On Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st June we were delighted to welcome Sam Jones, Managing Director of Tunafish Media ( pictured above), to our Manchester and Liverpool offices to deliver sessions on using social media for business.
The session started with some myth busting on B2B and social media. For example, by spending as little as six hours per week, 66% of B2B marketers see lead generation benefits through social media.
Sam then shared his knowledge on 5 of the main social media platforms and we learnt some interesting facts in the process! (Please note, there are many more platforms out there and these should be selected to suit your industry and target audience.)
Twitter: 54% of users have taken an action once seeing a business named in a tweet (e.g. visited a website)
LinkedIN: Responsible for 80% of B2B online lead generation.
Facebook: 74% of users say that they use Facebook for professional purposes.
Medium: A personal publishing platform used for sharing your knowledge.
Quora: A platform to see what people are querying and use to create your own content.
Tunafish Media is an award winning creative social content agency based in Manchester and servicing the North West, who believe in generating ideas and content that gets results. They create content for use on social media platforms and your website that matches a business’s culture and speaks to their audience, in order to drive traffic and deliver results.
If you are looking to take the first steps in social media or seeking to develop your social media offering get in contact. Sam would be happy to devise similar presentations or training for Bermans contacts.
Tom Cheesewright is an Applied Futurist and the author of ‘The Book of the Future.’
His recent keynotes and talks have covered ‘The Future of Money’ (Finextra, London), ‘The Future Office’ (OPI, Amsterdam), ‘The Future of Language’ (ALTO, New York) and ‘How to Apply Futurism’ (Institute for Leadership and Management, London & Manchester).
In the media you can catch him most weeks on BBC TV and radio, across BBC Breakfast, 5live, Radio 4 and other local and national stations. He’s also featured in and worked on shows for Channel 4 (Sunday Brunch, In the Future, Home Hero), Channel 5 (Saturday Show) and Sky News, and been quoted in The Guardian and Entrepreneur Magazine (US).
He spends his time helping people and organisations to answer three questions:
- What does our future hold?
- How do we tell that story?
- And what do we do about it?
He does this through consulting, speaking, writing, and the media, appearing on telly, on the radio, online and in print, explaining technology and tomorrow.
When driving faster, look further ahead
The faster you’re travelling, the further ahead you need to look. When we get behind the wheel of a car, we all do this automatically. But we don’t seem to do it in business.
The reality is that all of us in business are travelling faster now. We may not notice it. The effects are subtle. There are no trees whizzing past the window to give us the impression of speed. But it’s there. Information flows faster. Disruption happens quicker. You can see it in everything from the speed of the delivery to your door, to the turnover on the stock market.
This places an imperative on every business leader to look further ahead. Not necessarily at the far horizon – the rate of disruption is so great that it is further clouding that already-unclear picture. But certainly beyond the next quarter or year.
Expand your field of view
Not only do we have to look further, we have to expand our field of view. To return to the driving analogy, we’re not on a long, straight motorway. We’re crossing a constant stream of intersections. Industries are colliding at an unprecedented rate. The threats to the safety of our journey do not come from our competitors coming up behind us. They come from the unexpected entrant to our lane, veering in from elsewhere.
Few – too few – leaders have gotten to grips with this new reality.
From a vision to a mission
I confess a level of self-interest here. This is what I do. I help businesses to see the future and expand their field of view. It’s called Applied Futurism. I’d like to do it for you. But even more, I’d like you to do it for yourself.
Because this belief in the need to look beyond has gone beyond a business proposition. It has become a mission. I genuinely believe the way that most people do business now is broken.
Firstly, we spend far too much time worrying about our competitors. To return again to my driving analogy, this is like watching your rear view mirror instead of the road ahead. You’re so focused on who might overtake you that you miss the turn that could put you on a much faster route.
Secondly, we spend all our time focused on incremental improvements when there’s an existential threat around the corner. This is like concentrating on your fuel economy when there’s a crash in front of you. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a few more MPG than your peers if you’re all headed for a pile-up.
Be a futurist
I can’t fix every business. But I can share what I’ve learned in the last five years working with organisations around the world to address these problems. That’s why I now license my knowledge to consultants and business leaders, so that they can address these problems in their own businesses and those of their clients. And I teach the tools I I’ve created to professionals on one-day courses at the University of Salford.
Whether you choose to use my tools or not, I’d urge you to do this: next time you get in the driving seat of your business, stop and look up. Look ahead, not one year but two, three, five. Look around. Look to your left and to your right, at your customers, at the businesses you interact with at home and think: what could these people, their processes, their technologies, do to my industry and my business?
Look ahead and then act. Make change. Steer around that potential crash. Be the first to take that new route.
Tom writes about the future at https://bookofthefuture.co.uk. You can find out more about his consulting and speaking at http://tomcheesewright.com. And licence his tools or book a place on his courses at http://futurism-tools.com.
We met up with Steve Barber (pictured below), Managing Director of Bridging Finance Solutions, an independent finance house providing short term property finance solutions to individuals, investors, property developers, professional advisors and intermediaries for our latest client focus Q&A.
1. What is your business?
Bridging Finance Solutions is a premier independent finance house providing short term property finance solutions to individuals, investors, property developers, professional advisors and intermediaries.
All of our loans are secured on residential property for between 1 and 12 months, from £25,000 to £5m. We are fully regulated by the FCA and we are able to lend to individuals, partnerships and companies throughout England and Wales.
As principal lenders, we lend our own funds, which means we can offer our clients flexibility and a speed of service which we consider that you will rarely find elsewhere. We pride ourselves on fast, consistent decision making and are totally committed to transparency, clarity and the retention of the administration to a necessary minimum.
The company’s ethos is to provide the best possible service. Our success is based on our reputation for speed, flexibility and personal approach delivered with care and courtesy.
We specialise in Short Term Finance for Fast Property Purchase, Refurbishment Funding, Auction Finance, Immediate Capital Raising for all purposes whilst property is sold or refinanced and Development Finance. We often compliment the banks and long term funders to get deals done quickly, often within 7-10 days, whilst long term funding is arranged.
2. Which solicitors do you use at Bermans?
Our principal point of contact is Fergal O’Cleirigh and we have had our cases looked after by Guy Pattison, Andrew Palmer and Melanie Morris. Nicky Benson looks after our HR and we have also been advised on various corporate matters over recent years.
3. What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business and maintaining profits?
The short term finance sector is very price sensitive sector and our principal drive is to deliver transparency of pricing to all clients which genuinely adds value to projects. Over 40% of our loans are to repeat clients which is testament to this, along with an increasing number of referrals from professional advisors.
4. Tell us about your typical working day?
We are very client focused organisation and by definition need to be ‘fleet of foot’ and react quickly to our client’s requirements so no individual day is typical. One thing that can be assured as typical, however, is that days are long, particularly when working to a deadline which requires co-ordination of several parties …
5. What has been a highlight for your business over the last 12 months?
The growth and development of an extremely professional, client focused and experienced team alongside considerable growth in the size of the business, which has seen turnover double for the past three consecutive years.
6. What are your plans for your business for the year ahead?
Bridging Finance continues to retain an out dated stigma of ‘lender of last resort’ and ‘expensive’. Much of our growth has been based around education of finance brokers and professional advisors who are increasingly seeing the use of bridging as a mainstream and commercially viable solution to clients requirements, often complimenting a long term funding solution. This education process continues to be central to our growth plans for the coming year and we have invested heavily in IT to ensure that we continue to offer the same personal service as the business continues to grow.
7. Is there a sector or industry that you are strong in or looking to develop opportunities?
Whilst we have funded refurbishment and conversion projects for many years, we launched a development finance product this year, specifically aimed at schemes less than £2m in the North West. These schemes often fall under the radar of large financial institutions who perhaps do not have a strong appetite for these smaller schemes, and that often need to be completed very quickly to secure the best available terms for the client. We believe that this product fits into a growth area in which we are seeing considerable demand and hope to develop on.
8. Do you find social media assists your business and if so, how?
We use social media to raise the awareness of our brand and keep clients and advisors up to date on products, case studies and networking events. I think it is difficult to measure the tangible benefits other than the adage of ‘out of sight…out of mind.’
9. If you were chancellor, what single change would you make to help improve the economy and/or your business?
I would stagger corporation tax rates to encourage the growth and development of the SME sector, by way of investment and growth incentives.
10. What are your passions away from business?
I have a 9 year old son whose social activities tend to keep me occupied as a taxi driver, but I am also a keen fell walker and runner and take part in a number of endurance challenge events….slowly. I am also a keen follower of all sports and we are a principle sponsor of Tranmere Rovers FC locally.
11. Do you have any business tips to share with our readers?
Leave enough money in a deal for the next person……
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