Business Automation Software

Everything to automate your business from Job sheets to full job management and job tracking

Marketing - are you legal?

The information that follows is for advice and does not constitute legal advice , if you are in any doubt about your compliance or how you work then please seek legal advice.

 

There are 2 laws you have to be aware of when sending out marketing material, the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regualtions.

The Data Protection Act

Any one who processes personal information must comply with eight principals to make sure that personal information is:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processes for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not Transferred to other countries without adequate protection.

Full details of the eight principals are found at the ICO

The DPA requires any organisation from large corporations to sole traders need to register if they are processing personal information.  Not sure if you need to register then there is a quick online  self assessment which you can take to see if you have to register.  Online Self Assessment

 

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations PECR

If you wish to contact your existing customers or market to potential customers ten you will need  to comply with the following regulations which changed on 26th May 2011

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations apply to you if you send marketing and advertising  material by electronic means such as telephone, fax, email, texts and an automated calling systems.

New Rules on Cookies

A cookie also known as a web cookie or browser cookie is a bit of data that a website puts on your computer for future reference.  So when you go back to that website the site already knows a bit about you such as your browsing habits, when you last came to site.  Cookies them selves cannot contain viruses or install malware and are traditionally used to make your experience with the website more pleasurable and more tailored to you. 

For full cookie information and compliance see the following

 

The Data Protection Act applies to you if you are processing personal data i.e. if you know the name of that person, if you do not know their name then Data Protection does not apply however if after you call you know their name then the DPA applies.

Solicited and Unsolicited

A Solicited message is a message that your customers have actively invited or signed up for, an unsolicited message is one where they have not actively invited but do not object to receiving.  However they must have opted in at some point to receiving messages from you and you must have proof of this.

Consent

An individual must knowingly give consent to hear from you  read more...

Opting in and opting Out

The method by which you obtain consent may vary but in all cases people you contact must be aware that they are consenting and what exactly they are consenting too..  Not clear then see more...

 

 

 

 

 

Are you looking after your hard won Leads

You have a great business idea, you are all set to go ,all you need are the customers

 

For the majority of businesses getting new prospects through the door or getting new customers to contact you is the most challenging part of a business.  From the number of emails that arrive in your inbox for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or from marketing companies promising you amazing increase in sales and revenues if you use their service getting customers is something that every business has to work on.  Why then do a lot of businesses not follow up on leads or not know how people contacted them.

It does not matter what your sales process is there are certain things that are important to capture and analyse.

  • Sales Channel - how did they find you
  • Name and Address
  • Salutation
  • Job title / Company name
  • Home/work/mobile phone
  • Email
  • Date information was updated
  • Industry/Commercial Sector
  • Date they contacted you
  • Who took the phone call/answered enquiry
  • Who that lead is allocated to
  • What happened did they buy/ did you win the business

Storing this information in a database has several advantages

  1. it means that you can reduce the amount of time spent managing your information. 
  2. The information that you have captured can be analysed so you can determine which advert in what paper generated most leads. 
  3. By having a process to capture this information means that consistent information is captured. 
  4. Customer information is never lost and is always in the same place.

BusinessFlow lead database has been developed with several of our customers to produce a simple easy to use process.

Once a customers details have been captured they can be allocated to a particular sales person/admin person for follow up action.  Every time that person logs into BusinessFlow their own Sales Dashboards gives them a complete list of customers to contact with a full history of previous contacts.  No longer get caught out by not knowing what was said in a previous conversation.   If a customer is not available to speak today re-schedule the call for another day. 

From the lead quotes can easily be prepared and sent to customers which if successful can easily be converted into invoices.

 

 

Copyright Law what you can and cannot use on your website

Content published in a digital format is still subject to the same copyright laws as traditional published material.  Many people assume that just because something has been published on the web then that content is free and can be  modified with out the owners permission. People also incorrectly assume that if the website does not have the copyright notice at the bottom of the page then that content can be copied.

The current copyright law was passed in 1988 (Copyright, Design and Patents Act).  The purpose of the Act is to give creators of literary works, musical, film etc. control over how their work is used.

As a business when compiling articles for blogs, newsletters, website or brochures it is important to know what information is covered.  The type of work that is protected is as follows:-

  • Literary
  • Dramatic
  • Musical
  • Artistic
  • Published editions
  • Sound Recording
  • Films

Written Content

So to protect yourselves always write your own copy after all it is a site about your business which you know best.

If you want to add other people brochures always get permission

Images

So when sourcing images for sites or brochures either buy the image from reputable agencies such as IstockPhoto or get the permission of the creator.  When buying from Istock website  always check that you are buying the correct licence for the use of the image.  Istock Photo licences 

Using You Tube videos on the your website

If you have created the video yourself then there is not a problem as you own the copyright.  If you have not created the video then someone else own the copyright however when a video is uploaded to You tube the owner has the option to enable or disable the embed code for their video.  The embed code is the HTML code you put on your website to show the video.  It would imply that if the embed code is enabled then they want others to use it.  The only  downside to this is if the person uploading the video was unaware of the implication of enabling this option.

read more on copyright issue of YouTube