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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

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

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

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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