It is estimated that more than 470,000 small businesses started up in the UK last year, and more and more people are deciding to explore the option of self-employment.
Although starting up your own business can be exciting, rewarding and prosperous, it can also bring with it a sense of trepidation and fear of competition within increasingly crowded marketplaces. The question arises; how can you and your business make a real impact and compete in such markets?
Make a note of all resources you use to generate business, this awareness is key for business development. Once you have a list of these, explore ways you can use your resources in a cost-effective way. You don’t need a huge marketing budget, just creativity and passion for what you do.
Your Website: Whether your business is small or vast and rapidly growing, you must have a professional online presence. Not only is this vital for creating business leads, it is also an essential resource for you and your team for communication and sharing of business materials. Ensure your main page gives a brief and clear description of who you are, what you offer and why you are the best choice. A user decides within only seconds if they are interested in a website, therefore you have only a small window to engage them with your product/service.
Testimonials: Use them! Testimonials are rewards your business has earned through hard work and great customer service. They are to be celebrated and liberally displayed throughout your business marketing to boost credibility. Testimonials can be a great way of attracting local custom, while larger companies enhance your broader reputation.
Embrace Social Media: Consistency is crucial for successful social media outputs. Every business has a theme, an ethos, a message. This must run throughout all marketing outputs in order that your brand builds uniformity, recognition and awareness. Whilst concentrating on your outputs should draw in new custom, remember to interact via others in the market to build your profile and create positive relationships with your competitors and contacts. Social media is also an excellent platform to explore the incentives and marketing materials your competitors are producing for inspiration.
Adverts: An ad is your opportunity to specifically show your audience why you are the best option in your market, so be sure to be competitive yet realistic. Try not to compete on price alone, create additionality through future discounts, faster service offers and other unique service extras. Your online presence and reputation can transform your business and give it the boost it needs. You don’t have to be a huge business to make a huge impact.
Carole White, Head of Business and Operations TEDCO Business Support Ltd