• Business Plan

    the planning tools

    The business plan; the critical component
    New market? new business? large or small a clear plan is critical.

    SThe Business plan is of critical importance yet so often start-ups and small businesses fail to take this crucial step on there way to growing their own business. As many would have heard or read, failing to plan is planning to fail and expert, experienced advice can help to get your new business off the starting blocks and working towards profit quickly.

    This success and profit requires the owners and the directors to understand who the customers are, their business strengths and that of the competition; how will the business successfully compete and what weaknesses and threats need to be managed.
    How will the business cope with the expected expansion, are they entering the correct markets and are they fit for purpose?

    The business plan provides investors and your key managers a clear insight into the business and assist in making a request to the bank or your investors for finance.
    There is a clear set of requirements for the business plan yet each plan is unique to the individual business. A clear passion for the business is insufficient and a clear defined layout covering key issues will serve to take the business forward. In many cases the Directors of the business can often find areas of agreement but more often than not they will disagree, so again, the clear outcome brings all to the same direction.

    A clear objective, critical and focused approach is required, the finished plan is a mechanism to help manage your business and enable you to achieve greater success.

  • Empowering small business

    relaxing business man

    Let us become your marketing department, your one stop marketing solution.

    Let us work with you and get access to your own experienced marketing department immeadiatley and without fuss.

    So you have had your dream for years or perhaps your own small business, you may even miss the support mechanism of the corporation you once worked for? Well look no further, Harlequin Creative can offer a great mix of solutions to provide the support you need when you need it and with the experience to add impact and value to your marketing. Instant (well almost) access to the skills you need for photography, design and media. Strategic planning, even the non-exec. role to help grow your business.

  • Owning a family business

    Smoking keyboard

    Family business can be both rewarding and challenging
    Let us help you align your vision.

    Getting everyone on the same page and focused in the same direction with the same end game can be particularly challenging for a family business. New ideas, aspirations, expansion plans, agreement on levels of risk; all put pressure on the unique relationship of family business.

    Harlequin Creative can help you work together to fulfil understanding and issues surrounding the different perspectives, a strategic review enables a written game plan and a set of tasks to get you to the next stage of your business growth.

    The outcome? a clear agreed path with outputs and requirements aligned to the business and the skills of the business stake holders.

    Once this phase is complete a clear picture of marketing and sales plans can be turned into necessary collateral to communicate to your current customers and potential markets.


  • Plan your strategy

    Compas showig direction

    Strategic Marketing, Not guess work.

    Don't leave your marketing to chance, take a strategic aproach and focus on you're objectives, failing to plan is planning to fail.

    The starting point for any business is having a vision, companies having good direction, a five year plan and so on and so forth, well this isn't just some coincidence that people have found intersting or fun, it's a requirement no matter how large or small your business is. How can you take your business, your life, or even the next journey if you don't know where you are going, or more importantly, first, where are you are starting from and where do you want to go. Roaming may be fun when on holiday but its not for business.

    Establishing the appropriate focus for your marketing efforts is vital if you are to meet challenging objectives. The benefits of a clear, unambiguous strategy is the alignment of people, who will know the direction you wish to travel - the target customers and key sub-groups you wish to reach; the positioning and customer benefits of your products and services and the targets and measures that will allow you to determine your progress.

    This is not something a business can think about once and then park thinking its been done, careful consideration of a multitude of factors need to be taken into account and will inevitably, at some point, conspire against the business if not managed correctly. Continuous review and re-direction is often needed, change comes quickly and a business must change with it to survive and flourish.

    The successful business has a clear plan, direction and an end game or place where it wants or requires, to get to, or achieve.

    Having the vision is essential, BUT, achieving that vision takes a methodical planned approach which is often best nurtured and facilitated by skilled practitioners. Big companies often have much of the skills in house but still find the need to get assistance from an outside team to get alignment and agreement. Once the whole team are in accord, with the same vision carefuly communicated and documented, progress can often be swift and impressive.

    Nothing in life or business is guaranteed but risk can be reduced to acceptable levels and growth maintained. Take time to work on your business, not just in the business.

    If your business has grown and needs that next step up to fulfill the vision, Your business can benefit from our extensive experience in developing strategic marketing plans for all sizes of business. Harlequin Creative can help you to address the important issues facing your marketing strategy such as:

  • Sales and Marketing for growth

    Sales and Marketing getting the boss down

    Starting a New Business?
    Need a helping hand to grow?

    We can help. Contact us here

    The challenges surrounding a start-up or a young business can be quite daunting, many people come from larger organisations where they have had the support of specialists around them in each of the fields required to run a business. As a start up, this lack of assistance and information can create a feeling of isolation, we know, we have been there. A major challenge is the Sales and Marketing, from the sales aspect the new business is often run by someone with a passion for the service or product but not a trained sales professional; why not give us a call for a free informal chat about how we can help you bridge that gap and get you on the right track.

    Marketing isn't just about an expensive ad, or that one off brochure that you could spend your last bit of capital on. From the very start the humble business card is your first introduction, is yours giving the correct message and does it make sense?

    Have a look through your collection of cards from contacts you have made, just how many of them state what the company does? Can you remember? Does it have impact? Just take a moment to think... if this isn't working why is anything else going to work. Harlequin can help guide you through and work in partnership to successfully create an awareness that will last. Give us a call or mail us, it won't cost you the earth and you may well find the returns far outway the costs.

  • Sales and profitability

    Slaes graph plot

    Sales, impossible targets?
    "Sales are going well but accounts keep telling me that its not enough"

    Sales - How many times do we hear managers and staff complaining about impossible targets, not hitting targets, dreading the next sales meeting? All so often comments such as "sales are going well but accounts/my manager, keeps telling me that its not enough"?

    We could go on with a number of scenarios, but lets start with a couple of questions; is it actually the sale that is the problem? Perhaps payment on outstanding invoices hasn't been tracked, did the sales person actually do the calculations and understand the profitability of the offer being made, is that information being supplied by accounts, is the price list configured correctly and so on and so on. If you are unsure about any of these issues or feel your sales team do not know the answers then give us a call for an informal chat to see how we can help.

    We have been engaged by companies with in-excess of a million pound turnover where sales directors and or staff have increased sales by more than 20% in a year only to find the company situation declining not improving. Sound familiar? We think we can help, why not call to see how we might assist with putting in place systems or offer training that could mean the difference between decline or growth.

  • Sales processes

    sales teamin the meeting

    Sales from strategy to delivery.
    Maximise your chance of achieving sales targets..

    Now here is a title that will cause a number of smaller business to either panic or ignore, or perhaps, happily smile. In the main, larger corporations have very clear processes and the staff are more often than not highly trained to ensure maximum chance of achieving the companies targets.

    How about your business? Do you have a clear strategy, regular meetings (organised and with a useful agenda), a weekly, monthly or annual target? is this clearly communicated throughout the company and not just the sales team? Do you know who your customers are? Are the correct sales tools in place? do you have the correct information; such as a clear structured price list? The list may seem endless but it is achievable. We at Harlequin do not believe that sales people are just born to the job but that it is a clear process that can be taught. We can take you through in small steps to help you get control.

  • Start-Up solutions

    sbusy guy looking worried trying to get business growth

    From Start-Up to SME
    We have the experience to help.

    Thinking of starting a new business, or perhaps need a hand to grow? We are here to help.

    Harlequin Creative Limited have extensive experience of working with businesses through their first years of trading and onwards to strong growth. We have helped new businesses identify and address the critical areas of activity that create early growth and make businesses sustainable.

    Even the smallest business needs a marketing strategy and business plan. It need not be complex, but it needs to be defined and adhered to; changes only made when they are clear and planned for a direct outcome. Let Harlequin Creative Limited help you evaluate your marketing options to identify the most cost effective route, and define your strategy as a series of steps that you can take as your business develops.

  • Training solutions

    sales teamin the meeting

    Be it Sales, Marketing or a combination of both we can all do with the ocassional refresher course or perhaps core training. There are many major companies offering training but we offer specialised training matched to specific needs particularly for the technology and high value technical equipment industries.

    A key area for sales representatives is the ability to present information and product effectively, at a level that engages and informs the audience. This is absolutley critical, and we are not talking about Powerpoint or necessarily any other software solution, but the core of how to put together the information succinctly and in a way that leaves a positive experience such that the audience believes that the product or service will solve a problem and is being supplied by a professional organisation they can trust; and of course, not forgetting the assertion that the product has real value to the organisation.

    Training sessions can be tailored to your requirements from a minimum of one day to extended training and evaluation, from one to one sessions to a maximum group size of eight to ten staff. We often find a mix of the technical, service and sales groups is very enlightening for all groups, as the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into development of the "small piece of software or hardware" can be an eye opener to the sales representative that tries giving away the software to close the deal! Obviously the converse of the pain of the sale and closure will also be clearer and support is then given with an understanding of the complexity of selling.