- 15 Oct
Growing The Success Of Your Business
As a business owner the growing success of your business is likley to be something that you focus a lot of your time on - but you may also be on the look out for new ideas about how to achieve that. Below we have put together a few suggestions that might help you if you are trying to grow your business. They are not meant to be comprehensive but it will hopefully offer a few ideas that you might not have thought about.
Use A Marketing Approach That Suits Your Customers
Lets take our own customers, invoice finance users or prospective users, as an example. Approximately 1% of UK businesses use invoice finance. If you assume that the same amount again have the potential to use it, that gives us a target market of 2% of UK businesses. So that's 2 out of every 100 companies that we meet, or speak to. So if we went to a random business networking event, with say 25 companies present, we would need to go to 2 events in order to meet 1 prospect that we could market our services to. Similarly, if we commissioned a TV advert, it would be broadcast in the main (at huge cost) to numerous parties outside of our target audience. These kinds of approaches would not suit our kind of customers.
If we were selling mobile phones we might say a potential market is almost 100% of the population, hence we could consider methods of marketing that were "scatter gun" in their nature e.g. TV advertising.
However, in a niche like ours, with just 2% of companies as a target, we need a very targetted approach to our marketing. This could be by identifying and contacting companies that look similar to the kinds of businesses that already use the services that we sell. For example, the percentage of recruitment companies that use invoice finance is quite high, closer to 17% (20 times the average), hence targetting recruiters could be a good start (but an obvious one as well). We could then consider media that will enable us to reach this target audience. For example, we might consider advertising in a recruitment magazine, or via an online recruitment publication. Alternatively, we might contact those customers via direct marketing such as a mailshot or phone call.
This is a very basic example of data mining. Data agencies will be able to profile existing customers that are using your services, and identify others that look similar in terms of key metrics. This enables you to target customers that look similar to your existing clients. The method of contact can then be tailored to your audience.
Speak To Your Peers And Competitors
It sounds counter intuitive but it is worth keeping a dialogue going with your peers and competitors. Often other similar organisations are happy to discuss aspects of how they undertake their own marketing, of course you have to watch out for red herrings, but you can pick up some useful tips. Don't be afraid to ask for specific details, people are often happy to speak about campaigns they feel have been successful. Similarly, they might tell you of campaigns that have not been successful, which can prove just as useful.
Sometimes you have to trade some information about what you are up to, but you don't have to give away all your trade secrets, just a flavour of how you are marketing you business. For example, if you tell someone you have had some success with direct mailing to prospective clients, it really doesn't help them that much unless they know the details of the wording for the mailing that you have used and they also know exactly how you have targetted and constructed your mailing list.
More to follow . . . If you need some marketing help please contact us on 03330 113622.
- 01 Mar
Free Guide How To Grow Your Business
There are a lot of business growth related resources on our site, so in this post I have pulled together links to all the help and support that you will find, if you are seeking ideas about how to grow and expand your business.With some 47% of SMEs expecting to grow this year, there is some degree of confidence within the UK, despite all the uncertainties. These resources may give you some...
- 05 Feb
Strategies For Business Growth
Most business owners are interested in strategies for business growth, as they want to increase their sales turnover and to boost their profitablity. Turnover growth doesn't always result in an increase in profits, but with careful control of your costs it is likely to increase your profits.GET MARKETING HELPFor the purpose of this article I have put aside constraints such as having enough...
- 27 Dec
Growth Finance For 2019
2019 is just around that corner, and the run up to the New Year is always a good time to take stock of last year's performance, and make your plans for the next year. Growth is an expectation for almost half of UK SMEs.CHECK THE COST OF GROWTH FINANCEThe Q2 2018 SME Monitor from BDRC showed that 41% of businesses said they had grown over the last year, increasing with size from 39% of those with...
- 13 Aug
Cash Flow Finance
Cash flow finance is a term that can encompass all the invoice finance products and also some business loans. Even an overdraft might fall under that category. Pretty much any finance that is for working capital purposes i.e. not to buy an asset, could be included under this banner.APPLY FOR CASH FLOW FINANCEI thought I would check how easy it is for a company to find cash flow finance quotes...
- 06 Aug
Research Suggests Need For External Business Finance Among Growing Businesses
Interesting to read the London School of Business and Finance, quoting research by Wesleyan Bank, that apparently showed some confident growth prospects, and and appetite for external business finance amongst UK businesses.The research across 500 business owners of SMEs showed that over 50% now have more confidence in the growth prospects for their company than they did last year. In addition,...
- 03 Aug
Base Rate Increases To 0.75 Percent
Yesterday, 2nd August 2018, the Bank of England (BOE) announced its decision to increase bank rate to 0.75%, according to BBC reports. A rise of 0.25%, and only the second rise in the last decade. This marks the highest base interest rate since March 2009. There will be a whole generation in the UK that have never known interest rates to be the heady 5 to 15% levels that some of us remember...
- 08 Apr
UK Finance 2017 Statistics Indicate High Growth Business Users
UK Finance, who recently absorbed the industry body formerly known as the ABFA, have just reported on their year-end statistics for 2017, for the invoice finance and asset based lending market amongst their members.It is important to note that not all invoice finance companies are members of the UK Finance industry body, however the figures do represent a large proportion of the UK market.The...
- 19 Mar
How To Finance A Large Order
The feeling when you win a large order, or contract, can be amazing. However, the euphoria can be short lived as large sales often bring with them a number of potential problems, not least of which may be how to finance a large order.The first issue is that your resources may have to be focused on delivering against that large order. This can take your focus away from dealing with smaller...
- 18 Oct
Using Invoice Finance As Acquisition Finance
Acquisition finance can be required if you are acquiring a business, in order to pay the purchase price.The acquisition may be structured in a number of different ways. The whole of the business may be acquired e.g. by purchasing the shares of an existing company, which effectively means that the buyer acquires all the assets and the liabilities of the target company. Alternatively, the buyer may...
- 16 Oct
Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Business
This post follows on from yesterday's post about Growing The Success Of Your Business, I have noted below a few more marketing ideas to grow your business that you might find helpful. None of them are rocket science - in most cases it's just a case of putting in some effort, but in the right direction. So many businesses use a scatter gun approach to marketing which can waste your resources and...
- 04 Oct
Using Invoice Finance To Fund Growth
UK businesses seem to be experiencing some growth and this is likely to create cash flow pressures that can be alleviated by using invoice finance to fund business growth.Recent results from the Bibby Financial Services Global Business Monitor survey showed that 49% of the businesses surveyed had grown their turnover during the last 12 months and 55% were expecting to grow over the next 12...