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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?

Revealed: the best place to run a business in the UK

4 August 2020

Belfast tops the list of the best cities in the UK for running your own business, according to new research on business costs.

Utility Bidder has studied a range of common business costs - from salaries and broadband fees to office rents - to find the cheapest and the most expensive places to run a business.

In the UK, the findings show that the most affordable cities for business owners are: Belfast, Liverpool, Southampton, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Aberdeen has the highest average annual salary at £35,000 outside London (at £37,000) while Liverpool has the lowest average salary at £26,000.

Belfast has the cheapest monthly internet cost at £28 a month, followed by Southampton and Glasgow (£29). Bristol, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London have the highest monthly internet cost at £32.

Belfast has the cheapest average annual office cost per square foot at £34. Unsurprisingly, London has the most expensive business office occupancy costs, at an average of £113.20 per square foot.

For UK entrepreneurs thinking of expanding overseas or even relocating, the study of business costs around the world shows that the most affordable cities for businesses are: Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava and Helsinki. Belfast comes eighth in the global list.

Office space is most affordable in Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Valencia, Porto and Bratislava. The cheapest cities for salary are: Mexico City, Budapest, Warsaw, Porto and Prague.

Budapest offers the cheapest corporate taxes - at just 9%. But the UK's 19% corporation tax rate ensures that UK cities are in second place when it comes to low business taxes.

Overall, the most expensive cities are: San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Boston and Geneva.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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