with making more sales.
We’ve had a great time planning and starting campaigns with 3 lovely new clients, and have been busy meeting lots more to start soon!Have you thought about your marketing strategy and how you will win business this year?
If you’d like to find out about the types of campaigns we run please get in touch on 0121 347 6601. One of our existing clients has generated £30,000 of quoting opportunities within the first six months of calls to their database – just one day per week! #nothingbeatsaconversation!
March saw us delivering the first of our “Do Better Business” events, helping both sales staff and small business owners change their beliefs about making sales calls, to generate better results.
When you think about making sales calls, or about sales people, what is it that comes to mind? If you have negative beliefs they can create fearful emotions that become a lack of sales, poor results, or indeed no sales calls at all being made! We spent time looking at these beliefs, and used tools for replacing them, before planning how to make great sales calls, that really don’t feel like sales calls – #becausenothingbeatsaconversation! In addition we shared some of our top practical tips for generating new business. We had a great morning with some fantastic feedback
Cre8 Sales Solutions Ltd based in Birmingham has just found out that they are a Finalist in the prestigious Networking Mummies UK Ltd Recognition National Business Awards in the Small Business of the Year category.
Cre8 Sales Solutions was born in 2009, despite an economic downturn and the now Directors admitting that when they started they really had no idea how to run a business. With help from government backed programmes such as a Business Link start up course available at the time, and a number of other supportive organisations such as Networking Mummies, Cre8 has now been trading for almost four and a half years.
Julia Smith and Tracy Gilmour, Directors, say their desire to succeed has come from wishing to work flexibly and successfully around their families. The lack of good part time jobs that allow young women to be both mums and to succeed in the boardroom, meant they turned to themselves as employers of choice, starting Sales and Marketing business Cre8 and continuing to strive and thrive through the last four years.
Their passion for both their business and other working mums has meant that they have in turn offered flexible working for their own team of loyal staff. “Why not be flexible? It means we have a wonderful, talented and flexible group of people available to work with us, that otherwise may have to choose – work or home? These days life is just life, or it is for us, and that’s what we want to offer people who choose to work with us”.
Networking Mummies UK Ltd has 27 branches in the UK and supports mums, dads and families in business with FREE networking events and affordable workshops. They provide online and offline support and they do not charge membership fees which means people can attend when they want. This is the second time Networking Mummies UK Ltd have hosted their National Business Awards to recognise the hard working mums and dads across the country.
The winners will be announced at their glitzy black tie awards ceremony on Saturday the 28th of March 2015 at Jury’s Inn in Birmingham.
Tracy Gilmour said “I am so proud and honoured that we have been announced as Finalists. To us what we do is very rewarding anyway, but to be recognised for that is amazing”.
Friday, 20 March 2015 from 10:00 to 13:00
We’re really excited to be holding our “Conscious Selling” event in Birmingham. This event is designed to help you speak with the people you want to do business with, so you can sell more and do better business!
Register Here, Join us to sell more and do better business in 2015!
We caught up with some old and new connections, some of whom we’ve not seen for some time.
Our newsletter going out consistently on a monthly basis really helps us keep in touch until the time may be right for contacts to connect further; it really is a simple, cost effective tool for building relationships and doing great business. We get great feedback and lots of sales enquiries from our newsletter. And we love staying in touch with everyone we know. If you’d like more information on our email marketing or indeed #telemarketing services, please get in touch on 0121 347 6601.
This month we’ve been learning about websites and SEO, and some important things to consider when thinking about digital marketing and these areas of your business. We were lucky enough to get some help from The Wolverhampton Innovation Centre, who reviewed our site and gave us some key recommendations with regards to optimising it.
We’re happy to announce that Tracy has just won a fantastic award from Networking Mummies Solihull of Business Mum of the Month! Yay! Tracy was nominated by several members of the group and won for her continuous support and for passing on leads to help other members.
We’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! It’s been such a great year, full of learning, excitement, challenges and growth.
We hope you’ve all had a great year too.
We’ve been working away on campaigns for three new customers and planning for three more that are due to start soon! Complete campaigns of telemarketing, email and social media marketing, phew, we’ve been busy! Who says things slow down near Christmas? We’re still hoping to pop in and surprise a few lovely people next month with mince pies and chocolates even if we are busy…
We finished off September with a lovely coffee morning in aid of MacMillan, at The Corporate Pod, raising over £200. Thanks to all the wonderful people who came along, donated, and made cakes. Wonderful cakes they were too
We’ve been planning our MacMillan coffee morning, being held on Friday 26th September, 10.30am at our offices in St Paul’s Square. Come along if you’re free; there’ll be some informal networking, cakes made by us and Lil’s Parlour, and an opportunity to raise money with friends for a great cause.
We’ve been busy focusing on our own marketing and organic SEO, writing articles, publishing our newsletters on our website, naturally link building and seeing a resulting increase in enquiries generated. It just takes a little planning in diaries and a bit of dedicated time to do it, reading for inspiration and writing it all down.
We have moved our whole IT system over to Google Apps for Business! It’s taken a wee while, but we’ve finally migrated across and are now using Google for our business operations. Allowing us to operate remotely, share, save and work on documents together, manage our calendars, and integrate our emails with our CRM system, whilst costing only £3 per user per month, well, we’d be mad not to!
It’s a great set of tools and really cost effective. Some really impressive companies use it, if it’s good enough for them! If you’d like to chat about what it can do we’re very happy to help. Just give us a call. …Read More
We’ve finally found the right office for us, at 35 St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3, pictured. With both Cre8’s Directors having started working in the jewellery quarter over 20 years ago, it’s interesting we’ve ended up back here! Cre8 will still work remotely for flexibility but having offices for meetings and training will be a great help to the business. Corporate Pod have a wonderful, friendly helpful team, meeting rooms available for hire and will be starting networking events soon. …Read More
We’re campaign planning for Cre8! We have long had a goal to work with a manufacturing company and so we are working on our own telemarketing campaign to make it happen. As with all campaigns it’s deciding on a specific target market that is so important and then identifying companies who fit, to build that database. …Read More
Is your business in a competitive market place? We meet a lot of people who tell us there is so much competition that they struggle to know how to market themselves effectively whilst getting a good return on their investment. With our experience we’ve come to see marketing as a circle that covers a range of activities; if there is a break in the chain the marketing starts to fall down and this is where investment can be lost. …Read More
This month…..We’ve been meeting our networking contacts for one to ones and great coffee…As a company who do quite a lot of networking, we recognise that it’s relationships not contacts that are essential to our business, in terms of helping and being helped. Building relationships is the most pleasurable part of what we do. Focusing on the long term not the short term has meant we’ve made so many great friends along the way. Coffee is the order of the day ;-)….Read More
This month…..We’ve been doing some more work for a company who are part of the Caterpillar group. With a very large database of almost 5,000 companies, they wanted to check their data was up to date. In December we successfully updated contacts and their details on almost every record we made contact with, demonstrating how important it is to regularly keep on top of this task….Read More
This month….We’re focused on challenges………..what challenges are you facing in your business right now? Do you tap into the network of amazing and talented people that you have around you, or do you do it all yourself? Outsourcing to experts is the way forward if you want to free up your time and focus on what you love doing. 2014 is the year to do what you love and love what you do!
We’ve ummed and ahhed about whether to set new year’s resolutions. Did you set any? Getting fit, juicing, facing fears, a half marathon, finding great offices and developing our team, are among some of the things we’ve got on the list…. Read More
This month… We’ve been shopping! As best friends of 25 years now, sometimes all the business focus can take over, so we recently spent a Saturday in Solihull together, shopping, eating and sharing. Business did of course come up, but fleetingly; any of you who work with close friends or partners will know how refreshing it is to switch off at times. We’re so looking forward to Christmas which for us both is a time for family, friends and relaxing, eating and pyjamas. Did we mention that we love eating? ;)…
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