Skip to main content
We’re here with practical marketing information for your business.


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.


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

HMRC warns tax-payers to watch out for scammers

17 November 2020

As the 2021 self assessment deadline approaches, there are increasing reports of fake emails, texts and phone calls purporting to be from HMRC.

HMRC sends thousands of texts and emails every year ahead of the annual tax return deadline on 31 January 2021. However, fraudsters also create convincing emails, text, web pages and make phone calls intended to trick UK tax-payers into handing over personal information, including bank details, in order to claim a spurious refund.

HMRC is warning tax-payers to be highly suspicious of any communication claiming to be from HMRC that is offering a tax rebate. In the past 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public and reported over 15,500 malicious web pages to internet service providers to be taken down. Almost 500,000 of the referrals from the public offered bogus tax rebates.

"We know that criminals take advantage of the self assessment deadline to panic customers into sharing their personal or financial details and even paying bogus 'tax due'," said Karl Khan, HMRC's interim director general for customer services.

Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: "Criminals are experts at impersonating organisations that we know and trust. We work closely with HMRC to raise awareness of current scams and encourage people to report any suspicious calls or messages they receive, even if they haven't acted on them, to the relevant channels. This information is crucial in disrupting criminal activity and is already helping HMRC take down websites being used to facilitate fraud.

"It's important to remember if you're contacted out of the blue by someone purporting to be from HMRC asking for your personal or financial details, or offering you a tax rebate, grant or refund, this could be a scam. Do not respond, hang up the phone, and take care not to click on any links in unexpected emails or text messages. You should contact HMRC directly using a phone number you've used before to check if the communication you have received is genuine."

Anyone who has been the victim of fraud should contact their bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Customers can report suspicious activity to HMRC at [email protected] and texts to 60599. They can also report phone scams online on the government website.

HMRC is also warning the public to be aware of websites that charge for government services - such as call connection sites - that are in fact free or charged at local call rates. Other companies charge people for help getting tax refunds. The best way to safely claim a tax refund for free is to log into your Personal Tax Account.

HMRC regularly publishes examples of new scams on the government website to help customers recognise phishing emails and other bogus messages. It says tax-payers should be suspicious if an email, text or call:

  • Is unexpected;
  • Offers a refund, tax rebate or grant;
  • Asks for personal information like bank details;
  • Is threatening;
  • Tells you to transfer money.

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to our lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.