Expanding your SME – a how-to guide

Ever dreamed about setting up your own business? It’s something that’s on the rise, with 4 out of 5 UK 16-21 year-olds being interested in becoming their own boss, according to research. As a matter of fact, there’s predictions that 2018 is going to be another record-breaking year for UK start-ups.

The question you’ll probably be asking is how can you expand your SME to ensure your business is yielding a healthy profit? Well, look no further, here we bear all on the ways and means to best improve and ultimately, grow your company.

A concrete marketing plan is key

Many companies make the mistake of not being proactive in their marketing approach and haven’t got a strong marketing plan in place. It’s as simple as setting realistic goals and making an in-depth to-do list where you can focus on your expansion schedules and make sure that you are spending your resources correctly and appropriately.

Good marketing plans normally highlight the most important parts of your business, such as understanding your target market and knowing where your standing in that market is and how you can improve on this. It should also look at the costs involved in moving forward and this would make sure you avoid throwing money away by blindly targeting wrong areas of the business.

Growing a presence online

Having an online presence is a simple yet effective way to get your name out there and in front of your target audience. This means you must make sure that your company’s website is user friendly. It’s not enough to just have a site which is live – if your website isn’t pleasing on the eye, or information is difficult to find, then any potential customer is likely to be put off from using your services as it looks unprofessional.

Have you considered claiming your business listing on Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local? If not, get straight to it! You’d be amazed at how many local businesses don’t sign up for these free services. By simply providing the search engines with your details, your business is getting free advertising and getting put in front of a huge audience who may well stumble across your brand when searching for a product you provide.

Though it may sound obvious, social media is the perfect way to make a name for brand. With customers always wanting to know how other people have fared, sites such as Facebook can be a great location for positive feedback. By interacting and engaging with your audience on a regular basis, your brand is likely to stay at the forefront of their attention and who knows when they might just need your services? After all, word of mouth is a huge tool and most conversation starters these days come from social media posts!

Advertising

If done properly, a good advertising strategy should prove to be an invaluable asset to your business. Whether this is online or in person, your brand has to be in the public’s attention. Many people assume that advertising campaigns will be too costly for the size of their business, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

If you want to advertise locally without parting with too much of your hard-earned cash, then leaflet distribution may be something to consider and can prove to be a great method of direct marketing.

In line with this, studies have found that almost 9 in 10 people remember receiving door-drop mail, with nearly half admitting that they stick their leaflets on a board or stuff them in the kitchen drawer. Of course, what your company is selling will alter your success rate, but getting your name in front of your audience is crucial and this is an effective method.

Other techniques might include distributing press releases about your business to local and national newspapers, radio stations and magazines. Certain local papers have sections especially for small business news, so it could be a great way to get your name in front of potential customers in your area. Business cards also work in the same way, with many local shops having a pin board for small businesses to advertise their services for a small fee.

Enlarge your fleet

In 2017 the number of electricians had risen to 265,000, compared to 234,000 seen 4 years previously. With apprenticeships in manual labour sought after for those who don’t want to attend university, there are many SME electrician companies to choose from. In this industry, and other manual labour roles, including plumbing, the role realistically requires access to a vehicle and if you plan to expand your company, then your fleet would have to grow too.

If a form of transport were accessible for every employee, not only would allow them to be ‘on call’ and therefore service a wider target audience, they could also carry all their tools and equipment with them at all times so there wouldn’t be the risk of them not having the tools needed for a specific job. This would mean there’s an opportunity to earn more money and satisfy your customers.

The VW Transporter was voted by electricians as ideal for their line of work as a result of its reliability and good fuel economy. And don’t be scared off by the initial outlay. Many car companies offer a great leasing service that is affordable to you and won’t hinder your expansion plans.

It should also be noted that the manual labour industry isn’t the only one that can reap the rewards from expanding their fleet, either. Company cars with personal body wraps on can make sure your name is always reaching a new audience wherever your staff go.

 

In an ideal world, we all like to think that our ideas are fool proof. However, sometimes we have to take a step back and be a bit more savvy to ensure that our plans are successful. These simple steps above should help you grow your business in a smooth manner.

Sources

http://www.smeinsider.com/2015/10/21/4-ways-you-can-expand-your-business/

http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/43488/

http://smallbusiness.co.uk/2018-predicted-record-year-startups-2542462/

https://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/slideshows/10-inexpensive-ways-to-advertise-your-small-business.html

https://dma.org.uk/article/what-is-the-response-rate-from-leaflet-distribution

https://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/how-to-promote-your-business/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/318824/numbers-of-electrical-and-electronic-trades-professionals-in-the-uk/

https://www.tradeskills4u.co.uk/posts/electricians-van

https://smallbiztrends.com/2008/06/one-page-marketing-plan.html

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