Important announcement

Hello to our valued clients, colleagues and suppliers.

From all of us at Milestone-Belanova, we sincerely hope you and your families are all healthy and doing well. It is certainly a strange and unpredictable world we are now living in but hopefully we will get back to a safer, more familiar world before too long.

Until then, we have taken the Government’s advice and as from tomorrow, every member of our team will be working from home.

We are fortunate that we have a high level of communications technology in our office which will help us to continue servicing you with minimal interruptions.

Our office hours will continue to be Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and we commit to being available to assist you during these times.

Due to an error in our telephone system that our provider has not been able to fix, we have been required to set up a new phone number that allows call forwarding. We apologise with this inconvenience but ask that you now call us on 1300 788 572. Our phone lines will then still be answered by our friendly office manager, Janice Wells who will be able to divert your call to the relevant team member.

If you forget our new phone number, you will be able to find it on our email signatures, website (www.milestone-belanova.com.au) and on our telephone answering message.

As we won’t be able to partake in face to face meetings for a while, we have the following ways that you will be able to communicate with our team in addition to normal phone calls and emails:

1. Call a team member direct on Slack – please let us know if you have Slack and we will add you to our network. We will be able to share files via Slack as well as run conference calls.

2. Arrange a Skype meeting – You may find our staff on Skype by searching their email addresses.

3. Arrange a Zoom meeting. We will be able to show you how to screen share on Zoom so that we can discuss briefs or work in progress. Again, you may find our staff on Zoom via their email addresses.

If you have another preference for video conferencing such as Microsoft Teams, you can of course set up the call and we can join in.

There is no doubt that this will be a challenging time for most businesses but with some adaptions and new thinking, we hope we will all get through with as little impact on our businesses and families as possible. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please don’t hesitate to call us.

To help support our clients and all other local businesses, we are offering a complementary strategy meeting with our Director and Marketing Specialist, Barbara Ketley (via video call) to discuss your options and put a plan of attack in place. Please contact us on 1300 788 572 if you would like to arrange a video meeting to help you keep your business afloat during this tough time.

We are all in this together and wish you all the very best of luck in navigating through these difficult times.

Kind regards,

Barbara Ketley  – Director and Marketing Specialist

Welcome to the New Year!

Where did 2018 go? It definitely seemed to speed by and all of a sudden we are into February 2019 with a fresh canvas for another exciting year!

For us, 2018 was a year when we put a lot of focus into training and rewarding our staff to increase engagement and to bring new, talented team members on board, including an office puppy named Archie! We were fortunate to work with a wonderful HR consultant, Jo Hanlon of Mind Your P’s throughout our employee program and were very proud to ultimately win the Employer of Choice Award at the 2018 Central Coast Business Chamber Awards!

This year, our focus is on revitalising our customer service and ensuring all aspects of our business are customer-centric. To help us in this process, we have engaged business consultant Mark Cleary of The Big Paddle. Mark has been contacting a diverse selection of our current clients to confidentially gather feedback on what we are delivering and what our customers really want. Many thanks to our clients who are taking part in this process! If you haven’t been contacted but would like to provide your feedback to us, please let us know. We would welcome all feedback and ideas in our quest to become better at delivering outstanding service to our clients.

If you’ve come back invigorated after the Christmas break and are excited about strengthening and growing your business, we may be able to help! Certainly we’d love the chance to hear your story and offer constructive feedback and ideas on your marketing strategy and implementation. Just let us know if you would like an obligation-free meeting to discuss.

We have been very lucky over the last year to have worked with some exceptional clients on some amazing projects. We have showcased a few of these projects in this newsletter including websites, television commercials, branding and marketing projects. In addition, we have shared important information on changes to WordPress, social media strategies, web and design trends for 2019, useful facts on SEO, a guide to today’s consumer buying process and highlights of Infusionsoft as a powerful CRM.

We hope you find our content both interesting and useful!

Kind regards and best wishes for a hugely successful 2019,

Barbara Ketley and the Milestone-Belanova team.

Why wasting time is okay

It’s been a weird day today. It’s the Friday after the Anzac Day public holiday and I’ve been back in the office feeling like it’s Monday. It’s also weird because I did something strange yesterday and actually took the day off. Sure, I thought about work for most of the day and had a million plans going through my head, but I didn’t actually sit down at the computer and do any work. I just thought about it.

Having time to think is just as important for an SME owner as having time to actually get through your task list. We all know that. Strategising, creative thinking and planning are at least as important as doing.

So, if I understand that, why do I feel like I have wasted a valuable opportunity to get through more productive, income earning work by misusing the gift of a day off in the middle of the week?

Well, the main reason comes back to my constant need to reassess my values to get my priorities in order.

As owners of SMEs, we bear a lot of responsibility for our families, our staff, our clients and our suppliers. Sometimes getting those responsibilities in order can be difficult because the needs are intertwined – working in the business helps our clients which helps our staff and helps our families so it is to the benefit of everyone if the business grows and thrives.

But sometimes this burden of responsibility is so strong that we don’t get past the starting point. We continue to focus on the needs of our business as the fountain of good fortune for all and the needs of our families, our staff – and ourselves – hardly get a look in. That is, until something happens to remind us that other priorities – very important priorities – are slipping through the cracks.

In the past, I have been so heavily focused on servicing my clients that I have even responded to emails on Christmas Day! I would get up an hour early to ensure that I could email clients before I took my children to school simply because I knew these clients were early risers. And I have travelled 500km on a return overnight trip to deliver expo material to a client who should have put a bit more “thinking” into their planning process.

After more than 15 years in business, I have now learnt that I have to structure my day to make room for priorities other than the business. Yesterday, I ‘booked in’ a few hours in the afternoon sun to relax with my family in the beer garden of our local pub overlooking the beach and then took a walk with my oldest son. It was enjoyable and rejuvenating and a great use of my time.

Juggling so many responsibilities as an SME owner, mother, wife, friend and boss does not come easy. Those who claim that they’ve got the balance right are super-human in my book – and I’m certainly not super-human. Which is why I feel guilty today about ‘wasting’ yesterday even though I know that, considering all my responsibilities and priorities, I actually did the right thing.

Marketing Questions for SMEs

Start the year off on the right track by asking yourself a few simple questions…

Is your branding consistent across all your marketing communications? A consistent brand (visual, written and cultural) increases brand awareness and recall and helps to get you on your prospects’ shopping list.

Is your brand visually differentiated from your competition? Without any experience of your product or service, a bland brand gives no reason for a prospect to choose your business over others. Differentiation in line with your unique positioning will make your brand stand out even in a cluttered market.

Are you using simple, relevant messages in your marketing material? Business owners often over think their messages, trying to deliver too many reasons to buy at once. Keep your message focused and concise.

Are you tapping into the real motivations of your prospects? Think beyond clichés and motherhood statements. Think about the triggers that would encourage a prospect to actually buy from you NOW rather than simply feel inclined towards your product or service.

Are you using the right media, messages and creative execution suited to the generation you are targeting? Different generations require different marketing tactics and styles of execution – don’t compromise the effectiveness of your campaign by trying to appeal to everyone.

Are you using the most effective language for your target? Do you need clever hooks or conceptual messages to cut through? Are emotive or rational arguments best to sell your product to your key target? Do you need to amuse or entertain to be heard or are you looking to inform and educate?

Are your messages reaching your target with a high enough frequency to be recalled? One touch is rarely enough, particularly with the restricted budgets of SMEs.

Are you becoming predictable with your campaign timings and content?
Don’t become like wallpaper

Becker Underwood App

Becker Underwood App
As one of the world’s most innovative agribusinesses, Becker Underwood is again leading the way with the development of its new Inoculant Calculator app.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Becker Underwood on the development of the Inoculant Calculator which was created in native languages specifically for the iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows and desktop platforms.

We would like to also congratulate Becker Underwood on its recent merger with international giant, BASF. Exciting times lie ahead!

Milestone-Belanova Franchise Opportunity

Franchise document

It has been many years in the planning but the Milestone-Belanova franchise expansion is now underway and we are actively seeking experienced marketing and business professionals to operate Milestone-Belanova offices in a number of regional markets.

With a comprehensive range of marketing collateral, tools and templates, a tried and tested operations manual, proprietary owned software and systems, training and full back end creative and technical support, the Milestone-Belanova offering has been designed to provide a high level of value for anyone wishing to own a marketing and advertising agency.

The markets we are initially looking to enter include Newcastle and the Hunter, the Illawarra, Western Sydney and the Northern Rivers region. We welcome enquiries from suitably qualified professionals who share our vision to give SMEs in regional markets a distinct competitive advantage through a corporate quality of strategic and creative marketing services.

Visit www.milestone-belanova.com.au for more details or call us on 02 4322 7559.

Central Coast Motor Group Lifestyle TV Ad Shoot

CCMG Lifestyle Shoot
CCMG Lifestyle Shoot

With 9 world class brands, there’s always a lot happening at Central Coast Motor Group!

Earlier last year, we took the chance to film all nine brands in a lifestyle shoot at Avoca Beach. It was a huge day under the sun but the great footage that resulted has recently been cut into 8 TV commercials which have aired on NBN.

So for a Mazda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Subaru, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Isuzu Ute or Mercedes-Benz, visit our valued clients at Central Coast Motor Group!

New Team Member

Danielle Luxford
Danielle Luxford

Our creative studio has recently welcomed Danielle Luxford to our graphic design team.

Danielle is a talented designer with a wealth of original ideas and experience in managing design teams in both Sydney and Manilla.

Danielle is totally organised, loves a tidy desk and yet, we suspect, is a little bit crazy!

We were told that “nothing is too much trouble for Danielle” and so far, she is living up to her reputation!

Central Coast Business Women’s Awards Finalist

Thank you to the anonymous person who nominated Milestone-Belanova’s Principal, Barbara Ketley, in the Central Coast Business Women’s Awards. We are delighted that Barbara has been selected as a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement Awards! She will be up against some tough competition though with three other outstanding business women competing in this category: Pam Duncan of Ken Duncan Galleries, Lyn Ross of Boydita Roses and Ann Rolfe of Mentoring Works. Whatever the outcome next Saturday night, it is wonderful to be part of this Business Women Connect event.