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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?

HSBC boosts its annual lending fund for small firms

19 September 2018

HSBC boosts its annual lending fund for small firmsThe bank is to lend £12 billion to UK small businesses in the coming year, up by £2 million since 2017.

The annual lending commitment from HSBC is the highest to date since its SME Fund was launched five years ago. The bank has also revealed that the 2017 fund was fully used by UK SMEs; it brings the total funding so far under the initiative to £46 billion since 2014.

For the first time, HSBC has ring-fenced £1 billion to help boost overseas trade. The bank's research has shown that 72% of British businesses expect their cross-border trade to increase this year.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK, said: "After the success of last year, this increased SME Fund 2018 will help more businesses plug the gap between ambition and reality, supporting their growth."

"British companies are optimistic about their trade growth prospects but it's important they can get the finance they need to achieve it."

The small business minister Kelly Tolhurst has welcomed the increased funding commitment. She said: "With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK's 5.7 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy."

As before, the fund will be allocated to regions across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure the support is offered nationwide; it will also include a minimum of £300 million for UK agricultural businesses.

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