Business is still booming in Britain – in spite of the ongoing Brexit confusion and the increasing likelihood we’ll slide towards leaving with no deal in place.
The vote to leave the EU had an almost immediate impact on the UK, as the pound drop sharply against other currencies, and we’ve seen significant amount of big businesses, including BMW and Land Rover, threaten to pull out of the UK. And it’s not insignificant that Barclays has announced it’ll be moving its HQ to Dublin.
Most worrying of all though, is that there is less than six months to go until the divorce from the EU is complete, and there are still so many unanswered questions! And, despite the rhetoric, no one has any idea what impact leaving the EU will have on businesses – worrying times, especially for the estimated 5.4 million currently plying their trade in the UK, almost all of which (99.3%) are made up microbusinesses and SMEs.
If you’re a business owner, you might feel you need all the help you can get to keep things ticking over, and building your brand is a good way to cement your market share. So if you think you may need a leg up the business ladder, GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, has come up with 11 top tips to help build your brand.
But before we get into that, some numbers…
Britain’s business boom
Figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that the estimated 5.4 million businesses in the UK employ 25.9 million people, and have a combined turnover of more than £3 trillion!
And SMEs account for over half of employees, giving work to almost 15.6 million people and have a combined turnover of £1.75 trillion
Of all businesses, 62% (3.3 million) are sole proprietorships, 30%(1.6 million) are companies and 8% (436,000) are partnerships.
So if you want to build your brand to really compete, here’s what you need to do…
11 top tips to build your brand
1. Tell your story
The beauty of a smaller business is that there’s usually people behind it with a real genuine passion for what they do. If you’re one of them, show it. Write blogs, post vlogs, become a spokesperson for your industry. Your business’s unique selling point is that it isn’t a faceless corporation. Shout about it.
2. Get social
For businesses, social media can feel like a place where customers go to moan. But it’s important that your business is present, responding to queries and generally helping people out. Even if it is a complaint, you’d be amazed at how happy people can be with a friendly, human interaction, or just some acknowledgement. And there’s no better marketing technique than word of mouth.
3. Hashtag hijacking
If you see something trending on Twitter that you sort of, kind of, maybe think relates to your business, JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON. Send your tweet using the hashtag, and anyone who explores that trend will see your business. Congratulations, you’ve just grown your audience. One tweet is all it can take for your business to go viral. Just make sure it’s for a good reason.
4. Email isn’t dead
Despite what millennial think pieces might have you believe, email marketing isn’t a thing of the past. Email use is growing in the business sector and by 2018, business email will account for over 139.4 billion emails sent and received per day. Email outperforms other marketing strategies, and email marketing services are a great way to help you save time.
5. Get out of the office
It may feel like it’s impossible to find time to leave your workplace but trust us, it’s worth it. Attending events lets you mingle with like-minded business-owners, hear great ideas, and potentially meet the person who will take your company global. You won’t know unless you go.
6. Little things can make a huge difference
Notice how this is a list of top 11 tips? That’s because everyone else does a top 10. We’ve gone one better. Little and often simple differentiators like this are what makes people look twice – an invaluable asset in the quest for awareness in a busy online world.
7. Brush up on current affairs
At the risk of sounding like your college politics teacher, you should keep up to date with happenings around the world. Often journalists will tweet, using #journorequest, asking for comments from people on specific storylines. If the story suits your business and you have an angle, get in touch with them straight away and you might see your comment (and business) in the newspaper the next day!
8. Be and Look Professional
“Does a struggling salesman start turning up on a bicycle? No, he turns up in a newer car” – David Brent, The Office.
In business, perception is everything. And, it’s never been easier to secure your business image. A professional-looking website will put consumer minds at ease. You could be operating from your parent’s basement but a shiny website will – in the mind of customers – conjure thoughts of a slick service, reassuring them that your company is reliable and well-known. Use your website as a virtual billboard.
9. Get the creative juices (and pints) flowing
Getting caught up in the day-to-day running of your business can make it hard to think outside the box. In terms of marketing, you want to do something different to your competitors. Go see your friends down the pub and ask them what they want from your type of business. Why do they choose certain products or services? What catches their eye? Which brands do they know best, and why? Based on this, you can start generating ideas that will get your business noticed.
10. Know your audience
It’s a common mistake to think everyone needs your business. Identify your demographic and target them with the right content. From newsletters to LinkedIn, the right materials and channels offer access to the right audience. You don’t necessarily need to cast a wider net, just one with stronger rope. Or something like that.
You need to find out what works and what doesn’t. From trying out a different subject header in an email to using a different font on your website, experimenting with your content will keep it fresh. Sure, it’s important to maintain brand consistency, but an occasional update will stop everything feeling stale.
Anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter
Article updated Thursday, November 24, 2016