Frequently Asked Questions
ABOUT GRÁ GROUP
What is Grá Group?
Grá Group is a new kind of marketing agency. A social enterprise, we're driven by a mission to provide small businesses in the UK and Ireland not only with the marketing services they need to drive sales and build customer loyalty, but also with the education and guidance they need to make informed decisions that can build strong local businesses -- and ultimately strong local communities.
What’s a Social Enterprise?
Social Enterprise UK* defines a social enterprise as: “a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. It will have a clear sense of its ‘social mission’: which means it will know what difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it. It will bring in most or all of its income through selling goods or services. And it will also have clear rules about what it does with its profits, reinvesting these to further the ‘social mission’.
Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes from large national and international businesses to small community based enterprises. But they all:
- Are businesses that aim to generate their income by selling goods and services, rather than through grants and donations
- Are set up to specifically make a difference (and
- Reinvest the profits they make in their social mission."
*Grá Group is a member of Social Enterprise UK
How can a marketing firm have a social mission?
It’s unusual in our industry, we admit it. We could easily just sell services to entrepreneurs and keep moving. But we believe there’s a way you can do good business and still give back.
Our mission is to provide small enterprises with the marketing skills, tools, templates and support they need to attract customers, drive sales and build customer loyalty.
Small business owners are our heroes; they literally put everything on the line for an idea. And often they take on huge risk for themselves and their families in the process. That deserves respect – and is a call to action for us to do well by doing good.
What sort of work do you do?
We work with small businesses to educate, guide and assist them as they pursue marketing programmes. Our approach is threefold: workshops, mentoring and marketing services for hire. Clients can take advantage of some or all of these offerings depending on their specific needs and budget.
Armed with the right knowledge, skills, strategy and resources, even the smallest startups can use the same industry-standard best practices as global companies to reach the audiences that are most meaningful to them. Throughout our process, we reinforce these concepts by providing the tools, templates, tricks, ideas and inspiration necessary to help our clients get their marketing moving effectively and even enjoyably.
How can I engage with Grá Group?
The best first step is to ask us for a free consultation. Fill out our quick survey so we get a general sense of your situation and we’ll schedule a call to discuss. From there we can recommend some or all of our services to best fit your needs, be it attending a workshop, subscribing to our Office Hours Advice Line, joining our mentoring programme or hiring us to work on specific projects.
What’s involved in a free consultation?
Easy. Fill out our quick survey so we get a general sense of your situation and we’ll schedule a call to discuss. From there we can recommend some or all of our services to best fit your needs, be it attending a workshop, subscribing to our Office Hours Advice Line, joining our mentoring programme or hiring us to work on specific projects.
How do I know if my company is a fit to work with you?
No pressure. We’ve designed our offerings to fit every budget level, from workshops to mentoring to services. Ask us for a free consultation and you can make decisions from there. No worries!
I have a tiny budget. How can I know I’m making the right call to work with a consultancy?
We believe less is more. We will never try to sell you more than you need. We respect that small business budgets are often modest, and your time is just as precious. For that reason we often will point you toward more affordable and attainable options, such as web-based templates. The universe of marketing options for smaller budgets has never been more robust and we unabashedly make the most of them. In fact, this website was built using small-business-friendly templates.
What’s the story behind your name, Grá Group?
We love small business. In fact our name, Grá, (pronounced "graw") literally means "love" in Irish. In the end it's all about the grá -- the love. The love you have for your big ideas, our love of working with entrepreneurs, and the good we can create together.
Who is behind Grá Group?
Grá Group was created by expat American marketer, entrepreneur and lecturer Tim Hart. After 20 years serving clients big and small -- 10 years of which through is own international PR firm Hart Communications -- Tim decided it was time to give something back. His small business clients pointed the way, frequently asking for ways to make more informed marketing choices on modest budgets whilst avoiding making expensive mistakes. And so Grá Group was born.
What sort of workshops to do you offer?
Fun, informative and useful, our Basic 2 Brilliant small business marketing workshops provide you with the fundamentals to promote your business effectively.
In a single morning or evening, we take you through the fundamentals of marketing -- defining various marketing channels, understanding budgets, explaining best practices and demystifying processes and trends. You'll leave better prepared to make informed marketing choices whilst avoiding making costly mistakes.
In 2016 we’ll be offering additional, single-topic workshops -- covering areas like social media marketing, grassroots promotion, third sector marketing and more -- give a more detailed look at specific areas on which you can focus.
What will I experience in a workshop?
- A friendly and confidential atmosphere in which to learn, share your challenges and address your questions.
- An exploration of the principles and practices of marketing across multiple channels. These concepts can then be adapted to fit your business and budget.
- Practical discussion on topics like customer experience, social media, public relations basics, cause marketing and more.
- Hands-on work with our own marketing planning and budgeting tools -- which you can take home and use.
- Ideas on marketing on a shoestring -- there's much you can do on a tight budget.
- "3 minute makeovers" -- brainstorming new ideas within the group.
- Networking and camaraderie -- there's strength in numbers.
Who are the workshops meant for?
Our workshops are meant for small business owners – from fresh startups to veterans – who need a grasp of the fundamentals of marketing. We want to arm you with enough information to make informed choices for your businesses to help you understand the ever-expanding universe of options without getting overwhelmed or making expensive mistakes. We’re happy to have you join us even if you’re not open for business yet – knowledge is power and our workshops can help you plan to make the most of your efforts even on a limited budget.
Where are the workshops held?
Our locations very in Ireland and the UK. We try to find unique and relaxing settings to help you learn but also enjoy the experience. Please sign up for our mailing list and we’ll keep you apprised on upcoming dates & locations. You can also follow us on social media.
What’s the cost?
Workshops are affordably priced at £29 / €39 each.
Do I need to book in?
Yes, it’s important for us to know how many people will be joining us.
If I need to cancel can I get a refund?
We cannot offer a refund as we will have incurred costs such as room hire to accommodate your group. You can reschedule for another future workshop at no additional charge, however.
What if I need follow up assistance?
We encourage you to subscribe to our Office Hours Advice Line, our weekly voluntary drop-in conference call where you can ask questions, test ideas and get advice in a voluntary, drop-in style forum.
Additionally, you can ask for a free consultation to see how we might be able to assist you with areas like mentoring or services for hire for specific projects.
Aren’t there free resources out there such through my local council or enterprise board? Why should I pay for a workshop?
Yes, there are free workshops in many communities and we encourage you to make full use of them, as we have. Our workshop fees are meant primarily to recover costs such as room hire, etc. We price our workshops at or below the level you might expect to pay at a local Chamber of Commerce or trade association. Additionally, unlike councils, chambers or other community organisations, we are not subsidised by government funding.
What’s involved in mentoring?
Sometimes you need the help of an expert to help you conceive your marketing programme and to keep you accountable as you execute it. Our award-winning consultants are happy to help you develop the marketing ideas, strategies and tactics to propel your business to the next level without spending the earth.
After a free initial consultation, we'll arrange a series of one-to-one phone/Skype consultation calls and email check-ins to move you forward in your marketing programme.
Who is mentoring for?
We've arranged our mentoring sessions in three simple, flat-rate modules, designed to fit your budget and the level of complexity of your business and marketing needs: Startup, Trader and Entrepreneur.
What is the difference between the different mentoring packages?
Our Startup package is best for those needing the most basic framework for their marketing efforts, Great for solopreneurs, those just starting out or those writing their business plan. The startup option is a one-month commitment.
Our Trader option is best for those already trading and ready to roll up their sleeves and get marketing. We’ll help you Get a handle on your plans, projects, budgets & timelines -- start marketing like a pro. The Trader option is a two-month commitment.
Our Entrepreneur option is best for more established, technical or complex businesses; we’ll help you plan & execute product launches, international trading, expansion, etc. The Entrepreneur option is a 3-month commitment.
What does mentoring cost?
- The startup option is a one-month commitment, priced at £199 / €279
- The Trader option is a two-month commitment, priced at £349 / €499
- The Entrepreneur option is a three-month commitment, priced at £589 / €799
What if I need more help than a month of mentoring can provide?
Let’s take it one step at a time. First, submit our Request a Free Consultation online form and we can schedule a chat to see how best we can help.
What if I decide after starting that mentoring is not for me?
Our mentoring packages are designed to be short-term commitments. If it suits, you can always start with our one-month Startup option and renew after that. No worries. You also can subscribe to our Office Hours Advice Line to have access to help on an ongoing basis, in a unique and friendly voluntary, group format.
What should I expect from my mentor?
Our award-winning consultants are happy to help you develop the marketing ideas, strategies and tactics to propel your business to the next level without spending the earth. After a free initial consultation, we'll arrange a series of one-to-one phone/Skype consultation calls and email check-ins to move you forward in your marketing programme.
We’ll work with you to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then we’ll look at your messaging -- what you say about your business and your products or services – and how we can improve it. From there we’ll sketch out a marketing programme that will include helping you develop detailed budgets and calendar so you can have a firm plan in place.
At each of these stages you’ll have our own Gra tools & templates to work with to help guide you on your way.
Your mentor will be supportive and give frank feedback as we examine ideas and concepts together, and will help you stay accountable to your promises to yourself and the business.
The exact content of sessions to vary based on the unique needs and circumstances of each client and the duration of your specific mentoring programme.
What sort of services to you offer?
In addition to our workshops and mentoring programme, our small business marketing consultants can offer you more hands-on assistance. We break these services down into the following areas: In your business, in the community and on the Web.
Can you explain these in more detail?
In Your Business, we can help you with:
- Customer Experience Improvement
- Visual Merchandising
- Shop/Office/Lobby Layout
- Staff Training Materials
- Call Center Scripts
- Promotional Marketing
- Product & Shopper Packaging
- Corporate Gifts
- Special Promotions
- Secret Shopper Service
- Trade Show Materials
- Market Stall Design
- Vehicle Marketing
- Postcards & Brochures
- Flyers & Fact Sheets
- Signage & Banners
- Cross Promotion
- Cause/Charity Marketing
- Public Relations
- Website & Blog Design
- Website & Blog Content
- Social Media Setup & Management
- Email Marketing
- Web Video & Animation
How do I decide which are right for me?
Your specific projects should flow from a well considered marketing plan. We can help you with that through our mentoring programme. The best place to start is asking us for a free consultation to help you frame your needs.
How are your marketing services priced?
Because each client's needs are unique, all of our bespoke marketing projects are scoped and budgeted on an individual basis.
Who will do the work?
We utilise only experienced consultants, designers, writers, etc. to work on your project.
PAYMENTS & REFUNDS
What types of payment do you accept?
We use PayPal so most credit and debit cards can be used for payment, as well as a PayPal account if you have one. We can also discuss direct bank transfer on request.
Do you work with people with limited budgets?
Absolutely. All of our options are designed for small business owners with modest budgets, from our modestly priced workshops to mentoring and marketing services.
We will never try to sell you more than you need. We respect that small business budgets are often modest, and your time is just as precious. For that reason we often will point you toward more affordable and attainable options, such as web-based templates. The universe of marketing options for smaller budgets has never been more robust and we unabashedly make the most of them. In fact, this website was built using small-business-friendly templates.
Am I allowed a discount if I book two courses?
We do not offer a discount for bookings for two people / courses but we may offer regular discounts on our courses throughout the year. Please sign up to our mailing list to receive updates.
Can I get a student discount?
No we do not offer any student discount.
Can I pay a deposit and then pay the rest later?
You must pay the entire amount by card/PayPal at time of booking for workshops, mentoring and Office Hours Advice Line.
Bespoke projects such as website design, trade show materials, etc. will be invoiced to include a deposit before work begins; final work files/logins/permissions will be released once final payment is made. When working with a third-party such as a printer or web hosting company we will refer you to them and their terms which may or may not require a despoit; we will not mark up these services.
WORKING FOR GRÁ GROUP
Are you hiring?
We are not hiring at present. We do encourage you however to follow us on social media however, as we will promote future opportunities there.
I’m a freelancer -- are you looking for people like me?
Yes, we’re always looking to collaborate with talented writers, designers and more. Please get in touch.