22nd September 2023
Trudy Morris, Chief Executive, Caithness Chamber of Commerce. Leverage your strengths by amplifying your businesses unique selling points.
In the current climate, all aspects of running a business can feel like a risk. The latest Quarterly Economic Indicator published by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce in June, highlights that persistent economic uncertainty is forcing businesses to put investment decisions on hold. Signalling a challenging prospect for medium and long-term growth, and overshadowing performance across the business community.
The ability to respond swiftly to a volatile and complex business environment, with the intention not only to survive but to thrive is a key factor to success when times are tough – but the ever-present challenge remains, how do you stay relevant in a world that is constantly changing?
It can be tempting to experiment with lots of new ideas, products or services in difficult times in the hope that something works. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum feel stuck and overwhelmed by the pressures of uncertainty and the mere fight to keep the lights on.
Experimentation and risk can of course be rewarding, but to maximise potential for success it’s important to know what you stand for, where your strengths lie, and of course, where you outperform competitors.
Separating your business from the pack is a key factor for success, but how do you ensure your business stands out from the crowd?
My advice is to hone in on your bespoke selling points, your core ethos and what makes your business unique. Every business has an individual story that sets it apart. Use this to leverage your strengths and amplify your authentic business voice; emphasising your vision, values, and journey to create a connection with customers that resonates beyond transaction. A compelling narrative can captivate your audience, drive sales and help build loyalty.
In the North Highlands, we tend towards humility, keeping quiet about our talents and accomplishments – as the saying goes “to hide our light under a bushel”, but our thriving and resilient business community has plenty to celebrate and shout about! In a crowded marketplace, and today’s rapidly changing world – it’s more important than ever that your business stands out, confidence in your story is key to this!
We are delighted to be working with communications specialists, Nicky Marr and Kate Hooper, on a one-day intensive workshop this September which will explore exactly this.
Supporting our members and the local business community to succeed and thrive is a key objective of the Caithness Chamber, and we offer a diverse range of support to businesses in the North Highlands. From events and access to funding, through to our business support programme and continued advocacy work, we offer a unique opportunity to access expert knowledge, advice and network opportunities. Times may be uncertain, but Chamber membership is something you can rely on.
Fiona Levack, Business Development Manager, Caithness Chamber of Commerce. Stand out from the crowd and tell your business story!
Part of my core role at the Caithness Chamber is to develop our programme of events, tailored to the needs of our members. From our annual dinner to our supply chain events and business development and skills-sharing events, there is never a dull moment! Recently I have had the pleasure of working with two Highland businesswomen, each with many decades of experience in media, who have joined forces to develop ‘Tell your business story with confidence’, a workshop for North Highland businesses.
I took the opportunity to talk to them about what their interactive workshop will cover and how will it benefit our business members.
Kate Hooper, who is a former Senior BBC Producer and co-director of Inverness-based StrategyStory, explained: “There are four key elements; Connecting with business audiences, working out your business story, getting your pitch sorted, and Telling your business story with confidence.”
Kate has teamed up with broadcaster, writer, coach, and event host Nicky Marr to create and deliver the session.
Kate said: “We are combining our different experiences in media and communications to bring a unique day which gives business leaders ‘time out’ from the day-to-day running of their businesses, to focus on how they reach and convince potential clients, customers, and stakeholders of the merits of doing business with them.
“We get it. You’re already working more than full time on your business, so there’s little time to lift your head and think, strategically, about how to reach new audiences.”
“This day will give a business a full day to think about their business story and focus on how they will use that story to reach new customers, attract new markets, and ultimately boost the bottom line.”
Nicky added: “Working out how to communicate clearly and concisely what a business does, and the impact it can have on others, is an entirely different set of skills from what a business might usually do. Taking a day out to think through their approach and story could be the best investment a business could make this year”
Delegates will leave with a beautifully crafted business pitch and new-found confidence and presentation skills, which they can put to immediate use.””