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A marketing strategy tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it to in order to make more sales. Our guide to the basics.

Market your business online - from your website to social networking, advertising, search engine optimisation, email marketing and more.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

The basics you need to know about raising your business profile through advertising, and how to make sure your campaigns are successful.

Focusing on taking care of your existing customers could be much better for your bottom line than chasing new business. The basics of customer care.

No business can survive without selling. Our overview of planning your sales strategy and recruiting, training and managing sales staff.

Get the basics right - our quick guide to the main types of market research and how to get the information you need no matter what your budget.

Direct marketing is ideal for small businesses as it's highly targeted, cost-effective and simple to DIY. Our guide to how to get started.

Start here - find out how attending and displaying at exhibitions and events can benefit your business, and learn how to build your network.

PR

The basic things you need to know about PR for your business, building relationships with the media and managing the impact of publicity.

Also in the news this week - 24 February 2017

24 February 2017

Telephone manners

A simple "Hello" when answering the phone at work could be damaging your business, according to new research. A survey by Moneypenny has found that a quarter of small business owners (26%) answer their business calls with "Hello"; however, survey respondents said this was "unprofessional", "off-putting" and even "rude". The most common telephone greeting for small businesses is "Good morning, company name" - 46% of small businesses answer the phone this way, and this greeting was considered the most professional by those surveyed.

A nation of entrepreneurs

Many more people could be running their own business in the UK by 2018 according to a new survey by Idinvest Partners. Its UK Entrepreneurship Barometer has found that more than half the UK population is keen to start their own business, and 16% have plans to do so in the next year. The survey found that 62% of respondents believe uncertainty over the Brexit timetable is a constraint to starting a business in the UK. However, 57% are optimistic about the outlook for the British economy.

There's no place like home…

New research has identified some of the less well-documented reasons that employees ask for flexible working arrangements that allow them to work from home. A poll by Regus found that 35% of UK professionals agreed that "flexible working means I don't have to put up with colleagues' unpleasant personal habits", and 31% said it allows them to avoid "boring colleagues". In addition, 41% said flexible working would enable them to eat more healthily.

May promises business rates relief for those in need

After weeks of lobbying by business groups, this week's Prime Minister's questions saw PM Theresa May acknowledge that some businesses would be "particularly adversely affected" by the rates changes. She has asked the Chancellor and Business Secretary to provide additional help for those firms worst affected and to make sure there was "appropriate relief" for them. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: "I am reassured to hear that the prime minister has personally intervened in this extremely worrying situation for many small businesses."

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