Four things we learned from the Scottish Business Insider SME Conference at The Studio in Glasgow from Insider's speakers and experts.
1. Business should be tech-savvy for selling online
Businesses that want to get serious about selling online should get bots to respond to enquiries and sell to consumers.
Technology expert Stephen Whitelaw told the Insider SME Conference in Glasgow that it was vital that SMEs should keep up with the latest technology and be able to answer enquiries and sell online at any time.
Whitelaw said that currently 27 per cent of all searches online are done by voice. This was predicted to rise to 50 per cent by 2020.
Businesses should be primed to deal with voice searches. He also said that SMEs should use Google Trends, a free service, to allow them to predict when demand would be high.
2. Uni's Growth Advantage Programme a boost for SMEs
John Anderson, head of SME engagement at Strathclyde Business School, outlined the experience of business leaders on the school’s Growth Advantage Programme.
He said that as a result of the course content and peer lending they had looked at their businesses afresh.
In some cases they had launched new products or changed their teams or the composition of their boards.
3. Businesses urged to FutureProof their learning
John Ferguson, a senior consultant with skills business FutureProof Learning said that we are operating in a time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
It was vital that business leaders were concerned not only about sales and the bottom line but were preparing for next year and the longer term future.
4. Pickering's Gin Christmas baubles campaign outlines importance of storytelling
Marcus Pickering co-founder of Pickering’s Gin, outlined the importance of authenticity and storytelling in the remarkable growth of the Edinburgh-based distillery which has seen turnover grow threefold each year for the last five years.
He recounted how the company’s Christmas gift of gin baubles had gone viral from one press release, selling out all 32,000 within 82 seconds.
This year the company has made 1.3 million gin baubles for sale. Laurna Woods, CEO of integrated media agency Beattie, urged business leaders to appoint themselves chief marketing officer and to focus on how best the business can tell its story.
She urged businesses to tell their stories and to do whatever marketing activity they could.
She said all the marketing activity should drive traffic to the business’s website and that you should have the right ‘calls to action’ on the website.
Entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl believes Scottish entrepreneurs need to be much more ambitious in scaling up their businesses.
Speaking to the conference at The Studio in Glasgow city centre he also said that Scotland needed world class infrastructure, particularly air links. They had improved slightly in recent years but not nearly enough.
The SME Conference was held at The Studio in Glasgow city centre and was attended by more than 100 people.
Based on the source: https://www.insider.co.uk/all-about/sme-conference