Marketing Blog

Business Support Organisations in Brighton & East Sussex

Do you need some help to make your business boom? We’ve put together a handy list of business support organisations and co-working spaces in Brighton & East Sussex, that can lift your business to the next level.

Business Support Organisations in Brighton & Sussex:

Green Growth Platform

The Green Growth Platform is the South East Regional Hub of Clean Growth UK; a national business-innovation network that has supported thousands of green businesses across the UK to innovate and grow.

Brighton University’s Green Growth Platform is an award-winning green network, which aims to help create healthy, future-proof businesses that try their best to minimise their impact on the planet. They work to encourage businesses to develop clean and environmentally friendly products and services through coaching, workshops, access to funding and access to University facilities to help green businesses scale.


Brighton Chamber of Commerce

Brighton Chamber is a diverse community, which helps its members build successful businesses and be part of Brightons welcoming community and healthy economy. Anyone running or working for a business, charity or social enterprise; in or around Brighton and Hove, can register to be a member and access all of their services.

Their services include; networking events, Bite-sized learning sessions, business support and mentoring as well as an inclusion in their online business directory.



Wired Sussex

Wired Sussex is a Brighton- based membership organisation for companies and freelancers operating in the digital, media and technology sector in Sussex, UK. They assist their members to create, innovate and grow.

They have a Directory of Members and Projects Board, which allows their members to promote their services and find new clients. They also provide business and funding support through newsletters, 1-2-1 engagement and regular events.


Natwest Accelerator

Natwest offer’s 3 variations of their Accelerator programme, all which have been tailored to empower entrepreneurs from local startups to national businesses. The 6-month programmes are fully funded, and you don’t even have to be a NatWest customer to apply! They have 12 hubs throughout the UK which you'll have access to, including hubs in Scotland and Northern Ireland and one based here in Brighton.

The Pre-Accelerator programme is tailored to early stage start-up entrepreneurs, while the Accelerator programme is targeted at established entrepreneurs. Both of these offer exciting opportunities and support such as online learning and coaching, regular action-focused events and basic legal and tech advice.

Natwest also offer the accelerator programme ‘Fintech’ which delivers specialist support such as 1:1 coaching with their experienced staff and a technology review and sales strategy analysis by Dell Technologies

Sussex Innovation Centre

The Sussex Innovation Centre is a business incubation network, supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups across the South East from their headquarters at the University of Sussex. They offer founders strategic insight to help grow their business, while also providing practical resources which can help businesses grow at a healthy rate.

There are a large range of membership options, where you can tailor your membership to fit your needs. There are superb facilities and resources at the modern office spaces that they offer, or their Network membership is designed to give you all the benefits of their support and mentoring when you already have your own office, or don't need a permanent base.


Co-working Spaces in Brighton:

There are also a range of local co-working spaces in Brighton and East Sussex who offer networking and training events alongside office spaces to their members.

The Projects

The Projects is located in a 19th Century listed building in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes, it’s a great communal space that still manages to place the wide range of co-working needs at its heart. They offer a variety of co-working and serviced office space options to suit your needs, with entire floors dedicated to quiet spaces or spaces where you can collaborate with other members.

From half day passes to 24/7 access, all their co-working memberships are monthly rolling, so if you change your mind, you have the freedom to change your membership.

They also host daily events; such as free coffee mornings and yoga sessions, networking opportunities and free Help Hubs. So whether your company is newly established or long standing, big or small, you can find something here to suit you.



PLATF9RM

PLATF9RM is a thriving business community in Brighton & Hove, who offer access through single day passes, whole offices bookings, meeting rooms and event spaces.

They design their workspaces to encourage networking opportunities and business connections, whether you’re a freelancer or CEO of a multinational company.

They also curate a program of social and cultural events that ensure their members get to know each other, such as their monthly breakfast and quick-fire talks from PLATF9RM members and PLATF9RM physical; an opportunity to stretch your legs and connect with your fellow co-workers.




Want even more information on how you can kickstart your business and improve your online & offline traffic? Come along to our next SEO workshop.




How to Create a Successful Marketing Strategy

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At Bloom Towers, we often find that some clients & marketing managers struggle to get traction with their marketing campaigns. In the bewildering landscape of digital marketing it can be hard to work out the right way forward for your business marketing - ‘should I invest more in SEO? Or a content strategy? Or focus on social media?’ A bad marketing strategy can tank your business - just ask these bears.

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Fear not! We are here to guide you through the digital labyrinth.

Successful marketing strategies start with thorough diagnosis

For us strategy is all about identifying the key challenges you face in your competitive & business landscape and creating the means of overcoming them. An effective marketing strategy can be fundamental in allowing a business to effectively build value in it’s brand, services or products.

Creative Bloom’s approach to Digital Marketing strategy takes inspiration from a US strategist called Richard Rumelt and his book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters (2011) (we suggest get a copy if you haven’t read it). Rumelt explains that strategy should not be defined by ambition, leadership, vision or planning; but a coherent action backed by an argument, and we agree entirely. For Rumelt, the essence of a successful strategy is thorough diagnosis of a situation, creating an overall guiding policy to overcome challenges and the design of coherent action plan, that is driven to effect.

So, applied to marketing, a good strategy can be broken down into three key ideas.

  1. Diagnosis: getting to grips with what’s really going on. This involves effort and a deep analysis of your current marketing efforts & available resources, the competitive landscape you operate in. You need to gain insights into your market environment, your customers and assess your competition and internal situation. These insights are important as Rumelt says “an especially insightful diagnosis can transform one’s view of the situation, bringing a radically different perspective to bear.” When a digital marketing diagnosis is carried out properly, it will correctly inform how you respond to weaknesses/challenges.

  2. A Guiding Policy; the purpose of this is to direct your actions, it is the context in which your actions are made and helps to ‘guide’ them. “It is like a signpost, marking the direction forward but not defining the details of the trip”, the guiding policy should outline the overall approach for tackling the weaknesses you identified with your deep diagnosis. An example of a successful guiding policy is Barcelona FC who developed a guiding policy of embracing ‘Total Football’ throughout the club in the 1970s to then become a powerhouse in European club football.

  3. Coherent Action; strategy is nothing without action or measurement. Just as a diagnosis informs the guiding policy, the guiding policy informs the coherent action to achieve your goal. These actions should be coherent, consistent and coordinated. “A good strategy doesn’t just draw on existing strength; it creates strength through the coherence of its design” , these actions should support and build upon each other, steadily building towards the goal. Performance measurement is critical for good strategy: Are our actions making an impact? Is the strategy working? Do we need to adjust things?

Only through the process of regular performance monitoring can you develop a successful marketing strategy, be prepared & geared up to adapt.

In summary, when all three areas have been considered and you haven’t rushed or skipped any steps, you can maximise your opportunities of delivering fantastic results!


NEED SOME HELP? WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST

CONTACT US TO HELP YOU CREATE AN IMPACTFUL MARKETING STRATEGY

Give Your Business A Head Start & Navigate The Cobbled Streets

Running your business can sometimes feel like trying to tackle an incredibly uneven road surface in incredibly inappropriate footwear. No matter where you go, or which part of the road looks smooth there are inevitable hiccups, trips, bumps and set-backs. This is why, truly understanding your business and how other people perceive your business is vital. Do you have everything you need? Have you taken advantage of the free stuff out there?


Know Your Customer - Data Doesn’t Lie

Important foundations to a business are paramount to success. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, start-up or already established, there will undoubtedly be areas you could improve, refine or introduce (if you haven’t already). Knowing your customer for example, do you truly know your audience? This is not necessarily who you ‘want’ to be your customer, or asking others who they ‘think’ your customers are. Use the data available to you! Remember that Google Analytics account you’ve never looked at? As well as Google Search Console & Social Channel Analytics - they can all tell you exactly who is on your site, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing when they get there. Take some time and dive into your traffic analytics, you will likely be pleasantly surprised what you can find out.


Understand The Basics & Better Equip Yourself

The murky world of Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC etc. can all be quite overwhelming if you’re exploring it for the first time. However, if you take some time to understand the basics in these areas, you will be able to better understand what your business needs, be better equipped to explain to others what you need and you’ll also end up saving yourself money! So eventually, what, 6 months ago you would’ve paid an agency to do for your SEO, you can now jump on and fix yourself.

Have a look at how fast your website is running with Pingdom. If your results say you’re below 2.5 seconds, give yourself a high five. If not, then you are provided with the information you could give to your developer to help improve this. You just became better equipped!


Competitors - Online & Offline

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Stella and Jimmela have a flower shop where they take lots of online orders. Just because Olivia has a flower shop across the street does not necessarily make Olivia their competitor - Especially as she doesn’t even have an online website. So understanding your online competitors is extremely important as they are likely not who you think they are.

Jump on Google, type a few variations of your service or product into the search box and see what the results say! Do maps appear? Do some competitors appear for multiple searches? Now you can try and work out why they may be ranking higher than you (or lower) and employ some tactics that they’re using to better compete!


Still itching to learn more about how you can supercharge your own business? Check out our two day digital marketing course that will give you all the tools you need to propel yourself past your competitors.

Train for the Gain | Why Ordinary Business Training Just Doesn't Cut It

 

Train for the Gain | The Best Way to Learn Business

 

What comes to mind when you think of the last professional development training session you attended? A positively prosaic afternoon filled with monotonous corporate speak and lukewarm coffee? We thought so.

Was there any practical information or any tailored examples? Any action list for you to implement? You probably filled a notebook full of buzzwords and strategic jargon but it's been collecting dust ever since. We've all been there.

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We find that most training that we have experienced take a 'one size fits all' approach. It's rare to find a workshop that really delves deep into one specified area of marketing and instead takes a broad brush approach with attendees no matter what their business needs.

Well we like to shake things up a bit.

At Creative Bloom, we've had enough of textbook training and have spent time developing a different approach. Our new workshops are designed to enable you to tailor your training to find what suits you. We supply you with the knowledge, but also help you to ensure that it is relevant to your specific business and send you away with an action plan for what you need to tackle next. PLUS, we pester you after, to check up on how you're getting on beyond the classroom.

Each of our coaches or 'Bloomers' as we like to call them have experience in their specific field, knowing what it takes to deliver what they preach, and continuing to practice with our current clients, keeping up to date with new tech and trends. 

Don't like tech speak? Neither do we, so all our workshops are delivered minus the jargon and instead with simple to follow steps, tips and examples. You never know, you might find a Star Wars slide in there somewhere. And hey, it's not all for you, we enjoy delivering them - so all that comes with a load of enthusiasm, helping you to have that lightbulb moment!
 

Top Ways to Encourage People to Review Your Business

tips for online reviews - creative bloom

Why are online reviews so important?

Whether you are an online or offline business, reviews are a crucial element to your success. A whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews and more than half of those people need to read four or more before they can trust the business. Reviews can give you feedback on ways to improve your business and help to prove its legitimacy. Good reviews can also help to improve your SEO. Just as a user will be more likely to trust a business with good reviews, search engines will trust them in the same way. Google, in particular, will gather information from several review websites and if it likes what it sees, will help to push your ranking up. All of these advantages will put your business in the best position to lead to that greatly sought after sale or sign up.

 

Tips for Online Reviews

 

Set it up 

It's up to you to get your business listed on review sites. Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Facebook are all well known review websites, but certain sites are better than others for your particular sector. Dig a little deeper to find out which review site suits your business best and make sure that you're listed. Once this is done, you will have a link that you can forward on to any customer or client you wish!

 

If you don't ask, you don't get

 We can all be a little shy at times when it comes to asking for feedback directly, but this should really be commonplace in any business. During a conversation in person or even on a social platform, asking directly for feedback and reviews can come back with plenty of results. These can be taken as soundbites and testimonials to be used for web or social content - don't be afraid of blowing your own trumpet!

 

Keep it easy

A 'thank you' email after an online purchase with a link to your review page makes it easy for anybody to just click and review. They're already online with your business in mind, so what's to stop them? You can automate emails to send as soon as a call to action sign up or transaction has been completed to make it super simple. 

 

Don't forget 'Google My Business'

Make sure that all of your relevant information is updated on your 'Google My Business' page and get your Google review link to send to your customers. Around 9% of Google's ranking algorithms are based on reviews - that's a good chunk to influence your SEO.

 

Reply, reply, reply.

It's all fine and well to gain the trust of your customers and clients but keeping it is just as important. Bad reviews will come along every now and again but it's not the end of the world. Someone who has not had a good experience with your business will be far more likely to return if any negative feedback is acknowledged and dealt with quickly and efficiently. So it's important to keep an eye on good and bad reviews to make sure your customers feel like they're being taken care of.

 

Follow these simple tips and you'll be well on your way to building reviews online and helping to increase your business's success. Believe us - it's important.

The New Way to Network: Why we think old-school business events should be a thing of the past.

We all know the standard networking event format. You arrive at a swanky venue, slap on a name tag and proceed to wonder around the room clutching a glass of red and nodding your way into conversations with strangers. Then there's shaking hands whilst holding both a paper plate & glass of wine (a very difficult task) and leaving with pockets full of business cards. This is the classic 'old-school networking event'. We do understand the need for these events and how important getting out there and chatting to other businesses is, but we'd much rather do it in a different way! 

Brighton is home to one of the most thriving communities of start-ups, freelancers, organisations and charities, all enthusiastic to get to know one another. In turn, there are a whole host of exciting events that cater to many different industries. We would much rather have a chat with someone during a workshop, take part in an open discussion or try out a new product to learn about how we can collaborate. Laid-back events can lead to a true sense of trust and create an atmosphere of fun, where ideas and real in-depth conversations can be exchanged. Exactly how we believe business should be!

Here are some of our favourite events to meet new contacts in Brighton:

Tedx Brighton - networking events

TEDx

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If you haven't heard of TEDx then this is certainly the time to learn about it. These inspirational talks are usually held at Brighton Dome and give an insight into a whole host of industries. You'll get talks from speakers such as Dom Joly from Trigger Happy TV and Steven Day, Co-Founder of Pure Planet and Renewable Energy Expert. By the end of the evening you'll definitely have something to talk about with fellow attendees.

Wired Sussex Brighton - networking events

Wired Sussex

This organisation has been bringing the digital community of Sussex together for over a decade, hosting events all over the city. They provide a platform for freelancers, start-ups and bigger businesses to connect through workshops, breakfast sessions, talks and loads more.

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Toast

The hosts of Toast Brighton began running their breakfasts after they became bored of the usual corporate networking events - just like us! That's why they run events to create a buzz around networking and make it fun and relaxed. You can mingle around a breakfast buffet and leave feeling inspired after hearing from one of their motivational speakers.

Pecha Kucha Brighton - networking events

PECHA KUCHA

This is a similar one to TEDx Brighton but on a slightly smaller scale. Local people and small organisations can get involved to share the story of what they're doing. With only 20 slides of 20 seconds each, the talks are short and fast-paced, giving time to include more speakers that add variety to the evening. If you're thinking of attending, the PechaKucha Brighton website has a whole host of past talks you can check out before you go.

Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce - networking events

Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce

This business community hosts events both large and small, from conferences to workshops. Though you'll have to pay for membership, it's well worth it, as the Chamber of Commerce really does act as a central hub for local businesses - giving you so many opportunities and connections. They have a great selection of events so you have loads of choice of what to attend.

Green Growth Platform - networking events

Green Growth Platform

Hosted by Brighton University, the Green Growth Platform provides a network for sustainable businesses to meet as well as offering business support to them. Their upcoming events include marketing workshops and courses on sustainability in action.

ONCA gallery - networking events

O N C A

With sustainability, creativity and community driving everything they do,
O N C A provides a space to create and expand a network of individuals and communities with the same values. They hold regular events such as storytelling evenings, workshops and artist's talks at their gallery on London Road, welcoming those looking to host events of their own.

GLUG Brighton - networking events

GLUG

If you're a creative type you'll probably have come across Glug already, but if not we'll tell you a little about it. This event is always packed to the brim with graphic designers, illustrators, animation wiz kids and loads of other creative people. Often held at the Patterns nightclub, the evening could begin with a mingle around the bar, trying out VR headsets, watching live art or pulling your own screen print. This gets everyone chatting before the line-up of speakers begin. Past speakers have included David Shrigley, Supermundane and Kyle Bean. Get ready to be inspired!

Brighton Meetup - networking events

Brighton Meetup

We're cheating slightly on this one but felt it was too great a networking platform to miss out. If you haven't come across Meetup yet then we urge you to give it a go! This is a great space to create online communities, find people with similar interests in Brighton and take part in those interests together. You are encouraged to create your own events and invite your group to take part. So if we haven't listed an event that you would be looking for here, then check out the Meetup site and see if it exists. If not, we'll leave it up to you get it up and running.

All of these events are held in Brighton and are great ways of creating relationships with people outside of 'work mode'. Organic conversations that come from a shared experience or topical point are far more worthwhile and memorable than those which aren't. But we'd say the best way of getting out there is by hosting an event of your own!