The Biz Blogs


Posted by The Biz Expos Tue, September 19, 2017 11:45:46

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When it comes to running an exhibition like the Biz Expos’ Business Shows, it can be quite hard to know what works and what doesn’t. A lot of it is trial and error; you come up with an idea and you try it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But either way, what you’re left with is hopefully a stronger show than your last one. You’ve probably heard us speaking about this on Facebook and in the emails we send out to our contacts lists, but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about one of the new features of our Biz Expo shows being introduced this year; the 15 Minute Workshops run by the Exhibitor.

Every year, we set aside a substantial budget to ensure we have only the best motivational speakers in the UK speaking at our shows. This hasn’t changed; we still plan on bringing you gold in the form of seminar speakers, but this year, we’re only going to have 2 of them, down from our usual 3. And that final free seminar spot? We’re giving exhibitors the chance to have their say.
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The idea is to have a handful of exhibitors prepare a 15 minute value-added presentation to deliver to both our other exhibitors and the visitors. This can be on any topic they wish. So far we’ve had people interested in discussing how LinkedIn can help shape your business if done correctly, how to ensure that your website has been designed in order to sufficiently sell – we’ve even had someone approach us with advice on what can be done with your finances once you’re 6 feet under!

I touched briefly on this in the blog about the Liverpool Expo; why we’ve decided this would be a good idea. Every day, we receive emails and phone calls from businesses with ideas for how we can improve or change our shows. It’s not uncommon to have a potential exhibitor pull out if we do not comply with their suggestions. Some of the suggestions are well thought out and could be beneficial for both the show and the visitors, but some of them only serve the exhibitor themselves. This is the main reason why we do not take on the ideas of exhibitors. Another of the main conversations we have with potential exhibitors for our show is they’re looking for speaking slots at our shows. Until now, we’ve always turned these offers down because we book our speakers way in advance to ensure we have only the best for the people attending our shows. But now we’ve set aside a time slot usually reserved for a third speaker to give exhibitors their chance to have their say.
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Earlier this year, a couple of weeks before our Reading show in February, one of our exhibitors Steve Doyle (Linking Business) approached us and asked for the opportunity to give a value added talk during our show. Originally, we had opted against this idea (we run a tight ship when it comes to the flowing of our shows, and we initially couldn’t find a slot for him to fill), but after he spoke to us about the topic in which he wanted to talk, we moved a couple of things around and gave him the slot. I asked Steve a few questions about how he found the slow we provided for him:

What made you want to speak at our show?

Steve: LinkedIn is a massively under used and misused channel for businesses to communicate with key customers. I am always keen to demonstrate to audiences some simple tips that can improve their use of LinkedIn. A keynote speaking opportunity at a Biz Expo meeting provided a really good opportunity to present how my business could help others use LinkedIn effectively.

How did you find it in terms of engagement and interest from visitors/exhibitors?

Steve: I found the engagement from visitor’s high with a keen audience who were actively involved and asking really good questions. The speaking opportunity worked in synergy with the exhibition presence and helped drive traffic to my stand.

What did you find most rewarding/challenging about speaking at our shows?

Steve: Making myself heard over the ongoing Speed Networking which was running next door was a challenge! Most rewarding was probably the opportunity to help business owners in a very practical way.

Are you planning on speaking at any of our upcoming shows?

Steve: Yes I will be speaking at Reading and I am always willing to present to business owners to help them grow their business more effectively.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to speak?

Steve: Grab the opportunity with both hands, but whatever you do don’t try to sell your product or service. This is a great opportunity is to grow your credibility don’t misuse it.

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Of course, we can’t offer these slots to all our exhibitors; they’re very much on a first come, first serve basis. We’re finding them to be very popular amongst potential and existing exhibitors, so we’re excited to see how Liverpool goes to see if this will become a permanent fixture at our shows.

For more information visit our website at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter (search The Biz Expos) and join the conversation!


Posted by The Biz Expos Fri, September 08, 2017 14:45:14

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The invention of the social media platform is a brilliant thing. Not only can you now stalk your favourite celebrities from the comfort of your own home (What?! Don’t pretend you don’t do it!), but it’s never been easier to shout loud and proud about the businesses you’ve started, gaining followers and attention that will most likely bring your company from the ground to the highest point you can possibly reach.

Before you write this blog off as just another boring “hooray-for-social-media” piece of writing, let me just stop you; because I’m about to delve into why social media can actually be working against you if you don’t use it correctly.

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The idea of social media is a simple one: a platform for you to engage with like minded people, share what’s on your mind, memories and photographs and ideally keep up to date with events/celebrities/businesses that spark your interest. But over the last few years, more and more businesses have been turning to social media in an attempt to market their products to those with whom they may not engage with anywhere else. On Facebook, you can create an advert and for a minimal fee, Facebook will do the rest of the nitty, gritty stuff. It will ensure your advert will be put in front of thousands of people in your demographic. Seems foolproof really, doesn’t it? Facebook is literally doing what you’ve been hoping to do without you doing any of the work. But the problem with this is, there is no way to know who has actually seen your advert. Oh sure, it gives you the statistics of people who have viewed it for longer than X amount of time, but it doesn’t tell you who has paid any interest in it. How do you know someone didn’t accidently click on your advert and then get distracted doing something else? I’m not saying that Facebook ads are a bad thing (we use them quite frequently here at the Biz Expos), but you’d be wrong to think that once your advert is out, all you need to do is sit back and wait for the customers to come piling in. Unfortunately, you will never really know how successful your Facebook ad has been unless you receive customer feedback regarding it. You cannot rely on these ads to do your work for you. Pay for the ad space, but be prepared to go on and continue to market yourself elsewhere.

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Twitter is probably my favourite social media platform. It’s far easier than Facebook to connect with people for either personal or business relationships. The more followers you have the more likely your content will be seen and shared with people you had no idea existed. In terms of business, I think it makes a lot of sense for businesses to have a Twitter account; to me, it makes a company seem far more legitimate, and a lot easier to trust them. Plus, it should also be noted that with the popularity of Twitter on the rise, you’re more likely to get to speak to someone if you have a query or a complaint. It’s a remarkable platform really, isn’t it? One of the biggest issues with Twitter is the 140 character limit to each tweet. I mean, if you do it properly, you won’t need more than this, but this is where arrogance of entrepreneurs can come into play. It is okay to be proud of your company; heck, if you’re not proud of it, what are you wasting your time for? Some people want to scream about every minute detail of their company, which again is completely fine, but you’re limited on Twitter in this aspect. Only choose the most important detail you need to share, or have an alluring line to engage with the public, otherwise you’ll miss the opportunity to network with potential clients. It should also be noted that many people nowadays take to Twitter to complain about every little thing (some of it can be hilarious, but most of the time it’s just draining). If you don’t take the time to respond promptly in a courteous manner, all it will take is 140 characters of an angry client to tarnish the reputation you’re trying to build. Never under estimate the power of an annoyed Tweeter.

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LinkedIn is an interesting platform. It’s been dubbed as the Entrepreneur’s Facebook. Surprisingly, not a lot of people use LinkedIn, but most people will have an account. On LinkedIn, you can advertise jobs, recruit new employees and project your company’s earnings in forums full of people who are essentially there to do the same. You can do this on all platforms, of course, but LinkedIn is designed specifically for this. I guess it can be seen as a platform to really show off what your company is made of, knowing that the audience who will see it are exactly the people who you want to. That’s the biggest difference between advertising on LinkedIn as opposed to either Facebook or Twitter. Sounds like a dream for Entrepreneurs really, doesn’t it? The problem is if everyone is shouting about the same thing, who’s there to listen to you? What makes your voice standout? You can’t rely on your popularity on LinkedIn in order to sell your business. Just because you’re connected to over 500 people doesn’t really mean anything anymore. You need to be actively networking on LinkedIn to get yourself heard. It can be a really powerful tool if you use it correctly, but to be honest, most of you will compare it to finding a needle in a haystack. The problem is; if everyone feels this way, you shouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn becomes the next MySpace.

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Visual aids have always been popular. Who wants to read buckets of words when you can simply glance at a colourful, eye-catching image? Instagram has been dubbed as the Visual Twitter; update your followers with pictures instead of words. It’s quite clever, isn’t it? Statistics show that more people are likely to respond to visual aids rather than blocks of texts. You can also give your clients a little bit extra than you would if you were to just type it out. Want to see what happens behind the scenes? Want to see who you’re talking to online? Instagram eliminates all of the barriers that keep people from really investing in a company because it gives faces to the names on the business card. The best part of Instagram is you’re not just catering to your followers. If you use the correct hash tag (# followed by words connected to your image. E.g. #Selfie #Business etc.) people who aren’t even following you need only click the hash tag from a different image to have yours come up on their screens. Except, quite honestly, this is also where Instagram lets itself down. Of course, the more likes you receive for an image and the more followers you have, the more the perception of popularity becomes a reality, but you have no idea who likes these images. Most of the time, they are completely irrelevant to your company and quite frankly, they’re the wrong audience. Instagram might actually be one of the most infuriating yet ingenious platforms in this sense. Use it correctly and watch your company grow.

Of course, there are pros and cons to using all forms of social media. There is no one fool-proof platform that will determine your business’s success. Don’t assume that the attention you receive on social media can infiltrate how you sell your product. Be smart. Do your research and don’t forget to keep working long after you’ve sent an advert out. Only then will you receive the results you’re looking for.


Posted by The Biz Expos Thu, August 31, 2017 14:51:36

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I’ve been working with the Biz Expos for just under a year now, and I’ve gained what could be argued as quite a reliable insight to how the Business Exhibition World works. What I have noticed throughout my time here is that people genuinely believe certain things regarding Business Expo shows which, to be frank, are complete nonsense.

1. Your company will not benefit at one of these shows.

This is one I hear quite a lot when it comes to selling stands to potential clients, and honestly, it makes me want to scream. It isn’t the business that wouldn’t do well – it’s you. Let’s be honest, your business is finite. It cannot think, act or connect on its own. You have to be face, the voice and the soul of the company. Pretty banners will only get you so far. You need to be willing to speak to everyone and anyone who may want to invest their time into your business. Be the person you want to speak to you if you were visiting the Expo.

2. You’re going to get so much business from attending this show.

Really, this one is only partially true. If you go to a Business Expo show with high hopes that every single person you talk to is going to become a client, you are in for a world of disappointment. Sure, you may attract people who will swap business cards with you, but that doesn’t mean you’ve gotten their custom. To make that happen will depend on where you go from there. Think of business expos as a sort of introduction to your company. Once you’ve grabbed the attention of potential clients – make sure you stay in touch with them! Attending a show is not enough.

3. You didn’t sell anything so it was a complete waste of time.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand this one, but it’s one of the most used reasons why people don’t want to go back to an Expo. Just because you haven’t sold anything doesn’t mean your presence at a Business show was a waste of time. Like, at all. Think of it this way; would you have had the same level exposure of having your business in front of hundreds of people if you stayed in the office all day? No, you wouldn’t. A common misconception people tend to have about expos is that it’s only successful if they make a handful of sales, but honestly, this just isn’t true. The exposure of your company is the most important thing you can gain from exhibiting at these shows, and believe me; you’ll be exposed in so many different ways.

4. You can only benefit from attending if there are no similar businesses to yours there.

There was a time here at the Biz Expos where we tended to agree with this, which is one of the reasons why a few years ago, we would only allow two of the same kind of company to exhibit at our shows. But we’ve found in more recent shows that this doesn’t actually make a lick of difference. Obviously, our Expos are not sector specific, so it’s very unlikely we’d run a show with only one type of business, so really, there are only a handful of similar companies that exhibit with us at any one time. But why should this be a problem? There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. There’s nothing stopping you from improving your image to ensure that you come out on top

5. You will get the same amount of value by just attending as a visitor, rather than an exhibitor.

I can kind of see why someone might think this, but it’s not true. As a visitor, you are able to take your time and walk amongst the different stands to see who you wish to network with, as well as taking part in 1-2-1 networking (or speed networking if you come to one of our shows), so you have somewhat more control over who you speak to. But the problem will be you won’t have enough time to speak to everyone who could be a potential client/customer. Booking a stand at an expo show allows people to seek you out, which will give you more prominent leads. I mean, really; what’s the point in wasting your time with someone who has absolutely no interest in what you’re selling?

6. Everyone who attends has the same objective: sell, sell, sell.

One of the biggest mistakes I think you can make at a business show, whether you’re an exhibitor or a visitor is to assume that everyone is after the same thing. Granted, to make a sale is probably on everyone’s list of objectives, but honestly, most people are there to make contacts, build a larger contact list and network with other entrepreneurs. And it should be noted that one of the best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Perhaps Mrs. Printing-Company has no interest in what you’re selling, but who’s to say that she won’t recommend you to someone she knows?

The only way you can be sure what really goes on at a Business Expo is to sign up and go yourself! You wont know unless you get yourself out there!


Posted by The Biz Expos Thu, August 17, 2017 14:49:11

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As we’re just under eight weeks from returning to Liverpool with the Biz Expos, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a rundown on what we’ve changed and improved upon from last year’s show in Aintree Racecourse. 2016’s Liverpool Expo show was by no means a bad show, but anyone there will tell you that something was missing; something that usually pushes our shows to be ranked in the top expo shows in the country. Was it the exhibitors? Was it the speakers? We were stumped until we took the initiative to go ahead and ask people who attended what they thought was missing. While no one could give any real specifics as to what the problem was, they all centred on the venue and its location. In previous years, we’ve held our Biz Expos shows in the Crowne Plaza in the Centre of Liverpool, but last year we decided to move to Aintree Racecourse. We thought this would be a good idea as one of the main topics of feedback regarded the parking issues with the Crowne Plaza.

This year, we’re back at the Crowne Plaza, and with 2 months to go before we hold the exhibition, we’ve already passed the numbers for last year’s show. The numbers really speak for themselves, don’t they?

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As usual, we’ve put aside a budget to bring in only the best motivational speakers, including the UK’s number one motivational speaker Brad Burton, who once again will be attending each of our shows! This year, however, we’ve decided to try something new. Back at our Reading 2017 show, we were approached by one of our exhibitors, who seemed keen on running a short presentation for our visitors and exhibitors. This is something we’d never done before, and were a little apprehensive to try, but we discussed it with him as to what the topic would be based on, what he would need and what we could do to help him.

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about doing this.

But it turns out I needn’t have worried at all. Despite very minimal marketing for this particular presentation, we were able to find him a 15 minute slot and the engagement exceeded expectations from both the visitors and the exhibitors. So we had the idea of allowing this to be a selling point at all our shows – instead of having three professional speakers run three separate seminars, why not have exhibitors take the floor for 15 minutes apiece to give a value added talk? Most of the queries we received from potential exhibitors are based around whether or not they can provide talks for us, and this is our way of finally saying “Yes!” I’m quite excited to see how this goes down. It’s already gained a fair amount of attention from exhibitors, some of whom have signed up specifically to speak at one of our shows. We’ll be putting it at each of our shows over 2017-2018, and hopefully we can see it becoming a permanent fixture.

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Of course, we’ll have the return of 4N hosting our two speed networking shows which is always a visitors favourite (for those of you unfamiliar with speed networking, essentially, picture speed dating. Instead of swapping information to a potential mate, you have 60 seconds to dazzle potential clients with your business, and vice versa. If at the end of your time you wish to continue talking, instead of swapping numbers, you swap business cards), as well as the cash prize draw at the end of each of our shows.

Whilst it’s nice to improve some things regarding a show, why fix what works?

I hope to see you all there 11 October 2017!

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Posted by The Biz Expos Mon, August 14, 2017 09:44:22

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10. People prefer to connect face-to-face.

This might seem like an odd one to include, because there’s nothing really stopping you going out on any given day and meeting with your clients. But honestly, who has time for that? Especially if there’s no guarantee that the people you’re going to meet will even want to invest in your company. One of the best things about business exhibitions is that your potential clients come to you, and there’s no limit to how many people you can meet and build a rapport with. You’re more likely to build a client base if the person you’re speaking to can see who’s talking to them.

9. You can build a client base effortlessly.

Following on from number ten, building a client base is much easier with a whole load of people in the room. You’re probably thinking ‘I could just as easily build a client base from the comfort of my office.’ But there can be several problems with doing this. Firstly, with the new laws that came in last year, it’s actually illegal to scrape emails from websites without the owner’s permission. Secondly, the email addresses you take from the internet probably have very little interest in what you’re selling. The easiest way to build a successful, clean client base is to do it in person. That way, you avoid all the unpleasant emails you’re likely to receive back from unwarranted emails.

8. Meet your existing clients and strengthen your rapport.

I think this is a rather important one that people tend to overlook. One of the biggest issues people tend to have is they think once they have a client, that’s it. Job’s done. But it really isn’t. Imagine if you signed up to something you were really interested in, and once you did, all you ever received from it was automated emails. You’d probably feel a bit cheated and unsurprisingly annoyed at the company you’re working with. One of the best ways to strengthen an existing relationship with your clients is to meet with them face to face and make them feel like they matter to you. Why not advertise where you’re holding a stand and get them to come and visit you? You’re killing two birds with one stone, here. Strengthen your existing relationships whilst building new ones at the same time.

7. Establish your brand to a wider audience.

One of the best things about business exhibitions is that you get to connect with people who had no idea you existed. This might sound a little odd, but don’t forget, you might be well known in your local industry for what you do, or even known nationally on a small scale, but there will be people from all walks of life passing through the exhibition. Chances are, you’re bound to meet some who didn’t even realise they were looking for you. Even if they don’t necessarily need you themselves, one of the most effective methods of marketing is word-of-mouth. They’re more likely to remember you at the expo if they have someone in need of your services.

6. Scope out the competition and find out what they’re doing that works.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. I’m not suggesting for a second that you get your night-vision goggles on and go skulking around the bushes trying to figure out how to one-up your competitors (although, that does sound like fun...). But instead of pawing your way through social media or websites trying to figure out why they’re successful, why not go and visit them at a business exhibition? You can get to know their business and see what ideas you can bounce off of each other. There’s no reason it can’t be beneficial for all parties involved, and it’s definitely better than spending hours online creating a monster in your mind.

5. Network – meet new people within the industry.

I think this is one that a lot of people take for granted, and I can’t stress enough the importance of networking if you’re going to succeed with your business. Regular networking is what’s going to help take your business to the next level. Get out there. Meet as many people as you can. Exchange business cards. Tell anyone and everyone who you are and what you do, and at the same time, get to know everyone else. The more you network, the more the word gets out about you and before you know it, people will be recommending you and your business will thrive. One bit of advice I will give you about this is if you’re going to network with people – Follow up and keep in touch! Don’t be the one they forget.

4. Grow your team – hire new recruits.

Do you know who visits business expos? People interested in business. Do you think this necessarily means people who are employed? Not at all. People interested in every aspect of business flock to expos either with the hopes of growing their own business or perhaps to find a business they can get involved with. Your next star employer could have no idea about you until he or she enters the Expo, and you would have no idea about them either. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net during the event. Open your mind to what people want from you and you may be surprised at who you find.

3. Improve your product with customer feedback.

The danger of being happy with your product is you run the risk of becoming blind to any faults it might have, and you won’t know where it could need improving. Or maybe you do notice that your product could be improved, but you don’t know where to begin. It’s not uncommon, but it’s not ideal either. You can send emails to your existing clients, but you might not get much of a response if at all. At an expo, you can speak to people who are interested in your product or those who have used it in the past to find out what aspect of it they found most helpful and what they found could have been improved. People are more likely to spill the truth to you face to face rather than from behind a screen.

2. Stay up to date with/ahead of what’s hot in your industry.

There’s nothing worse than thinking you know what’s going on in the game of your business, only to find out you’re just late to the party. You think you’ve got the next best tactic to promote yourself, when in fact, not only has your idea been done by everyone else, but it was done a while ago too! The best way to stay up to date with what’s hot in your industry is to surround yourself with those who are impartial to your business. They’re not just people-pleasers who want to give you the answer you think you want to hear.

1. Be inspired by each other’s success stories.

At most (if not all) business expos, you’ll be surrounded by people who have been where you are, and they are desperate to share their stories. They want you to know their successes and even their failures; in particular, how they overcame them. Chances are, if you find that you’re struggling with your business for whatever reason, someone else has been there before, and have found a way to move past it to come out stronger. Or perhaps it’s you who has struggled in the past – someone is dying to hear your story that may very well help them. There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you’ve helped a struggling peer, or being inspired by someone else’s success.


Posted by The Biz Expos Fri, August 11, 2017 15:59:22

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1. Not following up after networking.

It’s not uncommon for us here at the Biz Expos to receive emails or calls in the weeks following a show from people commenting that the networking they did lead nowhere, and they made no sales/contacts during the show. It usually puts them off wanting to come back again. It’s infuriating to hear, not because they don’t want to come back, but because they are wasting a fantastic opportunity to build a contact list because they’re not doing the most important part of networking – Following up! Let’s face it, when we’re in an environment like a business expo, we don’t really have the time to spend too long with one person; we’re trying to meet as many as we can. Get in touch with the contacts you made at the show and start building a relationship with them. Don’t just send them an email with a sales pitch for your product – chances are, you’ll end up in their trash. Take your time and get to know a little more about them and their business before you try selling. It will be worth it!

2. Not putting the time into marketing.

You might have a product that would put everyone within a similar industry to shame. You could have a business plan that would make all the Dragons on Dragon’s Den scramble over each other to invest in. But the problem is; if no one knows about it, no one is going to miss it. You need to be constantly out there, promoting what you have for the world to see. Attend as many expos as you can. Go to every relevant networking event you’re invited to (you’ll miss them if the invites stop coming).

3. Marketing at the wrong time to the wrong people.

This is a legitimate issue that a lot of people don’t seem to grasp. As unbelievable as it is, there are actually good times and bad times to market on social media. It isn’t just about consistently posting on the various platforms. In fact, statistics show that there are certain times on Facebook, for example, that are more likely to gain attention from the right audience than others. If you were to post on Facebook between 1pm-3pm on a Thursday or Friday, you’ll have more success than if you post on a Monday morning. Statistically speaking, the closer you are to the weekend, the more likely people are going to check in on Facebook. Do your research. Find out what times are ideal to post on your chosen social media platforms and use them to your advantage!

4. Relying on an existing crowd to support them.

It’s amazing how many businesses fail because of this. You might have a large social media following and you might be well known within the groups you’re in before you launched your business, but you really mustn’t assume that these two factors are going to play a part in your success. Don’t get me wrong – it might, and you might find that it helps enormously, but don’t assume you don’t have to keep building to a more specific audience to help steer your business towards ultimate success. By all means, ask your existing following for referrals and help, but don’t rely on them to be the only way to make your business succeed.

5. Displaying arrogance about their product.

You might think you have the best product in the industry. In fact, it’s something of a mystery as to why anyone wouldn’t want to buy into what you’re selling. Is there something wrong with it? Maybe there’s a problem with how you’re marketing? If you’re stumped as to why you’re not already buying your second home in the Bahamas, maybe the issue is you. During my time at the Biz Expos, I’ve met many people from all walks of life who’ve come to our shows and demonstrated what they have to offer. Some people were a delight to talk to, and I found myself coming back to check in on them again and again. Some, however, thought they deserved more than everyone else because of highly they thought of their business. There’s nothing wrong with having pride for what you have, but can you guess how often I wanted to converse with them? Everyone is judging not only your product, but your delivery. So make sure you know how to present yourself in an approachable way.

6. Copying the techniques of someone else.

Marketing isn’t everyone’s key skill when it comes to promoting businesses. Some are just more adept at it than others. It can be really tempting to scope out your competitors and just copy what they’re doing. Let me tell you something – this is a bad idea. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen this happen, only to see those who have copied another’s idea crash and burn. What works for someone won’t necessarily work for you. You’ll only be doing more damage than good. It’s okay to be inspired by another’s success, but to outright copy them is only hurting your product.

7. Not delivering on promises.

You’d think this one would be a no-brainer, but honestly, one of the most damaging things you can do to your new business is promise your clients something that got them interested in you in the first place, just to pull the rug out from underneath them. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. It’s not worth the fallout that will happen later on, and it’s not worth damaging your reputation. Just stick to what you can guarantee people, and not only will you find yourself with happy clients, you’ll also have loyal clients, who will be happy to recommend you to their peers.