Have you ever considered starting up a business of your own? Well you’re not alone; research states that as many as four out of every five 16-21-year-olds in the UK are have an interest in being their own boss. What’s more, there are predictions that 2018 is going to be another record-breaking year for UK-based start-ups and that they appear to be going from strength to strength.
So, the question is, how can you be expanding your SME in order to make sure to keep up a healthy profit for your company? The following guide aims to answer this, as it explores the best ways to go about improving and growing your business and ensure of its success.
Growing an online presence
First of all, a good online presence is the perfect way of getting your name at the forefront of your intended audience’s mind. 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 ever thought about making a claim to your local business listing on websites such as Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local to name a few? If your answer is no, 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.
Moreover, utilising social media is a brilliant way to build a name for yourself and business online. 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!
Having a water-tight marketing plan
It may sound obvious, but it’s a fact that a number of companies don’t pay much attention their marketing plans, to their detriment. 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.
Usually, any good marketing plan would commonly summarise all the main points in your business, from knowing the audience you are targeting, to understanding whereabouts you stand in that market and how you can progress further. 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.
Particular attention should be paid to this, as an effective advertising strategy will be a valuable asset to your company and its success. 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.
A fairly cheap advertising method that can help to gain customers locally is leaflet distribution. Surveys have found that 89% of people remember receiving door-drop mail, with almost half admitting that they keep the leaflets on a board or 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 may include the sending of press releases detailing your business to local, regional 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.
Growing your fleet
Between 2013 and 2017, the number of electricians in the UK increased from 234,000 to 265,000. 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 personal transport were to be available to all workers, not only would this enable them to be ‘on call’ and service a wider target audience, they would also be able to carry all their tools and equipment with them at all times so they wouldn’t be at risk of not having the right tools needed for a certain job. This would mean there’s an opportunity to earn more money and satisfy your customers.
According to a survey undertaken by electricians, it was found that the VW Transporter is the ideal commercial vehicle for their line of work thanks to its high levels of reliability and favourable 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.
However, it’s important to note that the manual labour industry is by no means the only one that can enjoy the benefits of expanding their fleet. Company cars with personal body wraps on can make sure your name is always reaching a new audience wherever your staff go.
Though we all like to think our ideas are fool-proof, from time to time we have to just step back and be a bit more savvy to ensure that our plans succeed. These simple steps above should help you grow your business in a smooth manner.